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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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26 March 2023

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No. 6,902 (cartoon)

I’ve never been so ashamed, degraded, and humiliated.

And yet you remain grateful; that’s marvelous.

27 March 2023

Thinkless, Fruitless, and Carrotless

Today I’m trying to think without thinking about thinking. I don’t think it’s going too well, which I think is deeply problematic vis-a-vis thinking. Hold it; I think that should have been problematical.

I think thinking without thinking about thinking has led me down a conceptual rabbit hole, so I think I’ll have a conceptual carrot. Dang; there I go again ...

I know it’s time to stop without thinking any more about this fruitless, carrotless exercise, so perhaps it worked after all.

28 March 2023

Childhood Cartoons Become Reality

I grew up watching The Jetsons, and here I am on the Internet. I saw all that coming when I was eight. Thank you, George, Jane, et al. What I didn’t see coming was The Flintstones.

I’m talking about mammoth meatballs. And let me hasten to add I ain’t talking ’bout the size thing, but rather the elephantid genus Mammuthus, which hasn’t been seen around these parts for four thousand years or so, give or take.

Vow, an Australian company, has cultivated a mammoth—as in wooly mammoth—meatball. Please pay close attention; the word “cultivated” is the crux of this little story’s biscuit, as it were (or won’t).

Scientists took the sequence for mammoth myoglobin DNA, added a pinch of elephant, et voilà! The mammoth meatball! Can a brontosaurus burger be far behind? I bet some opportunistic designer is already selling saber-toothed tiger fur togas.

Yabba dabba doozy!

29 March 2023

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Flint Public Library Photography

I spent a lot of time at the Flint Public Library when I was a teenager exploring the work of The Great Photographers. The pantheon was clearly defined, and when I was seventeen I bought a view camera to make photographs that looked like theirs. That was a typical beginner’s mistake, and I got over it within five years. (Or maybe it was ten? Who can remember that far back?)

I poured and pored over reviews, and studied photographs of brick walls to see which lenses were the sharpest. That’s a great approach for people who photograph brick walls, but otherwise another greenhorn dead end.

All that came back to me today when I saw the Flint Public Library’s photogenic brick wall and made a snapshot to see how good my great new lens is. I even included some grass at the edge of the frame to examine the peripheral acutance.

If you wonder what I concluded, it doesn’t matter. I figured that out a long time ago: it doesn’t matter.

30 March 2023

Two Personal Infinities

I was cogitating and postulating with a splash of inebriating when I came up with a great definition of infinity: everything I don’t know. “Hmmm,” thought me, “maybe I could come up with some more and have my own dictionary.”

Ambrose Bierce’s The Devil’s Dictionary came to mind; how could it not? He defined one thousand and thirteen words, so I figured I had at least a thousand words to go. I wasn’t intimidated; a journey of a thousand missteps begins with a single stumble.

I went back to work, but instead of defining a new word I came up with a second definition for infinity: the amount of time I don’t have. That was a helpful insight; I gave up on writing my dictionary after that.

31 March 2023

Horsing Around with Death

Coronarama has killed over a million Americans, and the death toll continues to rise, in part because of the large percentage of the populace that’s refused to get vaccinated. The morons listen to whack jobs on the Internet who recommend quack treatments that, if offered by a doctor, would lead to a malpractice lawsuit.

I’m thinking about ivermectin, a veterinary drug that’s popular with conspiracy theorists and other imbeciles. Using horse dewormer to prevent the spread of a virus in humans makes as much sense as something that makes absolutely no sense at all.

“You are not a horse,” observed a Food and Drug Administration spokesperson. “You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”

On the other hand, the horse tranquilizer xylazine has been remarkably effective on Homo sapiens. The drug makes humans very tranquil indeed, as evidenced by the alarmingly large number of people who find eternal rest with it, i.e., they’re dead. It’s especially efficacious when combined with fentanyl; ask any coroner.

In addition to fatal overdoses, xylazine also leads to hideous wounds, horrendous sores of dead flesh, and can lead to gangrene, and even amputations. That’s too bad. I had a finger amputated and I can report with some authority that it was not a tranquil experience.

“Stop it” has never been a persuasive argument, but a friend who was a public health worker did find one—and only one—somewhat effective way to dissuade people from using methamphetamine. She warned them that if they continued to use speed, pieces of their blotchy skin would peel off, their teeth would turn to grey oatmeal, and that they’d never have sex again.

1 April 2023

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Three Seasons of Flint, Michigan

I was walking down Crapo Street, in Flint, Michigan, when ...

Wait; I’m going to start over with a little preface since this is April Fool’s Day.

I really was walking down Crapo Street, in Flint, Michigan, when I spotted the grim tableau: a rotting brown leaf from autumn, an icy little hill of frozen winter snow and black sludge, and a few little green blades of spring grass in the muck. I briefly considered adding a beachball, but instead photographed it as I found it to make Three Seasons of Flint, Michigan. (I omitted a reference to the fourth season to avoid any legal problems with the notoriously litigious heirs of Antonio Lucio Vivaldi.)

On second thought, I realized that was a mistake. I probably could have licensed the resulting photograph to Four Seasons Hotels Limited for lots of money. On third thought, I was right to have ignored financial gain: art is art and money is business, and the combination is a bad neighborhood I’ve always avoided.

2 April 2023

An Idiot for a Teacher

Andy was just a-bustin’ his buttons with pride when he showed me his latest mediocre drawings.

“Pretty awesome for a self-taught artist, no?” he asked as fished for praise.

“The work says it all,” I replied diplomatically.

And speaking of tact, I zipped my lips when I didn’t opine that he was a self-taught artist with an idiot for a teacher.

Coming next weak: more of the same.


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©2023 David Glenn Rinehart

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