2003 Notebook: Weak XXXVIII
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18 September 2003
No. 5,376 (cartoon)
What does it all mean?

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19 September 2003
Art, Bananas, Cherries, Coffee, and Salmon
Yesterday, I went to a conference on databases and art at the Baltic arts center in Gateshead, England. Through no fault of the organizers, the event was, by definition, pretty boring. It’s like Brian Eno said, “The tedium is the message.” I, too, make extraordinarily tedious art, but usually know better than to show it to anyone.

It’s an ill conference that blows no good, and today’s is no exception. I enjoyed watching Sune Norgren, the institution’s director, work the crowd. The same people that have been trying to brown-nose him for years are now snubbing him; they know he has only two weeks left before he leaves. Respect in the arts can be bought, but Norgren no longer has his hands on a checkbook.

Most of the presenters discussed, at some length, ideas of little interest to me. Still, I enjoyed little snippets here and there. For example, I learned that Internet researchers find it almost impossible to find an image of a mammal eating a cherry. Conversely, it’s a trivial task to discover photographs and drawings of humans and beasts eating bananas.

The weak, instant coffee was quite wretched, but the salmon was pretty good. Win some, lose some. That’s art!

20 September 2003
Eyeball in the Sausage
“Jesus H. Christ, there’s a eyeball in the goddamn sausage!” Eddie shrieked.

Expletives coming from the kitchen are a great indicator of a dinner gone very wrong, so I went out to assess the situation.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

What’s wrong?!” Eddie replied. “There’s a goddamn eyeball in the sausage.”

“It’s a sausage,” I shrugged. “What did you expect?”

21 September 2003
Not Hitting the Bottle
Before Roland went away for the weekend, I told him not to hit the bottle.

“You needn’t worry,” Roland replied. “I never hit my friends. Or my enemies, for that matter.”

22 September 2003
Good Business Practice
I got off to a bad start when I met with a publisher this morning. She told a number of lies when she introduced herself and her company. I responded by subtly letting her know that I knew she wasn’t telling the truth, then went on to tell some lies of my own. She went on to say how excited she was at the prospect of working together and, in so doing so, acknowledged that she realized that I was lying too.

Once we’d established that our relationship was based on mistrust and deceit, our meeting went smoothly.

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23 September 2003
Dead Worker
When I went to Lesley and Marjorie’s house for lunch, I found a dying bee on the tile windowsill. The insect twitched occasionally on the cold, glazed ceramic next to a colorful rendition of the fruit it had spent its short life pollinating.

I find it depressing to think of anything, even an insect, spending an entire lifetime working.

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©2003 David Glenn Rinehart