2005 Notebook: Weak II
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9 January 2005
No. 5,277 (cartoon)
I’d do anything for you.

I’d lick the salt from your wounds.

You only think about yourself.

10 January 2005
Curating God
Perfidious vandals have destroyed one of my favorite pieces of art, and certainly the only one I’ve seen that’s directly attributed to God. I just discovered this when I happened to find myself wandering in the building that once housed the San Francisco Museum of Modern [sic] Art.

When I walked up the stairwell, I was struck by the work’s absence. Ignorant and/or insensitive government workers covered the piece with plaster and paint so thoroughly that I couldn’t see a trace of the art.

I suppose it’s just as well. As I do every other year or so, I find myself repeating this observation by Marcel Duchamp.

    “No painting has an active life of more than 30 or 40 years—that’s another little idea of mine. I don’t care if it’s true, it helps me to make that distinction between living art and art history. After 30 or 40 years, the painting dies, loses its aura, its emanation, whatever you want to call it. And then it is either forgotten or else it enters the purgatory of art history.”

In any case, we’re due for another big earthquake one of these days, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the piece recreated on a larger scale. Although I rarely speculate about such things, I suspect God doesn’t take stupid curatorial decisions lightly.

11 January 2005
Bertha is Crazy
Helen’s cat Bertha is crazy. Bertha is just plain crazy, no doubt about it.

Bertha had five kittens, but none survived. The kittens died because Bertha forgot where she left them. Helen discovered a very distraught Bertha trying to nurse a hairball.

Bertha is just plain crazy, no doubt about it.

12 January 2005
More Wrong Trousers
I looked for my camouflage trousers this afternoon, but I couldn’t find them.

Predictable, I suppose.

13 January 2005
Let Us Trim Our Hair in Accordance with Socialist Lifestyle!
Those wacky North Koreans are at it again, this time with an assault on long hair. Pyongyang television is running a barrage of persuasive propaganda pieces as part of the series, “Let us trim our hair in accordance with Socialist lifestyle.” Men are encouraged to cut their hair every other week in order to keep it less than five centimeters long. The government allows men over fifty years old to grow their hair a couple of centimeters longer in order to cover bald spots.

I liked the scientific part of the campaign. Until I read the North Korean reports, I had no idea of long hair’s “negative effects” on “human intelligence development,” or that a large mane starves the brain because it “consumes a great deal of nutrition.”

Let us trim our hair in accordance with Socialist lifestyle!

14 January 2005
Memorial Service Considerations
Some time ago, I went to a memorial service for a man with whom I briefly worked in the last millennium. When I arrived, Fran asked me why I was there, since she knew that the deceased and I didn’t think very highly of each other. I was embarrassed to admit that I never turn down an opportunity to attend a memorial service because there’s always lots of free drinks and food, so I didn’t.

Instead, I cited Yogi Berra’s advice, “Always go to other people’s funerals; otherwise, they won’t go to yours.”

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©2005 David Glenn Rinehart