2006 Notebook: Weak XVIII
gratuitous image
30 April 2006
No. 4,970 (cartoon)
Do you like long walks?

I certainly do.

Please take one, now.

1 May 2006
Karen Finley and the Behemoth Cockroaches
I saw a notice, “Writer and Performance Artist Karen Finley Gives Dramatized Reading,” so I went to the San Francisco Art Institute tonight.

Big mistake.

Finley was horrible, grasping. She read from her new book, George and Martha, a juvenile story about George W(orst) Bush and Martha Stewart failing to have sex after snorting cocaine and drinking beer in a seedy hotel. The effort was a transparent attempt to offend the famous and powerful, presumably in the hopes of regaining her notoriety from over a decade and a half ago. (And, in a pedantic aside, I grimaced when she used the word “disinterested” when she meant “uninterested.” Where did all the editors go?)

In her defense, I got the impression that she was under the influence of alcohol and/or other recreational drugs. Nevertheless, I walked out on her tedious talk when she switched from dormitory humor to academic nonsense. Feh; good riddance.

As I left the campus, I noticed a number of behemoth cockroaches. I’ve never seen such beasts since I was in Asia.

Or were they beasts?

I remembered a story about French art schools a century and a half ago, where students made ceramic pieces of shit that looked like real human excrement. The students left them here and there around the school. (Aside: I’m always surprised that French “culture” had remained largely stagnant for centuries.)

And then, one day long ago, a school bureaucrat came by to prepare for a visit by a superior. He picked up the offensive ceramic jokes, then was shocked when he grabbed a genuine piece of human feces. I don’t remember the facts, but I believe that particular egg was laid by a young man who went on to be one of the eminently-marketable impressionists. (Sadly, another century passed before artists learned to market their bodily waste as art.)

2 May 2006
Real Evil versus Cartoon Evil
Iris told me she was thinking about publishing the story of her father’s experiences in Nazi concentration camps.

I agreed that such a recollection needed to be preserved. I added that it’s one of those stories that can’t be told wrong because it’s so emotive, and one that can’t be told right, either, in that it’s beyond the comprehension of anyone who wasn’t there. Or maybe that’s because I can’t imagine real evil (as opposed to the cartoon evil I write about).

3 May 2006
Everyone Expects Clever
This morning, Derek not only told me about his clever plan, he generously explained why it worked.

“The reason it’s so clever is that it’s not clever at all,” Derek explained. “No one sees what’s coming.”

I appreciated Derek’s candor; good advice is extraordinarily rare.

4 May 2006
Market Penetration Considerations
Here’s a headline that recently caught my attention: General Motors Spending $17 Million a Year on Viagra and Other “Lifestyle” Medications. It turns out that many of the auto workers receiving the company-funded drugs were illicitly reselling the anti-impotence pills for a nice profit.

I appreciated the accompanying financial analysis; the expense of the pharmaceuticals was relatively trivial for a huge corporation. The real cost of the drugs debacle was reducing impotence. It turns out that various manifestations of sexual inadequacy are the reason most men buy General Motors’ obscenely large motor vehicles. Simply put, increased sales of Viagra destroys consumer demand for grossly oversized cars.

It’s like the old Earth First! bumper sticker predicted: “You’d drive an oversized truck too if your penis was as flaccid as mine.”

5 May 2006
Happy Skull Accident
I ended up chatting with Isabella tonight, an actress I met at the pub. It turns out that her life in theatre was a happy accident. She was enduring a miserable life as a medical student when she became interested in drama. She landed a role in Shakespeare’s Hamlet because she was the only person who could provide a human skull. And that’s how Isabella was spared from a stifling, comfortable, and respectable existence.

There’s no accident like a happy accident!

6 May 2006
What a Debate!
Bernie and Dahlia are having a passionate, wine-fueled argument.

“That was then and this is now!” Bernie asserts.

“This was then and that was now!” Dahlia retorts.

And so on and so on and so on some more.

What a stupendous debate! It can’t go on much longer though; the last bottle is almost empty.

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©2006 David Glenn Rinehart