2008 Notebook: Weak XVI
gratuitous image
16 April 2008
No. 8,432 (cartoon)
I’ve never met anyone like you.

You were lucky.

17 April 2008
Wirelessless in the East Village
Stephanie said she was having trouble with her wireless Internet connection, so I went to her flat to see if I could help. We tinkered with all sorts of paraphenalia, shuffled antennae, and used a variety of software strategies to no avail. After an hour of futzing around, we had nothing to show for our efforts except for an empty bottle of wine.

“Oh well,” Stephanie said, “I don’t really need to access the Internet very often; living in a wirelessless apartment is fine.”

“That’s a good attitude,” I agreed, “especially since you don’t have much choice until you get someone competent over here to sort things out.”

18 April 2008
Fighting the Tyranny of Lucidity
I haven’t spent much time in New York, but I do have a favorite beer shop: Lawreston’s Liquors, on Eleventh Street near Avenue A. I like it because the proprietors offer relatively cheap—for New York—beer, and for its history: it was founded immediately following the repeal of Prohibition, the U.S. ban on alcohol. But most of all, I appreciate the business because of its slogan, “Fighting the Tyranny of Lucidity Since 1933.”

19 April 2008
FIT Students
I was walking down Twenty-Ninth Street when I decided to pop into Sid’s Deli for a snack. I noticed that the menu board offered a ten percent discount “for FIT students.” I thought this was a great idea; anyone patronizing an establishment that specializes in greasy, fatty foods should be encouraged to stay in shape.

Jocelyn laughed when I told her about the deli’s policy. She explained that FIT was a three-letter acronym for Fashion Institute of Technology.


So that’s why all the young female students were wearing bright yellow brassieres; I guess that’s the technology that’s in fashion at the moment.

20 April 2008
A Really Good Question
I’ve recently identified an annoying trend in radio interviews. After the interviewer poses a question, the interviewee initially responds by saying, “That’s a really good question, Sue; I’m glad you asked that.” It doesn’t matter whether the question is trite or profound; it seems like that line is included in every discussion. Are people saying this in order to stall while they concoct an answer, or are they trying to flatter the host?

Why don’t editors delete such pointless and irrelevant comments before the interview is broadcast? That’s a really good question; I’m glad I brought it up.

21 April 2008
Certain Aesthetic Concerns
After looking at my recent work, Sarah pronounced that I was, “unencumbered by style.” She intended that as a snide remark, but I took her comment as a compliment.

I think styles in art are boring. If someone repeats themselves enough to have a discernible style, they’ve probably repeated themselves enough to be tedious (in the negative sense).

And so, I continue to create work that’s unencumbered by style, unhindered by fashion, unrestrained by taste, and unimpeded by considerations unrelated to certain aesthetic concerns.

gratuitous image
22 April 2008
Seventeen Manhattan Windows
I wasn’t planning on making any photographs when I came to New York. After all, New York is one of the world’s most photographed cities. Still, I walked around with a Nikon in my backpack. Over the course of a week, I found myself taking quite a few photographs of windows in Manhattan. By the time I was done, I made seventeen photographs that I rather liked.

I haven’t checked my records, but I’m fairly certain that Seventeen Manhattan Windows is the first work I’ve done this millennium that wasn’t planned months or years in advance.

23 April 2008
The Façade of Security
Flying is becoming tediouser and tediouser, in part because the (in)security people are getting stupider and stupider.

Before I boarded my flight to San Francisco this afternoon, an ineffectual guard asked me, “Has anyone put something in your luggage without your knowledge?”

“How could I know if someone did that without me knowing about it?” I replied.

“That’s why we have to ask,” he said with a self-satisfied smile.

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©2008 David Glenn Rinehart