2008 Notebook: Weak XLIII
gratuitous image
22 October 2008
No. 5,809 (cartoon)
I would die for you.

Show me.

23 October 2008
Even the Dead Flee
How bad is life in Detroit? It’s so grim there that 5,500 people take flight from the crumbling metropolis every year. I’ve been to Detroit, so I’m not surprised. The remarkable thing is that one out of every eleven people in the exodus is dead; their relatives and friends are helping them escape to a better place.

I always though it was self-evident that Detroit was unfit for human or beast. And, it now seems, the dead as well.

24 October 2008
Color-blind Radio
I was listening to a radio story about race in American politics, when the reporters mentioned that one of them was white and the other, Michele Norris, was black.

It never occurred to me to wonder about the race of anyone I heard on the radio. All broadcasters sound about the same, except for the token Romanian. (There used to be a reporter whose name sounded like Winky Duck; I miss his stories now that he has returned to Viet Nam.)

Since the current political campaigning has exposed a scourge of racism, I’m glad to know that at least radio is color-blind, mostly.

25 October 2008
Weeding Memories
I have many reasons for enjoying my life: good health, stellar friends, and, of course, the charmed life of an artist, semi-writer, and pseudo-musician. And then there’s memory.

I remember, savor, and treasure all the wonderful things that I’ve experienced in the last few decades. I barely remember my disappointments and mistakes—just enough to avoid repeating them. And now, thanks to the wonders of modern science, it looks like everyone will be be able to experience my pleasantly selective memory.

The journal Neuron reports that a neurobiologist at the Medical College of [Augusta] Georgia was able to manipulate the protein alpha-CaM kinase II to erase discreet memories. Joe Tsien used the classic scientific approach of assiduously torturing mice. Still, the research is in its early stages.

“Human memory is so complicated, and we are just barely at the foot of the mountain,” Tsien said.

I fear he and other researchers will climb over a lot of dead rodents and primates looking for a lofty peak. I wish they’d experiment on me instead. I’d be happy to share my hunch that selective memory loss has a lot to do with Rainier Ale. If they take me up on my offer, I’d be paid to drink the mountain-fresh brew. Scientific drinking, don’t mind if I do!

26 October 2008
Tubular Chili
When Devorah took me to a bland restaurant for lunch, I knew just what to do: I pulled out a tube of chili paste, and squirted capsaicin goodness all over the lackluster lunch.

“Do you always carry a tube of hot sauce with you?” Devorah asked.

Before I could answer, she added, “and if you say, ‘I’m just glad to see you,’ believe me, I really will hit you.”

I explained that I got that idea—and a number of others—from Henri Cartier-Bresson, who routinely traveled with tube of puréed peppers.

“Just like Lee Atwater,” Devorah replied. “He put it on everything, even ice cream.”

I was aghast. Atwater was Ronald Reagan’s Goebbels, but nastier. I pointed out that Cartier-Bresson was a nice guy who lived to be ninety-five, whereas Atwater was so vile and malicious that his malevolence putrefied into a brain tumor that killed him when he was forty.

Love and hate are more powerful than chilis, even.

27 October 2008
Small English Beer
There are some things to be said for living in England: fish and chips and ale. There may be more things to enjoy on that grey island, but I can’t think of any at the moment.

As always, things are getting worse in England; the latest example is that, as of next April, glasses of ale are going to be a third smaller. No more pints! A pox and buggerarion!

I’d lament the fate of the English and their pints, but, since I don’t live there, I won’t. Instead, I’ll be positive, sip a proper pint of Rainier Ale, and enjoy another lovely day by San Francisco Bay.

gratuitous image
28 October 2008
Two Sketched and Two Painted Arrows
Workers recently repaved the parking lot outside my studio, then painted new arrows and lines on the fresh asphalt. Evidently they changed their minds about where a couple of the arrows should be painted. Next to the painted arrows, they left carefully-sketched outlines of stillborn arrows.

Had I seen these sketched and painted arrows in a gallery, I would have opined that they looked derivative and unimaginative. But, since Two Sketched and Two Painted Arrows were made by workers following directions in the course of commerce, I appreciated their simplicity and directness.

gratuitous image
29 October 2008
Twenty-Two Commercial Paint Formulæ Mise en Scènes
I selected the titles of sixty-six Kelly-Moore brand paints, added their hexadecimal and cmyk color formulæ, then arranged them in twenty-two triptychs. Twenty-Two Commercial Paint Formulæ Mise en Scènes is available as a downloadable PDF. The work was appropriated, informed, and inspired by my friend Victor’s photographs of paint chip samples. Victor’s work is figuratively and literally more colorful than mine; that’s because he’s not a boring chromophobe.

last weak  |   index  |   next weak

©2008 David Glenn Rinehart