2009 Notebook: Weak XXIX
gratuitous image
17 July 2009
No. 116 (cartoon)
I love talking.

I hate listening.


18 July 2009
Inflammable, Not Unfallable
I read that Pope Benedict XVI took a nasty fall yesterday and broke his wrist. That didn’t surprise me; I never believed he was really unfallable. Or is he inflammable? That could be; he fractured some bones but didn’t catch on fire.

Of all the things that least interest me, perhaps theological dogma interests me least of all.

19 July 2009
An Efficacious Dream
Last night, I dreamt about organizing my large ring of keys. I haven’t consciously thought about my keys for years, but for reasons known only to my unconscious mind, they commanded my dreamy attention. In my sleep, I decided that most of my keys were useless; I had no recollection where they came from or what locks they matched.

The most curious thing about this dream is that it made perfect sense when I awoke. After the requisite espressos, I examined my keys and confirmed that most of them were of unknown provenance. I sent them on their way to their next life via the recycling bin, and that was that.

I love my nonsensical, irrational dreams, but appreciated this utilitarian vision. As a result, I now have only half a dozen keys hanging off my belt; I suspect that now fewer people will confuse me with a janitor. That may be too bad, since custodians are generally held in higher regard that artists (and with good reason).

gratuitous image
20 July 2009
Lunar Landing
Today’s the fortieth anniversary of the first time a human being allegedly touched the surface of the moon. There’s some controversy, since skeptics maintain the whole spectacle was a hoax.

The doubters do so at some risk. Buzz Aldrin, the second person to walk on the moon and the first to urinate there, recently ended an argument with a naysayer by punching the cynic in the nose.

I’m unlikely to ever cross paths with Aldrin, so I’ll admit that I think the alleged moon landing was a scam. I base my position on a government photograph of astronaut Alan Bean posing beside the lunar lander.

What’s wrong with this photo? How much time do I have?

Bean isn’t wearing a helmet or gloves with his space suite. Since the moon has no atmosphere, Bean would be dead if this photograph wasn’t made on earth. And speaking of chicanery, there are puffy clouds and some sort of structures on the distant horizon; the moon has neither. Also, the photographer used tacky studio lighting that’s only available on earth.

So there, Buzz, off!

21 July 2009
Prohibiting Mediocre Reproduction
I saw a mediocre photograph today with this attribution: photo by Alberto Villarreal/reproduction prohibited.

What a brilliant idea! If everyone put such distribution restrictions on their execrable images, the world would be a better place, or at least more visually appealing.

22 July 2009
WD-40 in Perpetuity
I just read about the death of John S. Barry, the man who invented WD-40, the popular lubricating potion. He died from pulmonary fibrosis, a lung disease. I wonder if the lung disease was caused by breathing too many fumes from his fine product?

I have two essential items in my modest toolkit, gaffer’s tape and WD-40. If something’s moving but shouldn’t be, I use gaffer’s tape to correct the situation. Conversely, WD-40 remedies almost any amount of stuckness.

Reading Barry’s obituary, I discovered that WD-40 stands for, “water displacement, formulation successful in fortieth attempt.” So that’s it; the inventors needed forty tries to get the formula right.

After closer examination, I noticed that Barry didn’t discover WD-40, not even close. Barry was the hombre who successfully marketed the concoction around the world. WD-40’s creators remain anonymous.

Of course.

In commerce as in art, it’s the successful promotion and publicity that’s remembered, not necessarily the creators or even the work itself. And that, of course, is why it’s critical to create for the simple satisfactions of creation, without an eye on posterity.

Recognition and acclaim is for marketers, just ask John S. Barry.

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©2009 David Glenn Rinehart