2009 Notebook: Weak L
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11 December 2009
No. 406 (cartoon)
I want you to truly love me.

I do. I love you for who you are.

I want you to love me for who I think I am.

12 December 2009
People Live in Indiana!
Amelie told me she’ll be in Indiana for most of January. My mother was born in Indiana, but I had no idea that people still lived there. I guess they’re the people who grow the corn for my tortillas. I’ve heard unverified reports that there’s a zipper factory there, but that seems improbable.

13 December 2009
Retirement Chemistry
After reading some of my recent notebook entries, Lina told me that she disagreed with Robert Cameron’s belief that retirement is a death sentence.

“My uncle retired a few years ago,” she said, “and he says he’s never been happier.”

“What does he do?” I asked.

“His background is in chemical engineering,” she replied, “and now he’s spending a lot of time turning beer and whiskey into urine.”

Lina’s example was not without a certain appeal, but I still prefer Cameron’s position.

14 December 2009
None Is So Blind
I’m not sure how this tired farce started, but I’ve been regularly repeating—at eight-hundred and sixty day intervals—Martin Mull’s quote, “None is so blind as he who cannot see.” I’m scheduled to do so again today, and I suppose I just did.

But enough is too much. In eight-hundred and sixty days from now, 22 April 2012, I’m going to write about something else. If I’m still alive, that is. And if I’m gone by then, I hope someone will quote me as saying none is so blind as he who’s dead. Even though I never said that.

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15 December 2009
Picabia Meets Magritte
I like happy coincidences.

I was working on a book when I came across Francis Picabia’s quote, “My arse contemplates those who talk behind my back.”

A few minutes later I was looking through the photos in my camera and saw a photograph of a painting at the Musee Mechanique. The painting was clearly an amateurish—but competent—imitation of René Magritte. The art was attached to the wall with screws through the image, so at least it wasn’t pretentious. The painting featured the words on a man’s back, “What do your friends call you behind your back?”

Picabia and Magritte were roughly the same age. I wonder if they met before today?

I like happy coincidences.

16 December 2009
Larry Sultan’s Brilliance
I read that Larry Sultan recently died at the relatively young age of sixty-three. And that’s too bad; he was an art photographer’s art photographer.

In 1977, Sultan and Mike Mandel published a brilliant book, Evidence. If you’ve seen it, you’ve seen it. And if you haven’t, then perhaps you should.

Decades later, Sultan photographed pornographic film sets. I think that may have been his last major body of work, and it was an amazing achievement. He brought his camera into one of the most titillating visual environments on the planet and came away with some of the most banal, tedious, and uninteresting photographs imaginable. Pure art.

What discipline! What focus! What an eye! Brilliance!

Sultan’s dead, but remains an inspiration.

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©2009 David Glenn Rinehart