“Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.” — Omar Bradley
WFIU reports that the US Army is staging a two-week nuclear explosion response simulation through mid-August right here in South Central Indiana.
Some 10,000 soldiers and civilian responders are play-acting what they’ll do in the event that some mad brown people drop a nuke on, say, Bloomington or even Indy.
The big burlesque is happening at the Muscatatuck Urban training Center, about 75 miles east-southeast of Bloomington.
MUTC covers a thousand acres and has more than a hundred training buildings including structures up to seven stories tall as well as good old split-level suburban type homes.
Now, I mention mad brown people because that’s who we’re really afraid is going to hurl the big one at us, no?
Didn’t George W. Bush whisper the words mushroom cloud and Saddam Hussein into our ears back in 2002 and 2003 to convince us to go along with him and his cronies on their war party? How much has changed regarding how we look at Arabs and Muslims since then?
When Michele Bachmann can get media mileage and a sharp increase in campaign donations out of linking one of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s aides with al Qaeda even now, we haven’t moved an inch off that witless, brainless dime in ten years.
Anyway, MUTC is located, appropriately enough, on the former site of the Indiana Farm Colony for Feeble Minded Youth. Adding to the irony of it all, the IFCFMY is where several thousand forced sterilizations took place after Indiana became the first state in the union to allow that eugenic practice.
I wonder if the people who ran IFCFMY instructed the kids to duck and cover back in the ’50s.
And how feeble-minded do we have to be to figure we’ll survive a nuclear blast if only we have enough ambulances and EMTs?
WHAT’S THE ANTIDOTE FOR ANTONIN?
I’ve been taking my time reading Rick Perlstein’s fab book, “Nixonland,” this summer.
Perlstein posits that Dick Nixon was the first television era president to give voice to the bleatings and ramblings of the gleefully uneducated in this holy land.
Nixon’s was truly a grass roots campaign in 1968. He portrayed college-educated people as snobbish, superior, sex- and drug-crazed lunatics who were going to ram blacks, Jews, peace, welfare, and even a little bit of the Communist Manifesto down good people’s throats. Nixon was savvy enough to realize most Americans had a hard enough time getting out of high school.
He rode a wave of self-pity and manufactured paranoia into the White House.
The divisions Nixon capitalized on in the United States at the time make today’s Tea Party/Occupy Wall Street tête-à-tête look like a pillow fight.
Perlstein suggests that this nation avoided an actual second civil war by a hair’s width. Bombings, murders, assassinations, mob actions, and the army on American streets were as common from 1965 through 1973 as texting while driving is today.
Watts, August 1965
Anyway, during Nixon’s early years in the White House, PBS was coming into its own as a news operation to be reckoned with, especially since it didn’t have to answer to advertisers. PBS started nosing into some of the more unsavory aspects of the Nixon administration. The President directed the general counsel for the Office of Telecommunications Policy to draw up a plan to defang PBS.
That general counsel wrote memos spelling out precisely how Nixon could bring PBS to heel. He wrote: “The best possibility for White House influence is through Presidential appointees to the Board of Directors.”
Once Nixon had stacked the board with his boys, they could then work on local PBS stations to play ball with the White House through the granting of moneys that were originally meant to go to the national network. The reason? The national network was top heavy with people from “the liberal Establishment of the Northeast.”
In other words, college-educated men. Bad guys who must be battled.
The author of that strategy was a fellow named Antonin Scalia, now the longest serving member of the US Supreme Court.
Antonin Scalia: Warrior Against Liberals
Yeah, there was a revolution in the ’60s. Only the guys in power staged it — and won it.
Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.
❏ I Love Charts — Life as seen through charts.
❏ XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”
❏ Skepchick — Women scientists look at the world and the universe.
❏ Indexed — All the answers in graph form, on index cards.
❏ I Fucking Love Science — A Facebook community of science geeks.
❏ Present and Correct — Fun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.
❏ Flip Flop Fly Ball — Baseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.
❏ Mental Floss — Facts.
❏ Caps Off Please — Comics & fun.
❏ Sodaplay — Create your own models or play with other people’s models.
❏ Eat Sleep Draw — An endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.
❏ Big Think — Tapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.
❏ The Daily Puppy — So shoot me.
Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.
◗ Bloomington High School North — Yard sale to benefit the Color Guard; 7am-noon
◗ City Hall, Showers Plaza — Farmers Market; 8am-1pm
◗ Monroe County Fairgrounds — Day 8, 2012 Monroe County Fair, Veterans Program; 2pm — Dead Giveaway; 5pm — Demolition Derby; 7pm; Noon to 11pm
◗ IU Art Museum — Tour: Exploring German Expressionism with docent Yelena Polyanskaya; 2pm
◗ IU Art Museum — Talk: Focus on Hockney with curator Nan Brewer; 2:15pm
◗ IU Cinema — Film: “David Hockney: The Bigger Picture”; 3pm
◗ IU Fine Arts Theater — Ryder Film Series: “Kumaré: The True Story of a False Prophet; 7pm
◗ Bloomington Playwrights Project — Original musical, “Dreams & Nightmares”; 7pm
◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Jeb Brester; 7-9pm
◗ Buskirk-Chumley Theater — “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”; 7:30pm
◗ Brown County Playhouse, Nashville — Cari Ray, The Not Too Bad Bluegrass Band; 7:30pm
◗ IU Woodburn Hall Theater — Ryder Film Series: “Polisse”; 8pm
◗ Cafe Django — Dave Gulyas & Dave Bruker; 8pm
◗ The Comedy Attic — Costaki Economopolous; 8 & 10:30pm
◗ IU Fine Arts Theater — Ryder Film Series: “Oslo: August 31″; 8:30pm
◗ The Bishop — Jason Wilber, e.a. strother; 8:30pm
◗ The Bluebird — Pam Thrash Retro; 9pm
◗ Max’s Place — Lexi Minich and the Strangers; 9pm
◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Bonz; 9:30pm
◗ Max’s Place — Otto Mobile; 10:30pm
◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Center — Exhibits:
- “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; opens Friday, August 3rd, through September 1st
◗ IU Art Museum — Exhibits:
- Qiao Xiaoguang, “Urban Landscape: A Selection of Papercuts” ; through August 12th
- “A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th
- Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th
- Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th
- “Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th
- David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st
- Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012
- Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st
- “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st
◗ IU SoFA Grunwald Gallery — Exhibits:
- Coming — Media Life; August 24th through September 15th
- Coming — Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture; August 24th through September 15th
◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery — “Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st
◗ IU Lilly Library — Exhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st
◗ IU Mathers Museum of World Cultures — Closed for semester break, reopens Tuesday, August 21st
◗ Monroe County History Center — Exhibits:
- “What Is Your Quilting Story?”; through July 31st
- Photo exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th