“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution tomorrow morning.” — Henry Ford
THE REVOLUTION BEGINS: THE BATTLE OF STARBUCKS
Brain maven Alex Straiker was in a chatty mood this morning, for which I detested him. I hadn’t had my life giving dose of Sumatra yet and therefore was in no position to tolerate the very existence of Straiker or anybody else, much less hear anything he or they had to say.
But good old Alex persisted. And give me credit; I didn’t assault or batter him. I must like the fellow.
Anyway, he asked, “Did you see what happened at the Starbucks?”
I concealed my abhorrence of his presence enough to grunt in the negative. “Yeah,” he said, “someone smashed the window.”
Fortunately for him my caffeine fix arrived at that moment. I took a deep gulp. As if by magic, I felt I could bear the existence of certain humans, of which he is one.
“What happened?” I asked. “What was it all about?”
“I don’t know,” he said. “Anti-corporate radicals?” He smirked.
“Aha! May Day,” I concluded. “The revolution is starting.”
The Battle Has Been Joined
“Perhaps,” Alex said. “But it’s May 6th.”
“There is that,” I allowed. “When did it happen?”
“Last night, I assume.”
“Maybe they were late.”
Good scientist that he is, Alex eyed me skeptically. “Well, I suppose that’s possible,” he said, which is code for “That’s stupid.”
Not having my digital camera with me, I borrowed his iPhone and trundled off to Indiana Avenue where the Starbuck’s in question faces the Sample Gates. I clicked away at the devastation for publication in this up-to-the-nano-second media colossus. No one scoops the Electron Pencil.
While waddling back to Soma Coffee I mused about what I would say upon receiving my Pulitzer Prize for recording the opening shot in the Great War Against the Corporations.
“I’d Like To Thank….”
Back at Soma, Alex and The Loved One sat waiting for me. “So,” T-LO asked, “What do you think?”
By this time, perspective had elbowed its way back into my thinking processes. Maybe, I thought, just maybe, it could have been just another incident of vandalism. I felt let down.
Alex said, “Did you notice the smell in there?”
No, I told him, I hadn’t gone in.
“There was a horrible smell. They said there was a problem with the ovens, as well. It smelled like burned plastic.”
A lightbulb went off over T-LO’s head. “I’ve got it,” she announced. “They were stoners. They smashed their way into the place and put some food in the oven. But being stupid and stoned, they didn’t realize that you shouldn’t put plastic in a hot oven.”
“Dude, I Got The Munchies.”
Alex nodded. Her theory seemed distinctly more reasonable than my revolution story. Still, I persisted. “Hey, there’s a long history of revolutionary action (read: rationalized vandalism) in this town,” I said. I reminded them of the rough welcome both Starbucks and McDonald’s got when they opened up shop in downtown Bloomington some 12 years ago. Windows were routinely smashed and radical graffiti was spray painted on their walls.
It was clear, though, that neither T-Lo nor Alex was willing to grant another iota of credence to the idea anymore.
By and by, T-LO and I said our goodbyes to the Soma gang. I suggested we walk past the Starbuck’s. Early Sunday morning coffee sippers sat calmly in its outdoor cafe seats. Birds tweeted, the sun shone, joggers huffed past. Revolution was not in the air. Nobody seemed to notice the board-up job on the Starbuck’s storefront.
I shrugged and said, “Well, it wasn’t crazy to think it was a revolution, was it?”
“I Mean, It Could Happen, Couldn’t It?”
T-LO had the good grace not to respond. George Bull, a long-time IU staffer, now retired, coasted up on his snazzy new bike. I pointed out the boarded-up window. “Oh,” he said, “I hadn’t even noticed.”
“I thought it might have been radicals,” I said.
“Hmm,” he said. “Looks more like childish overexuberance on graduation day.”
Sheesh. These people sure know how to throw cold water on a good scoop.
PRETTY PICTURES — HARD SCIENCE
Speaking of Straiker (which sounds like a good name for a blog — I’d better copyright it), he tells us plans have been finalized for an innovative art exhibit at the SOFA Grunwald Gallery. Set to open in August, 2013, the show will be a collaboration between scientists and artists.
Straiker says with the new developments in microscopic imaging for scientific researchers, the potential for compelling art is ripe to be explored. Straiker and a couple of colleagues, Jim Miller, also of the Psychological and Brain Sciences Department, and the botanist Jessica Lucas, have their own exhibit of images on display at Finch’s Brasserie.
Photo Microscopy Image Of Plant Root Hairs By Jessica Lucas
“But we’re just dabblers,” Straiker says. “We’ll partner with real artists for this show. It should be interesting.”
Jim Powers, manager of the IU Light Microscopy Imaging Center, and Lucas, as well as some geologists and a few other scientific researchers, all are slated to participate in the show.
SCIENCE CAFE UPDATE
BTW: Straiker also revealed this morning that the Science Cafe, originally scheduled to resume sessions last month, has been tabled until September. “Everybody wanted to do it in the fall,” Straiker explained. “It’s not easy getting these scientists together on anything. It’s like herding cats.”
The Science Cafe will be held monthly at Rachael’s Cafe. Each session will feature a researcher speaking about a specific topic. The idea is to bring science to the public. I can’t wait.
Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.
Sunday, May 6, 2012
◗ IU Mathers Museum of World Cultures — Exhibits, “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”; through July 1st — “Esse Quam Videri (To Be, Rather than To Be Seen): Muslim Self Portraits; through June 17th — “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”; through July 1st
◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery — Exhibit, “Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze”; through June 29th
◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Arts Center — Exhibits at various galleries: Angela Hendrix-Petry, Benjamin Pines, Nate Johnson, and Yang Chen; all through May 29th
Angela Hendrix-Petry With Chloe & Jasper
◗ The Venue Fine Arts & Gifts — Exhibit, Daniel Lager; through May 17th
◗ The Solution Lab — Conference, Bloomington Startup Weekend, for developers, designers, entrepreneurs, etc.; through Sunday
◗ Cafe Django — Brunch guitar, Peter Kienie; 11am-1pm
◗ Sembower Field — IUBaseball vs. Nebraska; 1pm
◗ TC Steele State Historic Site — Sunday Hiking Series: The Birds and the Trees for Nature Lovers, led by IU’s Jules Erwin; 1-3pm
◗ Monroe County History Center — Reception, Historic Preservation Month, keynote address by Duncan Campbell of Ball State University’s Center for Historic Preservation; exhibit, Bloomington Fading photos; 3pm
◗ IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center — Listening & dancing to Ritmos Unidos; 4pm
◗ Emeriti House — Juried art show, works by retired IU faculty and staff; 5:30-7:30pm
◗ The Player’s Pub — Richard Dugger Band; 6pm
◗ Bear’s Place — Ryder Film Series, “444 The Last day on Earth”; 7pm