The Pencil Today:


“Politics hates a vacuum. If it isn’t filled with hope, someone will fill it with fear.” — Naomi Klein


Admittedly the story’s still sketchy as I type this, but the guy who was shooting a gun into a house as he stood stark naked in an alley off 15th Street yesterday afternoon seems to be, shall we say, mentally whacked out, no?

I’m not a shrink — although I’ve helped several members of that fine profession make payments on their sailboats — but I can stand behind the above statement confidently.

There Goes My Money

In fact, I’m all for the latest edition of the DSM including the psychological diagnosis mentally whacked out. Go ahead psych-folks, you can have the coinage free of charge.

My question is, why did a mentally whacked out guy have a 9mm pistol in his possession in the first place?

It’s getting almost as easy to get a gun card in this great state as it is to get a library card. The National Rifle Association and its friends in the statehouse, I’m sure, are working overtime these days to rectify that.

Should it turn out that the IU student in question was known to have a screw or two loose and still be qualified to handle pocket artillery, then the enlightened citizens of Indiana had better do something about it.

Which means chuckleheads like me banging out angry words in a blog or marching two or three times around the county courthouse carrying placards reading “End Gun Violence Now.”

I’ll bet we get the attention of pols and legislators — even as they’re collecting their campaign donation checks from the local NRA chapter.

At least I try.


Richard Mourdock, newly christened nominee in the race for US senator from Indiana, is the definitive Tea Party Republican now.

Mourdock: “I Want My Way!”

Here’s what he had to say about crafting legislation with other senators should he be elected this November:

“I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view.”

Oops, there was a typo in one of the above paragraphs; the words, “Tea Party” should have read “Me Party.”


It’s funny how a little thing can send a guy over the top.

The guy in question, by the way, is I.

Over the course of, say, a week, I roll my eyes enough to look like the readout of a slot machine — all due to the people who blithely try to lay their god-ism on on everybody else in the world.

People quote from the Bible. They brag about their personal angels. They thank god for their good fortune and then fall all over themselves to absolve him should they encounter a setback a two. They revere a woman who purportedly got pregnant without having sex with a human. They look at the moon and see, instead of a dynamic collection of elements orbiting around our own dynamic collection of elements, the hand of a guy who, for lack of anything better to do one week, created a universe.

A Facebook Chain Post

I’ve always made it my business not to argue with god-ists, figuring, hell, this life is so terribly confusing and daunting that if they’ve come up with a particular fairy tale to get themselves through it, good for them.

Stalingrad: Ooh, Sorry, The Angels Must Have Been Off That Day

But now the god-ists have gone too far. And, as I say, it’s funny how it was a little thing that did it.

The skirted men who run Our Lady of Sorrows high school in Mesa, Arizona, have spent the last few months stomping their foot and demanding that another school in town not play a girl on its baseball team.

Ick, girls.

Not As Good As Boys

See, the Mesa Preparatory Academy has a girl on its baseball team, which the rest of sane America would surely have applauded had they known about it.

Well, now America does know about it thanks to the priests of the Society of St. Pius X, who run OLS. The X-boys don’t want their teenaged students to play baseball against a girl so, earlier this year, they refused to play games against the Mesa Prep nine unless said girl sat out.

And, mirabile dictu, she did. Mesa Prep’s Paige Sultzbach didn’t take the field for the scheduled tilts against OLS this season; she said it was out of respect for the beliefs of the X-priests.

Sultzbach must be a saint because I, for one, wouldn’t have the patience to kowtow to such knuckleheads. I suppose somebody has to be saintly in this matter because these god-ists sure aren’t.

Anyway, it turns out the two teams were to meet in the Mesa city championship game Wednesday night. And OLS once again notified Mesa Prep it would take its balls and bats and go home if Paige Sultzbach was allowed to play in the game.

This time, though, Paige refused to sit out. Hell, she wanted to play in the biggest game of her life, no matter what some old bastards who refuse to have normal sex say.

When the X-priests got wind of Paige’s decision, they up and notified Mesa Prep they wouldn’t show up for the big game, thereby forfeiting the championship.

Well, they got their way, didn’t they? Paige Sultzbach didn’t get to play in the biggest game of her life, solely because she has a vagina.

Paige Sultzbach Broke The Rules; She Lacks A Penis

Ick, vaginas.

So this is the kind of thinking that results from devoting your life to the worship of an invisible BFF in the sky, eh?

If the folks who run the Mesa high school sports authority don’t thoroughly spank OLS for its biased, discriminatory decision, then they’re not just being patient saints — they’re being fools.

I’d say suspending OLS from playing games against other Mesa high schools in any sport until the X-boys come to their senses and elect to move into at least the early 20th Century would be a wise ruling.

It’s doubtful the city would make such a bold decision. For some weird, weird reason, too many of us are afraid of offending people like the X-boys.

Apparently, it’s god’s plan that people like the X-boys can offend the rest of us any time they choose, though.

[BTW: You have no idea how difficult it was to find the image of the little girls in Catholic school uniforms above. Googling “catholic school girls” brings up more than 74 million results, the vast majority of which is the kind of porn that would make, well, a 15-year-old Catholic school boy blush.]

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Friday, May  11, 2012

◗ IU Memorial StadiumCoach Hep 5K Run; 7am

Showers PlazaFarmer’s Market and the City of Bloomington’s “A Fair of the Arts”; 8am

IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits, “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 GalleryExhibit, “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

“Home” By Benjamin Pines

Trinity Episcopal ChurchArt exhibit, “Creation,” collaborative mosaic tile project; through May 31st

Monroe County Public LibraryArt exhibit, “Muse Whisperings,” water color paintings by residents of Sterling House; through May 31st

Monroe County History CenterPhoto exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

◗ IU Jordan Avenue Parking GarageUniversity Parking Operation’s Bike Auction; Previews and registration begin at 8am, auction at 9am

◗ Paynetown SRA, Monroe LakeInt’l Migratory Bird Day, including games, crafts, hikes for spotting birds, etc.; 10am-close

Great Blue Heron

Buskirk-Chumley TheaterCardinal Stage Company presents “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”;  2 & 7pm

◗ IU Jacobs School of Music, Merrill Hall Recital hallJunior Music Festival; 2pm

◗ IU Art MuseumFamily Day: Spring Celebration; Public tour of the museum, 2-3pm, campus tour of architecture, 2:40-3:40pm, and campus tour of public art, 3-4pm

Rachael’s CafeWriters Guild open mic; 3:30-4:30pm

◗ Upland Brewing Company Bloomington Brew PubWFHB Acoustic Roots festival; 4pm-close

◗ IU Auditorium“Palette to Palate,” silent and live auction of local art and goods to benefit Community Kitchen; 6pm

IU CinemaFilm, “The Kid with a Bike”; 7pm

The Comedy AtticDan Telfer; 8 & 10:30pm

The BluebirdPam Thrash Retro; 8pm

Pam Thrash Cocalis

Cafe DjangoKeith Karns Big Band CD relase party; 8-11:30pm

Bear’s PlaceThe Penrose Trio, Minute Details, Great Future; 9pm

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