The Pencil Today:


“A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that in the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.” — Nelson Mandela


Things are getting exciting around Electron Pencil World Headquarters.

If all goes well, our friends at The Ryder go online with a new website Tuesday. Genius web developer Boice Tomlin and his crew of miracle imagineers have dragged publisher Peter LoPilato kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

And the big scoop from this vantage point is the new partnership between The Ryder and The Pencil.

A Sneak Peek At The Ryder’s New Look

Yup. Starting Tuesday (again, if all goes well), we’ll be doing our daily events listings on The Ryder site.

Don’t worry, all you’ll have to do is click The Ryder link on this page after you’re finished reading Big Mike’s gems and you’ll be magically transported to LoPilato-ville.

This is the perfect marriage between Bloomington’s indispensable communications colossi (neat word, no?) Anybody’s who’s anybody in this town knows that if you want the latest on Bloomington’s arts, cultural, and political scenes, you go to both The Ryder and The Electron Pencil.

A Worker Readies The New Ryder/EP Communications Satellite

Now, with one click on your touchpad, you’ll get the best of both worlds every single day. (Did I mention, if all goes well?)


At risk of being branded a traitor — or, worse, a Republican — I don’t like the way my side treats the aged birds who sing for the GOP.

The latest example is teeth-bearing manner of critics describing the performance of Clint Eastwood at the Republican Convention. According to the most aghast of my liberal/progressive brethren and sisteren, Clintwood was guilty of being an old man

The no good rat.

How Dare He Grow Old?

It reminds me of the shabby treatment of Charlton Heston by Michael Moore in his doc, “Bowling for Columbine.” Remember that?

Moore exposed Heston as a doddering, addled old bat. The problem is, that’s precisely what Heston was. Through no fault of his own, Heston was approaching the unforgivable age of 80. Natch, Heston spoke like a dope.

What did Moore expect?

And why did my side roar with derision at the sight of Heston drooling his way through the ambush interview?

What nauseated me about the whole thing was the ignorance of Heston’s history as a courageous demonstrator for civil rights in the early and mid-60s. Heston marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. long before it became fashionable. In fact, Heston was warned to lay off the activism lest his career suffer.

You know what he said? Tough, I’m still gonna do it. Heston also opposed the Vietnam War and was, in fact, a gun control advocate.

August 1963: Heston, Baldwin, Brando, and Poitier

He deserved respect for those stances even after he had baffling changes of heart in subsequent years.

Not that Clintwood ever will be accused of harboring progressive tendencies at any time of his life, despite his hero turn in that Super Bowl commercial for Chrysler in February.

No matter. The Republicans should have thought twice before shoving him onstage to babble at an empty chair this week.

And the Left ought to lay off the tittering.


Eastwood’s performance far overshadowed Willard Romney’s coronation speech.

You have to look for the silver lining, no?

Oh Yeah, Romney Was There, Too


Doncha love how the Republicans used the “We believe in America” slogan during their self-love fest this week?

Reminds me of the opening scene from “The Godfather” where the undertaker, Bonasera, begs Don Corleone to punish his daughters’ attackers. The first words of the movie, uttered over a fading-in black screen, are “I believe in America.”

Make Them Suffer

Vito Corleone would have been a Republican today. Back in his fictional day, he would have been a Dem, simply because he’d have been so tied into the labor unions. With unions now a shadow of what they were, Corleone would be a big contributor to the GOP mainly because the party embodies precisely what he would embrace: Iron leadership, intolerance for dissent or alternative lifestyle, keeping wealth and power safely in the hands of the aggressive and ferocious and those who already have them. Hell, Tom Hagen could have written this year’s Republican platform.

Take It From Me, Mr. Rove

And Republicans would have the greatest schoolgirl crush in human history on the self-made millionaire capo di tutti capi.

Their problem today is Willard Romney is too wooden and milquetoast-y and polished to be the tough son of a bitch the GOP would swoon for.

That’s one reason why my C-note on a Barack Obama re-election victory seems safe.

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 ChartsLife as seen through charts.

XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

SkepchickWomen scientists look at the world and the universe.

IndexedAll the answers in graph form, on index cards.

I Fucking Love ScienceA Facebook community of science geeks.

Present/&/CorrectFun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.

Flip Flop Fly BallBaseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.

Mental FlossFacts.

SodaplayCreate your own models or play with other people’s models.

Eat Sleep DrawAn endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.

Big ThinkTapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

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

Saturday, September 1, 2012

City Hall, Showers Plaza — Farmers Market; 8am-1pm

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibit: “Workers of the World, Unite!” through Labor Day; 10am-5pm

◗ Fourth Street between Indiana and Lincoln avenues — Fourth Street Festival of the Arts & Crafts; 10am-5pm

  • Fourth at Dunn streets — Spoken Word Stage, presented by Writers Guild at Bloomington

Third Street ParkFirst annual Bloomington Garlic Festival; 10am-7pm

Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural CenterWorkshop Series: “Mind Training through Pain & Disability,” presented by Ani Choekye; 10:30am-noon

◗ IU University GymnasiumHoosier volleyball vs. Bowling Green; noon

◗ IU Art MuseumThematic Tour: “Lurking Reptiles in the Art Museum,” presented by docent Rich Wolfe; 2-3pm

◗ IU Memorial Stadium parking lots — Tailgating; 3pm-gametime

Bell Trace Senior Living CommunityGreat Courses Lecture Series: “Optimizing Brain Fitness”; 3-4pm

◗ IU Fine Arts Theater — Ryder Film Series: “The Queen of Versailles”; 6:45pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Music: Jeb Brester; 7-9pm

Brown County Playhouse, Nashville — Music: Jim Ryser, Chuck Wills & Kara Bernard; 7:30pm

Bloomington Playwrights ProjectMusical: “Working”; 8pm

Cafe Django — Going-away party for Kati, hosted by Filiz Cicek, open mic for musicians, guest appearances by local performers, donations benefit Bloomington Katmandu Exhibit; 8pm

◗ IU Woodburn Hall Theater — Ryder Film Series: “Take This Waltz”; 8pm

The Player’s PubMusic: Richard Dugger Band; 8pm

The Comedy AtticBest of the Bloomington Comedy Fest; 8pm

◗ IU Memorial StadiumHoosier football vs. Indiana State; 8pm

◗ IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger Auditorium — UB Films: “Magic Mike”; 8pm

◗ IU Fine Arts Theater — Ryder Film Series: “The Well Digger’s Daughter”; 8:45pm

Bear’s PlaceMusic: The Owen Sweeney Show, Scott-e B. Sound; 9pm

The BluebirdMusic: The Personnel; 9pm

The Root Cellar at Farm Bloomington — Punk/NewWave/Grunge dance party; 10pm

The BishopMusic: Memory Map, Sleeping Bag, Cooked Books; 10pm

◗ IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger Auditorium — UB Films: “Magic Mike”; 11pm


◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; through September 1st

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “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 GalleryExhibits:

  • “Media Life,” drawings and animation by Miek von Dongen; through September 15th

  • “Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture”; through September 15th

◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery“Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st

◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st

◗ IU Mathers Museum of World Cultures — Reopens Tuesday, August 21st

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

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