The Pencil Today:


“In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.” — HL Mencken


Hey, GO! is back home.

Yeah, we were scheduled to start running our indispensable events listings on the new Ryder Magazine and Film Series website ages ago but, like all construction projects, it’s running late. Way, way late.

So we’ve decided to run the listings on The Pencil until the Ryder’s ready to go.

We know you’re ready to go — so go to GO! and figure out what you’re going to do today.


Indy radio station WXLW-AM switched to conservative talk from sports talk on September 10th.

The station, which billed itself as XL 950 until ten days ago, now calls itself Freedom 95. It features such deep thinkers as Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, and Michael Savage.

Laura Ingraham: Ann Coulter-Lite

Now, normally I’d run from political talk radio as swiftly as I would from the skunk that’s been hanging around my front yard in the middle of the night recently. That goes for liberal talk as well as conservative talk, although there isn’t much liberal talk radio in this holy land and it’s an especially rare commodity in these parts.

But I’ve been catching bits and pieces of Freedom 95’s new act because the station is programmed into my car radio. See, XL 95 was part of the Cincinnati Reds radio network until the programming shift.

Anybody who’s read this space knows I’m a rabid Cubs fan. “Rabid” being the operative word — I foam at the mouth and exhibit other signs of madness at the mere mention of the night of October 14th, 2003. But as much as I am a Cubs partisan, I’m equally devoted to the sport of baseball in general.

The Bartman Moment

I have absolutely zero rooting interest in the Reds. In fact, a vestigial distaste for them still lingers from the early 1970s when they were positioned as the short-haired, beardless, mustache-less, clean-cut, all-American boys — Nixon’s Team, as it were. Still, my passion for the game overcame my prejudice when I found that XL 950 offerede the only Major League Baseball broadcasts over the local airwaves. It had become a habit for me to tune the radio to AM 950 to see if there was a game on whenever I got into the car in the evening.

And then ten days ago, rather than hear the Texas drawl of “The Cowboy,” Reds announcer Jeff Brantley, talking balls and strikes, I was assaulted by the drone of reactionaries trying to drum up rage at the Muslim mole who now occupies the White House.

Last night I packed Steve the Dog into the car for one of our regular walks at Lake Monroe. As usual, I flicked on the radio and pressed the button for 950, hoping to catch the Reds playing, coincidentally enough, at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs’ David DeJesus Misplays A Ball In Last Night’s Loss

And again, I was reminded that my little diversion has been snatched away. The grating, agitating voice of Michael Savage spewed out of the speakers. Before I had a chance to reflexively flip the station, I became drawn in by his tales.

Savage was speculating on the make-up of the Mitt Romney cabinet. Romney, Savage is certain, will triumph (along with goodness, wholesomeness, whiteness, and unfettered capitalism) over Barack Obama in the November election. Savage threw out dozens of names for the various cabinet departments, including that of John Bolton for Secretary of State.

Bolton, you may recall, was George W. Bush’s ambassador to to United Nations. He is to diplomacy what a bacon double-cheeseburger is to good nutrition.

Bang — You’re Dead!

Anyway, once Savage cleaned up at State, he turned to the putative next president’s financial consigliere. Why haven’t we all been hearing, Savage wondered aloud, the name Donald Trump?

Trump, Savage explained, was the only Republican who could have whomped Obama. Truth. I heard him say this with my own fouled ears.

Romney will edge the best the Kanyan takeover conspiracy has to offer, sure, Savage allowed. But Trump would have mauled Obama with a good 20 percent plurality.

You Had Your Chance, America

Now, the sane among us recall Trump being unable to garner even ten percent support among likely Republican voters when he dropped out of the race in the spring. I’d imagine a poll of all Americans would indicate fewer than ten percent wonder what the point of existence is when it allows for the presence in it of Trump himself.

But Savage is certain Trump would wrest the nation from the clutches of the imams, with whom Barack Obama is inextricably tied.

And here’s why. Obama has tanked the American economy, Savage asserts, conveniently forgetting a few little things like the real estate crash, the stock market crash, and the Wall Street/big biz scandals that all occurred pre-Obama bin Laden.

Because Obama has destroyed America’s wealth, there are now scads of poor people. The poor, Savage pronounced, would welcome a Trump White House with open arms.

Again, truth. I heard these things with my own ears.

The media, Savage bleated, would have you believe the poor hate the rich. Au contraire, Savage would say if he could tolerate the existence of languages other than Ma & Pa Kettle’s sacred English.

Savage explained: The poor trust the rich to run this blessed land. The poor, he continued, know that the rich have their best interests at heart.

Everything I Do, I Do For The Poor!


Can the Republican Party really be this disconnected from reality?

Talk about rabid.



You’ve heard of these guys, no?

Yep, we’re back here for the time being.

The spanking new Ryder website is…, well, it’s somewhere. While Peter LoPilato and his army of computer geeks perfect the new site, we’ll be running Bloomington’s best events listings here, again. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

MUSIC FESTIVAL ◗ Downtown Bloomington, various locationsLotus World Music & Arts Festival; though Sunday, September 23rd, today’s acts:

  • At the Buskirk Chumley Theater — Lotus Thursday with Chris Smither & Ben Sollee; 7:30pm

MUSIC FESTIVAL ◗ Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park & Campground38th Annual Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame & Uncle Pen Days; through Saturday, September 22nd, today’s acts:

  • Audie Blaylock & Redline, The Grascals, Grasstowne, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, Sisk & Ramblers Choice, Larry Efaw & Mountaineers, Karl Shiflett & The Big Country Show, Tim Graves, Daryl Mosley & Farm Country

LECTURE ◗ IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, Bridgewaters Lounge — “After Global Hollywood: The Prospects and Perils of Chinese Media Capital,” presented by Michael Curtin; 4:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Bear’s PlaceTribute to John Coltrane; 5:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubBuilt for Comfort; 6:30pm

BOOKS ◗ IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture CenterJohn Edgar Wideman reads from his works, free & open to the public; 6:30pm

POETRY & MUSIC ◗ Blue Studio GalleryPoets Tony Brewer * Travers Marks read from their works, Jazz by Kyle Quass; 6:30pm

FREE CLASSES ◗ Hinkle-Garton Farmstead Historic SiteIntroduction to Irish Gaelic, 1st of eight weekly sessions through November 15th; 6:30pm

POLITICS ◗ Monroe County Public LibraryLeague of Women Voters Candidate Forum: State SEnate, District 40, and General Assembly, District 46, candidates; 7pm

LECTURE ◗ ISU University Hall Theater, Terre HauteUniversity Speakers Series: Lee Hamilton; 7pm

NATURE ◗ Monroe County Public Library — “The Monarch MIgration,” presented by Rachel Gliesmann; 7pm

PANEL DISCUSSION ◗ IU Asian Cultural Center — “A Changed America,” the effect of Asian & Latino immigrants on American culture, co-presented by the ACC & the Latino Cultural Center; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoQuinn Sternberg Quartet; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Rachael’s CafeYer Heart, Wringer, The Shell Corp., Neal Meyer; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceTarpaper Turley; 8pm

FILM ◗ IU Memorial UnionUB Films: “The Amazing Spiderman;” 8pm

GAMES ◗ Serendipity Martini BarTeam trivia; 8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdThree Story Hill, Elephant Quiz; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopMono, Chris Brokaw; 9:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceElsie White; 10pm

FILM ◗ IU Memorial UnionUB Films: “The Amazing Spiderman;”11pm


ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “The Bolognese School,” by Annibale & Agostino Carracci, through September 16th
  • “New Acquisitions,” David Hockney; through October 21st
  • “Paragons of Filial Piety,” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi; through December 31st
  • “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers,” by Julia Margaret, Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan; through December 31st
  • French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century;” through December 31st
  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Pop-art by Joe Tilson; through December 31st
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • What It Means to Be Human,” by Michele Heather Pollock; through September 29th
  • Land and Water,” by Ruth Kelly; through September 29th

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibit:

  • “Samenwerken,” Interdisciplinary collaborative multi-media works, Opening September 21st

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibit:

  • Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection;” through September 21st

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibit:

  • “CUBAmistad” photos

ART ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits:

  • “¡Cuba Si! Posters from the Revolution: 1960s and 1970s”
  • “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”
  • “Thoughts, Things, and Theories… What Is Culture?”
  • “Picturing Archaeology”
  • “Personal Accents: Accessories from Around the World”
  • “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”
  • “The Day in Its Color: A Hoosier Photographer’s Journey through Mid-century America”
  • “TOYing with Ideas”
  • “Living Heritage: Performing Arts of Southeast Asia”
  • “On a Wing and a Prayer”

BOOKS ◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit:

  • Outsiders and Others:Arkham House, Weird Fiction, and the Legacy of HP Lovecraft;” through November 1st
  • A World of Puzzles,” selections form the Slocum Puzzle Collection

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Soup’s OnExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Culture: “CUBAmistad photos; through October

ART ◗ Boxcar BooksExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Papercuts by Ned Powell; through September

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • Bloomington: Then and Now,” presented by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • “Doctors and Dentists: A Look into the Monroe County Medical professions

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4 thoughts on “The Pencil Today:

  1. Ryan Lee Dawes says:

    XL 950 recently lost it’s only redeemable programming, which was broadcast of Reds games.

  2. Oh, your poor earpans, Mikey. But thanks for listening, so we don’t have to.

    I am amazed at your steady ability to listen and remember; I imagine it becomes sort of like gaping at a ridiculous piece of public art or a new Frank Gehry building.

  3. david paglis - the lake county republican says:

    buon giorno big mike: you were rolling today. oh, the cubs. bruce levine (the baseball guru on chicago’s espn radio station) says we should not be thinking about 2013 or 2014 but 2015! it’s to give them time to rebuild their farm system. yikes! i hope i make it that long. about d. trump, he is one of the reasons that it is sometimes embarassing to be a republican. i’m a reitred pharmacist and people would ask me if over the counter baldness treatments worked i would say “if they did would donald trump look as ridiculous as he does?” think how much effort he goes through to make sure nobody gets a picture of his hair wet.

  4. bill says:

    The obvious answer to your burning question is YES. Absolutely. For certain. The POG not only CAN be this disconnected from reality, it has painstakingly constructed its own holodeck wherein their version of reality can play out unmolested. The only thing that can sustain their illusion is thinking the reason it has utterly failed as policy is that it wasn’t fully woven into every facet of Amurcan life. It plays best on radio where the listeners can create their own imagery.

    As I type this reply, Regnery Press is already proofing galleys for Michelle Malkin, Sean Hannity, Jennifer Rubin November releases detailing how the 2012 election was lost because it didn’t go far enough to the RIGHT!
    50 days out, there is nothing Rmoney wouldn’t do or say to steal this election.

    Trump as NSA, Bolton as S.O.S., a whole new crop of Regent U grads manning the Injustice Dept., new life for Kristol’s neo-cons at the gin for war against everybody…
    “.357? .358? Whatever it takes.”

    Proof of this theory resides in the probability that almost half the country will ignore reality and vote for Willard because he’s their only hope.

    As to your beloved Cubbies, I’m beginning to like them. There’s quiet peace in Wrigleyville.
    They’re having fun playing the game.
    Unlike da Sout side where we’re clinging to a 2.5 game lead with 12 to play…

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