The Pencil Today:


“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against.” — Malcolm X


Remember “wilding”?

No one had ever heard of it before 1989. Then, in the summer of that year, it seemed the entire nation knew what wilding was.

The frightened citizens of this holy land learned that wilding was a brand spanking new terror campaign being waged by organized gangs of black youths wherein they’d run through parks, city streets, and, conceivably, your very living room, raping and pillaging and otherwise having a night of it.

We found out about this new threat to our very existence as a nation and a race because some poor woman had been found raped, unconscious, and left for dead in New York City’s Central Park on April 19th. She was white and an investment banker, [EDs Note: Line deleted. It was a throwaway line meant to make a point and be joke-y at the same time. It was, in retrospect, too offensive.]

Some brown boys were rounded weeks later. It was learned they’d been roaming around the park causing the usual hoodlum mayhem, perhaps even as the woman was being brutalized.

Naturally, NYC cops’ and prosecutors’ mouths watered.

The story of the woman’s assault sickened the nation. Her skull, for pete’s sake, had been caved in by a rock.

The cops, traditionalists at heart, relied on investigatory techniques tried and true from decades past: They tortured confessions out of five of the brown boys.

Americans might have heaved a collective sigh of relief save for the nagging terror that similar groups of young brown boys would soon be “wilding” from coast to coast.

Hell, Hollywood even got in on the act, spitting out cheap films with the word in their titles, starring the likes of Joey Travolta and Erik Estrada.

No Oscars Were Harmed In The Making Of These Pictures

Donald Trump muscled into the hysteria by calling for the death penalty to be reinstated in New York, specifically so the boys could be executed.

It took a few years but the truth eventually seeped out: “wilding” was bullshit.

While the brown boys were being run through the gauntlet, one of them blurted out the word. It was his inartful way of describing what he and his gang were doing in Central Park that night. The cops, the media, and the public bought the concept as if it were a subprime mortgage.

The fear of a coming wave of wilding spread rapidly.

I bring this all up because TV historian Ken Burns has recently completed a documentary about the case, called “The Central Park Five.” In it, he delves into the convictions of the boys, who were found guilty and served lengthy prison sentences.

Some 13 years after the incident a serial rapist and murderer confessed to the crime. His confession was confirmed by DNA analysis, which also exculpated the boys (now men). Their convictions have been vacated.

Some of the five are suing the city in federal court for the wrongful convictions. Now the city’s legal department is demanding Burns turn over evidence to them for use in the defense against the suits.

This after they refused to cooperate with him when he was delving into the case. In fact, he claims they tried to prevent him from getting much of the evidence he presents in the doc. Now that he’s got it, though, they want it.

Apparently, in the arena of the courts, the City of New York is out “wilding.”

This time, it’s real.

The Color Of Guilt

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Brought to you by The Electron Pencil: Bloomington Arts, Culture, Politics, and Hot Air. Daily.

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Center, outside WFHB StudiosPublic participation in creating a ten-foot sculpture called “The Angel,” Rain or shine; 9am-5pm

FESTIVAL ◗ Town of Bloomfield, various locations2012 Bloomfield Apple Festival, music, contests, parade, games, food, etc.; 9am-10pm, through Sunday

STUDIO TOUR ◗ Brown County, various locationsThe Backroads of Brown County Studio Tour, free, self-guided tour of 16 local artists’ & craftspersons’ studios; 10am-5pm, through October

ART & ARCHAEOLOGY ◗ IU Center  for the Study of Global Change, Seminar Room — The Wal-Mart Syndrome in Neolithic Northwestern China? — A Study of Majiayao Painted Pottery; Noon

MUSIC ◗ IU Willkie QuadrangleFriday Noon Concert Series: Daniel Duarte & Rodrigo Almedia, guitars; Noon

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Dust Up“; 3pm

SPORTS ◗ IU Field Hockey FacilitiesHoosier women’s field hockey vs. Iowa; 3:30pm

RETREAT ◗ TC Steele State Historic SiteAutumnal Women’s Retreat: Sisters in Sync, Creative projects, yoga, journaling, hiking, crafts, massage, etc.; 5:00pm, through the weekend

ART ◗ Downtown Bloomington, various locationsOctober Gallery Walk, 5-8pm, participating galleries & opening receptions:

  • The Venue Fine Art & Gifts — “Dark & Ethereal,” by Lydia Burris
  • Pictura Gallery — “Cuba Libre: Photographs,” by Tyagan Miller, David Moore, Gerardo Gonzalez
  • WonderLabScience of Art: Woodturning, demonstration presented by Dan Dutra
  • By Hand GalleryMicrocosmic drawings & monoprints by Martha Kaplan
  • Gallery 406
  • Royale Hair Parlor
  • Blueline Creative Co-op & Gallery
  • El Norteno GalleryAutumn Fantasies, by Yelena Yahontova
  • Ivy Tech Waldron CenterOctober exhibits, see ONGOING, below

ART ◗ IU SoFA, Room 015Exhibition opening lecture: Art & Virtue, presented by Professor Emeritus Michael Metzger; 5:30pm

MIXER ◗ The Player’s PubAtheists Happy Hour; 5:30pm

POETRY ◗ Fountain Square MallFountain Square Poetry Series: Readings by Richard Durisen, Jonathan Holland, Lisa Kwong, Anya Peterson Royce, Music by Bloomington Peace Choir; 5:30pm

SPORTS ◗ Frank Southern Ice ArenaIU hockey vs. Youngstown State; 6:30pm

FILM ◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series: “Stars in Shorts“; 6:45pm

HALLOWE’EN ◗ Haunted Hayride & Stables, 8308 S. Rockport Rd.; 7pm

HALLOWE’EN ◗ Bakers Junction Railroad Museum, SmithvilleHaunted train; 7pm

HALLOWE’EN ◗ Valley Branch Retreat, NashvilleHorrifying Hike & Terrifying Trail; 7-10pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “A Nightmare on Elm Street“; 3pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Dunn MeadowHomecoming week free concert featuring South Jordan & Zach Majors; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleKade Puckett; 7-9pm

SPORTS ◗ IU GymnasiumHoosier volleyball vs. Iowa; 7pm

FILM ◗ IU Woodburn Hall TheaterRyder Film Series: “Meet the Fokkens“; 7:15pm

STAGE ◗ Bloomington Playwrights ProjectComedy, “Rx”; 7:30pm

STAGE ◗ Brown County Playhouse, NashvilleDrama, “Last Train to Nibroc”; 7:30pm

ART ◗ IU SoFA, McCalla SchoolThe Fuller Projects: Hanging Tales, by Jennifer Garst; 7:30pm

WORLD CULTURE ◗ Rachael’s CafeFall 2012 Coffeehouse: Music, dance, etc., presented by IU Dept. of Folklore & Ethnomusicology; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubThe Vallures; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallIU Singing Hoosiers, director, Steve Zegree; 8pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticJackie Kashian; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoMilestones Jazz Quintet; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ Serendipity Martini BarSam Hoffman & Anna Butterss; 8-11pm

MUSIC ◗ Chateau Thomas Wine BarPhil Bowman & Leo Hickman; 8-10pm

FILM ◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series: “Neighboring Sounds“; 8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s Place Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials, King Bee & the Stingers; 8:30pm

FILM ◗ IU Woodburn Hall TheaterRyder Film Series: “The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls“; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdClayton Anderson; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleKara Barnard, Chuck Willis; 9:30-11:30pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticJackie Kashian; 10:30pm


ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “New Acquisitions,” David Hockney; through October 21st
  • Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists; through October 14th
  • “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:

  • Ab-Fab — Extreme Quilting,” by Sandy Hill; October 5th through October 27th
  • Street View — Bloomington Scenes,” by Tom Rhea; October 5th through October 27th
  • From the Heartwoods,” by James Alexander Thom; October 5th through October 27th
  • The Spaces in Between,” by Ellen Starr Lyon; October 5th through October 27th

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibit:

  • “Samenwerken,” Interdisciplinary collaborative multi-media works; through October 11th

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits opening September 28th:

  • A Place Aside: Artists and Their Partners;” through December 20th
  • Gender Expressions;” through December 20th

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

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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3 thoughts on “The Pencil Today:

  1. david paglis - the lake county republican says:

    going to have watch the documentary because i’ve got a few questions: is a vacated conviction the same as an overturned conviction? one guy admits to and is guilty of the rape, did he say he acted alone? why did only some of the five file suit? if those 5 guys weren’t involved nyc can’t pay enough to compensate for their loss of liberty. if they were there but didn’t rape then it’s tango sierra for them.

  2. SO's Cousin says:

    Well there you have it Mittens, not only does PBS preserve our national culture and history and educate the masses it solves crimes and protects the citizen from terrorism.

    • david paglis - the lake county republican says:

      “mittens” now that’s funny. he’s my guy though.

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