The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Majority rule only works if you’re also considering individual rights. Because you can’t have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper.” — Larry Flynt

HERESY

I ruffled a lot of feathers Saturday when I wrote that I hadn’t swallowed the September unemployment figures like a good boy taking his cough medicine.

Responders called me both cynical and a conspiracy theorist.

I prefer the term skeptic.

Search Me

The outrage, naturally, came from Barack Obama supporters. All of them who voiced displeasure with that post know I am as eager as they are to see the president be reelected in four weeks. Nevertheless, they viewed me, at least for the moment, as if I’d stepped in dog shit.

Just to show that I’ve cleaned my shoe off and am ready to be accepted back into polite society, I’m going to voice doubt for a set of stats once again.

This time Willard Romney on the receiving end of my sharp pen. I heard this morning that Romney’s lead over Obama in one poll suddenly is 4 points. Not even a week ago, Obama led Romney by four points. So, that’s an eight point swing, attributable only to Obama performing in the first debate as if his high school girlfriend had just dumped him.

I don’t buy it.

Margaret, who owns the Book Corner, asked me yesterday if I was getting tired of the presidential campaign.

Man, am I!

And it’s still inconceivable to me that a significant number of people haven’t decided at this late date whom they’re going to vote for.

If opinion polling is a science, it’s the softest of the soft sciences. And that includes such alchemies as economics and psychology.

Early voting in Monroe County begins today in the Curry Building, 214 W. 7th St. The polling place is open most days from 8am to 6pm. Click here for more Monroe County voting info. Also, click here to find out who your elected officials are.

The Curry Building

I’m going to vote today. Here are my choices (I live in Monroe County, Perry Township, Precinct 22):

  • President & Vice President: Barack Obama & Joe Biden
  • Senator: Joe Donnelly
  • Governor & Lieutenant Governor: John Gregg & Vi Simpson
  • 9th District Representative in US Congress: Shelli Yoder
  • Indiana Attorney General: Kay Fleming
  • Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction: Glenda Ritz
  • State Senator, District 40: Mark Stoops
  • State Representative, District 60: Peggy Welch
  • County Commissioner, District 2: Julie Thomas
  • County Commissioner, District 3: Iris Kiesling
  • County Council At Large: Geoff McKim & Cheryl Munson

I’ll leave about a dozen offices blank either because I don’t know enough about the candidates or the opponents are both full of crap.

Now, here are my winners:

  • Obama/Biden
  • Stoops
  • Welch
  • Julie Thomas
  • Kiesling
  • Geoff McKim & Cheryl Munson

Just Win, Baby!

The GOP statewide will make a clean sweep. Indiana also will go for Romney/Ryan but the President will be reelected nonetheless. And, as always, the People’s Republic of Bloomington will go solidly Democratic.

It’s a real mixed bag for me this year but as long as Obama makes it in for a second term, I’ll be happy. What with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg hanging on to life by her fingernails, I shudder to think what this holy land will become under another president in hock to the right wing theocrats of America. A Romney administration would be salivating for Ginsberg to at last turn in her lunch bucket and nominate a jurist who thinks corporations are people and the Earth is only 6000 years old.

In any case, go vote. If you don’t you’re a jerk.

CRAZY IN LOVE

The woman’s haircut was a cross between Moe Howard’s, an Afro, and a mullet. Swear to god.

Plus, she had vacant eyes, which was fitting because, well, once you hear why she was on the talk show, you’ll understand that her cranium was as empty as a Republican’s promises to the Middle Class.

I don’t remember which talk show the woman was on. It could well have been Oprah. I did a tiny bit of research and found that she’d also appeared on Morton Downey, Jr.’s show. And if you remember him, you ought to dash out and get an emergency lobotomy because your brain is tainted.

Her name was Sue Terry and she made the rounds on national television to proclaim to the world that she was in love with John Wayne Gacy.

Sue Terry: The Most Whacked-Out Fangirl Of All Time?

That’s the John Wayne Gacy who was found in 1978 to have buried the corpses of at least 33 young boys and men in the crawlspace beneath his Northwest Side Chicago home.

Gacy was one of the maddest hatters this holy land has ever produced. His defense attorney probably considered it a monumental triumph that he convinced judge, jury, press gallery, and gawkers not to string up his client immediately after the prosecution’s opening statement.

Nevertheless, the woman with the improbable hairdo pledged her undying love to Gacy years after he’d been locked up and was awaiting execution. If memory serves me correctly, when pressed as to why she’d feel so strongly about a man who murdered more frequently than other men clean out the garage, she replied, “Well, he never done nothin’ bad to me.”

Which, come to think of it, is as Tea Party-ish a thought as has ever been uttered.

Anyway, I was reminded of this woman in an article I read about the fearsome nature of girl crushes. The author, Rachel Monroe of the Awl website, begins the story by laying out the crush roster she and her teen pals had: Monroe was smitten with Gavin Rossdale, friend Mary was into Leonardo DiCaprio, and Emily was all about Paul McCartney.

She Loves Him, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

The three made their respective idols the absolute centers of their lives, which is not so terribly fearsome. But the extent that other young girls go to vis a vis the likes of, say, Justin Bieber often is. And then there are those who carry their crushes into adulthood — yick — or whose idols are less than savory characters — even more yicky.

For instance, Monroe reveals, there’s a whole interwebs community of girls who, still to this day, are head over heels for the boys who committed the Columbine shootings. And, natch, there’s now a population of teen girls who are gaga for the loon that shot up the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado earlier this year.

Monroe explores the frightful nature of these and less extreme examples of girl crushes. She writes, “A girl with a crush is also capable of crushing.”

She cites the worries that authorities had about the Beatles when that rage was at its hottest. There was real fear that the Fab Four might eventually be injured or killed by the mobs of shrieking girls that followed them.

Beatlemaniacs surely were not psychotic and if they had harmed the boys, it wouldn’t be because they had malice in their hearts. But those who, like Sue Terry or the Columbine fangirls, are mad for vicious murderers even have a psychiatric handle, hybristophilics.

Can This Be Love?

The piece gets into sexual repression, expression, and double standards. Check it out and explore the hairline border between love and violence.

[h/t to Roger Ebert for the original link to the story.]

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

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

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

WORKSHOP ◗ Ivy Tech-BloomingtonSolving the Credit Mystery: Credit Counseling Expert Panel, experts from Fifth Third Bank, IU Credit Union, & Regions Bank offer info and advice on credit scores, credit cards, etc.; Noon

LECTURE ◗ IU Latino Cultural Center — “Dancing to Fidel’s Tune: Revolutionary Cuba through Alma Guillermoprieto’s Memoir ‘La Habana en un Espejo’,” Presented by Latino Studies Dissertation Fellow, Silvia Roca-Martinez; Noon

LECTURE ◗ IU Woodburn Hall — “From Food to Fracking: Human Health and the Environment,” Presented by ecologist & author Sandra Steingraber; 4-5pm

MUSIC ◗ The Venue Fine Art & GiftsThe Art of the Harpsichord, Presented by Beth Garfinkel; 5:30pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “The Lives of Others”; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallStudent Recital: Clarinet Studio Concerto Competition; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleRichard Groner; 7-9pm

WORKSHOP ◗ BloomingLabsIntro to Arduino Programming, Arduinos on hand but guest must bring own laptops; 7-9pm

DISCUSSION ◗ Monroe County History CenterCivil War Roundtable: “Hoosiers in the Mexican War Who Became Leaders in the Civil War“; 7-9pm

POLITICS & DISCUSSION ◗ First United Methodist Church — “Health Care Reform and Medicare: Are You Confused?” Bob Zaltsberg of the Herald-Times moderates, 9th District Congressional candidate Shelli Yoder and numerous experts expected to attend; 7-8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoJeff Isaac Trio; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallContemporary Vocal Ensemble, Dominick DiOrio, conductor, performing Chen Yi, Sandström, Muhly, Cage, Tormis, & DiOrio; 8pm

GAMES ◗ The Root Cellar at Farm BloomingtonTeam trivia; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopRingo Deathstarr, Secret Colours; 9pm

ONGOING:

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
  • Embracing Nature,” by Barry Gealt; through December 23rd
  • Pioneers & Exiles: German Expressionism,” through December 23rd

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

The Electron Pencil. Go there. Read. Like. Share.

4 thoughts on “The Pencil Today:

  1. Write on, Big Mike, you’re on point with this one, and even when you occasionally step in dog shit I honor your right to do that! And to coin a phrase from Mommy Dearest, “I am NOT one of your fans!” (Just so you don’t worry about your personal safety from obsessed and stalking Pencillistas.)

  2. david paglis - the lake county republican says:

    we were having a garage sale this past summer prior to my daughter moving to colorado for her first job. this old guy came up and as we were talking about my daughters move he said his nephew was on the benches outside the cafeteria at columbine h.s. and klebold and harris walked right by him. the old guy said his nephew is kind of a bully and that klebold and harris were bullied physically and verbally every day. doesn’t excuse them but maybe helps explain. many parents are assholes.

  3. bill says:

    Michael, Mikey, Mike! Say it ain’t so!

    Why do you hate Amurca? Just when the Rmoneybot v. 4.3 has honed his message into his very own Vorpal Sword to slay the Kenyan Socialist Usurper? Tsk, Tsk Tsk. With 27 days and two more opportunities to catapult the latest, greatest Rmoney lies, you’ve already shot your wad? What does this teach our young’uns `bout this great land of theirs?

    Surely you realized this before you went and made an unrecoverable error in your root code. What are you going to do with the avalanche of glossy mailers that are going to drop in your box from now until Thanksgiving?

    When Willard palms the Book of Mormon in January and kicks off the largest corporate takeover in history, boy oh boy are you gonna feel foolish.

  4. Helen says:

    peggy welch??? omg Mike! and we usually agree on stuff!

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