The Pencil Today:


“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” — e.e. cummings


Here’s my outlandish suggestion for the day: Let’s do away with presidential debates.

After all, this isn’t the 1850’s where Lincoln and Douglas have to bring their respective messages personally to the people.

People on the farms of Indiana and Illinois and other points west of Trenton, New Jersey, weren’t sitting in their easy chairs reading Newsweek magazine, thereby gaining insights into the platforms of national candidates. They needed the pols of the day to talk to them more or less directly.

We don’t anymore. Ergo, the televised debates have become these silly little skits.

Now, everybody expects Barack Obama to come out Tuesday, six-guns blazing, after Mitt Romney mugged him on the 2nd. Is this any way to pick a leader?

Sneak Preview: The 2016 Presidential Debate

I, for one, don’t need the debates. I’ve already voted. Even if I hadn’t, I’d know for whom I’d ink in the box. It’s not like we’re learning anything about the men or the world through these debates.


Want your kids to survive and even thrive as fully developed human beings?

Well, first, dissuade them from being Republicans, but, according to writer and journalist Andrea Chalupa in Big Think, you may also try to get them to be the reviled outsiders.

It’s the anti-bullying message in reverse.

Frankly, I’m glad I spent a few elementary school years being pushed into the bushes and having my books strewn all over the sidewalk. Honestly, who would want to be thought of as fitting in well with school children?

Not An All Bad Scenario

Anyway, Chalupa writes that our weird, weird corporate media world is teaching youngsters that the most desirable aims are to be accepted, liked, and by extension, to become famous.

She cites a survey in England that showed children’s most popular career choices are to become sports stars and pop stars. Note they’re not saying they want to become good or excellent athletes or singers or guitarists. Just that they want to be stars.

In the mid-1980s the same demographic told pollsters they wanted to be teachers, bankers, and doctors. How quaint.

“As for fame, the great ambition of today,” Chalupa writes, “it’s fleeting, it’s cheap, costing about the price of a leaked sex tape. Real value is created when one is self-directed, independent, and passionate.”

She concludes the piece by asserting it’s important to “help children understand that it’s okay to be hated, or rather, misunderstood. Let the others catch up.”


From I Fucking Love Science

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

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

FOOD ◗ City Hall, Showers PlazaFarmers Market; 8am-1pm

BENEFIT BREAKFAST ◗ Bloomington American Legion Post 18For WildCare Inc.; 8-11am

WORKSHOP ◗ Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural CenterSeven Trainings in Contemplation, Presented by Rigzin Drolma & Anne Klein; 10am-5pm

PUBLIC ART ◗ Monroe County Courthouse lawnGreat Glass Pumpkin Patch, More than 250 blown glass pumpkins on display; 10am-3pm

CLASS ◗ Hinkle-Garton Farmstead Historic SiteWire Wrapping: The Basics, Presented by Lara Hasler, Participants must bring their own wire cutters and round-nose jewelry pliers; 10am-5pm

ART ◗ Charlene Marsh Studio & Gallery Open House, Nashville; 10am-5pm

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

FAIR ◗ City Hall & surrounding locations, Columbus2012 Ethnic Expo, Parade, music, food, etc., Today’s performers: Southern Indiana Pieps and Drums, Indianapolis Minyos Dancers, Dem Reggae Bon, Mroth Star Capoeira, Griot, Richens/Timm Academy of Irish Dance, Dance Street, Hudsucker Posse, Craig & the Crawdads, Chicago Samba, see website for times and locations; 11am-10pm

BENEFIT ◗ Sherwood Oaks Christian ChurchRally for Regina Car Show, For Children’s Organ Transplant Association; 11am-5:30pm

ART BENEFIT ◗ Blue Studio GalleryChip-Art, Interactive installation, For Monroe County United Way; 6pm

HALLOWE’EN ◗ Haunted Hayride & Stables; Scary rides; 7-11pm

HALLOWE’EN ◗ Bakers Junction Railroad MuseumHaunted train; 7pm

FILM ◗ IU Woodburn Hall TheaterRyder Film Series: “2 Days in New York“; 7:15pm

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

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

FILM ◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series: “Stars in Shorts“; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ Rhino’s All Ages ClubClatter, Thorr-Axe, Thanasphere; 8pm

SPORTS ◗ IU Memorial StadiumHoosier football vs. Ohio State; 8pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticGlenn Wool; 8pm

STAGE ◗ The Lodge (formerly Space 101)17th Annual Director’s Symposium, Scenes for Two, Presented by Monroe County Civic Theater; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceRuthie Allen Lincoln CD release party; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdHairbangers Ball; 9pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticGlenn Wool; 10:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Bear’s PlaceJon Cheser, Jason Boren; 11pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopWaxeater, Honors; Midnight


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:

  • 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:

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