The Pencil Today:


“One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain’t nothin’ can beat teamwork.” — Edward Abbey


So, the two men vying for the leadership of Richistan will face each other again tonight.

The debate format will be a town hall meeting wherein the candidates will field questions from the crowd.

And that crowd at Hofstra University, by the way, will be comprised entirely of people who haven’t made up their minds about the election.

Similar, But Different

In other words, they will be people who haven’t yet gleaned the differences between Barack Obama and Willard Romney, despite such glaring divergences on things like abortion, contraception, federal support for education, the separation of church and state, the environment, how to deal with Iran, gay marriage, bailing out the domestic auto industry, providing the American people with a $800BB stimulus package in February 2009, and even the fate of PBS.

In other other words, Obama and Romney will face a hall full of idiots.

Come to think of it, that just might be a perfect cross-section of this holy land.


Before we all get our shorts in a bunch over that photo op of Paul Ryan scrubbing a pot that was already clean in a soup kitchen, let’s remember one true thing.

Every single thing a major party candidate for president does, says, and for all we know, thinks in the weeks leading up to the election is theater.


Don’t start fantasizing that Barack Obama would go into the same soup kitchen and ladle the broth out for four or five hours because he loves his less fortunate brothers and sisters. He’d be there for six and a half minutes, long enough for photogs to click pix of him telling those less fortunate brothers and sisters how much he loves them.

Ryan did what he had to do — that is, get his picture taken while pretending to be a regular guy. He isn’t. Nor are Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden.

Especially Mitt Romney.

Why are both Democrats and Republicans shocked — shocked! — when they learn the opposition candidate is not just like a guy that scrubs pots in a restaurant kitchen?

For the most part, we elect actors to be our leaders. Mitt pretends he’s s statesman. Ryan acts spreadsheet-wonky. Obama acts like Urkel, and Joe Biden plays Barney Fife.

Don’t vote for the role. Don’t throw yourself at the image. Just remember who wants to restrict women’s access to contraceptives and abortions. Remember who represents chuckleheads who think climate change is a hoax. And keep in mind that one of the presidential candidates made his fortune by leveraging debt, streamlining companies by putting employees out of work, and leaving management with a crushing bill once he and his mob hightailed it out of town.

All four guys are as full of shit as so many infomercial pitchmen. If you’re just discovering this now, you haven’t been paying attention.



That’s all I have to say about this one. Wow.

Louisville’s premier trivia maestro, Andy Wallingford, sent us a link to a story about a religious intellectual who’d graduated from the right-wing Liberty University (BTW: did you catch the two contradictions in that phrase?) and who virtually lived a gay lifestyle for an entire year, just so he could “walk in the shoes” of a homosexual.

Tim Kurek

Timothy Kurek did everything a gay man might do for the duration of his odyssey. He “came out” to friends, co-workers, and even his mother. He hung out at gay bars. He had a “boyfriend.” He played on a gay softball team, for pity’s sake!

And, to make matters even more shocking, he did all this in that bastion of openness and cosmopolitanism, Nashville, Tennessee.

The only gay thing he didn’t do is have sex with a man. We’ll have to take his word on that.

Anyway, he lost friends and family. He was called “faggot.” His mother wrote in her journal: “I’d rather have found out from a doctor that I had terminal cancer than I have a gay son.”

Cancer Is Better?


Kurek got the idea for the project after a fellow Christian woman told him her family had disowned her when she’d told them she was gay.

Kurek, apparently, is one of those exceedingly rare god-ists who believe the creator bestowed upon them big lumps of gray matter in their crania and, therefore, they should use them. Oh, I know a few thinking Christians — some of them the most intelligent people I know — but I had to look far and wide to find them.

Rather than shun gays, Kurek decided to “become” one.

He’s written a book entitled “The Cross in the Closet” detailing his yearlong adventure. I can’t wait to read it.

Teach Your Children Well

From I Fucking Love Science

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Tuesday, October 16th, 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

ARTS & CRAFTS ◗ The Venue Fine Art & GiftsAmber Zaragoza of Anatomy Vinatge & April Williams of Cake Love talk about how to turn hobbies into revenue using tech & social media; 5:30pm

LECTURE ◗ IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture CenterPrimatologist Michael Huffman of Kyoto Primate Research Institute will talk about medicinal; plant use in apes & humans; 6pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema –“Mean Girls“; 7pm

STAGE ◗ IU AuditoriumMusical, “Chicago“; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubBlues Jam hosted by Cliff and the Guardrails; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdMayer Hawthorne; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallHot Tuesdays: Jazz Combos; 8:30pm


ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “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
  • Threads of Love: Baby Carriers from China’s Minority Nationalities“; through December 23rd
  • 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:

  • Buzz Spector: Off the Shelf; through November 16th
  • Small Is Big; Through November 16th

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:

One thought on “The Pencil Today:

  1. Urkel and Barney Fife? Hell, I’d watch that show in a cold minute.

    Oh, wait, I’ve been watching it for four years.

    What the hell, another season. Maybe the writing will improve.

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