The Pencil Today:


“Don’t follow leaders, watch your parkin’ meters.” — Bob Dylan


From the ED: No images today, kiddies, and very few links. I’m in too much of a hurry. Sorry.


At last count, the number of petitions being circulated opposing metered parking downtown has reached into the high five figures.

The way it stands now, virtually every citizen in Monroe County can sign her or his own personal petition. Nevertheless, all these petitions are filling up faster than Bloomington Hospital’s ER on a hot Friday night.

I signed. I urge everyone to sign. Metered parking will dissuade people from taking that spur-of-the-moment shopping trip down to the Courthouse square. Shopowners, restaurateurs, and bars all around downtown Bloomington stand as one against this scheme.

Was it even a half dozen years ago that the city sawed off all the parking meters downtown? Now this.

All that said, the city’s going to go through with Mayor Mark Kruzan’s plan, no matter if a million people sign the petitions. Concrete pourers, engineers, architects, stripe-painters, and and all the rest of the trade laborers who built Bloomington’s white elephant parking garages want to get paid for their work. People are funny that way, no?

Anyway, the city floated municipal bonds to pay for the work and the bonds are coming due with very little of the projected revenue the garages were supposed to generate keeping pace. No one cares to park in the garages, so Kruzan and the city’s accountants are feeling a tad panicky.

Meters, they feel, will force people to park in the garages.

Guess what: It ain’t gonna happen. We’ll be right back here in a year or two, still trying to figure out how to pay off our bonds.

I hope I’m wrong.

The crash brought on by Wall Street deregulation and faux-supervision, as well as two off-budget wars, has put every municipality in the same type of ugly situation Kruzan finds himself in now.


The Young Americans for Liberty raised a squawk yesterday about free speech on the IU campus.

Now, generally, I’m all in favor of free speech. In fact, you might call me a free speech fetishist.

And, I suppose, I endorse the YAL push for fewer restrictions on public expression.

If you sense my support for the YAL effort is tepid, you’re right. The Young Americans for Liberty is a nationwide college organization whose members, by and large, swoon over the likes of Grover Norquist, Ayn Rand, Ron Paul, the Me Party, and others who advocate the position that a good American’s highest calling is to care for himself and not give a shit about anybody else.

At least in this instance the YAL isn’t equating gobs of dough with speech. No, they actually are talking about human beings — individuals — discussing and advocating political, philosophical, and moral positions out of doors.

Still, the YAL is up in arms over the University’s restrictions on what you and I might refer to as hate speech.

The IDS writes: “IU’s Code of Student Rights requires all student speech to be ‘civil’ and prohibits ‘verbal abuse’ as well as ‘expressed or implied threats,’ while IU’s Residence Hall Rules and Regulations police restricts speech on ‘areas frequented by the public’ that can be construed as being ‘offensive’ or ‘inappropriate.'”

So yeah, I’m as big on free speech as the YAL, only it makes me itch to admit it.


Admit it: Whenever you see one of those lists of celebrities who endorse candidates, you look at the ones who back the guy you’re against and you say to yourself, Hah, I never liked his music/acting/TV show.

I thought about this because yesterday Meatloaf appeared at a Willard Romney event and told the crowd that the solar system would split apart if Barack Obama is reelected.

Danged if the first thought that entered my mind wasn’t, Well, Meatloaf sucks anyway.

I mean, look at the roster of celeb endorsers of Willard Romney. It includes Trace Adkins, Alice Cooper, Gene Simmons, Chuck Norris, Erik Estrada, Victoria Jackson, Scott Baio, Donny & Marie Osmond, Adam Carolla and others who’ve robbed the public of their entertainment dollars.

Then, every once in a while, someone like Clint Eastwood — a true giant in filmmaking — throws his or her lot in with the enemy and I have to scratch my head. C’mon now, I think, he made some really great movies. How can he like Romney?

So okay, here are some very talented souls who dig the Mitt:

  • Gary Sinise
  • James Woods
  • Robert Duvall
  • The Beach Boys

And…, and…, and…, well, that’s all I could find. The rest are a bunch of palookas, dumb blondes, hillbilly geetar strummers, and reality show D-listers.

It figures.

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Friday, October 26th, 2012

VOTE TODAY ◗The Curry Building, 214 W. Seventh St.; 8am-6pm

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

POETRY & BOOKS ◗ Various locations around IU campus & BloomingtonSylvia Plath Symposium 2012, celebrating 50 years since the publication of her “Ariel” collection, Through Saturday, Today’s highlights:

  • IU University Club, President’s RoomJanet Bedia speaks about Ms. magazine’s contribution to Plath’s fame; 9:30-9:55am
  • IU University Club, President’s RoomPeter K. Steinberg speaks about Plath and the New Yorker; 10-10:25am
  • IU Art MuseumNoon Talk: Lynda K. Bundtzen on “From Hive to Honeypor: Artists Harvesting Plath’s Bounty“; 12:15-1pm
  • IU University Club, President’s RoomAmanda Golden speaks about Plath in Devon,modernism, and “Lady Lazarus“; 2-2:25pm
  • IU University Club, President’s RoomDavid Trinidad on biographical references in “October” poems; 2:30-3:20pm
  • IU University Club, President’s RoomTracy Brain on medicine and the medical world in the “October” poems; 3:30-4:20pm
  • IU CinemaPlath-oriented cinematic presentations: “Morning Song,” “Lady Lazarus,” The Bee Asana: Healing of Plath,” “Wish I Had a Sylvia Plath”; 8-10pm

ARTS FEST ◗ Foxfire Park, NashvilleFall Fine Arts Festival; 11am-6pm

LECTURE ◗ IU Ballantine Hall — “Power Transitions and Inter-Korean Dialogue in the Early 1970s,” Presented by Seongji Woo; Noon

MUSIC & LECTURE ◗ IU Morrison Hall, Hoagy Carmichael RoomTomás Lozano performance & lecture on Spanish traditional romance genre; Noon-1pm

LECTURE ◗ IU CinemaJames Naremore Lecture: Jacqueline Stewart; 4pm

BICYCLING ◗ Assemble at IU Sample Gates , Kirkwood & Indiana avenuesCritical Mass; 5:30pm

TEENS ◗ WonderLabTeen Night; 5:30pm

ART ◗ IU School of Fine ArtsOpen Studios, tours and exhibitions; 6-10pm

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoCraig Brenner; 6pm

MUSIC ◗ Malibu GrillBob Straight & Guest; 6-9pm

FILM ◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series: “All Together“; 7pm

POETRY ◗ City Hall AtriumReadings by Ann Haines, Doris Jean Lynch, Shanna Ritter, and Sue Swartz, Sponsored by Writers Guild of Bloomington & Indiana Arts Commission; 7-8:30pm

STORYTELLING ◗ Bryan Park (alternate rain location: Monroe County Public Library)Festival of Ghost Stories; 7-8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleBarbara McGuire; 7-9pm

HALLOWE’EN ◗ TC Steele State Historic Site — “Ghost Tours, Stories, and Owls… Oh, My!“; 7-9pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopSnowbird Vintage Pop Up Show; 7pm

SPORTS ◗ IU GymnasiumHoosier volleyball vs. Michigan State; 7pm

SPORTS ◗ IU Bill Armstrong StadiumHoosier women’s soccer vs. Ohio State; 7pm

HALLOWE’EN ◗ Haunted Hayride and StablesScary hayrides; 7-11pm

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

STAGE ◗ IU Wells-Metz Theatre — “Richard III“; 7:30pm

HALLOWE’EN ◗ IU AuditoriumDennis James Hosts Halloween; 7:30pm

FILM ◗ IU Woodburn Hall TheaterRyder Film Series: “All Together“; 8pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticMichael Winslow; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubJenn Cristy; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer Hall“Salón Latino,” Inaugural Latin American Music Center Chamber Series Concert, Erick Carballo, director; 8pm

FILM IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger AuditoriumUB Films: “The Campaign“; 8pm

FILM ◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series: “Side by Side“; 8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Rachael’s CafeRitmos Unidos; 9-11pm

MUSIC ◗ The Bluebird Main Squeeze; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceThe Vallures, The 220 Breakers; 10pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticMichael Winslow; 10:30pm

FILM IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger AuditoriumUB Films: “The Campaign“; 11pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “In a Glass Cage“; Midnight

MUSIC ◗ The BishopThe Cell Phones, Fly Painted Feathers; Midnight


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 from 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 CenterExhibits:

  • Doctors & Dentists: A Look into the Monroe County Medical Professions
  • What Is Your Quilting Story?
  • Garden Glamour: Floral Fashion Frenzy
  • Bloomington Then & Now
  • World War II Uniforms
  • Limestone Industry in Monroe County

The Ryder & The Electron Pencil. All Bloomington. All the time.

One thought on “The Pencil Today:

  1. ahhh get sick, get well…..Parking is a problem my little glass company has fought with a great deal in kruzanian epoch. We have pretty much given up coming downtown to work near the square because you can only park ANYWHERE for 2 hours unless you go spend an hour getting a permit. I park in the alley or the middle of the street and put on the flashers.

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