The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person.” — Tennessee Williams

CAN A POLITICIAN EVER BE GOOD?

Newshound Joy Shayne Laughter stopped by the Book Corner for a visit before going into the WFHB studios to interview a nationally-known digital doyenne yesterday afternoon.

We got around to talking about Facebook and we both agreed that sometimes we have to take a time out from it because, well, it has this weird capacity to turn even the sweetest soul into a jerk. And the two of us are nothing if not sweet souls.

I’ve been tempted a hundred times to write on someone’s wall, “Jesus Christ, what kind of stupid moron are you?!” Much to my surprise, the seemingly grounded and mature Joy admitted that she, too, finds herself on the brink of lashing out in like fashion at people on FB.

Facebook turns everybody into a bully to some degree or another. And god forbid any elected official should sneeze the wrong way — he’ll be strung up before he can reach for his handkerchief.

Case in point: Yesterday Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey praised the federal government and President Barack Obama for their quick response in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Before the president could say, Don’t mention it, this meme image appeared on Facebook:

So, in essense, the Facebook zeitgeist now holds that no one on Earth can ever have a change of heart. There are no epiphanies. Redemption is for the birds. No matter what tragedy befalls you, you must hold fast to every embarrassing, opportunistic, politically expedient statement you’ve ever uttered, otherwise, you’ll be the object of ridicule for millions.

Who knows, maybe Chris Christie in a couple of weeks will proclaim that Barack Obama is Benedict Arnold, Sacco & Vanzetti, and Timothy McVeigh all rolled into one. It could happen.

But in this moment of horror, isn’t it possible that Chris Christie has just learned something?

Can it be that from now on, thanks to this horrifying storm, he’s become a better man?

Or in this Facebook age are we all obliged to be assholes forever?

I’M SQUARE

Here’s a confession: I have no idea what the term “gangnam style” means.

In Lieu Of A Gangnam Style Pic: Marilyn Monroe And Her Pumpkins

Here’s another: I’m not going to try to find out either. Overall, I feel quite good about this decision.

G.I. DON’T LIKE JOE

Just heard a Joe Walsh ad on the radio last night. He’s running for US Congress against Tammy Duckworth in Illinois’ 8th District. He’s also the guy who declared during a candidates’ debate a week and a half ago that he’s against abortion even if the mother’s life is in danger.

That alone would lead a reasonable person to assume Walsh is a pretty sharp-edged character. As in this imaginary exchange:

Walsh: Sharp, But Not As A Tack

Doctor: “Joe, I’m sorry but your wife’s situation has taken a bad turn. She’s having what we call an ectopic pregnancy. The situation is dire. There’s a strong possibility that if we go ahead with this delivery, she won’t make it.”

Joe: “Doctor, that’s terrible. What can we do about it?”

Doctor: “Well, Joe, we live in Illinois, which allows us to terminate the pregnancy. As it stands right now, the odds are stacked mightily against your wife. What do you say, Joe?”

On second thought, I won’t presume to guess what Joe might say in such a tragic situation. But I do know what he said at the debate. He claimed there is no such thing as a pregnancy that can endanger the life of the mother, an assertion that medical science holds to be about as wrong as wrong can be.

Yes, Joe, This Can Kill A Woman

I’d like to think that just because Joe Walsh says bombastic things during political debates, it doesn’t mean he would act so bombastically in real life.

Joe Walsh likes to use words the way others use stilettos. He had to know his statement would cut many, many women to the bone.

The script for his radio ad was similarly filled with razor verbiage. That’s really nothing new. He has accused Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who lost both legs in combat, of not being a real hero because she mentions her disability on the campaign trail. In Joe Walsh’s world a soldier who gets her legs blown off should just shut up about it.

Walsh To Duckworth: Quit Bitching

Do you get the feeling Joe Walsh doesn’t care much for women?

Anyway, Walsh’s ad hammers home the point that Duckworth served for a time in disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich‘s cabinet. Blagojevich, you’ll recall, is not only the latest governor emeritus of the Land of Lincoln to occupy a suite in the penitentiary, but is perhaps the most brazen and venal of that gang.

Toward the end of Blagojevich’s term as reprobate-in chief, he named Duckworth the state’s Director of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Duckworth jokingly remarked that Blagojevich gave her the job so she could do favors for her friends. Those friends, of course, were military veterans and, well, the director’s job by definition is to do favors for them.

Everybody had a good laugh over that one.

But now Joe Walsh uses that audio clip in his advertisements, hoping to make Duckworth sound like a cheap political hustler in the Blagojevich mold. Look what Rod Blagojevich and Tammy Duckworth did to the state of Illinois, the ad bleats. Now she wants to do the same thing to the country in Washington.

A Shady Connection?

The idea being she’ll try to sell political appointments and squeeze campaign contributions out of big shots in exchange for favorable legislation, just the way her former boss did.

Problem is, Duckworth’s reputation is sterling. She wasn’t implicated in the Blagojevich todo — in fact, few outside of the former Governor’s immediate conspiracy circle were.

That doesn’t matter to Joe Walsh.

By the way, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce just endorsed Walsh. Oh, and Duckworth worked for a couple of years in Barack Obama’s federal Department of Veteran’s Affairs. So Joe works for obsessive profiteers and Tammy worked for a former community organizer.

Makes me think of a line I read recently: “I’ll take the character of a community organizer over that of a venture capitalist any day.”

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.


Thursday, November 1st, 2012

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

LECTURE ◗ IU Maurer School of Law — “Narratives of Infanticide: Mothers, Murder, and the State in Nineteenth-Century America,” Presented by Felicity Turner; 4pm

CLASS ◗ Lake Monroe, Paynetown SRA Activity CenterNew Rules for Deer Season: Are You Ready for Opening Day?; 6:30pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “The Connection“; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallEarly Music Institute Chamber Music Concert; 7pm

HISTORY ◗ Monroe County History CenterLetters from the Front, Written by James F. Lee to members of His family in Monroe County: Bringing the Civil War Up Close and Personal, Presented by Steve Rolfe of Monroe County Civil War Round Table; 7pm

SPORTS ◗ IU Assembly HallHoosier men’s basketball vs. Indiana Wesleyan; 7pm

SPORTS ◗ IU GymnasiumHoosier wrestling vs. Manchester; 7pm

FEST ◗ IU Latino Cultural CenterDia de los Muertos; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubMonika Herzig Trio; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU AuditoriumStraight No Chaser; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallTrombone Choir, Carl Lenthe, director; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallClarinet Choir, Howard Klug, director; 8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdG Love & Special Sauce; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceNew Old Cavalry; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopPaul Collins, Purple 7, The Sands; 9:30pm

ONGOING:

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.

2 thoughts on “The Pencil Today:

  1. Candy says:

    No abortion for a woman even if the her life is in danger = Voluntary Manslaughter – PERIOD

  2. John Bergman says:

    Chris Christy has to run for reelection in 2014 and he doesn’t need a badly handled crisis in his record. And they say his support for Romney is lukewarm, because he wants to run for Prez in 2016. Change of heart? Mmmm….

    I wonder how many daughters of “religious” Republicans have had one of those “just awfully sad miscarriages, we never saw it coming, but God works his will” events during the first trimester. Just sayin.’

    And Gangnam Style is hilarious in that it’s a spoof of the rich wanna-bes who hang out in the ritzy Gangnam neighborhood in Seoul, and an indictment (at least to Korean eyes) of the rampant consumerism that’s gripped the country. The guy is naturally funny. Watch it — you won’t even lose a smidgen of your soul.

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