The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Don’t know if it’s good or bad that a Google search on ‘Big Bang Theory’ lists the sitcom before the origin of the Universe.” — Neil de Grasse Tyson

TAKE A DEEP BREATH

Have you seen the site White People Mourning Romney yet?

An Image From White People Mourning Romney

The Loved One sent me the link last night and, to say the least, it takes my breath away. Couple that with conservative guru Richard Viguerie saying Mitt Romney lost because he didn’t hammer it home that Barack Obama is a “radical” who is out to destroy our holy land and you get the gist of the angst Tuesday’s election caused much of the nation.

I wrote on Facebook the other day, “Personal to Republicans like Karl Rove & Glenn Beck and everybody who thinks the nation is gonna collapse now that Obama’s been reelected: Get hold of yourselves, people!”

It does seem on first blush that many Republicans and Me Party-ists and Libertarians have become opera singers and drama queens about an event that occurs every four years.

While driving The Loved One to work this morning, I said something on the order of, These people are lunatics. She had a flash of equanimity, though, and pointed out that we’d be singing a very similar tune, only with different lyrics, had Romney won.

She’s right.

Then again, I thought of George W. Bush “winning” the 2000 election. I could have consoled myself by saying, “Well, it’s only four years, we’ll get ‘im next time.” The problem was Bush bollixed the Afghan War and then tricked the nation into the Iraq War. Whatever my worst fears were about Bush at the time of his “victory,” those misdeeds far exceeded them.

I don’t expect Obama to manufacture evidence to whip up war hysteria. The thing that petrifies the Right is his willingness to spend dough on social services.

Even if he bollixes that agenda big time — say he creates some useless, bloated federal authority overseeing the health care system — it still won’t come close to comparing with a couple of wars that have thus far cost hundreds of thousands of civilian and military lives.

So, on third thought, yeah, the people wailing and gnashing their teeth and predicting apocalypse — literally — over another four years of Obama are pretty much lunatics.

BILLIONS AND BILLIONS

Today is Carl Sagan‘s birthday.

Sagan was one of the coolest guys of the late 20th Century.

Carl Sagan And Johnny Carson

He popularized science to such a degree that he was a regular guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

By the way, Sagan’s signature line, “billions and billions”? He never said it. He revealed that tidbit in his book entitled — what else? — “Billions and Billions.”

Sagan’s early passing was a great loss, especially in this era of anti-intellectualism and distrust of science. On the other hand, we’re not totally adrift — the big boss at the Hayden Planetarium, Neil de Grasse Tyson, is a worthy successor. He only needs a signature line — that he never said.

FIRE

Now the news comes that a half dozen Tibetans have set themselves on fire in recent days to dramatize their unhappiness with the Chinese, whose Communist Party has been convening in Beijing.

That makes a total of some 60 Tibetans who’ve lit themselves ablaze in the last two years.

Buddhist Nun Palden Choetso Immolates Herself Earlier This Year

Make no mistake, The Chinese are a bunch of bullies when it comes to Tibet. For that matter, they’re bullies in just about every issue, foreign and domestic, they address.

Is it my Western mindset that causes me to think it’d make more tactical sense to, I don’t know, set fire to the enemy rather than yourself?

Is suicide ever called for in a political dispute?

2000 LIGHT YEARS FROM HOME

Psychedelia, baby!

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Friday, November 9th, 2012

LECTURE ◗ IU Maurer School of Law — “The Transnistria Conflict: Not Frozen,” Presented by Matt Rojansky, deputy director of the Russia and Eurasia program at the Carnegie Endowment; Noon

LECTURE ◗ IU Ballantine Hall — “Latin America and China: Primary Goods, Populism, and Political leverage,” Presented by Andrae Marak of Governors State University; 12:30pm

LECTURE ◗ IU SoFA — “Artists’ Books: When the Goblet Becomes the Wine,” Presnted by Bill and Vicky Stewart of Vamp & Tramp Booksellers; 4:30pm

ARTS & CRAFTS ◗ University Baptist ChurchBloomington Glass Guild Holiday Show; 5-9pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallDoctoral Recital: Joo Pak on piano; 5pm

ARTS & CRAFTS ◗ First United Church of Bloomington27th Annual Fiber Art Show & Sale; 5-9pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts Center Recital HallDoctoral Recital: Mathew Cataldi on piano; 5pm

ARTS & CRAFTS ◗ St. Mark’s United Methodist Church15th Annual Bloomington Local Clay Holiday Show & Sale; 5-9pm

ART ◗ The Venue Fine Art & GiftsOpening reception for the exhibit: Brian Gordy Watercolor Realism; 6pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Truly Filmic Underground Shorts,” Experimental film; 6:30pm

FILM ◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series: “Two Angry Moms“; 6:45pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts Center Recital HallStudent Recital: Christopher Arkin on trumpet; 7pm

BOOKS ◗ Boxcar BooksPoet Eugene Gloria reads from his book, “My Favorite Warlord“; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallSenior Recital: Felicia Wisniewski on harp; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleWhipstitch Sallies; 7-9pm

FILM ◗ IU Woodburn Hall TheaterRyder Film Series: “17 Girls“; 7:15pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts Center, CourtyardPre-Concert Carillon Recital; 7:15pm

STAGE ◗ IU Halls TheatreDrama, “Spring Awakening“; 7:30pm

STAGE ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Center, in the Rose FirebayDrama, “The Rimers of Eldritch,” Presented by Ivy Tech Student Productions; 7:30pm

STAGE ◗ Bloomington High School NorthComedy/drama, “Ondine“; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Rachael’s CafeFractures (ohio), Give & Take, My Sweet Fall, Another Untold Story; 7:30-10pm

STAGE ◗ IU Ivy Tech Waldron Center, Auditorium Comedy, “Alfred Hitchcock’s 39 Steps“; 7:30pm

OPERA ◗ IU Musical Arts Center — “Cendrillon (Cinderella),” Presented by IU Opera Theater; 8pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticGreg Hahn; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubGreg Foresman; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallGuitar Class Solo Recital: Students of Ernesto Bitetti; 8pm

SPORTS ◗ IU Assembly HallHoosier men’s basketball vs. Bryant University; 8pm

BENEFIT ◗ Rhino’s All Ages Music ClubLive music, silent auction, and various events, For the Thunderbirds Junior Roller Derby team; 8pm

FILM ◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series: “Keep the Lights On“; 8:15pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopYellow Ostrich, Strand of Oak; 8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallSenior Recital: Lauren Raby on flute; 8:30pm

FILM ◗ IU Woodburn Hall TheaterRyder Film Series: “All Together“; 8:45pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdHairbangers Ball; 9pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Holy Motors“; 9:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceSacred Priest; 9:30pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticGreg Hahn; 10:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceTuff Tones; 11pm

ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “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 through December 1st:

  • “Essentially Human,” By William Fillmore
  • “Two Sides to Every Story,” By Barry Barnes
  • “Horizons in Pencil and Wax,” By Carol Myers

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits through November 16th:

  • Buzz Spector: Off the Shelf
  • Small Is Big

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits through December 20th:

  • A Place Aside: Artists and Their Partners
  • Gender Expressions

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 LibraryExhibits:

  • The War of 1812 in the Collections of the Lilly Library“; through December 15th
  • A World of Puzzles,” selections from the Slocum Puzzle Collection

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. dave paglis the lake county republican (the line is shorter) says:

    Mike: first, congrats on your guy winning the election. However I have a protest about todays article. I think Afghanistan can be fairly called Pres. Obama’s war now. Didn’t he order a Bush like surge that dramatically increased our troop and dollar presence there? And, it has been 4 years since he has been Commander in Chief.
    Personal note: I’m past 100 pages of Age of Reagan and I will keep going. Willentz is starting to point out the chinks in my guy’s armor but overall it seems a fair assesment.

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