Hot Air

Learning Luxury

Bloomington’s not the only college town whose character is being radically transformed thanks to an influx of privileged snowflakes whose parents spend big dough setting them up in plush apts. Our own downtown, in the immediate environs of the erstwhile quaint Courthouse Square, has become a set of parallel mini-valleys of soulless condo blocks. The atmosphere around the Square, it follows, has changed profoundly. High end sports bars, chichi restaurants, and urban outfitters now do trade in storefronts that once housed, well, shops.

To understand what downtown Bloomington has become, consider this: You can’t buy a pen or a notebook, a package of batteries, or a small bottle of Advil anywhere within a radius of three quarters of a mile around the Fish on the Dome.

You’ll find, though, a choice of two stores from which to purchase that bush hat you’ve been dying to wear on your next expedition to deepest, darkest Africa.

NPR’s Morning Edition today ran a story on a similar transformation in the campus neighborhood surrounding Georgia Tech University in Atlanta. It, too, has seen an explosion of high-density, well-appointed apartment blocks erected for the children of wealth for whom dorm living or renting out a cramped house would be akin to having their fingernails pulled out by enemy prison guards. Announcer David Green said, “Over the past decade, investors have been cashing in on this growing market.”

Just like Bloomington.

Smallwood

Smallwood On North College Avenue (Jeremy Hogan/Herald Times photo)

One construction contractor told an NPR reporter he’s building “luxury apartment living catered towards [sic] college students” — a 25-story highrise featuring amenities like a rooftop deck with fireplace, a fountain, a glass handrail and a view of the Atlanta skyline, as well as stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, and laundry facilities within each unit, and a private bath in each bedroom.

Luxury indeed. Nothing can goose a GPA like truncating that interminable walk from bed to bowl at two in the morning.

Anyway, throw an ear at the report and take solace at least in the fact that we are not alone.

My Aim Is True

Speaking of the changing nature of our cherished downtown, City Council member Susan Sandberg was pounding the pavement drumming up voters for the county Democratic Party Saturday at the 4th Street Festival for the Arts & Crafts when two college boys approached her. One of them said, “Can I ask you a question?”

At this point, S-Squared was almost giddy. Huzzah, she thought, perhaps the youth of this holy land isn’t such a lost cause after all. Here are two lads hoping to learn about our sacred political processes.

Pledge of Allegiance

Um, No

Only she hadn’t noticed one of the two was videoing the encounter on his smart phone. Nor had she immediately sensed that the two were boozed up. The first college boy proceeded to inquire whether Sus. Sand. might contemplate performing certain acts of a carnal nature.

The normally eloquent S-berg was left speechless. The boys giggled and pranced merrily away.

I advised the tall blonde legislator that young men like those two possessed testicles just so she could take aim at said gonads with the toe of her combat boot. Miss S. replied she is loath to take such physical steps.

I can only wonder what’s wrong with the Democrats nowadays when we can’t even depend on our party officials to kick deserving louts in the balls?

Or Is Sandberg’s Aim Truer?

Rob Crilly writes today in Al Jazeera America that for the US to respond militarily or otherwise violently to ISIS’s latest video beheading is precisely what those ghouls want. Crilly writes that ISIS:

… [S]eeks to provoke more powerful enemies into rash actions as their publics demand that justice be done for the wanton act of violence against an innocent, and that the perpetrators be prevented from repeating the act. Thus the wave of pressure on Obama to come up with an Islamic State strategy on the fly, the complexities and challenges of combating the group in Syria and Iraq not withstanding.

So that masked man with the decap. blade is trying to play us, acc’d’g to Crilly. He goes on to say that when ISIS demands the US stop fighting them in Iraq and Syria or else there’ll be more beheadings, the al Qaeda splinter group is lying. Crilly writes:

… [I]s that [what ISIS] really wants? Does it want the US and its allies to back off, or is the group’s real goal to provoke sufficient outrage to provoke Western powers to launch another war in a Muslim land, helping to sustain its warped vision of jihad?

My own initial reaction to the beheadings is that we should dash back over to Iraq and kick the living crap out of ISIS, the way we should have finished off the Taliban in Afghanistan more than a decade ago. Only ISIS couldn’t ask for a better PR and recruitment tool than another US incursion into their backyard.

Screencap from ISIS video

An ISIS Captor And His Prisoner

Then again, maybe Susan Sandberg is right. Maybe a swift kick to the balls really doesn’t solve the problem.

All Schwarber, All The Time

Indiana University alum Kyle Schwarber, fast tracking his way to the major leagues in the Chicago Cubs organization, led his Daytona Cubs teammates to a 9-1 victory in their playoff opener last night.

Schwarber clubbed an opposite field grand slam home run during Daytona’s decisive five-run fourth inning. Daytona holds a one to nothing lead in its series against the Dunedin Blue Jays.

Schwarber

Schwarber Earlier This Year With The Kane County Cougars

So far as a pay for play athlete, the kid whose Hoosier teammates called The Hulk has done nothing but impress.

2 thoughts on “Hot Air

  1. Susan Sandberg says:

    Hey, Big Mike, if you or any of my fellow Pencillista’s ever see my hapless, speechless face being featured in a tasteless Facebook posting with drunken college boys (i.e. the one you’ve carefully described) be sure to let me know. I have my ways of seeking justice, and while it is not my typical m.o. to go for the gonads, I do have friends in high places! 😉 Don’t mess with me, fellas!

  2. Don Moore says:

    I think the items for purchase you mention, Mike, can be found at Black’s Emporium. At last they were, prior to the last wave of student downtown residents.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: