Hot Air: Talk Is Cheap…

… Free, Even

Yesterday’s Big Talk featured IU Bicentennial archivist Kristin Leaman-Morris. A big gang of folks on campuses throughout Indiana has been preparing for the university’s 200th anniversary since 2008. Leaman-Morris joined the effort earlier this year and already is hard at work archiving — among many other bits, pieces, snippets, fragments and objets d’art — audio recordings of faculty, students, administrators, and support staff for a massive legacy oral history project. The “legacy” aspect means it’ll be an ongoing concern even after the bicent. festivities are finished. IU will turn 200 in the year 2020.


Kristin talks about some fascinating folk who’ve made up the IU community over the years, including the university’s first black and female zoology school student. Her case illustrates how times and attitudes have changed, even in this bastion of liberal education. Click here for the WFHB Daily Local News Big Talk feature and here for The Pencil’s Big Talk page, on which you’ll find a fairly full-length, almost unedited version of the original interview with Kristin.

Remember, Big Talk runs on the Daily Local News every Thursday at 5:45pm. Next week’s guest will be IU Eskanazi Art Museum director David Brennaman.

Hell’s About To Freeze Over

Oh, dear me: the boys and men I love, including Kyle Schwarber, Anthony Rizzo, Carl Edwards, Jr. and manager Joe Maddon all made appearances on Stephen Colbert’s Late Night gabfest yesterday.

Colbert donned sunglasses and phony mustache and goatee, slung a Vienna Beef hot dogs Sterno’d vendor’s box over his shoulders and actually peddled wienies at Wrigley Field earlier this week.

It’s funny stuff, although I was too busy mooning over my guys to be guffawing much, mang.


Okay, so Edison was a great inventor, sure, but did he invent chocolate? No?


Greater Than The Light Bulb

Then get in line behind the person or persons who did, Thomas Alva.

Black Like Them

That photo of people traipsing around Lotusfest in blackface last weekend is still making the rounds. The photog who snapped the shot is trying to distance her/himself from it these days even though s/he posted in on her/his social media page earlier in the week.

I spoke with the pic snapper yesterday and learned that some commenters raised a stink about the photo, saying s/he (the photographer) had no way of knowing if the designer-handbag-carrying, possibly-overserved group was making some inappropriate racial statement. The photog told me that s/he asked one of the women what was going on. The woman replied, “Don’t I look black as fuck?”

Steve Volan is carrying the torch for the snap now that it’s been erased from the photographer’s social media page.


Black As Fuck

My take? Even if the black-facers were as innocent as lambs and had absolutely no intention of insulting dark-skinned people, they should be sensitive enough to know, in this day and age, that blackface is a slap in the face.

Look, I’m as close to a 1st Amendment absolutist as you’ll find in a day’s walk but when you go around in blackface, you’d better expect the resultant rhetorical ass-kicking you most certainly deserve.

Black Boys/White Boys

From the original Broadway cast recording of “Hair.” This was the first album I ever bought with my own money, back when I was 14 years old. Somehow the figure $1.25 sticks in my mind, that being — IIRC — the SRP for vinyl LPs in those paleo-days of 1970.

One of the white female cast members singing the paean to “chocolate-flavored love” was none other than Diane Keaton. She first gained fame as the only woman not to remove her clothing during the song that closed Act I, wherein the cast appeared nude. Stripping down nekkid was optional for cast members although the producers provided a $50 bonus for those who would. Keaton opted not to and became known as “the chick who wouldn’t take her clothes off.” She parlayed that notoriety into a successful audition for one of the female leads in Woody Allen’s Broadway play and, later, film, Play It Again, Sam.

One thought on “Hot Air: Talk Is Cheap…

  1. lindaoblack says:

    I remember albums costing around $8 back in 1970. I could be wrong.

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