Hot Air: Millions & Millions

Being & Doing

Heads up this weekend for a couple of events, whose principals I’ve had on my Big Talk interview show:

  1. Betsy Stirratt‘s “(Re)Imagining Science” exhibit opens tonight with a reception from 6-8pm. Stirrat is the director of Indiana University’s Grunwald Gallery of Art and an artist in her own right. She has collaborated with Alex Straiker, a neuroscientist in the IU Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences where he fiddles with cow eye and brain cells to determine the effects of cannabinoids thereon. Straiker, too, fancies himself an artist; his microscopy images have been displayed in galleries around town for years. Stirratt & Straiker’s installation is one of 15 such pairings of research scientists and artists to create artworks illustrating the latest in science inquiry. Cool stuff.

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2. “Resilience: Indiana’s Untold Story” opens tonight at the John Waldron Arts Center. Written by Dr. Gladys DeVane and Liz Watford-Mitchell and directed by Danielle Bruce, “Resilience” tells the story of the black experience in the Hoosier State as seen through the eyes of two elderly dark-skinned women. DeVane is noted for creating this kind of character — a fictional person whose story encompasses historical truths. Sanctioned by the state’s Bicentennial Commission, the multi-media play runs tonight and tomorrow night with a matinee on Sunday. Get your tix at the Buskirk-Chumley Box Office or at the door (although I wouldn’t risk being shut out if you wait that long.)

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Talking The Talk

And speaking of Big Talk, here’s my interview with Betsy Stirratt on yesterday’s edition of the regular Thursday feature on WFHB’s Daily Local News. If the feature piques your interest, you might want to hear the entire half-hour chat I had with Stirratt here. As always, you can catch Big Talk live every Thursday on the 5:30pm news broadcast and WFHB’s podcast of same as well as my own Big Track posting of the mostly-unedited, pretty-much-complete initial interviews with my guests.

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Lyrical Lit

Y’oughta check out author and editorialist Anna North’s screed against the Bob Dylan Nobel Prize in Literature award, announced yesterday. I don’t agree with a word she says but that doesn’t stop me from recommending the read.

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Clintons’ Cash

University of Chicago historian and author of the indispensable Nixonland, Rick Perlstein, is no fan of Hillary Clinton. Not that he digs the Republican Candidate for President; he has a frontal lobe, after all, but HRC’s ties to the Goldman Sachs mob and other Wall Street hoods turn him off as does her somewhat itchy trigger finger when it comes to this holy land’s armed forces.

In any case, Perlstein’s overheard some dope about HRC’s heretofore private talks before bankster luncheons and other such conclaves. Loads’o Hillary bashers like to fantasize that she and the banksters plotted to take over the world, rather like James Bond movie villains, at these get-togethers.

Perlstein sez:

I just learned at second hand that one Wall Street insider has observed, “If the Clintons were crooked, they’d have a lot more money than they do. With the people they know? They’d make a killing in the market.”

There’s a certain amount of truth in this observation. When she and hubby Bill vacated the White House in Jan. 2001, the Clinton net worth, although nowhere near poverty-level, wasn’t that of the shrewd, corrupt, crooked operators both the wingnut Right and Left love to portray the couple as.

The Clintons’ recent accumulation of cash is almost solely dependent upon their speaking fees which, natch, are eye-popping. They haven’t, though, gamed or manipulated the financial system like some presidential candidates we know.

Play Dough

Just a reminder, IU bosses and coatholders all are panting over the grand re-opening of the Assembly Hall, home of the Hoosiers basketball team. There’ll be a big-assed ribbon-cutting ceremony this afternoon and tomorrow the papers’ll carry all sorts of pix of the gleaming, dizzying hi-tech features and new construction in the now-named Simon-Skjodt Assembly Hall.

See, Cindy Simon-Skjodt is the heiress daughter of the former owner of the Indiana Pacers among other trinkets, and is married to a big deal Indy investment banker. She’s worth bazillions and so pitched $40 mill of her treasure over to the IU athletic dept. so that the b-ball hall could be refurbished and named after her.

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Millions For Defense — And Offense

Now, considering I’m still relatively new to these parts (I got here in late 2009), the amount of cabbage spent on college sports still amazes me. Hell, the geographic footprints of the various athletic facilities here are the equivalent of several small towns.

And — I know, I know: I’m a pipe dreamer — but jeez, can’t the U. find any uber-wealthy donors to help pay decent wages to grad student teachers and lecturers, upon whom this noble institution has come to depend for the new academic form of indentured servitude?

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