Big news on the Big Talk front. My WFHB radio chat-fest debuts as a stand-alone program this afternoon at 5:30.
Big Talk’s history goes back to the winter of 2014 (my first guest was graphic novelist Nate Powell) and its now-defunct incarnation as a Thursday feature on the Daily Local News ran from July, 2016, through last month. It eventually hit me that I was tossing away a lot of great conversation in the process of editing my interviews down to eight minutes. So now — with many thanks to news directors Joe Crawford and Wes Martin and the WFHB News and Public Affairs Committee — we’ll be going with a weekly half-hour jaw party. Today’s guest will be the recently-named Indiana state poet laureate Adrian Matejka. He’s a hoot and you’ll get 28 minutes of his utterings, huzzah!
So tune in later today, and every Thursday at 5:30pm on 91.3 FM or online for the best talk in town.
My old Chicago Trolley Co. colleague, Chris Churchill, posts an interesting bit in the Literate Ape. A self-described “group blog,” the Literate Ape offers the rantings and ravings of a pack of writers, some of whom go by pseudonyms to preserve their anonymity. Churchill’s piece that ran earlier this week talks about the former-European culture that we like to refer to as “White America” these days.
It got me to thinking about the gradually but inexorably shrinking chunk of the American populace that went gaga over Li’l Duce last year. You know, the people who think Black Lives Matter means white lives mean nothing anymore, the canary-in-a-coalmine sensitive gang that can’t forget a single slight, no matter how trivial, while upbraiding blacks for still resenting slavery, Jim Crow, and restrictive covenants — as if those things were mere annoyances. We often refer to them as Europeans and their attitudes as Euro-centric.
Funny thing is, real Europeans for the last couple of millennia have hated the holy shit out of each other. The Germans, French, Poles, Russians, English, and all the littler Euro-nationalities have been fighting each other tooth and nail since long before books were printed by machines. Their shared animus reached its zenith in the mid-20th Century when their armies battled each other to the tune of more than 50 million deaths and the destruction of hundreds of cities and towns throughout the continent.
Strange that we should consider the progeny of these nations here in this holy land as a single entity.
They have one thing in common and that’s the paleness of their skin. Funny how that’s pretty much the only thing that could get them to want to stop killing each other, at least on these shores.
So, planning for the soon-to-be vacated Bloomington Hospital site has been suspended for at least a good year, since the city’s been in negotiations with the IU Health outfit to purchase the BH campus. Now the city has to come up with the $6.5 mill purchase price for the 24 acres. I imagine a bond’ll be floated sooner rather than later.
IU health has agreed to tear the old joint down and remediate the land underneath it for any environmental taintings it’s suffered over the years. Acc’d’g to IU Health, the real value of the campus ought to be about $16 million — of course, were I to want to sell you my four-year-old hot rod I’d tell you it’s worth 50 thou, so you can’t put much stock in that kind of talk. In any case, it seems as though the city has struck a decent deal although it’s a solid bet that IU Health got a boatload of considerations from Mayor John Hamilton in exchange for selling the tract at such a bargain basement price.
Back to the planning for the site, Vi Simpson, chair of the committee former Mayor Mark Kruzan named to study potential uses for the site back in 2015, says her gang hasn’t laid eyes on each other for an annum.
The better reporters around town ought to be digging for two things now: 1) What did Boss Hamilton have to promise IU Health for the corp. to sell so cheaply, and 2) When do Vi and co. begin meeting again, seriously, to formulate plans for the land.
BTW: Don’t be shocked if this deal hits a bump in the road over the next few weeks. Nothing’s been signed yet. The city and the hospital operator have only agreed on broad terms. The parties have set a mid-February date to make the deal official. Anything can happen before then.
I love that I occasionally hear you in the radio, and will soon be able to do so weekly!