Category Archives: al-Qur’an

The Pencil Today:


“We’re doomed.” — Rush Limbaugh


Ooh, we’re excited here at Bloomington’s favorite communications colossus!

First we’ve been authorized by the federal government to continue operation after President Barack Obama’s order to shut down any and all TV and radio stations, newspapers, magazines, and interwebs sites that are deemed dangerous to the newly renamed United States of the World.

Huzzah! The Electron Pencil has been named a Communications Organ of the People!

We’ve always striven to be an organ of one sort or another.

Second, the Federal Emergency Management Administration wants us to pass along some vitally important directives to The People. FEMA’s notification is reproduced, in part, below:

Here is the gist of FEMA’s order:

♠ All guns being held by private citizens must be turned in no later than midnight, Saturday, November 10th, 2012 (that’s today, so hurry!)

♠ The new Tithing for the Poor program mandates that all working Americans must hand over 10 percent of their weekly income to the welfare queen or pimp of their choice

♠ Any and all registered Republicans must sign a loyalty oath to the New Order — it begins, “I pledge allegiance to the Social Bureaucracy of the United States of the World…”

♠ Tea Party members will be required to report to FEMA’s Attitude Readjustment camps by Wednesday, November 21st, 2012 — they will not be allowed to participate in Thanksgiving festivities as that racist, imperialist celebration has now been outlawed

♠ Grandmas of the USW will be required to report to their local Death Panels as soon as possible

♠ All public buildings must now prominently display the al Qur’an

♠ A United Nations representative will be visiting your home within the next few weeks — you are to cooperate fully with him or her

♠ All American women of child-bearing age must undergo an abortion procedure by the end of the year — those who are not pregnant at this time must become pregnant by December 1st, 2012 — those women who have difficulty finding a mate can apply for assistance from the USW Social Stud Service, staffed exclusively by men of African extraction

♠ American business owners must close their businesses by the end of the year

♠ All white males in excess of 50 percent of the population must leave the country — preference for those who are allowed to remain will be shown for weak, near-sighted, flat-footed males who exhibit a proclivity to enjoy showering with other males

♠ All Americans must engage in a minimum of one (1) homosexual act each year

We at The Electron Pencil are proud to do our share in the remaking of America. And we pledge allegiance to our Dear Leader!

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

FOOD ◗ City Hall, The Showers BuildingFarmers Market; 8am-1pm

ARTS & CRAFTS ◗ University Baptist ChurchBloomington Glass Guild Holiday Show; 10am-5pm

ART ◗ TC Steele State Historic Site, NashvilleMember Art Show; 10am-5pm

WORKSHOP ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World Cultures — Native American Beading; 10am-4pm

ARTS & CRAFTS ◗ First United Church of Bloomington27th Annual Fiber Art Show & Sale; 10am-5pm

FAIR ◗ Holiday InnBloomington’s Spirit Fair, Consult with psychics & tarot readers, Shop for New Age objects, Booths for numerology, astrology, reiki, crystal healing, and palmistry; Through Sunday, 10am-pm

ARTS & CRAFTS ◗ Bloomington Convention CenterBloomington Handmade Market Holiday Sale, Featuring 48 regional artists & craftspeople; 10am-5pm

BOOKS ◗ Howard’s BookstoreAuthor Terry Pinaud signs his book, “Chaos“; 11am-3pm

SPORTS ◗ IU Memorial StadiumHoosier football vs. Wisconsin; Noon

DEDICATION ◗ Monroe County Courthouse Square, East Side, The Redmen BuildingCeremony for the installation of the Susan B. Anthony historical marker plaque; 1pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallBassoon Studio Recital: Students of Bill Ludwig & Kathleen McLean; 1pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts Center Recital HallMaster’s Recital: Steven Marquardt on trumpet; 1pm

STAGE ◗ IU Halls TheatreDrama, “Spring Awakening“; 2pm

CELEBRATION ◗ Trained Eye Arts CenterThe Big One: Trained Eye Arts 1-year Anniversary, Featuring live music, games, performers, studio open house; 3pm-Midnight

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts Center Recital HallSenior Recital: Rico D. Hamilton, tenor; 3pm

STAGE ◗ IU Ivy Tech Waldron Center, Auditorium Comedy, “Alfred Hitchcock’s 39 Steps“; 3pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford Hall — Voice Studio Recital: Students of Teresa Kubiak; 3pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Beau Travail,” Filmmaker Claire Denis will be present; 3pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallArtist Diploma Recital: Eun Young Seo on piano; 4pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Sweeney HallMaster’s Recital: Matthew Peterson on jazz piano; 4pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallHarpsichord Studio Recital; 5pm

VETERANS DAY ◗ Bloomington High School South — “A Tribute to Elvis,” Live music, Proceeds go to Disabled Veterans Wish Foundation; 5:30-7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallViolin Studio Recital: Students of Kevork Mardirossian; 6pm

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

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleMartha Burton; 7-9pm

LECTURE ◗ IU CinemaJorgensen Guest Filmmaker Series: French filmmaker Claire Denis; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallSenior Recital: Jamie Kim on clarinet; 7pm

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

PERFORMANCE ◗ Buskirk Chumley Theater — “A Potpourri of Arts in the African American Tradition,” Featuring the African American Dance Company, the African American Chorale Ensemble, and the IU Soul Revue; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubRitmos Unidos; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallBaroque Orchestra, Stanley Ritchie, director; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ First Christian Church — “Masses & Madrigals: Ancient & Modern,” Performed by the Bloomington Chmaber Singers, Conducted by Gerald Sousa; 8pm

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

STAGE ◗ IU Ivy Tech Waldron Center, Auditorium Comedy, “Alfred Hitchcock’s 39 Steps“; 8pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticGreg Hahn; 8pm

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

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallPiano Studio Recital: Students of Jean-Louis Haguenauer; 8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts Center Recital HallSenior Recital: Jisoo Kim on piano; 8:30pm

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

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdRod Tuffcurls & the Benchpress; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlacePiney Woods; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopAndy D album release party with Ursa Major, Beverly Bounce House, DJ Eade; 9:30pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticGreg Hahn; 10:30pm


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.

The Pencil Today:


“Society can overlook murder, adultery, or swindling; it never forgives preaching of a new gospel.” — Edmund Burke


Imagine being a 12- or 13-year-old in the mid-1960s and your daddy-o is the biggest music impresario in town.

Imagine being able to say to your grade school chums that you see the guys from the Buckinghams or the American Breed or Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs or the Kingsmen all the time.

The Buckinghams

Oh yeah, you could crow, I brought them Cokes when they were waiting around to go onstage at my dad’s place.

That’s the life Patrice Madura Ward-Steinman lived until a summer Sunday morning in 1967.

Patrice’s pop owned Madura’s Danceland in Hammond, Indiana just outside Chicago.

I met Patrice and her husband David Ward-Steinman yesterday at the Book Corner. They’d dropped by to see how her book was doing. Authors like to do that: It’s as though they’re visiting their children at college. Nancy Hiller or Michael Koryta or Joy Shayne Laughter will stop in here to visit their books.

Patrice’s book is called “Madura’s Danceland,” natch. It’s part of Arcadia Publishing Company‘s Images of America series, each title of which covers a city or region’s local history. There’s a Bloomington and Indiana University title available, for instance. The books are heavy with photographs — Patrice said she had to come up with more than 150 pix for her book.

She dug through her family’s keepsakes and put the call out to old friends and fans of Danceland for photos she could use. The book covers the history of Madura’s from its opening in October, 1929 through the day it closed.

Patrice today is a professor at the Jacobs School of Music, specializing in choral music, jazz, and jazz history. She knows her stuff.

Her grandfather, Mike Madura, had managed a roller rink on the shores of Wolf Lake, which straddles the state border with Illinois. As time went by he began to present musical acts at the rink, which held about a thousand people. A few years later he bought a dance hall that was standing on the site of the old Boardwalk amusement park in Hammond. The Lever Brothers soap-making oufit had bought the park and was planning to build a factory on the site. So after purchasing it, Mike had it moved by a team of horses to a new location a few blocks away and scheduled a fall grand opening.

A list of the acts that played at Madura’s reads like a who’s who of American pop music for the four decades it was in business. There were the orchestras of Paul Whiteman, Fletcher Henderson, Jimmy Dorsey, Tex Beneke, Russ Morgan, Guy Lombardo, and too many others to recount here from the big band era. Conway Twitty, Bobby Vee, and Bobby Goldsboro played there in the ’60s.

The place once drew a crowd of some 7000 for a dance broadcast live on Chicago’s WIND radio. Couples glided over a “spring-cushioned” dance floor.

Mike’s kid, also named Mike but more commonly referred to as Mick, worked as a radio announcer in his early 20s. Mick, who was kidnapped by mobsters in 1934, eventually took over Danceland. Mick put his whole family to work in the place, including his youngest kid, Patrice.

The whole operation came to a halt when a bolt of lightning during a summer storm started a fire that destroyed Madura’s Danceland on July, 29, 1967.

Patrice has photos of that sad day, too. They’re all in the book.


We are a weird, weird species, no?

A few weeks ago, some knuckleheaded American soldiers burned copies of al-Qur’ān and tossed the identifiable remains in the garbage can outside Bagram air base near Kabul, Afghanistan.

I call them knuckleheaded because they should have known doing such a thing would turn Southwest Asia’s religious zealots even more goggle-eyed than they already are. As if on cue, Islamic protesters took to the streets to express their outrage over the incident.

Dozens of people were killed in the ensuing “protest.” The festivities even spilled over into neighboring Pakistan.

Flash forward to this week. An apparently lunatic US soldier snuffed out the lives of 16 townsfolk in a couple of villages in southern Afghanistan. The soldier’s killing spree also has ignited protests. And, again, many Pakistanis are getting into the act.

But here’s the weird, weird part: this week’s reaction has so far been remarkably muted compared to the al-Qur’ān burning bloodfest.

I suppose the message the protesters are sending is that they’re saddened and outraged by the killing of innocents.

But they’re mortified — hell, they’re driven mad — by the desecration of a book that, by the way, can be purchased at any bookstore or mosque in Afghanistan, Pakistan, or, for that matter, any country in the world. Hell, Barnes & Noble sells al-Qur’āns right here in good old Indiana. al-Qur’an is available for free on the internet.

With more than a billion adherents of Islam populating this funny world, it’s a safe bet that there are hundreds and hundreds of millions of copies of the text in circulation.

Those 16 men women and children that a so-far unidentified US Army sergeant is alleged to have murdered each were unique — except, of course, in the eyes of a man driven mad by war.

In the wild world of religious zealotry, though, a mass-produced, bound stack of papers is far more dear than 16 human beings. Hell, it may mean more than every living soul on Earth.


The Monotones wondered who wrote it back in 1957.

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