Category Archives: American Family Association

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Turn on to politics or politics will turn on you.” — Ralph Nader

JENNA WANTS MITT TO LICK BARACK

Retired porn star Jenna Jameson has endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Don’t you love it?

“When you’re rich,” Jenna reasons, “you want a Republican in office.”

Family Values

To balance things out, the incomparable Ron Jeremy is behind the President. Poor Barack.

WHOSE SIDE ARE THEY ON?

If this doesn’t scare the bejesus out of you I don’t know what will.

In a piece on the radical right in America, al Jazeera claims that Republicans quashed a 2009 Department of Homeland Security report suggesting hate groups began to proliferate in the United States after the election of Barack Obama.

Not that the groups weren’t proliferating before that, mind you. Only that their rate of proliferation was bumped up dramatically by the presence of a brown man in the White House.

I’d say the GOP has some ‘splainin’ to do.

HATE IS ENOUGH

We still don’t understand the meaning of hatred in this country. ABC News ran this online headline yesterday:

Still No Motive?

Does the swastika have different meanings for different people even at this late date?

THE NEW MACHINE

Many years ago, even the most polarizing figures in this holy land were permitted to have nuanced and even seemingly self-contradictory viewpoints. They didn’t run in fear from the Thought Crime authorities within their political parties or the punditocracy.

For instance, one of the heroes of the hard-hat, blue-collar, bungalow-belt Silent Majority was Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago. He ran a highly disciplined political machine. He tolerated little in the way of dissent. He was a tough guy.

The Boss

He’d called for his police to shoot to kill arsonists and shoot to maim looters during race riots. He turned his police force loose on demonstrators during the 1968 Democratic Convention. By the early 1970s he ranked just below George Wallace, Spiro Agnew, and Jack Webb in the law and order pantheon.

Yet he was a staunch opponent of the Vietnam War and, even more surprisingly, guns. According to Rick Perlstein in “Nixonland,” Daley was in Washington, DC testifying before a congressional committee in the summer of 1972. “Take the guns away from every private citizen,” he said.

Can you imagine any darling of the right even suggesting private citizens should be limited to possessing several dozen assault rifles these days?

A NEW UNDERGROUND RAILROAD?

Author and journalist Achy Obejas (say it, AH-chee oh-BAY-hahss) spent a few years at Indiana University before she dropped out and went to work covering politics, GLBTQ issues, night life, and a host of other beats.

Obejas

Achy points out the latest lunatic pronouncement from a member of the holier-than-thou gang. It seems Bryan Fischer, one of the paid squealers for the American Family Association, has called for good, god-fearing citizens to save children being raised by same-sex couples.

Well, perhaps the word save isn’t quite right here. How about kidnap?

Achy’s got a horse in this race. Her wife, Megan, gave birth to a son last year. Achy swears she’s never been happier.

IN YEARS AHEAD, HE WOULD NOT BE TED

Here a sample of some graphic ad work a then-unknown artist named Theodore Geisel did back in the 1930s and 40s:

Recognize the style? Geisel later became Dr, Seuss.

See more at “25 Advertisements by Dr. Seuss Before He Was Dr. Seuss” on BuzzFeed.

Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.

I Love ChartsLife as seen through charts.

XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

“What If?” From XKCD

SkepchickWomen scientists look at the world and the universe.

IndexedAll the answers in graph form, on index cards.

I Fucking Love ScienceA Facebook community of science geeks.

Present and CorrectFun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.

Flip Flop Fly BallBaseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.

Mental FlossFacts.

Caps Off PleaseComics & fun.

SodaplayCreate your own models or play with other people’s models.

Eat Sleep DrawAn endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.

Big ThinkTapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Bear’s PlaceJazz Fables: Mr. Taylor and His Dirty Dixie Band; 5:30pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Americana Showcase; 6-8:30pm

Monroe County Public LibraryMonthly meeting, Bloomington Transportation Options for People; 6:30pm

◗ IU CinemaFilm: “To Rome with Love”; 7pm

Cafe DjangoJeff Isaac Trio; 8-10pm

The Comedy AtticTim Wilson; 8pm

Serendipity Martini BarTeam trivia; 8:30pm

Max’s PlaceWake the Dead; 9pm

The BluebirdApollo Quad; 9pm

The BishopHome Blitz, Bloody Mess, The Tsunamis; 9:30pm

Ongoing:

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; through September 1st

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • Qiao Xiaoguang, “Urban Landscape: A Selection of Papercuts” ; through August 12th
  • “A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th
  • Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th
  • Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th
  • “Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th
  • David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st
  • Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012
  • Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st
  • “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st

◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits:

  • Coming — Media Life; August 24th through September 15th
  • Coming — Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture; August 24th through September 15th

◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery“Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st

◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st

◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesClosed for semester break, reopens Tuesday, August 21st

Monroe County History CenterPhoto exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“There is no salvation in becoming adapted to a world which is crazy.” — Henry Miller

GOD, THE BULLY

Now I ask you, are the hardcore Christian fundamentalists of this holy land just angling to become a satire of themselves?

I mean, honestly, if a funny person were to write a skit lampooning them, wouldn’t she, say, have them battling anti-bullying laws because, hell, it’s mostly homosexuals who are being bullied so who cares?

Wouldn’t that make a comedy audience roar with laughter? They’d say, How hilarious! How could that ever happen?

“Hah! That’d Never Happen In Real Life!”

But that’s precisely what is happening in America today.

In two weeks, on Friday, April 20th, high school students across the country will participate in the Day of Silence, during which they’ll remain mum from morning until night to protest bullying. And, of course, the prime targets for bullies in elementary, middle, and high schools are gays or kids who exhibit even the slightest hint that they may be too effeminate (in the case of boys) or tomboyish (girls).

Day Of Silence

Now, what kind of lunatic would find a problem with an anti-bullying campaign?

Answer: the lunatics who populate the USA’s god parties.

Groups such as Mission America, the Illinois Family Institute, the American Family Association, Citizens for Community Values, Faith 2 Action, the Liberty Counsel, Save California, and others have responded with their own anti-anti-bullying action to take place on the Day of Silence.

The god-ists are calling their action the Day of Dialogue.

And that’s weird because if there’s one thing the theocrats seem most allergic to, it’s dialogue.

“Go Ahead And Kick The Crap Out Of ‘Em — They’re Gay.”

Yup, the fundamentalist Christians are falling back on their old woe-is-us canard, you know, the one where the whole world is trying steal away their rights to worship god as they please and discriminate against anybody they think god hates?

They’re saying the Day of Silence not only is fascist, natch, but it promotes the gay, lesbian, and transgender lifestyle.

Perhaps I’m giving people too much credit, but I would think nobody is so deranged that they’d believe there’s really a group of people trying to push teenaged kids into getting their genitals surgically altered.

“Please Don’t Let Them Make Us Cut Off Our Penises.”

Oh, alright, I am giving people too much credit.

I suppose the only question I have for these pious folk is where in your Bible does god say, Be an asshole in my name?

I SMELL A RAT

I just happened to be going through the Modern Library‘s lists of the 100 best fiction and nonfiction books. The ML puts out two lists for each category, one chosen by the organization’s board, the other open to the public.

The board has chosen James Joyce’s “Ullyses” as the greatest English language novel. That’s cool, even though I don’t have the spare 150 years to be able to read and decode Joyce’s inscrutable stylings. The board also tabs “The Education of Henry Adams” by Henry Adams as the finest nonfiction book. Again, cool, even though I haven’t read it nor do I plan to.

James Joyce

After all, I have to get through cracked.com every day; I am a man of letters, you know.

Anyway, these are tomes that have been celebrated by the best and the brightest for decades and, while I don’t necessarily genuflect before “experts,” I’ll defer to them in this case.

Funny thing is, the public’s lists vary wildly from the board’s. In fact, the public’s greatest nonfiction book does not even appear on the board’s entire list of 100. And four of the public’s top ten fiction books were penned by an author the board saw fit not to name anywhere on its list.

These idiosyncratic choices all are the fruits of one author’s feverish mind. The public has called Ayn Rand’s “The Virtue of Selfishness” the greatest work of nonfiction in the English language. On top of that, two books about Rand and her post-traumatic stress disorder nightmare philosophy also made the public’s top ten.

“Welcome To My Nightmare.”

Not bizarre enough for you? Four of Rand’s endless novels make the public’s top ten greatest fiction works. Four!

Rand famously riposted to an editor, who’d advised her to apply an eraser to huge swaths of her rambling prose, that no one edited the Bible.

The Bible, as in the word of god.

As Woody Allen once said, you have to pattern yourself after somebody.

Methinks Rand’s acolytes stuffed the ballot box, no?

CRAZY

“Crazy” was penned by a then-struggling young songwriter named Willie Nelson in 1961. According to legend, he pitched it to Patsy Cline‘s husband, Charlie Dick, at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville one night over drinks.

When Dick brought the song to his wife, she hated it because it was uptempo and its lyrics were spoken. Her producer re-worked it into a languorous ballad and the rest is history.

By the way, Loretta Lynn swears she remembers hearing Cline perform the song for the first time at the Grand Ole Opry while on crutches; Cline at the time was recovering from an auto accident that had nearly killed her.

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