Category Archives: bloomingOUT

Hot Air

The Party’s Over

So, the Republicans now are the big boys, running the halls of Congress like they own it. The Democrats, meanwhile, are crying, moaning, copping pleas, and generally behaving like high school sophomores who failed geometry because they didn’t study.

I have no use for either gang at this point in history.

The Republicans give me the jitters because their party has been hijacked by loons. The Dems upset my stomach because they’re all afraid of their own shadows. What choice does a bright, intelligent, caring, charming citizen such as I have?

Ick. Just Ick.

BTW: Those BMOC Republicans who think they own Congress? They don’t. The Koch Boys and several other nefarious, archcriminal, ungodly wealthy sociopaths do. Not that it matters to the Republicans in Q. The money’s gonna flow into their campaign coffers for the foreseeable future and, really, that’s all that matters. The Dems? Money’s still flowing into their war chests, too — just not as obscenely much as that emanating from the checkbooks of Chucky and Davey et al.

Koch Industries

The Nation’s Capital

For years I’ve been telling people we in the Dem party shouldn’t pin our hopes on peeps like Dennis Kucinich or Elizabeth Warren for possible White House runs. They’re too liberal, I’d say, pretending I’m some wise old political strategist. They need to be on the outside, shouting in, I’d pontificate. Mom and Pop Murrica won’t buy them. Apparently the Dem “brain” trust bought that argument as well, imposing upon us slate upon slate of milquetoasty, innocuous, borderline vacuous stuffed shirts. Oh no, they weren’t too liberal at all. They were, um, uh…, well, they were alive as far as the rest of us could tell. Barack Obama is alive. So is Hillary Clinton. Harry Reid. Alison Lundergan Grimes. Rahm Emanuel. Andrew Cuomo. John Kerry.

Ugh. I’m sick to death of all of them, every single middle-of-the-road, safe, non-threatening, “successful” Dem out there, and that’s a huge lot. (Admittedly, Obama’s brown skin and Hillary’s vagina threaten the bejesus out of tons o’folks in this holy land but no matter; those people are never going to vote Dem anyway.) The “safe” way has been so successful that the Dem party has pissed away control of the White House and both houses of Congress as late as 2010 to the point now where a certain revivified corpse pundit can ask, Is this the end of the Democratic era?

So, yeah, bring Elizabeth Warren on! And bring with her legislators like Judy Chu and Keith Ellison. Al Franken ought to get an invite. Donna Edwards, Sam Farr, Mike Honda, Jan Schakowsky, and Linda Sanchez too. Put out the call for Barbara Mikulski, Brian Schatz, Maria Cantwell, and Tammy Baldwin while you’re at it.

Warren

Bring Her On!

They’re all too liberal, acc’d’g to conventional wisdom — which makes them just liberal enough for me.

Hell, sticking like glue with true believers worked out fabulously well for the Conservatives, resulting in the beatification of one Ronald Wilson Reagan. Old Dutch never once apologized for his views. He was, at one time, long, long ago, considered a political joke. Saint Ronald now sits in heaven at the right hand of god.

Give me E. Warren for Prez in 2016.

Out Is Back

Drop what you’re doing and tune in tonight at 6pm. bloomingOUT! is back on the air.

South Central Indiana’s only LGBTQI-oriented radio talk show went silent for a few months after the retirements of producer Carol Fischer and her partner, host Helen Harrell, in August. Now, WFHB is airing the program again, starting immediately after the Daily Local News tonight.

“We have a big crew of volunteers from eclectic backgrounds coming together to produce bloomingOUT,” says WFHB New Dept. chief Alycin Bektesh. “We have a rotating cast of hosts, segment producers and engineers. Many IU students are involved as well as Indiana’s Marriage Equality Poster Boys Jeff Jewel and Jeff Polling.”

Jewel/Polling

Jeff Jewel & Jeff Polling Get Married (Photo: Chris Howell/Herald Times)

Hot Air

Union News

One very prominent Bloomington citizen who is a long-time union supporter told me this morning that yesterday’s rally outside the Bloomingfoods on 6th Street rang a little too us-vs.-them-ish. This person said B-foods Board Chair Tim Clougher was portrayed by one or more speakers as something on the order of a mouthpiece for corporate America, a charge my source says is ridiculous.

“It seemed,” my source says, “that it was too confrontational.”

Union Logo

Nevertheless, this source has advised B-foods general manager George Huntington that he should welcome the coming of a union. It would, my source says, simplify and streamline relations and negotiations with employees. He is, this person claims, taking the workplace complaints of pro-unionists personally.

Should 30 percent of B-foods employees sign organizing cards, a general election would be held in which the United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 700 would have to gain a simple majority of voters to represent employees of the co-op.

Seeking Hayden

The Chicago 7 — originally, 8 — was, in every sense of the word, a motley crew. The Mobe guys thought the Yippies were showboaters, the Yippies thought the Mobe guys were fussy old aunts, and Bobby Seale never really had much of anything to do with most of them.

This, then, was a group the feds and Mayor Richard J. Daley tried to pin an interstate conspiracy rap on. Naturally, the prosecutors lost.

Perhaps the most famous Chicago 7 (0r 8)-er turned out to be Tom Hayden, which, I suppose, would have crushed Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. For, in reality, Hoffman and Rubin were indeed showboaters, although Abbie managed to hold true to his radical ideas until he died in 1989. Rubin reinvented himself as a stockbroker and multi-level marketer before he died five years later.

Hayden, of course went on to marry Jane Fonda and become a long-time California state legislator. He’ll turn — believe it or not — 75 this year.

Hayden

Hayden: Then & Now

Anyway, Hayden must be sensing that the end is in sight because he has donated all his personal papers to the University of Michigan. He attended UM in the late 1950s and early ’60s. While there he wrote the Port Huron Statement — the charter document of the Students for a Democratic Society. Later, he became a Freedom Rider and then a tireless activist against the Vietnam War.

His papers include 22,000 pages of FBI files compiled during the Bureau’s 15-year spy-op on him.

Hayden told Al Jazeera America, “I can’t wait until after I’m dead,” regarding his pre-mortem donation of material to the University.

Hayden was the advance guard of a youth revolt back in 1962. Man, that’s more than half a century ago. The end is indeed in sight for many of us. That’s why, for my part, I’m savoring every day I can now.

Switch Hitters

People have been jumping out of the woodwork saying that raising welts all over a four-year-old’s body with a switch is no big deal at all. The line goes That’s the way my parents disciplined me and look at how wonderful I turned out to be.

Which is a towering pile of horseshit.

Peterson Child

Discipline?

The thrashing of pre-schooler with what is essentially a wooden whip has become an issue since the indictment of football star Adrian Peterson for bloodying and scarring the fruit of his loins a week ago today.

As if the rational among us needed an argument against such intellectual fuckery, sports commentator Jeb Lund wrote in Wednesdays’ Guardian that, no, those of us beaten bloody by our parents did not turn out okay.

He observes:

The pernicious, toxic and inescapable lifelong effect of being disciplined physically – either to the point of abuse, or to the point that the distinction between acceptable and unacceptable blurs in your mind – is that you almost have to say you turned out fine, just to redeem the fact of being who you are. That you “turned out fine” is the only way to make sense of having once felt total terror or uncontrollable shaking rage at the sight of one (or both) of the two people expected to care most for you in the world. The thought that you might have ended up relatively OK or perhaps even better without all that fear is almost unbearable: the suffering only doubles if you admit that it truly had no purpose.

Read the whole thing, please.

bloomingNOT

Early Thursday evenings without bloomingOUT seem empty these days.

Producer Carol Fischer and host Helen Harrell’s syndicated one-hour weekly gabfest aired for the last time on August 28th.

Fischer/Harrell

Fischer (L) & Harrell

They did their part for 11 years (acc’d’g to the program’s Wikipedia page). Now it’s time for someone — anyone — to get going and pick up their banner.

Lotus Fest Friday

Here’s your Lotus Fest 2104 lineup for tonight:

Venues

  • Buskirk Chumley Theater 114 E. Kirkwood Ave.
  • First United Methodist Church 219 E. 4th St.
  • First Christian Church 205 E. Kirkwood Ave.
  • First Presbyterian Church 221 E. 6th St.
  • Ivy Tech Community College Tent 6th St. between Walnut & College
  • Old National Bank/Soma Tent 4th & Grant streets
  • The Bluebird 216 N. Walnut St.
  • 3rd St. Park 331 S. Washington St.

Friday, September 19th

● 6:30pm: Söndörgó First United Methodist Church

● 6:45pm: Catherine MacLellan First Christian Church

● 7pm: Kaia First Presbyterian Church

● 7:15pm: Vanesa Aibar & Company Buskirk Chumley Theater

Aibar

Flamenco Dancer Vanesa Aibar

● 7:15pm: Mames Babegenush Ivy Tech Community College Tent

● 7:15pm: The Revelers Old National Bank/Soma Tent

● 7:45pm: Catherine MacLellan First Christian Church

● 8:05pm: Nora Jane Struthers & the Party Line First United Methodist Church

● 8:50pm: Nagata ShachBuskirk Chumley Theater

● 8:50pm: Van-Anh Vanessa Vo First Christian Church

● 8:50pm: FullSet First Presbyterian Church

● 8:50pm: Tsuumi Sound System Ivy Tech Community College Tent

Tsuumi

Tsuumi Sound System

● 8:50pm: Aurelio Old National Bank/Soma Tent

● 9:50pm: Söndörgó First United Methodist Church

● 10:10pm: Banda Magda Buskirk Chumley Theater

● 10:25pm: Nora Jane Struthers & the Party Line First Christian Church

● 10:25pm: Erkan Ogur’s Telvin Trio First Presbyterian Church

● 10:25pm: Orkesta Mendoza Ivy Tech Community College Tent

● 10:25pm: Movits! Old National Bank/Soma Tent

Steamy Hot Air

Illinois!

Way to go, Illinois! Legislators in my old home state yesterday passed a same-sex marriage bill. Huzzah!

Chicago Tribune Photo

Chicagoans Celebrate

The scoreboard now stands at 15 states allowing same-sex marriage and 35 not. So, the New Civil Rights Movement is approaching the one-third landmark in this holy land. That would seem to be a tipping point after which same-sex marriage would fast become, under the law at least, just another norm.

Of course, many, many, many folks in those 35 states (as well as holdouts in the enlightened 15) feel we’re no longer a holy land because we’re allowing men to marry men, women to marry women, and, next thing you know, 60-year-old lechers to legally molest kiddies and wacky old crones to hitch up with their cats.

Image from Forbes

Man, some people sure have scary imaginations.

I’ve been around lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered people, and those questioning their own identities all my life; that is, until I got to Bloomington which seems oddly bereft of such folk. I would have figured that this burgh, being one of the last outposts of the former Soviet Union and, even worse, a college town, would be a haven for what society has heretofore considered sexual outlaws.

Perhaps I’m wrong. If so, my pals Carol Fischer and Helen Harrell over at WFHB‘s bloomingOUT radio show for the LGBTQ gang can set me straight on that matter (pardon the pun).

Speaking Of Sex

Sex geek extraordinaire Debby Herbenick put in an appearance at the Book Corner yesterday.

Photo by Kevin Donahue

Research Scientist Debra Herbenick

No, she wasn’t doing a signing or reading; the BC doesn’t go in for that kind of thing (and least not yet). Herbenick simply was looking to buy a book. Naturally, she walked out of the place with a half dozen.

Doc Herbenick told the Pencil she just scored a deal for is working on yet another book. I’m telling you, this dame can find more ways to ponder sex than the average 14-year-old boy. Only her pondering elevates the science of bonking. She is, for all my non-Bloomington readers, one of the most acclaimed sex researchers on this happy planet.

Here’s a short list of Herbenick’s previous publications:

Sex Made Easy: Your Awkward Questions Answered—For Better, Smarter, Amazing Sex

Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction

Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and Vulva

Go check out her advice page on the Kinsey Confidential website. She helps jes’ plain folk come to grips (you’ll pardon the expression) with their sex dilemmas and misunderstandings. For instance, one of her recent posts answered the question: My penis is slightly curved; will this affect intimacy?

Right-Reverse-Curve-Sign

Honestly, this poor chap’s idiosyncrasy probably vexes him more than all the philosophical disputes conjured by women and men since the beginning of time. Me? I would respond to his plaint thusly: That all depends on which way it’s curved.

Which, of course, is why a noted professional like Debby Herbenick should help guide him through the thicket of penile geometry rather than some snot like me.

Then again, after a careful reading of the good doctor’s response, it turns out I was right! Sheesh.

Anyway, Herbenick’s looking forward to hunkering down and writing the new book. “It should be fun,” she said.

I’ll bet.

I Feel Love

The Pencil Today:

REALITY SHOW

“Beyond the phony tinsel of Hollywood lies the real tinsel.” — Oscar Levant.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT?

So, Ellen Degeneres and her lovely bride, Amanda Rogers — oops, I mean Portia de Rossi — have become business moguls, peddling vegetarian foods to the rest of us who haven’t changed our names for professional purposes.

In fact, the two have gone so far as to be considering introducing a line of vegan grub for your pet dogs and cats.

I bet Steve the Dog doesn’t know he shouldn’t me eating meat or, for that matter, anything that has animal products in it. I hesitate to tell him so because he might go into a funk. He’s a rather sensitive pooch and he doesn’t like to disappoint people.

“Aw, Man, I didn’t Know.”

Funny thing is, he seems to be reasonably healthy despite eating food processed in concentration camps and including hunks of pig, bovine, horse, and other brothers and sisters of ours.

Also, he loves to eat…, well, brace yourself — and if you’re lunching don’t read any further — he loves to eat deer shit. And the fewmets of quiet a few other critters. He even sometimes dines on his own day-old bombs.

Steve the Dog is not unusual in this regard. Alexandra Horowitz, animal cognition professor at Barnard College and author of the very cool book “Inside of a Dog,” says all dogs are coprophages (shit-eaters.) She suggests they do this because they’re so desperate to sniff things and their olfactory mechanism is so constructed that eating things brings their aroma that much closer to home.

Degeneres has been quoted as saying, “… [I]f you love your animal, then you should feed them something that’s not dangerous for them. There’s a lot of poisonous stuff that they’re putting in [pet] food, those by-products.”

Now I’m no animal cognition expert. Nor am I terribly well-versed on vegetarianism and veganism. But I do know this: any creature that eats shit doesn’t, well, give a shit about whether or not he’s eating a trace amount of preservatives.

LESBIAN VIOLENCE

When people think domestic violence, they generally flash to the image of a man walloping a woman.

That’s the usual scenario but host Helen Harrell and producer Carol Fischer presented another side of the problem during this week’s bloomingOUT on WFHB.

Fischer & Harrell

Harrell and co-host Abigail Sewell interviewed Shani Robbins of Middle Way House about physical abuse in lesbian relationships.

One great thing about bloomingOUT is it doesn’t try to run and hide from unflattering topics within the queer community.

BTW: Helen and Abigail remind us that PRIDE 2012, the Bloomington LGBTQ film festival is coming up in January. Some 10 features and numerous shorts will run at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater from the 18th through the 29th with countless related events also scheduled.

O-O-H CHILD

Nina Simone died in 2003 but her voice is forever. The disc, “Nina Simone Remixed & Reimagined,” illustrates how timeless her stylings were and are. Listen:

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