Category Archives: Bloomington Playwrights Project

Hot Air

3/4 Liberal

Last night’s Oscar® presentation reminded me of a dirty little truth about liberal Hollywood: If your movie celebrates the sick, women, or gay men, you’ll be showered with gold trophies.

Movie Poster

Not The Best Of Anything

If it’s about life in Black America, well, would you step to the rear of the Academy®, please?

They Got Rhythm

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that Selma did win an award last night.

“Glory” won the Oscar® for best song. Fitting, no? Those people really have a knack for music, don’t they?

Let’s Put On A Show

Congrats to B-ton thespians Ken Farrell and Kate Braun. They’ll be trekking up New York state way come summer to appear in a production of Kalamazoo there.

BPP

Farrell & Braun In BPP’s “Kalamazoo”

The two-person play had its world premier here at the Bloomington Playwrights Project last fall. Farrell and Braun will reprise their roles in the comedy about senior love written by Michelle Kholos Brooks and Kelly Younger. Check out George Walker’s WFIU review of the BPP show here.

Kalamazoo will open at the 300-seat Charles R. Wood Theater in Glen Falls, NY, June 23rd and runs through July 3rd.

Obsessed

People are taking to the interwebs to tut-tut about the latest trend among shrinks to declare orthorexia nervosa an honest and real, um, thing.

ON is Latin, natch, for correct eating nervous disorder. The syndrome is not yet listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V) as something the pharmaceutical cos. should whip up a quick drug for but, more and more, skull jockeys are ID’ing folks with it and even treating some of them.

Bloomington, perhaps the region’s mecca for healthy, natural eaters, is largely up in arms about this development. The standard rant goes, If eating healthy is a mental illness, call me crazy.

So, what’s the prob. w/ eating correctly? Potentially, plenty.

The shrinks are not saying eating healthy itself is pathological, only the obsession and/or compulsion associated with it. We’re moving toward a world wherein the act of eating is seen, per se, as being somehow fraught with danger and even, y’know, bad.

In fact, anything that goes in your mouth must be analyzed, tested, passed, approved, blessed, and made purer than is humanly possible on top of the fairly rigid set of standards imposed on food and drink by the federal government as well as state, county, and municipal regulators. Those who aren’t constantly on the alert for poisons and toxins in their grub and liquids are saps, the neo-conventional wisdom goes.

To wit: I needed a drink of water out in public the other day and so poured myself a nice glass of eau d’Lake Monroe from a nearby faucet. The person who was with me was aghast. How, she wondered aloud, could you possibly want to fill yourself up with Grandma’s arthritis medications? Apparently she’d read somewhere that our lakes and rivers now are teeming with pissed-out drugs and other horrifying contaminants and so no one should ever drink tap water again.

I don’t know if the woman is suffering from orthorexia nervosa but she’s prob. well on her way.

See, this spanking new diagnosis isn’t for people who get that it’s ill-advised to eat McDonald’s three times a day. We’re omnivores, sure, but even our relatively cast-iron gullets should be spared the indignities of dross like Pringles and Snapple. All of us with functioning cerebra eat reasonably healthy. We’ll snigger and shake our heads while perusing the grocery baskets of folks loading up on jumbo bags of Wavy Lays or Spaghetti-O’s. We eat our fruits and vegetables and shy away from Pop Tarts.

BTW: I found a news report from KRON Ch. 4 about a woman who was busted after police found in her car a plastic spoon with a suspicious residue on it. The cops were certain the spoon was covered with meth. Lab tests were performed while the woman spent a month in jail and the results showed that the residue was — yup — Spaghetti-O’s sauce. Any food that can be easily mistaken for a killer synthetic substance in reality is no food at all. The knowledgable among us grasp that elementary concept; ergo we shun Spaghetti-O’s.

Spaghetti-O's

Food Or Meth — Who Knows?

Nothing pathological about that. But ON sufferers lump Spaghetti-O’s with every and any comestible item that hasn’t been grown by an Amish-bearded farmer who hasn’t used deodorant soap since his teen years.

Folks, eating isn’t all that dangerous.

Anyway, all those Bloomingtonians who believe the American Psychiatric Ass’n is now in league with Monsanto to turn all our food products into so many long-chain polymers should take a deep breath.

The ON memes people are viral-ing originate mainly from the website The Mind Unleashed, a hell-in-a-handbasket hysteria-mongerer. TMU is described by RationalWiki as “a pseudoscientific, woo-peddling, clickbait website with a propensity to misrepresent data from studies and present it as scientific fact for their own gain. With just a soupçon of bigotry for flavor.”

An article in Forward Progressive headlined “How Conspiracy Nuts Are Duping Well-Meaning Liberals” describes such sites thusly:

The Mind Unleashed, NaturalNews and others like them pose as science and education pages when they actually disseminate pseudoscience and utter bullshit, for profit. Go to the links that they post and then search on those websites for articles concerning vaccines, fluoridated water, GMOs and if you’re feeling really adventurous, chemtrails. Yes, the batshit crazy idea that somehow our government has been spraying the US population with chemicals from jet engine exhausts to make them dumb and subservient for decades – they cover it, a lot.

Just helping the populace sort through the madness.

Out, Damned Spot!

And, finally, speaking of madness, didja catch the report on NPR’s Morning Edition today about how our mania for cleanliness actually might be making us unhealthy?

Yep. See, a Swedish study of more than a thousand kids found that those whose parents washed dishes by hand suffered fewer incidences of eczema, allergic asthma, and hay fever than did those whose families used an automatic dishwasher.

Washing Dishes

Sheesh, Relax

Appliance dishwashers generate water temps of plus-180ºF. This sanitizes dishes and utensils, meaning the micro-organism counts thereon are reduced dramatically over those washed by hand. The study posits that exposing kids to more bacteria and such actually builds their immune systems. Kids not as broadly exposed, therefore, have a more difficult time fighting off the aforementioned maladies.

This craze for purity, both in eating and in our households, is turning out to be one of our 21st Century weirdnesses. Again, folks, just chill.

Hot Air

[MG Note: Pardon the weird paragraph leading today; WordPress is eff-ing up.]

Scandal!

Just when you think the Far Right-wingnut mob can’t get any farther or nuttier (and how many times have I had to type a version of that lead over the last few years?) they up and shock the bejesus out of me.
And any other sane person, for that matter.
Are you sitting? Okay. That latest deranged rumor about Barack Obama is that he and Michelle are not the biological parents of Malia and Sasha.
Obama

The Mother Of All Frauds

Yep. A gang of Obama-obsessed jingoists on a website called The US Patriot (“home to the best Conservative news on the net”) has uncovered this earth-shattering news that’s sure to make Watergate and Iran-Contra and the October Surprise look like childish indiscretions.
“[S]ome Americans,” the site intones, gravely, “feel that the two girls have very little resemblance to their parents.” Later, the post’s author reveals, “[N]o one has ever claimed to see a picture of the First Lady pregnant or with a newborn.”
Hmm. What could be up here? No doubt something horribly devious, considering this Prez is the worst America-hating non-citizen who’s ever lied, cheated, and defrauded his way to the leadership of the Free World — which won’t be free very much longer after he and his pals enslave us all.
Whoever wrote this scoop — there is no byline — says unimpeachable sources (“others claim…”) have unearthed evidence the two kids might have been born in Morocco and then adopted.
Thank god for people like those who staff The US Patriot! Why, without them, we’d all be speaking Morroccan now.
[h/t to Ray Hanania.]

False Flag

Not to be outdone, the loons on the Left have their own brand spanking new mad, mad conspiracy delusion.
ISIS, acc’d’g to one or two as-yet-uncommitted mental patients on the Wingnut Left, flat out doesn’t exist.
Meme
All of which makes me wonder why scads of folks are so bored by the vagaries and complexities of real life that they must create spectacular fictions to get themselves through the day.

Fogey Fun

The Loved One and I had a lot of fun out with the Fergusons and Joneses last night at the Bloomington Playwrights Project production of Kalamazoo and then, post-show, at Ferg. world HQ.
Kalamazoo

“Kalamazoo” At The BPP

Kalamazoo was a rare bit of entertainment dealing with the lives, loves, hopes, and dreams of, well, old people. As in, Ick, old people.
The play was written by Michelle Kholos Brooks and Kelly Younger. Brooks is the daughter-in-law of legendary funny man Mel Brooks and his influence shows in the play. The gags and one-liners — lots of them Borscht Belt mots buffed up to a contemporary sheen — come rapid fire as two old fossils, widowers both, hook up on an old-person dating site and fall, by fits and starts, in love.B-town luminaries in attendance for the opening night performance included Bloom mag publisher Malcolm Abrams and political doyenne Charlotte Zietlow.
And Tyler Ferguson’s late evening jambalaya feed was fab.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” — Carl Sagan

TODAY’S VOTING NAG

Vote or shut up.

Cast your ballot today at these locations:

The Curry Building, 214 W. Seventh St. — 8am-6pm

Evangelical Community Church, 503 S. High St. — 10am-6pm

If you must put your duty off until the very last day, find your precinct polling place here.

DOPES

Sigh.

As Curly Howard once wondered, “Is everybody dumb?”

The BBC World Service this morning reported on a recent effort by the Scout Association — the UK’s version of the Boy Scouts — to crack down on the use of nicknames.

The deep thinkers who run the outfit say nicknames are the gateway to bullying.

Nicknames.

Apparently, the Scouts believe bullies often start their nefarious work the moment they label a kid. Which is true.

If I recall correctly from my days at school, bullies also often begin terrorizing their victims at lunch time. Therefore I propose we crack down on eating.

Curly was right.

PAY YOUR BILLS

The Loved One phoned in our annual contribution to WFIU Saturday morning.

Have you thrown a little green the station’s way yet?

Here’s how simple the online process is:

Click Image To Pledge

PLAY FOR PAY

The Bloomington Playwrights Project raised $20,500 during this past weekend’s 2012 Ike & Julie Arnove PlayOffs.

See, competing groups of playwrights, directors, and actors were given a theme, a prop, and a line Friday night. They were to turn these simple raw materials into 10-minute plays, all shined-up, spiffied, and ready for the stage a mere 24 hours later.

The group deemed best Saturday night was called the Far-Off Broadway Bombers. Their playlet, “The Games,” was written by C. Neil Parsons, directed by Brian Donnelly and Benita Brown, and performed by Anthony Bradburn, Katie Becker, and David Sheehan.

The Far-Off Broadway Bombers

What? You missed it?

Your penance is to attend at least one BPP production this coming year. The next play up is “Lemonade” by Mark Krause. It has won the Woodward/Newman Drama Award and runs from November 30th through December 15th.

Go and sin no more.

SKY BLINDNESS

Believe me, folks, this is all too true:

Bloomington proper seems to straddle the border between the suburban sky and the rural sky. The sky above Chez Pencil gets a tad closer to the brilliance of the dark sky.

Any time you get a chance, go out to a real dark sky area — the region south of Paoli and French Lick, for example — and simply look up.

You won’t need a fancy telescope or even binoculars, only your eyes.

You’ll be reminded that we’re essentially nothing in this Universe.

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

VOTE TODAY ◗ Two Locations, Bloomington:

  • The Curry Building, 214 W. Seventh St.; 8am-6pm
  • Evangelical Community Church, 503 S. High St.; 10am-6pm

STUDIO TOUR ◗ Brown County, various locationsThe Backroads of Brown County Studio Tour, free, self-guided tour of 16 local artists’ & craftspersons’ studios; 10am-5pm, through October

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ IU Lilly Library, Slocum RoomSpecial exhibit:Violentology: A Manual of the Colombian Conflict“; 10:30am

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallDoctoral Recital: Eunice Park on piano; 5pm

LECTURE ◗ ◗ IU Memorial Union — “After They’re Gone: Afghanistan After 2014,” Presnted by Timor Sharan of the USAID project; 5:30pm

ART ◗ The Venue Fine Art & GiftsWood Carving, Demonstrated by Mark Braun; 5:30pm

CLASS ◗ IU Hilltop Garden & Nature CenterPreserving Fresh Garden Produce; 6:30-8pm

FILM IU Cinema — “Lilya 4 Ever“; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleLloyd Wood; 7-9pm

DISCUSSION ◗ Monroe County Public Library — “Organizing to Combat Wage Theft,” Led by Sung Yeon Choi-Morrow & Dianne Enriquez of Interfaith Worker Justice; 7pm

STAGE ◗ IU Wells-Metz Theatre — “Richard III“; 7:30pm

LECTURE ◗ IU Maurer School of Law, Moot Court RoomPatten Lecture: “Whats Does Genocide Look Like? And How Do We Know It When We See It?“; 7:30-9pm

LECTURE ◗ IU Kelley School of Business, Rm. 223, Auditorium — “From Auschwitz to Forgiveness,” Presented by Eva Kor as part of the IU Holocaust Awareness Program; 7:30-9:30pm

MUSIC IU Auer HallOctubafest: Guest Recital, Roland Szentpali; 8pm

GAMES ◗ The Root Cellar at Farm BloomingtonTeam trivia; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubBlues Jam hosted by Fistful of Bacon; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallHot Tuesdays: Jazz Combos: Nate Anderson Group, Alejandro Papachryssanthou Group; 8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopHallowe’en Celebration: The Gantle Shades, Apollo Quad, Dingo Duster; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdDave Walters karaoke; 9pm


ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “New Acquisitions,” David Hockney; through October 21st
  • “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:

  • Ab-Fab — Extreme Quilting,” by Sandy Hill; October 5th through October 27th
  • Street View — Bloomington Scenes,” by Tom Rhea; October 5th through October 27th
  • From the Heartwoods,” by James Alexander Thom; October 5th through October 27th
  • The Spaces in Between,” by Ellen Starr Lyon; October 5th through October 27th

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibit:

  • Buzz Spector: Off the Shelf; through November 16th
  • Small Is Big; Through November 16th

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits:

  • A Place Aside: Artists and Their Partners;” through December 20th
  • Gender Expressions;” through December 20th

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibit:

  • “CUBAmistad” photos

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 LibraryExhibit:

  • Outsiders and Others: Arkham House, Weird Fiction, and the Legacy of HP Lovecraft;” through November 1st
  • A World of Puzzles,” selections from the Slocum Puzzle Collection

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Soup’s OnExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Culture: “CUBAmistad photos; through October

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • Bloomington: Then and Now,” presented by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

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: Bloomington’s Best

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“The secret of eternal youth is arrested development.” — Alice Roosevelt Longworth

LUCK OF THE DRAW

This Andrew Luck fellow, who became an instant multi-millionaire in last night’s NFL draft, just might be able to run for King of Indiana in a few years if he has any kind of success at all on the football field.

He’s well-spoken and self-effacing, he has a dazzling smile, and it seems as though he’s got his feet on the ground. Hopefully, he’ll retain his positive character traits once he signs his obligatory obscenely lucrative contract with the Indianapolis Colts. Last year’s number one pick in the NFL draft, quarterback Cam Newton, inked a four-year, $22M deal with the Carolina Panthers.

The number one pick in 2010, the St Louis Rams’ Sam Bradford, scored a six-year, $78M contract but, of course, he’s white, as is Luck.

Luck-y

Luck is 22 years old. Sure, he may seem mature beyond his years but scads of dough can tend to change any human being. I know that if I suddenly happened into tens of millions of dollars when I was 22, I probably would have become one of the world’s most unbearable people.

WILL●HE●IS

One of the Boys of Soma, pistol-packin’ Pat Murphy, reports that George Will‘s appearance last night at the Ivy Tech Bloomington’s O’Bannon Institute for Community Service was eye-opening.

“He’s a smart guy,” Murphy, a dyed in the wool Dem allowed about the Republican darling. “He had some really perceptive things to say last night.”

Will

Among other things, Will pointed out how difficult it will be for Mitt Romney to unseat Barack Obama in this fall’s presidential beauty contest. It’s a demographic thing, what with Romney expected to strike out big time with women, Latinos, and blacks.

Murphy added that Mayor Mark Kruzan asked Will if the Chicago Cubs will ever win the World Series. Will is a noted member of the Emil Verban Society, a boys club of Washington-insider Cubs fans (Ronald Reagan also was a member).

Will wouldn’t hazard a guess but did remind the crowd that the last time the Cubs won it all was two years before the death of Leo Tolstoy.

19th Century Man

THE FOX PIGSTY

How about that blonde, Barbie Doll manqué from Fox News who tweeted the insult yesterday about the right wing’s current fave whipping girl, Sandra Fluke?

Crowley: News? Analyst?

Fluke testified before a House Democrats caucus about the need for health insurers to cover contraception. Immediately, the anencephalics of this holy land jumped on her with both feet. Leading the bullying was Rush Limbaugh, who called her a “slut” and a “prostitute” on his nationally-broadcast radio upchuck fest.

Apparently, Fluke has announced she’s getting married. Fox News “analyst” Monica Crowley responded thusly in the Tweet-iverse:

Knowing what we know about Fox News and the pan-troglodytes who watch it, implying that Fluke was thought to be a lesbian has to be an insult.

Problem is, Monica baby, Fluke testified about her own need for contraception. Lesbian sex does not result in pregnancy. Are we clear on that now?

COLLINS WAS HUNGRY ONCE

Susan Jones, ex of the IU Enrollment Service operation, is working on a history of the Bloomington Playwrights Project.

Jones discovered recently that one of America’s hottest writers today wrote a couple of plays for the BPP back in the 1980s.

That’s right — Suzanne Collins, whose “Hunger Games” trilogy is de rigeur for literate teens (and even a lot of adults who sheepishly buy the books at the Book Corner), once was an aspiring scribe here. She earned a double major in Drama and Telecommunications from IU in 1985 and hung around town for a few years afterward.

Collins

Sounds like a good reason to take in some BPP productions this year. Who knows which future superstar’s work you’ll be seeing?

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

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits, “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”; through July 1st — “Esse Quam Videri (To Be, Rather than To Be Seen): Muslim Self Portraits; through June 17th — “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”; through July 1st, 9am-4:30pm

IU Grunwald (SOFA) GalleryMFA & BFA Thesis 3 exhibitions; through May 5th

Kinsey Institute GalleryArt exhibit, “Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze”; 1:30-5pm

IU HPERLecture, Jonathan Jarvis, director of the National Park Service; 3:30pm

Thrive Health & Well-Being CenterOpening reception, Donna Headrick Moore scanner and pinhole photo exhibit; 5-8pm

Madame Walker Theatre CenterJazz on the Avenue; 6pm

The Venue Fine Arts & GiftsReception for Dawn Adams exhibit, “The Art of Healing”; 6pm

IU Grunwald (SOFA) GalleryReception, MFA & BFA 3 participants; 6pm

IU Cinema“Water and Power” by Pat O’Neill; 6:30pm

Patricia’s Wellness Arts Cafe & Quilter’s Comfort TeasPoetry, “Readings for Our Earth” & open mic; 7-9pm

Rachael’s CafePark Jefferson, Marital Roles, The Greater Good; 7:30pm

Cafe DjangoSvetla Vladeva and the Eastern European Ensemble; 7:30-10pm

The Player’s PubDicky James and the Blue Flames; 8pm

IU AuditoriumMusical, “Young Frankenstein”; 8pm

IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger Auditorium — Film, “The Artist”; 8 & 11pm

Comedy AtticKumail Nanjiani; 8 & 10:30pm

The BishopDocumentary film, “Color Me Obsessed,” on the Replacements; 8pm

Max’s PlaceLouis; 8pm

The BluebirdAndy Holinden; 8pm

The Palace Theatre“Songs: The Musical”; 8pm

Bear’s PlaceZach Dubois; 9pm

Max’s PlaceSoul Kinks; 9pm

Uncle Elizabeth’sVicci Laine & the West End Girls; 10pm & Midnight

The BishopDave Walter Karaoke; 11pm

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