Category Archives: Chambers Brothers

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” — Malcolm X

THE ANNUAL ELECTRON PENCIL PENNILESS LIST

What a coincidence!

Only two days after Forbes Magazine released its yearly list of the world’s billionaires, we at The Electron Pencil proudly present our inaugural annual roster of broke Americans.

Forbes Got Nuthin’ On Us

(We are working with our crack legal team to determine if we have a case against Forbes. It is our assertion that Forbes intentionally scheduled its release to upstage our eagerly awaited list of the Penniless. Stayed tuned for more developments.)

Several of the Forbes select few have expressed displeasure at having information about their personal finances splashed all over magazines, newspapers, radio, and TV. Our lucky few are circumspect as well. In fact, each of them has pleaded with us not to reveal their identities or net worth.

Forbes Porn

But we are nothing if not tireless, intrepid journalists. Our commitment to unearth the truth no matter the consequences must trump their desire for privacy. As a compromise, we will not use the full names of our honorees.

Now then, here is The Annual Electron Pencil Penniless List:

  • Ronald H.: A talented jazz saxophonist, Mr. H. recently moved out of his cozy pied-à-terre on the west side of Bloomington. He is now “traveling.” In other words, he is homeless. Mr. H. was ousted from his position as Vice President of Facilities Maintenance for a local elementary school last spring. He was a casualty of school budget cuts. He carries the entirety of his possessions in his backpack which has a missing zipper. Sharp-eyed passersby can catch glimpses of Mr. H.’s holdings when his backpack flap flips open. He is considered among the most open and transparent of our 2012 honorees.
  • Miranda P.: She and her two children — Zach, 5, and Lily, 3 — also are “traveling.” Mrs. P. is currently in the process of dissolving her partnership with Joshua P., who last December attempted a hostile takeover of her finances. Mr. P. at the time was putting together a straight cash transaction for sub-legal pharmaceuticals. When Mrs. P. rejected his entreaties for her cash, he threatened and eventually carried out a night-time assault upon her face. Mrs. P.’s jaw was wired shut and the discoloration around her eyes lasted well into the new year. Middle Way House now serves as temporary headquarters for Mrs. P.’s break-away firm.
  • Jeremy M.: Mr. M.’s home was ranked number one in Car and Driver’s 1992 Best Selling Cars list. His curbfront domicile is known popularly among neighbors as as “that damned red Taurus.” He inherited it from his grandfather who passed away in 2006 while Mr. P. was finishing up his master’s degree in fine arts. Mr. P. is looking to diversify by applying for work at Rally’s Hamburgers, Kroger on 2nd Street, and the Subway at Walnut and 6th streets. Some observers say Mr. P.’s total wealth has been adversely affected by his ill-advised leveraging of student loans to acquire his degree. Mr. P. has responded that his degree has been valued in certain quarters at $1.7 million over his lifetime, as opposed to his total debt load of $53,000. Mr. P. was recently seen purchasing a rare pair of red Chuck Taylors at the Salvation Army Thrift Store on North Rogers Street.
  • Kevin W.: A pioneer in the field of bipolar disorder patientry, Mr. W. visits the four corners of Bloomington on his daily perambulations. He is known far and wide as an often accessible member of the local penniless community. He has made enemies, though, during the days before he receives his monthly dosage of lithium. Mr. W. impresses with his ability to identify the day of the week of any random date a questioner might suggest. Some analysts believe this indicates he also possesses a form of Asperger’s Syndrome which would help solidify his inclusion in future Penniless lists.
  • Jana C.: A long-time leader in the local physical pleasure industry, Ms. C. recently became affiliated with Narcotics Anonymous and has indicated she may be looking to move on to other fields. Her ambitions may be tempered by the pressing needs of members of the housing, utilities, and grocery industries for immediate remuneration for services and goods. When her liquidity sank to an all-time low in February, Ms. C. confided to close friends that she may never be entirely free to leave the sex industry.

We salute our Penniless achievers.

TIME IS NOT MONEY

Speaking of the penniless, our go-to researcher R.E. Paris points out that Lester Chambers of the 1960’s power soul group, the Chambers Brothers, has fallen on the hardest of times.

Chambers posted an Occupy Wall Street-type letter on You Tube describing his unfortunate state this week. The post went viral.

Chambers says the recording contract he and his band mates signed in the mid-60’s screwed him out of royalties. He writes, “Only 1% of artists can sue. I am the 99%.”

The Electron Pencil ran a video of the Chambers Brothers’ hit, “Time Has Come Today,” earlier this year.

POT IS MONEY

So, the spectacularly crazed Pat Robertson has come out in favor of the legalization of marijuana.

Wild, huh?

Maybe no so wild when you think about it. Perhaps the human race’s pipeline to the creator of the universe has concluded that too many of his hard-pressed contributors are turning to pot harvesting for him to continue being a prohibitionist.

Pat Knows: You Can’t Contribute If You’re In The Joint

Frankly, this development bums me out, man. I’ve been for the legalization of pot for decades. Sadly, now that Pat Robertson is as well, I’ll have to change my position.

Damn.

Come to think of it, doesn’t he look sorta high in the photo on the link?

CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF SARAH

Roger Ebert digs the new HBO movie about Sarah Palin. Actually, “Game Change” is supposed to be about the failed 2008 run of John McCain for president but, honestly, McCain wasn’t the story at all.

I’m tempted to watch the movie but the casting of Julianne Moore as the winking dolt is problematic for me: I like Moore and I’d hate to have her associated with the New White Oprah from now on.

No, Julianne, No!

Too bad the producers couldn’t get Palin to play herself. Ebert describes her as “the greatest actress in American political history.”

ASK THE ANGELS

Patti Smith, babies.

Across the country, through the fields,

You know I see it written ‘cross the sky.

People rising from the highway

And war, war is the battle cry

And it’s wild, wild, wild, wild.

The Pencil Today:

TODAY’S QUOTE

“The clock talked loud. I threw it away. It scared me what it talked.” — Tillie Olsen

TEMPUS FUGIT

It was a wild ride around the sun this time, no?

Don’t unbuckle your seatbelt just yet. The next one promises to be just as bumpy.

HUGO

The Loved One and I caught Martin Scorsese‘s “Hugo” yesterday. An out and out visual treat. It was the master director’s love letter to the movies.

Understand that I’m a big Scorsese fan. His “Raging Bull” was the greatest sports movie ever made and deserves consideration as the greatest movie ever made, period. At least two scenes from his movies have become conversational mantras: “I’m funny how? I mean, funny like I’m a clown? I amuse you?” and “You talkin’ to me? I’m the only one here.”

Joe Pesci As Tommy DeVito

But Scorsese, in my unhumble opinion, always has kept a distance from his characters. He has handled the likes of Travis Bickle, Tommy DeVito, and Bill “the Butcher” Cutting with an icy reserve. He’s as dispassionate as a surgeon.

Even Hugo Cabret, the train station orphan who’s desperate to discover his purpose in life; Scorsese observes him from a remove. It’s the story of “Hugo” that Scorsese embraces, as if it’s his own.

“Hugo”

I’ll bet in the deepest recesses of his imagination, it is.

Anyway, one thing I couldn’t get past. The movie is set in a Paris train station. The vast majority of characters are French women and men (and kids). So why does everybody speak with an upper-class British accent?

NOCERA SWIPES MY IDEA

Speaking of sports (well, I mentioned the word in the above bit, didn’t I?), Joe Nocera penned a compelling piece for tomorrow’s New York Times Magazine. He suggests we strip away all the pretense and just pay college football and basketball players. He also recommends dropping the whole student-athlete charade.

Nocera

I endorse every word he writes, mainly because they’re precisely the things I’ve been hollering for years.

Living in a college town for more than two years now I realize how important the Hoosiers or the Buckeyes or the Badgers or even the Nittany Lions are to their surrounding communities.

Big time college athletics has become so ingrained in the life of the region around each university that the teams have become, in essence, public trusts. The Hoosiers, rightfully, are more a possession of the local citizenry than they are of Indiana University.

So, run the operation like a business. Which means pay the labor.

Even The Chinese Who Built The US Railroads Got Paid

NEWS AS ENTERTAINMENT

The Herald Times decreed today that the Lauren Spierer disappearance was the top local story of 2011.

I suppose that would be true if by “top story” you mean the one that played out most like a dramatic daily serial.

Me? I figure the top story was — once again — funding cutbacks for schools, libraries, social services, Planned Parenthood, and the like due to the 2008 crash and the inexorable move to the right in our holy land.

Then again, that’s not as riveting as The Case of the Missing Well-Heeled Pretty Blond Coed.

STAYIN’ ALIVE

Hey, if you’re planning to get sloshed tonight, remember to take the Yellow Cab Company up on its offer of a free ride home. IU-Bloomington Hospital as well as the city and the county are helping pay for the service.

Some 19 drivers will be shuttling the tipsy and the downright drunk home from their parties from 9:00pm through 4:00am.

See, It’d Be Better If This Guy Didn’t Drive Tonight

Call 812.339.9744 for your ride.

Oh, and don’t be a smart ass — the free ride is not meant for people shuttling between parties. There’s always some knucklehead.

THE FIGHTING GOP

Peter Sagal on “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me” revealed this morning that former Minnesota GOP governor Tim Pawlenty claims to relax by logging on to a website featuring hockey fights.

You know, where two uniformed simians on skates pound each others’ heads and faces and otherwise express their version of sportsmanship.

Relaxing

Yep, nothing like watching incidents of otherwise-felonious assault to reach that zen-like state of repose. As long as you ignore the fact that many hockey goons will suffer brain degeneration and may well die young.

Is it any wonder why I’ve never voted Republican?

TIME

It’s a good day to listen to the Chambers Brothers hit from the fall of 1968.

Live this next year as if it may be your last. And let’s hope we can say that to each other fifty more times.

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