Category Archives: Citicorp

The Pencil Today:


“The Republican vision is clear: ‘I’ve got mine, the rest of you are on your own.'” — Elizabeth Warren


From a Harry Enfield skit: “Yes, overeducation leads to ugliness, premature aging, and beard growth.”

The skit shows a stuffy dinner party where the men pontificate on the economy and the women sit there looking pretty. That is, until one women decides to offer her opinion. Here’s a vid of the skit:

Harry Enfield is a British comedian who has appeared on the BBC since the late 80s. The skit comes to The Pencil in a roundabout way, originally cited by The Telegraph essayist Bryony Gordon and brought to these shores by Roger Ebert.

Gordon uses the skit to illustrate a surprising finding in a recent study. You might think, she writes, that women today are considered just as intelligent as men and capable of contributing to a discussion at any time and on any subject. How quaint Enfield’s little dinner party faux pas looks now.

Asks Gordon: “Right?”

Sez Gordon: “Wrong!”


She quotes from the study published in American Political Science Review that indicates women keep their lips zipped still, even in these more enlightened times, when in the company of men.

Gordon says, “Women, this must stop! We must pipe up when we feel like piping down, and not presume that it will make us ‘frightening’ and ‘intimidating’ to men.”

As Ebert says, “Well, it’s true.”


Funny thing is, a number of comments following Ebert’s posting of the Gordon essay were from women who said, in essence, Dear me, those brutish men we work with rarely let us cut in and when we do they say nasty things about us.

I’ll Never Speak Up Again!

To which I reply, So what?


You know how the Republicans have been standing on their heads to make hay of Barack Obama’s “You didn’t build that” comment?

“It” Being The Billionaires’ Economy

Of course, the only way they could make their hay is by quoting it so far out of context he may as well have said, “I invented the Internet.”

Anyway, the whole We Built That meme goes all the way back to the last century. It’s long been the kill cry of corporate pirates, bloated plutocrats, and outright capital-sociopaths.

Take, for instance, the bleating of former uber-investment bank capo Sanford Weill. See, Citicorp in 1998 merged with Travelers Group. Only problem was, federal law at the time prohibited firms from being both investment banks and insurance companies. It all had to do with risk, securities, speculation, “creative” financial instruments — you know, the very things that crashed the world economy in 2007-08.

Sanford Weill

But the bosses of the new outfit figured, “What do we care for the law?”

They paid off a former president and a then-Treasury Secretary among many others to grease the merger through what was at the time sniggeringly referred to as the “regulatory process.”

So Citicorp and Travelers thumbed their corporate noses at the law of the land as well as the health of the economy for the rest of us and created the Frankenstein monster called Citigroup.

In other words, they created wealth through the cronyism, bribery, trickery, and criminal acts.

Yet when a very few dared question the machinations that created that merger monster, Sanford Weill, who became the chief boa constrictor in charge of the shiny new Citigroup toy, would balance his limbless body on a soapbox and cry out, “We didn’t rely on somebody else to build what we built!”

The Gang’s Hideout

Just like the leader of a home invasion burglary ring tells his gang that they’re, well, ambitious men who don’t let trivialities like the law stand in their way.

Keep beating the “We built that” meme into the ground, Republicans. You’re in great company.

[Just a reminder: After Citigroup lost its clients’ shirts in the big crash (for which it was partially responsible), it demanded and got some $45 billion in federal welfare. Yep, they built that.]



Awfully timely, no?

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Brought to you by The Electron Pencil: Bloomington Arts, Culture, Politics, and Hot Air. Daily.

FAIR ◗ Monroe County Fairgrounds, Commercial Building West29th Annual American Red Cross Book Fair, +100,000 used books, CDs, DVDs, games, maps, sheet music, etc.; 9am-7pm, through October 2nd

WORKSHOP ◗ Dagom Gaden Tensungling MonasteryFree introductory course on Buddhism; 10-11am

SEMINAR ◗ Various venuesThe Combine, 3rd annual display of talent , innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit, featuring speakers, workshops, idea pitches, and mixers; through Sunday, September 30th, today’s events:

The Sprout BoxFinish Day, participants complete their tech projects; Noon-10pm

SPORTS ◗ IU Bill Armstrong StadiumHoosier women’s soccer vs. Northwestern; 1pm

OPEN HOUSE ◗ White Violet Farm, Sisters of Providence Center in Saint Mary-of-the-WoodsCelebrating National Alpaca Farm Days, see 53 alpacas and their caretakers; 1-4pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallBaroque Orchestra with director Stanley Ritchie, performing Fux & Handel; 2pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema“Sleepwalk with Me”; 3pm

MUSIC ◗ Oliver WineryAged to Perfection: Voces Novae chamber choir performs Bruckner, Elgar, Sullivan, & Verdi; 3pm

MUSIC ◗ Trinity Episcopal ChurchChoral Evensong, performed by choristers from Trinity & the IU Jacobs School, works by Walmisley & Hurford; 5:30pm

COMPETITION & BENEFIT ◗ Buskirk Chumley Theater6th Annual Bloomington Chef’s Challenge; 6pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubPenrose Trio; 6pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema“Road Comics: Big Work on Small Stages,” documentary producer Susan Seizer will appear; 6:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Bear’s PlaceRyder Film Series; “Neighboring Sounds”; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ St. David’s Episcopal Church, Bean BlossomConcert for dedication of new church organ; 7pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticNeil Hamburger; 8pm


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
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • What It Means to Be Human,” by Michele Heather Pollock; through September 29th
  • Land and Water,” by Ruth Kelly; through September 29th

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibit:

  • “Samenwerken,” Interdisciplinary collaborative multi-media works; through October 11th

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits opening September 28th:

  • 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 form the Slocum Puzzle Collection

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Soup’s OnExhibit:

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

ART ◗ Boxcar BooksExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Papercuts by Ned Powell; through September

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

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

ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • “Doctors and Dentists: A Look into the Monroe County Medical professions

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