Category Archives: European Union

Hot Air

Another Box

Oh great. The Herald Times this morning reports a new soulless downtown mixed-used building has been approved by the Bloomington Plan Commission.

Blocks

The Proposed Building

The structure will house three residential apartments with ground-floor commercial space. Acc’g to the HT, the proposed project has been granted six zoning waivers, thereby allowing it to violate that many not-so-sacred municipal commandments to preserve the treasured look and feel of central B-town.

The building will stand next to the equally anonymous and utilitarian Bloomington Transit Center at 3rd and Walnut streets.

[I’d provide a link but the HT has a paywall so you can either trust me or drop 75 cents on a copy of today’s paper.]

Money For Nothin’!

I’ve been feeling down of late so this email really brightened my morning:

Email

What A Lucky Guy I Am!

I don’t know who Michael or Ira Curry are but as of now, they’re my Best Friends Forever.

Feel free to suggest what I should do with my fresh, crisp 600,000 USD in the Comments section. And, hey, if you find yourself short of cash over the next few weeks, you can count on me to help. I am, after all, rich now!

[UPDATE: I did a little googling and found out that Ira Curry won big in some regional lottery this past December. Michael Curry must be a relative. How nice of them to think of me.]

Hitting It Big

Equally fortunate, it seems, is our town’s David Brent Johnson. He’s no newly-minted $600,000-aire but his weekly jazz program, Night Lights, has been picked up in the Chicago market by radio station WDCB.

DBJ

David Brent Johnson

DBJ’s show debuted in the big market last week. WFIU‘s Night Lights is syndicated on 17 stations in 14 states as well as one station in the Philippines. WDCB is trying to position itself as Chi.’s radio place for jazz. NPR affiliate WBEZ dumped its overnight jazz and blues programming in 2007. Music aficionados were up in arms but the decision stood, as opposed to last year’s brouhaha over a proposed elimination of opera programming at WFIU.

Slowly but surely the world is learning about Bloomington as a music capital.

You Will Speak Correctly

How about that heretofore anonymous diplomatic bureaucrat’s street-talk dis of the European Union last week?

Victoria Nuland, who is the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, was phone chatting with the US ambassador to the Ukraine the other day. She and the ambassador, Geoffrey Pyatt, talked about the rebellion in that country. They speculated on the role of opposition leader Vitali Klitschko in any subsequent reorganization of the Ukraine gummint. Nuland pretty much told Pyatt that Klitschko ought not to be too big a shot because he’s essentially a babe in the woods.

Image from boxing.com

Tough Negotiator

Which makes perfect sense because the sum total of Klitschko’s life experience thus far has been his success at beating the bejesus out of men wearing shorts. See, Klitschko’s a boxer. He gained the world’s heavyweight boxing championship back in 1996. He retired from the Sweet Science last December still wearing one of the bazillion belts that the various international boxing authorities hand out. Experts say he was a powerful puncher and had strong chin.

These attributes stand a politician well only in a metaphorical sense. It’s been several millennia since we’ve asked our dear leaders to personally whack the crap out of each other for the good and glory of our respective peoples.

Still, Klitschko is popular in the Ukraine, the way, say, Peyton Manning would be in this holy land should he decide to chuck football and run for the United States Senate.

Nuland went on to tell Pyatt that the United Nations should try to broker an agreement between the Ukraine state and the opposition, not the European Union. Apparently, she doesn’t hold the Union in terribly high regard. “Fuck the E.U.,” she said.

The Money Shot Comment Is At 3:04

Somehow, a recording of the phone conversation was made public. And, natch, European leaders are screaming bloody murder. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel tut-tutted the comment. One of her PR flacks said Merkel considers the verbiage “absolutely unacceptable.”

I’m just wondering if the folks who gave the world the phrase deutschland über alles some 75 years ago have as yet earned the privilege to criticize other people’s lingo.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Gee, I wish we had one of them ‘doomsday machines’.” — Gen. Buck Turgidson in “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

OBAMA/ROMNEY UPDATE

This just in: Barack Obama has been moved from Intensive Care to a bed in a semi-private room. Doctors say he will be able to leave the hospital in time for Tuesday’s second debate with Mitt Romney.

A hospital spokesman credits a transfusion of iron rich blood from Vice President Joe Biden last night for Obama’s sudden turnaround.

Wanted

In related news, authorities say they will add fraud to the charges against Mitt Romney for the incident a week ago Tuesday that resulted in Obama’s injuries. Romney already has been charged with assault and battery. Sheriff’s deputies went to Romney’s home early this morning to take him into custody but were told by his wife that she hasn’t seen him since the night of the beating.

U-TURN

So, the world’s greatest minds have declared Joe Biden to be the winner of last night’s debate.

You Want A Piece Of Me?

Phew, that means Barack Obama is now back to being the prohibitive frontrunner.

In fact, there’s a movement afoot to cancel the November 6th election altogether and simply name Obama this holy land’s first Leader for Life.

Who says vice presidential debates don’t carry any weight?

EVERYBODY WINS

Some 500 million Europeans were named winners of the formerly-august Nobel Peace Prize today in Norway.

The winners spoke with reporters via a conference call soon after the award was announced. No quotes are available because all the half billion freshly-minted Nobel laureates insisted on speaking at once and in their respective 27 languages plus countless dialects.

London Winners Rehearse Their Acceptance Speech

BULLETIN: OPENING SHOTS FIRED IN PEACE WAR!

The members of the European Union have declared war on each other. Some 13 seconds after the Nobel Committee made its announcement, Greek troops moved into Norway to seize the prize money.

Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras spoke to his country on live television soon after hostilities began. “We need that money more than those other countries,” he said.

Germany, France, and the United Kingdom immediately moved to defend Oslo as well as to protect what they consider their rightful shares of the prize money.

Greek Marines Planning Their Assault On Oslo

Due to the worldwide economic downturn, of which Greece’s financial problems are a significant part, the Nobel Committee says the Peace Prize this year will be worth only 924,321.09 euros.

This comes out to €34,234 per member country. The extra nine euro cents will be awarded to the European Union’s smallest member, Malta. The Maltese economy immediately leaped from 132nd in the world to 131st, displacing Chad.

Chad, in turn, has declared war on Malta.

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Friday, October 12th, 2012

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

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

HALLOWE’EN ◗ Haunted Hayride & Stables; Scary rides; 7-11pm

CLASS ◗ Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural CenterSeven Trainings in Contemplation, Taught by Rigzin Drolma & Anne Klein; 7-9pm

HALLOWE’EN ◗ Bakers Junction Railroad MuseumHaunted train; 7pm

STAGE ◗ Bloomington Playwrights ProjectComedy, “Rx“; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Indiana State University, University Hall Theater, Terre HauteCarrie Newcomer; 7:30pm

STAGE ◗ Brown County Playhouse, Nashville — Drama, “Last Train to Nibroc”; 7:30pm

STAGE ◗ The Lodge (formerly Space 101)17th Annual Director’s Symposium, Scenes for Two, Presented by Monroe County Civic Theater; 8pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticGlenn Wool; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopBalmorhea; 9:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdHere Come the Mummies; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceThe Gentle Shades, Tonal Caravan; 10pm

MUSIC ◗ Macri’s DeliKaraoke; 10pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticGlenn Wool; 10:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Bear’s PlaceRap battle; 11pm

ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “New Acquisitions,” David Hockney; through October 21st
  • Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists; through October 14th
  • “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
  • 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:

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

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 form 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 CenterExhibit:

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

The Electron Pencil. Go there. Read. Like. Share.

The Pencil Today:

AIM HIGHER

Dr. Timothy Leary said it: “Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.”

Timothy Leary In 1992, Covered In Psychedelic Images, Natch

FOUND MONEY

This time of year Hoosiers reach into their hall closets for those coats they haven’t worn for nine months or so. They dig into the pockets and, lo and behold, find folded up five dollar bills.

Happens all the time.

Gov. Mitch Daniels did the same thing yesterday and was so pumped that he called a press conference.

Only it wasn’t a fin he found. It was $320 million.

That is, 64,000,000 five dollar bills.

“I’m Gonna Go Check Under the Sofa Cushions Now!”

The Indy Star reports the swag was found in some hidden-away bank account by a State Department auditor. The dough was revenue from corporate income taxes. It was all a happy accident, Daniels said, beaming.

Yeah, what a thrill. Especially for Indiana school districts which — mirabile dictu! — have suffered some $300 million in funding cuts over the last three years.

The whole charade stinks, no?

OLD NUMBER 33 IS 55

Happy birthday, Larry Bird.

ILLITERATES

So, Bloomington’s unofficial poet laureate Ross Gay comes into the Book Corner yesterday afternoon. We chat about our work habits. He tells me he likes to get up at 5:30 in the morning and write for three hours or so. Then he says he isn’t disciplined enough. I tell him he’s nuts.

Poet Ross Gay

Then he browses for a few minutes, comes back, and puts a couple of small books on the counter. One of them is by Marcel Proust.

Anybody who hopes to be considered intelligent must read Proust. Me? All I know of Proust is from that movie, “Little Miss Sunshine.”

You know, where the Steve Carell character has spent his life studying Proust? And finds himself pretty much in nowheresville?

I confess to the lanky rhymer: “I’ve never read a word of Proust.”

He exhales as though he’s relieved. “Neither have I!” he says.

Cool. Ross Gay and me.

JUNK SCIENCE

Let me get this straight. Investors the world over were thrilled that Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy agreed on a plan to put wayward European Union nations back on the right track.

Money Can Buy Me Love

Markets went up in the US, China, Japan, and Europe itself. Even those stuffed shirts in the UK started investing again. The party lasted a single day.

Standard & Poors issued a warning Monday night saying the honchos took too long to come to an agreement. So, S&P just might downgrade the credit ratings of 15 eurozone nations. And now the markets are going all to hell again.

What is it about this shell game that I don’t get?

Besides everything.

CATS AND MACHINES

Click the thumb below and see Episode 5 in Grover & Sloan’s tale of the cat and the air pump.

BASEBALL IN DECEMBER

I’m still giddy over the election of my favorite baseball player of all time to the Hall of Fame Monday. Ron Santo had an Italian daddy-o, was as emotional as an opera singer, loved pizza, and hit home runs for the Chicago Cubs in the 1960s and early 70s. When I was a little kid, I imagined he was a member of my own family.

So shoot me if I have the diamond game on my mind. Luckily, baseball junkie Eric Van Gucht reviews the book, “Satch, Dizzy, and Rapid Robert” on our Salon page. This kid is good and I hope he’ll do a lot more writing for us from here on out.

WE DO FACEBOOK SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO

◗ Only one link today: Facers were particularly unimaginative last night and this morning. This one, though, is well worth standing alone.

Krista Detor, our town’s sweetest canary, is putting on her annual holiday show Thursday, December 15, 7:30PM, at the Bloomington Convention Center. Whip out that wallet and splurge. You’ll thank me — and Krista.

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