Category Archives: George McGovern

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“I think we ought to move tanks, the whole goddamned thing. Put a division in there, if necessary. It’s time for action on it. If some Indians get shot, that’s too goddamned bad. If some Americans get shot, that too bad, too.” — Richard M. Nixon on the Wounded Knee protest, 1973.

A LIFE: JULY 19, 1922 — OCTOBER 21, 2012

George McGovern

PUBLIC BROADCASTING’S NEWEST STAR

I had a chat with one of the big shots from the shakedown department at a large Midwest NPR station this past week.

This person said the station had just completed its fall fund drive and it was a smash this year.

The station, according to the nabob, breezed way past its fundraising goal.

“Hmm, why do you suppose?” I asked.

“Oh, simple,” the person said. “The minute Mitt Romney started talking about Big Bird the calls started coming in. And this was even before the fund drive began.”

Fundraisers: Ray Magliozzi, Mitt Romney, & Tom Magliozzi

Thanks, Mitt.

LOVE AND MARRIAGE

As you know, plaster saints from coast to coast can hardly pray themselves to sleep at night for fear that gay marriage will be imposed upon them tomorrow morning.

Because, you know, all heterosexual marriages will be declared null and void and everyone will be compelled to marry and get naked with a member of their own gender. I wonder who my government-mandated new spouse will be. Pat Murphy?

Murph & Big Mike: Dear God, Please, No

Yeesh, no wonder the pious of this holy land are petrified.

Anyway, they’re fighting gay marriage like the deranged tigers they are. For instance, the town of Springfield, Missouri, this summer considered adding sexual orientation and gender identity to its boilerplate human rights ordinance. Natch, the righteous of Springfield started quaking and hollering that the world was hurtling toward hell.

The Springfield City Council held hearings during which the public was allowed to comment on the whole shebang. Some pastor got up and began railing about “the word of god” and “the immorality and lawlessness that will be characteristic of the last days.”

He went on to say…, oh, just watch it.

Hehehe. Neat, huh?

By the way, Springfield’s official nickname is “The Queen City of the Ozarks.”

Is there any need for comedy writers anymore?

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford Hall3rd Annual Indiana International Guitar Festival & Competition, Semi-finals of competition; 10am-1pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Sweeney Hall3rd Annual Indiana International Guitar Festival & Competition, Youth competition; 10am-3pm

CLASS ◗ Dagom Gaden Tensung Ling MonasteryIntroductory Course on Buddhism; 10am

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

SPORTS ◗ IU Field Hockey ComplexHoosier women’s field hockey vs. Villanova; Noon

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

HALLOWE’EN ◗ Haunted Hayride & StablesFriendly hayrides; 1-7pm

FILM ◗ Buskirk Chumley TheaterDark Carnival Film Festival: Schedule:

  • Screening Series 4: “Mother Died,” “Chompers,” “Shine,” “Roman’s Ark,” “Harsh Light of Day“; 1:30-3:30pm
  • Screening Series 5: “Lovebug,” “Weight of Emptyness,” “Firelight,” TBA feature: 3:45-6pm

OPERA ◗ IU Musical Arts Center — “The Merry Widow“; 2pm

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesCurator’s Tour of “The Day in Its Color: A Hoosier Photographer’s Journey“; 2pm

STAGE ◗ Brown County Playhouse, NashvilleDrama, “Last Train to Nibroc“; 2pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallDoctoral Recital: Joni Chan; 2pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Detropia“; 3pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Sweeney Hall3rd Annual Indiana International Guitar Festival & Competition, Master Class, Martha Masters; 3-5pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallSenior Recital, Daniel Herrick on tuba; 3pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallFaculty/Student Recital, Emile Naomoff & Kajeng Wong on piano; 4pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleDavid Sisson; 5-7pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford Hall — Junior Recital, John Cooksey, baritone; 5pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer Hall3rd Annual Indiana International Guitar Festival & Competition, Finals of competition; 5:30-7pm

MUSIC & BENEFIT ◗ The Player’s PubSalaam, For Middle Way House; 6pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Unprecedented: The 200 Presidential Election“; 6:30pm

FILM ◗ Bear’s PlaceRyder Film Series: “Side by Side”; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallOctubafest, Daniel Perantoni, director; 7pm

STAGE ◗ Bloomington Playwrights ProjectIke & Julie Arnov PlayOffs, Writers, directors, & actors stage original mini-plays using themes, props, and single lines given to them 24 hours previously, Mayor Mark Kruzan will open the proceedings; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdDrive-By-Truckers; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford Hall3rd Annual Indiana International Guitar Festival & Competition, Guest Recital, Edoardo Catemario; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopBrainstorm, The Kickback, Mid-American; 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

“I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.” — George McGovern

THE LOSER WINS

Today may well be George McGovern’s last on Earth.

McGovern did a lot of things in his long public and political life, but the one thing he’ll be remembered for is getting whomped in 1972 by the only president in US history to resign in disgrace.

The senator from South Dakota lost to the unindicted co-conspirator by a margin of 60.7 percent to 37.5 percent.

Richard M. Nixon garnered 18 million more votes than McGovern that sad November day. The incumbent president carried 49 of the 50 states. McGovern couldn’t even carry his own state. He did beat Nixon in Massachusetts but, then as now, everybody knew that Massachusetts is not really, y’know, American.

Nixon Triumphant

Nixon’s two biggest promises to the American electorate the year he ran for his first term were to bring a divided nation together and end the War in Vietnam. He failed to accomplish either goal by the ’72 election.

Yet the thoughtful residents of this holy land were determined to let him keep his job.

But Nixon was a troubled man. A man who battled inner demons night and day. A man whose damaged psyche impelled him to lie, cheat, steal, slander, sabotage, and otherwise toy with the political process in a way the country had never seen, nor has it seen since.

Here’s the definitive Nixon: After triumphing in the third greatest landslide in American history, he sent a memo to his adviser, speechwriter, and pet rat, Pat Buchanan. It read:

The opposition line will be:

1. McGovern’s mistakes lost it and not his views and not RN’s strength.

2. The low vote proves no one liked either candidate.

3. RN let down his party.

We’re In Real Trouble Now, Pat — We Won Big

A man who’d lost so dramatically to such an undiagnosed paranoiac might be forgiven for feeling sorry for himself. McGovern and his wife Eleanor were devastated by the campaign and the loss. They mulled moving to England. He admitted to harboring feelings of bitterness and self-pity.

He bounced back emotionally, though, and started giving self deprecating speeches about the ’72 election. At one he said, “For many years, I wanted to run for the presidency in the worst possible way. And last year I sure did.”

McGovern even considered running for president again in 1976 but Democratic party big shots sat him down and told him not to waste his time or theirs. It wasn’t until the Reagan Revolution swept America in 1980 that McGovern was finally ousted from his Senate seat.

In his later years, McGovern worked tirelessly to battle world hunger. He even ran his own bookstore for a couple of years. When George W. Bush was beating the drums for war with Iraq, McGovern called for peace. After the war started, he called for a pullout. After five years of war, he called for Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to be impeached.

\

McGovern Being Awarded The Presidential Medal Of Freedom

Sadly, the loss to Nixon wasn’t the greatest tragedy of McGovern’s life. His daughter Terry was an alcoholic and homeless. She died of hypothermia after passing out in a snow bank in 1994. His son Steven also died of alcoholism just three months ago.

McGovern became a laughingstock in this nation that reveres winners. Yet he dedicated much of his life to helping tens of millions  of people around the globe eat.

He is a loser?

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Thursday, October 18th, 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

LECTURE ◗ IU Lilly Library — “The Destruction and Preservation of Medieval Documents: A Set of Catalan Examples,” Presented by Paul H. Freeman of Yale University; 4-6pm

LECTURE ◗ IU Poynter Center — “Balancing Ethics and Access: Over-the-Counter HIV Testing,” Presented by Beth Meyerson; 4pm

ART & LECTURE ◗ IU Woodburn HallE.M. Saniga talks about his works in the “Small Is Big” exhibit; 5pm

BENEFIT ◗ Upland Brewing Company5th Annual Local Grower’s Guild Harvest Dinner; 6pm

MUSIC ◗ Malibu GrillSteve Johnson Trio; 6-9pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubBuilt for Comfort; 6:30pm

DEBATE ◗ IU AuditoriumRobert Gibbs & Karl Rove; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallOctubafest, Daniel Perantoni, director; 7pm

DISCUSSION ◗ IU Latino Cultural Center — “¿Queer y que?: Questions for Queer Latinidad,” Presented by Jeannette Johnson-Licón; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleShelf Life; 7-9pm

OPERA ◗ IU Musical Arts Center — “The Merry Widow“; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceTilford Sellers & The Wagon Burners; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallClarinet Studio Recital; 8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts Center, Recital HallArtist Diploma Recital, Hyung You on piano; 8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdPhunk Nasty; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ The Bishop3rd Eye Visionaries, L-ion, Louis Logic, Ceschi; 9:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceAdam Lee & Dead Horse Sound Company; 10pm

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 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 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

Today: Tuesday, November 8, 2011

WHERE’S THEIR UNION?

I’ve been a union supporter all my life.

Heck, I became a union guy just a few months after graduating high school. See, I knew I was too much of a rebel/hood/knucklehead to succeed in college at the tender age of eighteen so I wisely deferred my higher education for a couple of years.

I went out to work instead. Took a job with the City of Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation. My clout was 36th Ward Democratic Committeeman Louie Garippo.

In Chicago back in the 70s, if you wanted work for the City, you first had to go see your clout (also known as your Chinaman) and promise you’d do everything in the world to help him get out the vote in exchange for his sponsorship. I vowed to stand on my head, if need be, to get Mayor Daley (the First) reelected — oh, and whoever else might be running on the Dem slate in future elections.

During our interview, Louie Garippo got a dreamy look in his eye and said, “We’re gonna take back the White House next year.”

I nodded. The presidential election of 1976 would be the first in which I could vote. I couldn’t wait. I had no idea who I wanted but I knew for an iron-clad fact it wasn’t Gerald R. Ford. Yeesh.

Garripo went on. “If all goes well, we’ll have another one of the Kennedy boys in there.” Louie looked me in the eye. “You know,” he said, “your mother loved Jack Kennedy.”

Ma Loved Him

I nodded again. “Okay,” Louie said, “here’s what you do. You go see Elmer Fillipini tomorrow at 9:00am. Ya got that? Do not be late. He’ll tell you what to do.” Fillipini was the supervisor of the 36th Ward Streets & San office.

Louie wasn’t finished with me, though. “And do me a favor,” he said. “Get a haircut, fer chrissakes. You look like one’a them goddamn hippies. You’ll make your mother happy.”

I got up to leave and we shook hands. As I was walking out the door, he tossed another caveat my way.

“Remember,” he said, “don’t embarrass me.”

I nodded a third time.

At 9:05 the next morning I was filling out my first union card. The Laborers Union. Very, very cozy with The Boss, Daley. Not that we would suffer for the coziness; not even out of my teens, I would be making more money than my old man. When I told him what I was going to earn an hour, daddy-o actually got a hurt look in his eye. I always felt bad about that.

Anyway, The mayoral primary of 1975 was coming up fast. Renegade alderman Bill Singer was running against The Boss. Singer and his pals like the Rev. Jesse Jackson had already beaten Mayor Daley in a battle three years before. Singer, Jackson, et al successfully ousted Daley and the his Machine cronies from the 1972 Democratic National Convention. The one that nominated George McGovern to run that November. You remember McGovern, don’t you? Lost the election in one of the greatest landslides in history. Couldn’t even carry his own state.

So, Singer had decided to take on Daley in the primary. He was young. He was a rebel. He had longish hair. He hung out with brothers. As far as I was concerned, he was perfect. I started wearing a Singer lapel button — to work.

Not smart. Elmer Filippini called me in to his office for a private meeting. He wasn’t happy.

“Dontchu care about yer job?” he snapped.

I shrugged. My only regret was that I was embarrassing Louie Garippo.

I lasted three months in that job — not because Elmer or Louie forced me out but because I was an irresponsible lunkhead.

Believe it or not, I grew up. I eventually got into the writing and journalism rackets. Joined more unions. The National Writers Union and the Newspaper Guild.

Reporters On Strike, 1964

To this day I’m always on the side of the unions. I don’t like bullies. Management always seems to be the bully.

The highest-profile labor dispute going on right now in this holy land is the National Basketball Association lockout. In an industry raking in a couple of billion dollars a year, labor and management can’t figure out how to slice up the pie.

Billionaire jerks fighting with millionaire jerks over a few bucks.

Still, I’m steadfast behind the National Basketball Players Association. Management, remember, is always the bully. Even if the players are jerks.

Gotta tell you, though, there are a lot of folks suffering over this. Some of our friends in Indy are trying to figure out how to buy Christmas presents this year. Heck, some of them might be trying to figure out how to pay the rent.

Hot dog vendors. Jersey hawkers. Ushers. Ticket sellers. Beer pushers. Loads of people who consider themselves extremely fortunate when they bring home a hundred dollars after a Pacers game.

No Games, No Hungry Fans, No Pay

The NBA last year paid out $800 million to its wage slaves on the gym floor. That constituted 57 percent of all basketball related revenues for the season, meaning the owners claim to have pocketed some $600 million. The NBPA claims the owners are fudging their books. I’d bet they are. You don’t get rich enough to own a major league sports franchise by possessing the morals of a Boy Scout.

There’s a lot of cash up for grabs in this fight. But there isn’t enough for a hot dog vendor to splurge on Christmas this year.

RUNNING IN PLACE

Speaking of elections, the honorable Regina Moore bounced into The Book Corner last week to stock up on reading material. The city’s parking ticket boss immediately got into a conversation with a young woman who still sported Hallowe’en-themed nail polish.

The two batted around the topic of nail painting for a few minutes then I asked Moore how she was feeling about today’s election. “I feel good about it,” Moore said. “I think we’re gonna be okay.”


Bloomington City Clerk Regina Moore

I told her I was happy she seemed so confident. Then it hit me. “Hey, wait a minute,” I said. “Is anyone running against you?”

“No,” Regina Moore said.

Nor is anyone running against incumbent Mayor Mark Kruzan.

Democracy, Bloomington style. Ya gotta love it.

Still, get out there and vote. It’s the least you can do.

KAYOED

Smokin’ Joe Frazier took a ten-count last night. The former heavyweight boxing champ died after a bout with cancer.

I’ve got to admit I never cared for Frazier. Not for anything he did or the kind of man he was. It was just that he was the guy who knocked one of the heroes of my youth to the canvas back in 1971. Frazier was the first man to hang an L on Muhammad Ali, besting him in 15 rounds at Madison Square Garden that year.

Frazier Labels Ali In One Of Their Three Fights

I loved Ali. I couldn’t have cared less about boxing but I embraced Ali because he had the cagliones to refuse to be inducted into the Army after being drafted in 1967. He risked everything for his beliefs. “I ain’t got no quarrel with the Vietcong,” Ali famously said. “No Vietcong ever called me nigger.”

Plus, Ali was a poet and a showman. Had he been a run-of-the-mill pug, I wouldn’t have given him a second thought. But, because he raged against The Man, I elevated him to my sports pantheon, which also included Curt Flood, Jim Bouton, Dick Allen, and John Carlos and Tommie Smith.

John Carlos and Tommie Smith, Arms Upraised

Ali came back from his exile from the sport and won back the title. Then Frazier outpointed him. I moaned, Who the hell is Joe Frazier, anyway?

Now, no Vietcong ever called Muhammad Ali nigger, but Ali called Joe Frazier a “gorilla” prior to one of the bouts, the three of which have become almost mythic battles. Frazier was deeply hurt by the epithet. Ali also called him an “Uncle Tom” and “ugly.” Frazier’s manager told him to pay Ali no mind, that “The Greatest” was only hyping their match.

Frazier said, Maybe, but how would you like your kid to come home from school and tell you the kids had been calling him “gorilla” and “Uncle Tom”?

I hope to learn that Ali apologized to Frazier before last night. He’d be a hero again for me.

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