Category Archives: Global Public Square

Your Daily Hot Air


Barack Obama yesterday spoke like a black man for the first time since he hit the national scene. He said, “You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is: Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”

Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP

Impromptu & Unexpected

Now, I’ve just read about this impromptu speech on the Guardian UK website. My immediate reaction was: Guaranteed, tons of folks in this holy land are gonna say, “If only that was Barack Obama 35 years ago.”

So let me take a break for a few moments so I can go through my go-to Right wingnut sites and see if  the oh-so dependable crypto-racists of Murrica have made a seer out of me.

While you wait for me to do this pressing research, enjoy this:

Okay, I’m back. In fact, I was finished with my search long before the above vid was over. Ya gotta love the Right; they come through every time.

The reactionary conservative world had apoplexy over the prez’ comments, natch. Among other things, they accused Obama of trying to “tear the nation apart,” they called him the “Race-baiter in Chief.” One woman wrote, “I had no idea Obama sucker-punched a watch volunteer & then bashed his head in. Who knew?” Another called him a “buffoon,” “racist,” a lyncher, and guilty of sedition. A third called him “the most irresponsible president in history.” Jim Hoft, AKA the Dumbest Man on the Internet, wrote, “Good Lord — he is stoking a race war.”

And that very sensitive deep thinker Sean Hannity wondered aloud if Obama really meant he was like Martin because he (Obama) had smoked pot and “did a little blow” when he was the age of the late Florida teenager.

Now, bingo! Here’s the magic comment by someone named OldHickory21 on the Daily Caller website: “If only Obama had run into a George Zimmerman there in Hawaii, we wouldn’t be watching our country going down the drain right now. Too bad.”

From the Daily Caller

Good to know some things are reliable in this ever-changing world.

Pretty Little Terrorist

Speaking of the deranged Right (and ain’t I always?), our nation’s non compos mentalists found themselves all aflutter earlier in the week when Rolling Stone put a photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover.

Rolling Stone Cover

For years, being on the cover of the Rolling Stone was seen as perhaps the ultimate honor a rock star or movie actor could earn. Hell, there was even a hit song about it called — what else? — “Cover of the Rolling Stone” back in 1973.

Ignoring the fact that the remaining couple of dozen people who still read Rolling Stone are those who were young and hip aways back in 1973 and now are concerned mostly with erectile dysfunction and the rising cost of cemetery plots, the hysterical Right concluded that the mag was championing young Tsarnaev and his alleged pressure cooker attack on the Boston Marathon.

For some odd reason, the unreasonable of this nation feel the rather normal-looking mug of the accused deep-fryer bomber will inspire doddering former hippies to revolt. Presumably, they’ll attack the Silent Majority with their canes and walkers.

It follows, then, that a number of drug and convenience stores had removed the publication from their shelves because…, well, because. And some guy from the Massachusetts State Police said the cover “glamorized the face of terror.”

I have no idea what they’d have preferred Jan Wenner put on the cover — perhaps a photo of a warthog or Adolf Hitler or simply a garden variety brown Arab. Now those things are ugly and/or evil. Tsarnaev the Younger can even be described as attractive. What kind of monster would attach a picture of a cute white kid to a story about a vicious terrorist act, even if the cute white kid (allegedly) did the act?


The Face Of Terror

Anyways, my concern here is with the retailers who took the mag off their shelves. It makes me think of my recent promises to refuse to sell certain books to people at (shameless plug here) Bloomington’s only remaining independent bookseller, the Book Corner.

Loyal readers know that I’ve promised not to participate in a transaction with any customer who wants to buy faux-pimp James O’Keefe’s memoir, anything by the execrable Glenn Beck, and anything by or on behalf of doughy vigilante George Zimmerman. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself knowing I’d helped those chuckleheads earn even a penny.

My take on those who refuse to peddle the Tsarnaev Rolling Stone is that they’re narrow minded prigs who dig censorship.

So I have to ask myself, when all is said and done: Aren’t I, too?

To be frank, I don’t know the answer yet. Either that or I do know the answer and I simply don’t want to admit it.

It Is A Puzzle(ment)

Here’s a fun heads up. Theater and non-profit maven Marc Tschida is making, with his bare hands, a neat selection of Bloomington-oriented jigsaw puzzles.


Marc Tschida

Well, okay, he’s using a jigsaw, among other handy tools, but y’know.

Thus far, he’s produced a nifty Buskirk Chumley Theater puzzle as well others depicting Cardinal Stage Company productions and the face of a beloved local citizen whose identity will remain a secret until he gets all the appropriate releases signed and sealed. Look for tons more B-town landmarks and defining images to pop up in stores near you within the next few months.

Tschida Puzzle

Tschida’s “Charlotte’s Web” Puzzle

Tschida is donating gobs of the puzzles to area non-profits for fundraising raffles and giveaways. Pencillistas, unbuckle your money belts and throw a little cash Tschida’s way.

The Pencil Today:


“Men rarely, if ever, manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.” — Robert A. Heinlein


From all I hear, she was universally beloved. We were Facebook friends but I’d never met her. I’ve put out the call for someone to write up a good eulogy for her in this space. Stay tuned.

Sophia & Her Four-Year-Old Son Finn

Gun Crazy

Remember that guy found with an arsenal on the third floor of the Seventh Street municipal parking garage?

Robert Redington of Indianapolis was caught loitering six weeks ago in the garage at a spot that just happened to overlook Kilroy’s Sports Bar on Walnut Street. Police have been sensitive about Kilroy’s ever since Lauren Spierer disappeared after spending the night drinking at the place in June, 2011.

Redington, apparently, was watching people come into and out of Kilroy’s. He had with him a laser rangefinder as well as a couple of loaded automatic handguns in his waistband. Police also found a loaded shotgun in the trunk of his car nearby.

Indiana’s new carry laws don’t prohibit the average citizen from walking around so armed. But Redington has been found to be off his nut. Somehow, the NRA and other gun fetishists haven’t convinced legislators to allow every lunatic in the state to pack heat. Yet.

Anyway, Redington had a cache of 51 guns in his home. The cops seized all the weapons after he was arrested. Judge Mary Ellen Diekhoff ruled yesterday in Monroe County Circuit Court that Redington’s personal armory will not be returned to him. Indiana law allows judges to disarm those who’ve been ruled dangerously mad.

Somehow, some way, the sane among us have put at least that much of a brake on the steady trend to allow every man, woman, child, and — for all we know — household pet to own and carry firearms.


Salman Rushdie is the go-to guy for a personal slant on the chaotic demonstrations and riots sweeping the Muslim world in reaction to that ridiculous “Innocence of Muslims” film and the French magazine cartoon that lampoons Muhammad.


Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ordered a necktie party for Rushdie after the publication of his book, “The Satanic Verses,” in 1989. And on Monday, some previously anonymous imam offered to pay $3.3 million to any Muslim who kills Rushdie. These guys have long memories.

Muslim extremism is beginning to make this holy land’s god-fetishists look quaint.

God’s Soldiers

So, Rushdie granted an interview to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria this week. It’ll air on Zakaria’s Global Public Square program Sunday. Rushdie has plenty to say about the contretemps in Muslim Southwest Asia and Africa. He feels much of the outrage and violence is being manufactured by those who hope to benefit from the chaos. That’s how he felt about the demonstrations against his book 23 years ago, as well.

Rushdie says: “…I think certainly, if we look at what’s happening now, this is very much a product of the outrage machine. Yes. there’s this stupid film, and the correct response to a stupid film on YouTube is to say it’s a stupid film on YouTube, and you get on with the rest of your life. So, to take that and to deliberately use it to inflame your troops, you know, is a political act. That’s not about religion; that’s about power.”

Yep, we’re back here for the time being.

The spanking new Ryder website is…, well, it’s somewhere. While Peter LoPilato and his army of computer geeks perfect the new site, we’ll be running Bloomington’s best events listings here, again.


Friday, September 21st, 2012

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

MUSIC FESTIVAL ◗ Downtown Bloomington, various locationsLotus World Music & Arts Festival; though Sunday, September 23rd, various times, today’s lineups:

Buskirk Chumley Theater:

  • Deolinda; 7pm
  • Fatoumata Diawara; 8:45pm
  • Fishtank Ensemble; 10:30pm

First United Methodist Church:

  • JPP; 7pm
  • Galant, Tu Perds Ton Temps; 8:45pm
  • Vida; 10:30pm

Ivy Tech Tent:

  • Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three; 7pm
  • Hanggai; 8:45pm
  • Panorama Jazz Band; 10:30pm

IU Tent:

  • Taj Weekes & Adowa; 7:15pm
  • Slavic Soul Party; 8:45pm
  • Movits!; 10:30pm

First Presbyterian Church:

  • Melody of China; 7pm
  • Keith Terry & Evie Ladin; 8:45pm
  • Trio Brasileiro; 10:30pm

Jake’s Nightclub:

  • Hudsucker Posse; 10pm

MUSIC FESTIVAL ◗ Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park & Campground38th Annual Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame & Uncle Pen Days; through Saturday, September 22nd, today’s acts:

  • Bobby Osborne & the Rocky Top X-Press, JD Crow & the New South, Jesse McReynolds & Virginia Boys, Newfound Road, Ralph STanley II, David Parmley & Continental Divide, Tommy Brown & County Line Grass, Wildwood Valley Boys

DISCUSSION ◗ Ivy Tech-BloomingtonBreakfast Learning Series: Affordable Care Act and Its Impact on Behaviral Health Providers; 8am

LECTURE ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesArchaeology Month Series: “Stories Told in Stone: Recording Scared and Everyday Landscapes in the Shadow of the Rocky Mountains,” presented by Laura Scheiber; Noon

ART ◗ IU Grunwald GalleryExhibit opening reception, Samenwerken, collaborative, team, multimedia projects; 6pm

ART ◗ The Venue Fine Art & GiftsOpening reception, The Art of Fenelia Flinn; 6-8pm

WORKSHOP ◗ Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural CenterBuddhism in Everyday Life Series: Recognizing the Pitfalls, presented by Ani Choekye; 6:30pm

DISCUSSION ◗ Monroe County Public LibraryGlobal Issues Community Discussion Series: The Global City Phenomenon, presented by Stephanie Kane & Ron Walker; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleIndiana Boys CD release party; 7-9pm

STAGE ◗ IU Halls TheatreDrama, “When the Rain Stops Falling;” 7:30pm

ART ◗ IU SoFA McCalla School Installation, “in transit, or to be moving to always be moving and to not stop moving,” presented by The Fuller Projects; 7:30pm

OPERA ◗ IU Musical Arts Center — “Don Giovanni;” 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubBottom Road Blues Band; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoMonika Herzig and Carolyn Dutton; 8pm

FILM ◗ IU Memorial UnionUB Films: “The Amazing Spiderman;” 8pm

MUSIC ◗ Chateau Thomas Wine BarDylan Carroll; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The Palace Theatre of Brown CountyClassic Country Jukebox, starring Robert Shaw and the Lonely Street Band; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdHairbangers Ball; 9pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Sleepwalking with Me;” 9:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopR-Juna, You’re A Liar, The Proforms; 10 pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceMerrie and Her Mighty Men; 11pm

FILM ◗ IU Memorial UnionUB Films: “The Amazing Spiderman;”11pm


ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “The Bolognese School,” by Annibale & Agostino Carracci, through September 16th
  • “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, Opening September 21st

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibit:

  • Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection;” through September 21st

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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