"The blog has made Glab into a hip town crier, commenting on everything from local politics and cultural happenings to national and international events, all rendered in a colorful, intelligent, working-class vernacular that owes some of its style to Glab’s Chicago-hometown heroes Studs Terkel and Mike Royko." — David Brent Johnson in Bloom Magazine
Lots going on around town these days, as always in the fall. Here are a few things you oughtta do:
● Bloom Magazine Book Club — This issue’s selection is Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman. The Book Corner has tons o’copies and they’re 20 percent off for book club folk. All ya gotta do is say, “I’m getting this for the book club.” How much simpler can we make it? Bloom honcho Malcolm Abrams has set up Indiana University English prof. emeritus Don Gray to talk about the controversial novel, Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 5:30pm, at Topo’s 403 Restaurant, 403 N. Walnut St.
Alabama’s Nelle Harper Lee
Just in case you were wondering, there’s no club member card and you don’t have to pass through any kind of initiation. Just read the book and come listen to Don Gray talk about it. He’ll take Qs from the crowd, too.
● Send Shelli Yoder to Congress — Currently a member of the Monroe County Council, Yoder jumped late into the Democratic primary for Indiana’s 9th US Congress District in 2012. In a shocker, she clobbered Bob Winningham and Gen. Jonathan George, who’d been certain he was the anointed party candidate. (BTW, loyal Pencillista Col. John Tilford also ran in that primary. Yoder kicked the bejesus out of him as well.) Yoder went on that fall to get walloped herself by incumbent Todd Young, losing 55-45 percent. She was then selected by party caucus to fill the term of departing county council member Vic Kelson. She ran for reelection in 2014 and easily retained her seat. Now that Todd Young is gunning for the US Senate, Yoder’s jumping back into the congressional fray. The Friends of Shelli Yoder is throwing a fundraising bash at the Fountain Square Ballroom, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, from 5:30-7:30pm. All the local party big shots’ll be there. I’ll be there with on the spot coverage should any of our Dems trip over the carpeting.
Indiana’s Shelli Renee Yoder (L)
● Monroe County Book Fair — This year’s annual tome orgy benefits the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. The Book Corner will be there Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, 10am-1pm, with New York Times bestselling author Michael Koryta, signing his latest, Last Words. Koryta mixes crime, suspense, mystery and throws in a dash of woo in his compelling volumes. A percentage of the Book Corner’s proceeds will go to the Food Bank. This is the first year the Book Fair benefits HHFB. The fair runs Oct. 8-13 at the Monroe County Fairgrounds. I’ll be there peddling Koryta’s books.
Florida & Indiana’s Michael Koryta
Do any or all of these things and you’ll surely earn your Pencillista stripes.
So, the White Buffalo outfit whacked some deer Monday night and Tuesday morning — apparently. The City’s being closed-mouth about the operation. Do not enter signs were put up at the last possible moment, I suppose so that culling protesters wouldn’t flock to the Griffy Lake area and perhaps catch an arrow or even a slug in the gluteus maximus.
I can report the spread of a conspiracy theory. One woman has publicized a story she got from her nephew that the FBI was involved in the cull and some 150 critters were assassinated. The nephew also told his aunt that each deer was gutted on the spot and the guts were left for coyotes to munch on.
Folks, it ain’t just the wingnut right that’s got its head screwed on backward.
Have you caught the news from So. Korea that the ferry line CEO whose vessel capsized in April, killing 304 people, has been thrown in prison for ten years? Not only that, seven other company officials were given prison sentences of two to six years. And another couple of guys got suspended sentences for participating in the cover-up.
The Sewol Disaster
The poor bastards. I bet they wished they’d have run their ferry company here in America. In which case, following a similar disaster, at least three of them would have been hired by Fox News as shipping and/or business analysts. The rest would probably have gotten their own reality TV shows.
I guess the South Koreans just don’t understand business.
I don’t know where he finds the time to do it but Monroe County Council member Geoff McKim puts out an absolutely indispensable blog covering the nuts and bolts of local gov’t. His IN53 – MOCOGOV site is a neat example of elected officials at least giving the impression that they give a good goddamn about you and me, the voters.
Geoff McKim & Brood
For instance, a post this week addresses $87,575 in proposed spending on a couple of maintenance vehicles for the Monroe County Parks and Recreation Dept. so it can take care of its hiking trails. Admittedly, that’s not anywhere near as sexy a news story as, say, Barack Obama’s birth in Kenya or some Tea Party pol professing that rape babies are god’s gift.
What we fail to recognize all too often is that these are the real issues in government. Spending a few thou here and a few thou there is what council members, representatives, state senators, and other beauty contestant winners argue about and do every day.
This Means War
It’s sort of comforting to know that Phyllis Schlafly is still on the case. The superhero fighter against the Equal Rights Amendment back in the ’70s and, before that, a prime mover in the birth of the neo-conservative movement in this holy land, she’s got some thoughts on Barack Obama’s immigration speech last night.
Even before the Prez issued his exec. order granting temporary amnesty for certain unauthorized aliens to remain here, ol’ Phyll told the World Net Daily folks that he was about to embark on a course of action as shocking and devastating to our sacred republic as the attack on Ft. Sumter or Pearl Harbor.
Man! I munna start digging a bomb shelter in the back yard this very morning.
Amnesty = Unspeakable Slaughter
Schlafly referred, of course, to the opening salvo of the Civil War — and, golly gee, we might be in for another such bloodbath because of Obama and his amnesties:
Schlafly, like fellow conservative luminary Richard Viguerie, speculates that an executive amnesty might touch off a sort of modern-day conflagration.
The truth of the matter is these Right Wing loons are pretty tumescent over the prospect of another Civil War. Witness, for instance, the run on St. Louis-area gun shops in the lead-up the the Michael Brown killing grand jury report.
Y’know, if ever I have questions about the rightness and efficacy of being at least somewhat allied with the Democratic Party, I remember the other party boasts deep thinkers like Schlafly and Viguerie. All of a sudden I say to myself, Hey man, those Dems’ll do.
Now that the city o’Bloomington has inked a deal with White Buffalo, Inc. to cull the deer pop. around Griffy Lake, I will give the plan The Electron Pencil seal of approval.
That’s because the contract between the wildlife management outfit and our parks board calls for the unlucky critters — up to 100 of them can be whacked from late fall through February 2015 — to be processed for distribution at the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. As long as hungry folk are going to be able to make midnight snacks out of deer sausage sandwiches, I’m cool with the whole idea.
White Buffalo Staffers At Work
And this despite the fact that White Buffalo has gussied itself up using ripped off Native American mythical iconography. The company’s website proudly proclaims:
Native American legend tells of the White Buffalo Woman who offered a sacred pipe to a Dakota tribe, explaining that the pipe symbolized that all things were connected. Its purpose, and ours through educational efforts, was to remind people of their tie to nature, what nature gives and what should be done in return.
I suppose a co. would have to dress itself up in quasi-insulting Noble Savage togs if it’s in the biz of assassinating cute little deer. Pretending you’re following in the great tradition of our proto-American predecessors makes the messy business of shooting Bambi in the brain a tad more palatable to the general public.
In any case, nobody would argue the fact that the deer are aggravating the bejesus out of residents around B-town. In fact, some dear friends of this correspondent and The Loved One are aghast that we put out corn and salt licks for deer. They claim the deer eat up all their flowers and vegetables and we are aiding and abetting them in these nefarious acts. I counter that they ought to plant something the deer don’t care for. Problem solved, no?
I’m not terribly eager to see a deer shot down in the prime of life. But as long as its meat feeds those less fortunate than I am, I’m all in.
Speaking of The Loved One, she brought up a compelling scenario last night during our ride home from downtown B.
“What are they going to say,” she observed, referring to the NRA and other gun fetishists, “when somebody shoots up a gun show?”
You know, I’d never thought of that. Wayne LaPierre and the rest of the folk who cuddle with Glocks always screech whenever some armed psychotic opens fire in a school or a Wendy’s. If more of us carried artillery, they shriek, we’d all feel safer.
[I bet you didn’t know J the P even had a website. He does and I wish I didn’t know it.]
No Real Joe
Joe the Plumber (his name’s not Joe and he’s not a plumber, but what’s a few facts among Me Party-ists?) gurgled and snorted about how it’s a daddy-o’s duty to protect his litter with guns in every pocket as well as an automatic rifle slung over his shoulder. The implication being the father of the aforementioned victim was a pussy for not accompanying his son while bandalero’d.
The father, his face distorted by anguish, had cried, “They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’s right to live?”
Joe the Plumber’s retort? “As harsh as this sounds — your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.”
My guess? Joe’s nightly ejaculation into his gun barrel was of an extremely copious nature after he wrote that.
Back to T-Lo’s original point. What will Pan troglodytes like J the P say when a sick bastard mows down a few gun enthusiasts at the next NRA convention or any of the countless big gun shows around the nation? It’s going to happen, right? Gun-ophiles obviously count among their number a healthy population of borderline lunatics. And they carry guns. And no one at the convention or any of those shows will think twice when they see a guy walk in with two rifles and a hip belt full of pistols. And then that guy will open fire, dropping a few or even a few dozen gun-ists before someone drops him.
No doubt they’ll crow that the guy’s kill count would have been far greater had they not all been caressing firearms at the moment of his outburst. The fact that the convention hall floor will resemble nothing so much as a meat processing plant will seem to escape their notice.
I’ve got bad news for The Loved One: I think we already know what they’ll say.
“The world is not divided between East and West. You are American, I am Iranian, we don’t know each other, but we talk and we understand each other perfectly. The difference between you and your government is much bigger than the difference between you and me. And the difference between me and my government is much bigger than the difference between me and you.
WFHB moves glacially when it comes to hiring people. Sheez, it took the board six months to figure out Chad Carrothers was the person for the job of General Manager, even as he was whipping the station into shape operationally and financially as the Acting Boss.
So, the two-month wait to give the News Director position to Alycin Bektesh doesn’t seem so, well, endless.
Bektesh & Pal
Yep, the former Assistant News Director/Acting News Director now gets to print up permanent business cards and I can’t think of a more deserving soul in the industry.
I wrote the news with Bektesh when she first joined the station as a volunteer a year ago. I thought I was the hottest pepper in the salad until she sat next to me. Alycin was aggressive, confident, knowledgeable, and damned good.
Perhaps most amazing of all was her ability to endure my incessant chatter and ribbing. Not only that, she gave it all back and then some.
Look out Chicago and New York. This chick’ll be nosing around Bloomington only for a precious short time.
Correct me if I’m wrong but is this not the year 2012?
The IDS reports this morning that an Indiana University junior named Brianna McClellan was tabbed Miss IU Saturday night.
The campus pageant is one of the stepping stones to the Miss Indiana and Miss America contests.
Miss America: A Crowning Intellectual And Public Service Achievement
I mean, there are a lot of dumbass things going on in this holy land — the Republican primary reality show for one — but I had no idea we still had beauty pageants.
Oh, the participants in these things caution us not to call them beauty pageants anymore. Heavens no.
If not, then why can’t I compete in them?
I’ll tell you why: The sight of me in an evening gown would sour the audience on life permanently.
Anyway, last year’s Miss Indiana University, Jaclyn Fenwick, turned over her tiara, sash, bouquet of flowers, riding crop, and velvet handcuffs to Brianna, at which point the new Miss IU held her hand to her cheek in shock, which, if I’m not mistaken, is a gesture mandated by law in such cases.
McClellan, Shocked (photo by Kirsten Clark/IDS)
Fenwick told the IDS that the Miss America thing is important because it provides scholarships to young women.
McClellan said, “I just want it to be known that it’s not a pageant. It’s not a thing about beauty…. It’s the inner beauty and scholarship.”
McClellan added that it’s really volunteerism and community service that count most in the competition.
I suppose it’s only a coincidence that McClellan and Fenwick and the runners up all possess extraordinary conventional physical attributes.
I’ll believe McClellan’s and Fenwick’s unsolicited protestations the day a 250-pound woman who wears horn-rimmed glasses and who volunteers at the Hoosier Hills Food Bank or Boxcar Books wins the title.
WE DO FACEBOOK SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO
This feature has been absent in recent weeks mainly because FB-ers have been unimaginative.
They sure made up for lost time last night and this morning.
So let’s see what the social media’s brightest minds are up to — and remember, this is a no spamily, no brattle zone.
◗ Rich Lloyd, professor of complicated stuff at Vanderbilt University, read an op/ed piece in the New York Times that’s relevant to the above discussion on beauty pageants.
After all, men don’t make passes at women who wear glasses, right?
Wrong, Coontz says. That’s old hat. Read the piece and find out why.
◗ Radical lawyer Jerry Boyle, whose hands are going to be filled when the G-8 and NATO big boys visit Chicago this spring, found the fabulous quote that appears at the top of this page. It’s from graphic novel author Marjane Satrapi.
I can’t stress enough how cool Satrapi is. Her breakthrough work was the double-volume “Persepolis” saga, detailing her upbringing in Iran in the 1970s and ’80s. She personally witnessed two sets of iron hands — those of both the shah and the ayatollahs’ theocracy — squeeze the life out of that nation.
Satrapi suspects that the Iranians and Americans have a lot more in common than we’d care to admit.