Category Archives: Hurricane Katrina

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Since the nation’s founding, African Americans repeatedly have been controlled through institutions such as slavery and Jim Crow, which appear to die but then are reborn in new form, tailored to the needs and constraints of the time.” — Michelle Alexander

YES, YOU CAN VOTE SATURDAY

Only three days left for early voting at The Curry Building, 214 W. Seventh St. Here are hours for voting there:

  • Today: 8am-6pm
  • Tomorrow: 8am-6pm
  • Monday: 8am-Noon

If you’re a traditionalist (or a procrastinator) who won’t vote until Tuesday and still don’t know where your local polling place is, go here.

OPEN YOUR EYES FOR A BIG SURPRISE!

Trojan horses aren’t just for computers.

The Republicans of Alabama have built a beauty, ready to disgorge its anti-public education cargo on Election Day.

Go Ahead, Open It!

The GOP has devised an amendment, to be voted on by the people Tuesday, that purportedly brings Alabama into the civilized world. Alabamans will decide on the question of whether to send the amendment to the legislature for final approval.

The whole thing at first sounds so enlightened: “This bill proposes an amendment to delete those remaining ‘Jim Crow’ provisions of the Constitution of Alabama which have not been expressly repealed by vote of the people.”

Alabama’s Republicans are running around bleating that the Alabama Segregated Reference Ban Amendment will at last cleanse the state constitution of words like “colored” and language that that relegated blacks and the poor to second class status. The state’s governor and other Republicans are patting themselves on the back for being so broadminded.

Noble of them, huh?

Nuh.

The proposed change to the constitution, AKA Amendment 4, contains this surprise: It frees the state from “recognizing any right to education or training at public expense.”

In other words, if we don’t feel like paying for public schools, we won’t.

That’s the flag of the State of Alabama, above. It’s fitting, I’d say, for a populace that soon may be mainly illiterate.

HIS MAN

Michael Bloomberg backs Barack Obama?

Wow.

Convinced

Who’da thunk hurricanes could play such a profound role in the failure and success of presidencies?

Maybe only climatologists and people who, y’know, are educated and actually listen to scientists.

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.


Friday, November 2nd, 2012

VOTE ◗ The Curry Building, 214 W. Seventh St.; 8am-6pm

EXHIBIT ◗ IU Center for the Study of Global Change, Seminar Room, 201 N. Indiana Ave.Japan’s Animal Kingdom: Animals and Civilization in the Japanese Enlightenment; Noon

MUSIC ◗ IU Memorial Union, Dunn Meadow CafeFriday Noon Concert Series: Brazil Pandeiro; Noon

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ◗ IU Asian Culture Center Lounge, 807 E. 10th St.Luncheon Talk Series: “The Secrets of the Gangnam Style“; Noon-1pm

FEST ◗ IU Auditorium6th Annual IU World’s Fare, 20+ international student groups showcase their home countries with cultural displays, food, and performance, Open to the public; 5-8pm

CULTURE ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesCommunity Altar Closing Reception, For Dia de los Muertos; 5-8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallStudent Recital: Barkada Saxophone Quartet; 5pm

DEMONSTRATION ◗ WonderLabThe Science of Art: Making Music, Charlie Jesseph demonstrates the physics of sound using percussion instruments; 5-8:30pm

CRAFT ◗ By Hand GalleryHow to Make Art Dolls, Presented by Wendy Bethel; 5-8pm

ART ◗ Pictura GalleryOpening reception for the exhibit:  Adam Thorman & Laura Plageman; 5-8pm

MIXER ◗ The Player’s PubAtheist Happy Hour; 5:30pm

ART ◗ The Venue Fine Art & GiftsOpening reception for the exhibit: Bryan Gordy Watercolors; 6pm

ART ◗ Bloomington Clay Studio4th Annual Devotion Group Art Show, Plus films and live music, One night only; 6pm-Midnight

STAGE ◗ WonderLabFamily musical, “Captain Louie,” Presented by the University Players; 6pm

BENEFIT ◗ Bloomington Convention Center2012 Sycamore Land Trust Annual Celebration, Including photo exhibit, dinner, silent auction; 6-9pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Ornette: Made in America“; 6:30pm

FILM ◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series: “Two Angry Moms“; 6:45pm

STAGE ◗ Bloomington Playwrights Project — “Maniobras Traviesas“; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallJunior Recital: Cornelia Louise Sommer on bassoon; 7pm

FILM ◗ IU Woodburn Hall TheaterRyder Film Series: “All Together“; 7:15pm

STAGE ◗ IU Halls TheatreDrama, “Spring Awakening“; 7:30pm

STAGE ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Center, AuditoriumComedy, “Hitchcock’s 39 Steps“; 7:30pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticMyq Kaplan; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallPro Arte Singers & Chamber Orchestra perform Haydn’s “Die Schöpfung (The Creation),” William Jon Gray, conductor; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoJazz Fables Quintet, Tribute to John Coltrane; 8-10pm

MUSIC ◗ Chateau Thomas Wine Bar, 118 N. Walnut St.Dylan Carroll; 8-10pm

MUSIC ◗ Rachael’s CafeChris Wilson & Planet Earth, Jesse Lacy, Joe Donnelly (of Joe Donnelly & the Indulgences); 8-10pm

FILM ◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series: “Keep the Lights On“; 8:15pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdAdventure Club; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceLexi Minich; 9pm

FILM ◗ IU Woodburn Hall TheaterRyder Film Series: “Side by Side“; 9pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Robert Frost: A Lover’s Quarrel with the World“; 9:30pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticMyq Kaplan; 10:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Bear’s PlaceBonfire, John Daymoths; 11pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopThe Darned, The Wild Dicks; Midnight

ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “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 through December 1st:

  • “Essentially Human,” By William Fillmore
  • “Two Sides to Every Story,” By Barry Barnes
  • “Horizons in Pencil and Wax,” By Carol Myers

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits through November 16th:

  • Buzz Spector: Off the Shelf
  • Small Is Big

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits through December 20th:

  • A Place Aside: Artists and Their Partners
  • Gender Expressions

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 LibraryExhibits:

  • The War of 1812 in the Collections of the Lilly Library“; through December 15th
  • A World of Puzzles,” selections from the Slocum Puzzle Collection

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. All Bloomington. All the time.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“I was born with a need to be the center of attention and, of course, you’re the center of the world when you’re acting.” — Julie Christie

IT WAS SEVEN YEARS AGO TODAY

Former House Speaker Tip O’Neill once famously said, “All politics is local.”

I, less famously, counter: “All politics is theater.”

Most of the Republican Party’s formula for success since the late 1960s has been its ability to present its standard-bearers as tough guys, strong men, and decisive generals. The GOP has acted more as a talent agent than a producer of statesmen for the last 45 years.

Richard Nixon won the 1968 presidential election because he told the nation he would stand firm against the madness in the streets. He’d beat down the savage blacks who were threatening to explode out of their ghettos. And he’d swiftly kick the crap out of the North Vietnamese and bring the boys home.

Save Us, Dick

We believed him. Just as many of us have believed pro wrestling is on the up and up and Judge Judy is our nation’s top jurist.

Ronald Reagan won the 1980 presidential election because he told us we were terrific and the 1984 campaign by telling us it was Morning in America. Ham that he was, he knew the Soviet Union was on its way out so he talked tough and thereby snatched all the credit for that empire’s inevitable collapse.

Make Us Feel Good About Ourselves, Ronnie

Theater.

George W. Bush’s role as resolute CEO of the Great United States, Inc. propelled him to victory over a couple of namby pamby Dem opponents in 2000 and 2004. The nation was terrified of presidents who liked blow jobs, college educated eggheads who’d ponder us into paralysis, and crazy Arabs who’d blow up our cities. Bush was the antidote to all those existential threats.

Be The Boss, George

But then came Hurricane Katrina and the theater went dark.

The worst natural disaster in America’s history presented Bush with a dramatic challenge he was unable to play. It was as if Kristen Stewart were cast in the role of Margaret Thatcher.

Streep As Thatcher; Stewart As, Um, Stewart

Katrina’s president was a role that was written for Bill Clinton. He’d have set up a second White House in New Orleans. He’d have hugged the storm’s victims until his arms ached. Had Clinton been in office when Katrina hit, people would have been marveling to this day about how fabulous the federal government’s response was to the tragedy.

And in the most practical sense, Clinton wouldn’t have done a thing different than Bush did.

Bush knew how to play the business executive and the military commander. He had a feel for the role of the manly hero who saves the day.

His greatest line before his downfall was, “They hate us for our freedoms.”

Which was, of course, as phony a line as, say, “Go ahead, make my day,” or “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”

“Well, do ya, punk?”

But we in this holy land have always been a cooperative audience. We’ll forgive any political actor for chewing the scenery as long as it makes us feel good. It’s only when pols don’t make us feel all tingly and warm or bold and adventurous that we turn on them.

Witness Jimmy Carter’s malaise speech. Bye bye, Jimmy.

Bush’s Carter moment came when he uttered those unforgettable words, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”

People were still sitting on rooftops waiting to be rescued when Bush said that. The Superdome was filled with refugees at the time of the quote. New Orleans cops were shooting up citizens.

Yet Bush found it important to bestow frat boy bonhomie upon his emergency response point man at that moment in time.

Bush Takes It All In From Above

And like that, Bush was finished. No matter that no government could ever have responded adequately to Katrina. Nothing like it had ever happened before in America.

But when nature sucker punches us in the belly, we have to blame someone. And it’s not just Americans who react that way. Be it an earthquake in Afghanistan or a flood in India, people will shriek “Where’s our government?” even as the government is digging itself out of the rubble.

At times like that, the first and best thing government can do is assure us everything will turn out alright. The boys in charge must tell us that they’ll move heaven and Earth to set our lives right again.

Bush didn’t know that. He was the wrong actor for the part.

Theater.

Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.

I Love ChartsLife as seen through charts.

XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

SkepchickWomen scientists look at the world and the universe.

IndexedAll the answers in graph form, on index cards.

I Fucking Love ScienceA Facebook community of science geeks.

Present/&/CorrectFun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.

Flip Flop Fly BallBaseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.

Mental FlossFacts.

SodaplayCreate your own models or play with other people’s models.

Eat Sleep DrawAn endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.

Big ThinkTapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Music: Barbara McGuire; 6-8:30pm

Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural CenterBuddhism in Everyday Life Series: Ani Choekye presents “What Are Realizations?”; 6:30pm

Unity ChurchBloomington Peace Choir weekly meeting, new members welcome; 7pm

The Player’s PubMusic: Stardusters; 7:30pm

Max’s PlaceOpen mic; 7:30pm

Harmony SchoolContra dancing; 8-10:30pm

The BluebirdMusic: Rod Tufcurls & the Benchpress; 9pm

◗ IU Kirkwood ObservatoryOpen house, public viewing through the main telescope; 9:30pm

The BishopMusic: Kentucky Nightmare, Panic Strikes a Chord, Dead Beach; 9:30pm

ONGOING

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; through September 1st

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th

  • Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th

  • Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th

  • “Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th

  • David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st

  • Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012

  • Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st

  • “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st

◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits:

  • “Media Life,” drawings and animation by Miek von Dongen; through September 15th

  • “Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture”; through September 15th

◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery“Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st

◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st

◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesClosed for semester break, reopens Tuesday, August 21st

Monroe County History CenterPhoto exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Some believers accuse skeptics of having nothing left but a dull, cold, scientific world. I am left with art, music, literature, theater, the magnificence of nature, mathematics, the human spirit, sex, the cosmos, friendship, history, science, imagination, dreams, oceans, mountains, love, and the wonder of birth. That’ll do for me.” — Lynne Kelly

THAT’S RICH

The most ironic story of the last few days is the news that Washington, DC, host city of the 2012 International AIDS Conference, has an HIV-positive rate of some 3 percent. That’s similar to some nations of Africa, a continent, we’ve been told, which is rife with HIV and AIDS.

AIDS 2012 Opening Day Marchers, Yesterday

It’s the perfect illustration of how weird and busted our health care system and overall economy are. Richest nation in the history of the world — millions of people uninsured, poverty-stricken, uneducated, and sick.

Oh, that invisible hand.

THE NATION’S HAND-HOLDER

Barack Obama showed up in Aurora, Colorado yesterday to console the families of the victims of that legal gun owner, James Holmes.

Obama In Aurora

You, know, Ronald Reagan perfected this aspect of the presidential portfolio. Say what you will about Saint Ronald — and I’ve said plenty about the most terrifying president of my lifetime — he was brilliant as our chief cheerleader, mourner, and tucker of the nation into bed at night.

Mike Royko once wrote that Reagan was a miserable prez for domestic issues and a riverboat gambler when it came to foreign affairs, but he was so good at the above-mentioned tasks that he ought to have been named king for life. He could handle all those warm and fuzzy duties while staying as far away as possible from the more pressing work of the White House.

And that was George W. Bush’s undoing. His abominable showing after Hurricane Katrina led to his downfall, the fracturing of his party, and the election of Obama himself. Reagan would have spent many an hour letting the folks of New Orleans he was with them.

Bush, for his part, seemed blase about the whole deal, his most memorable utterance being that famous frat-boy backslapping, “Brownie, yer doin’ a heckuva of a job.”

It’s Yucky Down There

Obama’s got this part of the job down pat.

HILLER THE WOODSMITH; HILLER THE WORDSMITH

Our own Nancy Hiller has a big piece coming out in the October edition of Fine Woodworking (#228).

From Fine Woodworking Magazine

The author of “A Home of Her Own” is a terrific keyboard banger.

A little shameless promotion here: we’ll be carrying the mag at the Book Corner. Oh, we’ve got the book, too. See you there.

CRAZY — TERRIFYINGLY CRAZY

This weekend I noticed a number of references on Facebook to the deranged theory that the Aurora, Colorado shooting was a false flag op carried out by one-worlders eager to strip the the planet’s citizenry of their sacred armaments

The theory goes like this:

The United Nations is pushing its Arms Trade Treaty. See, some of the nations of Earth are making tons of dough selling pistols, rifles, automatic weapons, rocket launchers, mortars, and every other conceivable firearm short of nuclear bombs to the poorer countries so those little guys can shoot themselves up good.

The UN is saying, Hey, let’s slow this biz down a little, huh.

Business As Usual

Natch, the gun people in this holy land think this is the absolute worst infringement on our rights imaginable. They feel the UN treaty is only the first slide down the slippery slope to the seizure of all guns from all god-fearing Americans.

Don’t ask me why they think that. I can’t begin to explain the psycho-sexual love people have for guns around these parts.

Yeesh!

Suffice it to say, though, that the Great United States, Inc. is the world’s largest exporter of firearms. Every war in every corner of the Earth is being fought with Americans guns.

It couldn’t be that those simple folk fretting about our sacred rights are being set up by American gun manufacturers and dealers, could it?

Anyway, this weird, weird conspiracy theory holds that James Holmes is sort of a Manchurian Candidate who was hypnotized or drugged to do his dirty deed Friday night, thereby whipping up the namby-pamby nannies of the nation to shriek for gun control.

Yeah, I know, it can’t get any more psychotic.

In fact, I put a post up on Facebook myself the other day saying the next person who espoused this lunacy would be de-friended by me immediately and gleefully.

My old trivia competition pal Andy Wallingford of Louisville took note of my post. He sent me a message and a photo.  “Remember,” he wrote, “when conspiracy theories were fun?”

The US Air Force Tunnel Borer

The conspiracy theorists have put forth a variety of reasons the United Sates Air Force would own the machine picture above. The top among them include the idea that the federal government is creating a vast series of underground mountain tunnels in the western United States, wherein our leaders can retreat and live in splendor while the rest of us die horrible deaths from disease, war, poison gas, asteroid collisions or some other such calamity.

Another theory holds that the tunnels have been created to house extraterrestrials who are working in concert with the feds to be able to skitter underground to all the nations on Earth and then implant their seed in unsuspecting humans.

Try to forget the fact that the proponents of these theories might be living on your block and just enjoy their beauty and unfettered creativity.

Look, I fantasize making sweet, sweet love with Anne Hathaway. My fever dream has about as much chance of coming true as those of the conspiracy theorists.

Oh, Big Mike…

GOOSEBUMPS

My favorite baseball player of all time, Ron Santo, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday afternoon.

Santo’s Plaque

Here’s a portion of the acceptance speech given by his widow, Vicki Santo.

For the entire speech, go here.

Beautiful words: “God, how he loved the Cubs, and the Cubs’ fans.”

Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.

I Love ChartsLife as seen through charts.

XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

SkepchickWomen scientists look at the world and the universe.

Skepchick

IndexedAll the answers in graph form, on index cards.

Flip Flop Fly BallBaseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.

Mental FlossFacts.

Caps Off PleaseComics & fun.

SodaplayCreate your own models or play with other people’s models.

fish_school On Sodaplay

Eat Sleep DrawAn endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.

Big ThinkTapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

City Hall, Common Council Chambers — Wage Theft Summit, open to the public; 1:30-3:30pm

The Player’s PubSongwriters Showcase: Host TBA; 8pm

The BishopDJ Donovan; 8pm

◗ IU HPER, room 107 — Ballroom dance lessons; 8:30pm

Ongoing:

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • John D. Shearer, “I’m Too Young For This  @#!%”; through July 30th
  • Claire Swallow, ‘Memoir”; through July 28th
  • Dale Gardner, “Time Machine”; through July 28th
  • Sarah Wain, “That Takes the Cake”; through July 28th
  • Jessica Lucas & Alex Straiker, “Life Under the Lens — The Art of Microscopy”; through July 28th

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • Qiao Xiaoguang, “Urban Landscape: A Selection of Papercuts” ; through August 12th
  • “A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th
  • Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th
  • Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th
  • “Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th
  • David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st
  • Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012
  • Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st
  • “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st

◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits:

  • Kinsey Institute Juried Art Show; through July 21st
  • Bloomington Photography Club Annual Exhibition; July 27th through August 3rd

◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery“Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st

◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st

◗ IU Mathers Museum of World Cultures — Closed for semester break

Monroe County History Center Exhibits:

  • “What Is Your Quilting Story?”; through July 31st
  • Photo exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

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