Category Archives: Jezebel

Your Daily Hot Air

World To End

Yeah. We humans have hit bottom. There is no hope left. Our time here was sort of interesting. We came up with Shakespeare, Gershwin, Apollo 11, quantum electrodynamics, Arrested Development, pizza, chocolate, and Gandhi.

All of that has been negated by two very recent developments, both of which are documented by Jezebel.

First, vampire-obsessed author Anna Rice identifies the real victim in the Paula Deen dust-up:

From Jezebel

And as if that isn’t bad enough, violent gangs who identify themselves by their affiliations with boy-bands are now roaming our streets:

From Jezebel

Humanity is survived by no one. It was 4 million years old. Services have not been announced at this time.

Meet The New Boss; Same As The Old Boss

NPR carried a report this morning on the outgoing head of Qatar handing power over to a new leader yesterday. It was, the reporter said, the first peaceful transfer of power in the Persian Gulf sheikdom since it became an independent nation in 1971.

The reins passed from the 61-year-old Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, 33. The now-former emir had himself seized power in the tiny oil nation in a 1995 coup. The fact that the transfer of power took place without the seemingly obligatory uprisings, streets riots, government gassings, air force bombings of rebel strongholds, and assorted beheadings and gang rapes that have become signatures of so many other Middle East upheavals was hailed in the report.

“… [T]he transition — a rarity in a region where leadership changes are nearly always triggered by deaths or palace coups — also sends a message to the wider Middle East. It appears a sweeping response to the Arab Spring upheavals and their emphasis on giving voice to the region’s youth….”

So reads the online version of the report. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Peace. The spirit of the young. The freedom of the Arab Spring.

My response? Cut the horseshit, NPR. Sheik Tamim is the son of Sheik Hamad. The elder boss reportedly is seriously ill. So he decided to allow his kid to sit on the throne a little early. The sole highlight of Sheik Tamim’s resume prior to yesterday’s promotion was the title of Crown Prince. If that’s a “transfer of power,” then the Koch Brothers are social workers.


The Real Qatari King

Here’s a thumbnail description of Qatar’s government: It’s an absolute monarchy with no independent legislature and in which political parties are outlawed. The old man sheik promised to hold parliamentary elections back in 2005 but they were cancelled. No new date has been set nearly a decade later.

So, really, the big news out of Qatar is — not a damned thing has changed.

Almost Heaven

When I was a kid, I actually believed that my Chicago sports teams were ineligible to win their respective league championships. True. My Cubs, Blackhawks, Bulls, White Sox, and Bears (listed in the order I cared about them) never, ever once mounted a realistic challenge for the title during the endless years of my impressionable youth.

Santo & the Cat, 1969

It reminds me of a story an old pal who’d grown up in Brooklyn once told me. He said his older sister had a vague awareness of pro sports when they were kids (and, by the way, in a big city, the only sports that count are pro sports; which explains my continued amazement at Bloomington’s passion for the IU Hoosiers teams). This Brooklyn guy said his sister had the understanding that baseball’s World Series, under the sport’s rules, was an annual contest between the best team in the National League and…, the New York Yankees.

Sports Illustrated Photo

They Always Won

Makes sense, no? The Yankees won the American League pennant every year but two from 1949 through 1964. To a kid growing up during that span, that’s pretty much the whole of human history. I mean, when I was seven years old I thought that John F. Kennedy had been president forever. It took me years to wrap my head around the fact that he only was in office for a tad more than three and a half years.

Anyway, my Blackhawks played in the Stanley Cup finals in 1971 and ’73, losing both times to the Montreal Canadiens. I was 15 and 17, respectively. And the ‘Hawks failure to win the Cup those years reinforced the notion that Chicago teams simply would not win championships in my lifetime.

It wasn’t until the Bears won the Super Bowl in 1985 that I could enjoy a Chicago championship. I was 28. And, at that, given my indifference to football, the Bears’ big win was pretty much a yawner for me.

Things changed, of course, with the arrival of one Michael Jeffrey Jordan in my town. My Bulls won six NBA titles in eight years during the ’90s. And then, as soon as Michael Jordan went away, so did the Bulls.

Jordan, 1991

By the time I was almost 50, I figured it could only take the all-too-brief appearance of some demi-god to enable a team I rooted for passionately to win in any given year.

The White Sox sneaked into a World Series win in 2005 but, to be frank, that was bittersweet. It mainly reminded me that my Cubs, the one-and-only true sports love of my life, hadn’t won the World Series since 1908. Still haven’t, BTW.

The Blackhawks remain number two in my heart. I wasn’t assumed into heaven when they took the Stanley Cup in 2010, but I did cruise the streets of Bloomington with my radio blaring that night, honking like a nut now and again. Had I been back in Chicago, I would have been one of tens of thousands doing the same thing. Here, I was one. Period.

I sat alone in my garage office last night, chewing my fingernails while listening to the live stream of WGN radio’s broadcast of the game between the ‘Hawks and the Boston Bruins. With just over a minute left to play, the Bruins led 2-1. The ‘Hawks pulled their goalie to put an extra attacker on the ice, usually a desperation move that indicates the game is over. teams pull their goalie when they need a miracle.

My Blackhawks got two miracles within 17 seconds yesterday. They scored twice and won the series, taking the 2013 Stanley Cup. I yelled. I clapped. I pounded on my desk. I put up a pile of goofy, giddy Facebook posts. I was a kid again.

From Facebook

My teams can win titles.

By all rights, I should be assumed into heaven should my beloved Cubs ever win the World Series. Problem is, I don’t believe in heaven. Sigh.

CNN/Bleacher Report Photo

Your Daily Hot Air

Blood Feud

The Loved One pitched this link my way last night:

From AdWeek

Seems that last fall, some guy from the usually insufferable United Kingdom posted a rant on FB, calling out a British manufacturer of menstrual pads for lying. To him.

Yep. This chap, named Richard Neill, wrote that all his early life he’d assumed women who were being visited by Aunt Flo were having a bang-up time, running and jumping and grinning like maniacs. At least that’s what he gleaned from adverts (don’t these Brits have a cutesy way with words sometimes?)

By the time he became old enough to hang around with women and they started letting him know when it was time for the Clean-up in Aisle 1, he realized that the sloughing off of the uterine and vaginal linings didn’t signal several days of bliss — either for the sloughee or for any human beings within a several-mile radius of her.

In fact, as many of us who strive not to be fooled by corporate adspeak (read: lying) know, those monthly three-to-five days often — way, way, way too often — are among the the most harrowing of our lives.

From "Psycho"

So, Neill called out the Bodyform outfit via social media and — whaddya know? — his post captured better than a hundred thousand Likes. And Bodyform, rather than call for the RAF to bomb the man’s home, decided to have a little fun.

The company produced a slick vid featuring the company CEO (played by an actress) apologizing for misleading the women (and men) of the world (or at least its market share of the orb). The actress-as-CEO looks meaningfully into the camera as she recites her mea culpa. Then she says, “I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but there’s no such thing as a happy period. The reality is, some people simply can’t handle the truth.” She then tells Richard he’s blown the cover off Bodyform’s efforts to protect men from the truth about women’s beastly time, this over images of men weeping and gnashing their teeth. “You, Richard, have torn down that veil and exposed this myth.”

Aw, hell, watch the vid for yourself. This, my fellow Pencillistas, is creative advertising.

Funny, no? It makes me wish Barack Obama and the Dems had done something similar when Me Party-ists, Birthers, and other whack-a-doodles started accusing the president of everything from socialism to Manchurian Candidacy to failure to brush his teeth after every meal.

It certainly couldn’t have been less successful than the strategy they’ve used thus far.

You’ve Been A Naughty Little Girl

More evidence that too many fundamentalist Christians are really sexual fetishists in disguise: There’s a lively group of Obsessive Lovers of An Invisible Friend in the Sky who follow a path they call Christian Domestic Discipline.


The idea being, the king of the household must maintain order within his cellblock…, er, home, by spanking the little woman now and again.

How quaint. And biblical.

And, let’s be frank: Hot!

Well, for some.

Many of us — your loyal e-Pencil-weilding correspondent included — don’t dig pain. In fact, I’ve dedicated my life to the avoidance of it. But I’m an open-minded fellow so I say if you need pain to get off, then go get whipped.


The Sanctity Of Marriage

When it comes to sex, my philosophy is anything goes, as long as kids, explosives, and animals aren’t involved. (The bestial scene is so icky, you know?)

Anyways, who are these CDD folks trying to kid, beside themselves? Not I, that’s fer shur. Correction, they are trying to fool me but I ain’t falling for it.

There can be no reason on god’s green (and purple-y bruised) Earth why a man would feel the need to whip his helpmeet unless he was getting off on it. There, I’ve said it.

And any helpmeet who sticks around for said whipping also must be getting engorged in the nethers when the whip comes down. I’ve said it again.

Yet this gang of CDD-ers insists the Big Daddy-o wants us all to play master-and-slave.

This religion racket is the damnedest thing, no?

[h/t to Jezebel.]

When The Whip Comes Down

The Pencil Today:


“Racism is a much more clandestine, much more hidden kind of phenomenon, but at the same time it’s perhaps far more terrible than it’s ever been.” — Angela Davis


Have you seen this map yet?

Weird, huh?

It’s the electoral map from Tuesday’s presidential election with all the women’s and blacks’ votes discounted. In other words had the female suffragists never been successful, nor had the 15th Amendment giving free blacks the right to vote been ratified, this is what we’d have been left with — one of the greatest electoral college landslides in the history of the United States.

For Willard “Mitt” Romney.

White men simply did not vote for Barack Obama. And for the last 223 years, white men have chosen the president.

No more.

Is it any wonder why they’re scared to death?


Now here’s my own existential question: Why do I refer to white men as “they”?

A Young Mitt Romney And His (White) Pals

Again, is it any wonder?


Jezebel, as you probably know, is part of the Gawker Media group of websites. As its name indicates, it’s directed at women. But I read it because, well, as indicated in the preceding entry, I’m not thrilled to be a part of the white male gang.

Speaking of whiteness, Jezebel has embarked on a campaign to blow the whistle on high school kids who’ve Tweeted racist and often threatening comments about the reelection of Barack Obama Tuesday.

Far too many of these little bastards are calling Obama a “nigger” and a “monkey” and some even express longing for the day he gets picked off by an assassin.

Now, I’ll refrain from revealing what I’d like to do to these brats only because it entails my shoe and their asses and, as I understand it, kicking the crap out of kids is frowned upon these days.

That said, I’m made a little uncomfortable by Jezebel’s tactics. See, the website is contacting the schools these racist kids attend and letting their principals know what they’re saying on the social site.

Not only that but Jezebel is publicizing the kids’ names as well as their schools on the site which is seen by perhaps 100,000 people a day (the latest figures show the combined daily hit total for Gawker’s sites is about a quarter of a million, so I’m estimating here.)

Anyway, I don’t like it. Kids are stupid. I know this because I was a kid once. Kids say stupid things. I remember once telling my mother that I was a communist. Communism, after all, seemed a very attractive alternative to me at the age of 17, what with the Vietnam War and racism and the Nixon White House defining this holy land at the time.

Should I have been called out in a national media outlet for saying so? IIRC, my flirtation with communism lasted all of a few weeks. Then I read about old Joe Stalin and his purges and idiosyncrasies. I also read that even though Stalinism had been declared old hat in the USSR, the new generation of leaders there were only slightly less, shall we say, stern than Stalin.

And here’s another thing. I’ve called some people “nigger” in my day. That’s the word we used in my neighborhood to describe black people. I wasn’t terribly comfortable using that terminology and I never used it as liberally as the vast majority of my peers. In fact, even during those few-and-far-between moments when I did drop an N, I knew I wouldn’t be saying the word once I freed myself from the neighborhood I grew up in.

Still, I felt an almost irresistible pressure to speak in the language of my environs. I did my best to resist, but sometimes I couldn’t. I was, after all, a kid. And kids not only are stupid, they’re apt to fall in line awfully easily.

I was overheard saying the word once by a black guy named Chris, whom I liked. I’ll never forget the look on Chris’s face: a combination of hurt and anger that I’d never seen before. I swore at that moment I’d never use the word as a descriptor again.

Nevertheless, I ran into the guy and his sister several years later on Michigan Avenue. Apparently, he’d never told his sister about what he’d heard me say. She greeted me like a long lost brother. All the while, the guy stood at a remove, eying me as one would a rat.

I wanted to say to him, “Chris, I’ve never used that word again,” but I knew it wouldn’t make his hurt and anger go away. It would only make me feel better to say so.

Speaking of rats, Katy Waldman wrote on Friday that Jezebel is “ratting out” the kids. She, too, riffs on the stupidity of kids. She also posits that Jezebel’s campaign just might make the Tweeters in question bitter, which could very well preclude any magical reversal of their racist feelings.

For its part, Jezebel says it’s calling out these Tweeters and dropping the hammer on them via their principals in an effort to get them to see the error of their ways.

Perhaps. I still don’t care for the paternalistic (or should I say maternalistic) attitude Jezebel’s taking here. It reeks of Joe Friday on “Dragnet” preaching against hippies and LSD and extolling the values of hard work and sacrifice.

As kids, we all laughed at Joe Friday. The mere fact that he was anti-LSD to a large extent drove us toward it. He was the authority, someone to be resisted at all costs.

With its campaign, Jezebel’s putting itself in the role of authority. How hip is the term “nigger” going to become now?

Unless a kid has it in his heart to see black people as human beings who can experience hurt and anger, he’ll never stop dropping the N-bomb no matter how many people call him out on it.

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Monday, November 12th, 2012

LECTURE ◗ IU Maurer School of Law, Room 335A Case Study of China’s Administrative Law Crisis: The Unlawful Enforcement of Insider Trading Prohibition,” Presented by Nicholas Howson, professor of law at the University of Michigan; Noon

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallMaster’s Recital: Adam Walton, bass-baritone; 5pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallDoctoral Recital: Matthew Middleton on organ; 5pm

LETTERS ◗ Rachael’s CafeCreative writing workshop; 6-8pm

OPEN HOUSE ◗ Harmony School; 6:30pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Blind Chance“; 7pm

LECTURE ◗ Buskirk Chumley TheaterIU School of Journalism Speaker Series: Byron Pitts of CBS News; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleJoe Sanford; 7-9pm

SPORTS ◗ IU Assembly HallHoosier men’s basketball vs. North Dakota State; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallPercussion Ensemble, John Tafoya & Kevin Bobo, directors; 7pm

LECTURE ◗ IU Sweeney HallGuest Lecture: Shinuh Lee, composer; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts Center Recital HallHorn Studio Recital: Students of Jeff Nelson; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts CenterMAC Lobby Concerts Series: Jazz Combo; 7:15pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubSongwriter Showcase; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts CenterLatin Jazz Ensemble & Jazz Combo, Michael Spiro & Jeremy Allen, directors; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopDJ Tyler Damon; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallDoctoral Recital: Julia Pefanis, mezzo-soprano; 8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdDave Walters karaoke; 9pm


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:


“American men, as a group, seem to be interested in only two things, money and breasts. It seems a very narrow outlook.” — Hedy Lamarr


If you’re a Monroe County resident, you can vote today at The Curry Building, 214 W. Seventh St., from 8am-6pm.

Again we remind you, in order to streamline the electoral process, Republicans are being asked to vote on Wednesday, November 7th. Do your part.


If I never hear the words “battleground state” again, it’ll be too soon.

See, I’ve heard those annoying words on the radio or read them online more times than all the following really important terms put together:

  • Collateralized debt obligations
  • Credit-default swaps
  • Glass-Steagall repeal
  • Deregulation
  • Ayn Rand-ism
  • Risky assets
  • Faulty bond ratings
  • Debt leveraging
  • The bubble economy

You know — all those things that got us into this economic shithole in the first place?

As long as we’re too dense to see elections as anything other than entertainment, like horse races or Super Bowls, guys who dream up “creative financial instruments” will continue picking our pockets no matter who takes what battleground state.


As long as we’re on the topic of Things That Annoy Me, have you heard that the NFL this week will have its game officials drop pink penalty flags during a game between the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins?

So, every time a defensive lineman attempts to bring down a runner by twisting his facemask, thereby severing the poor sap’s spinal cord — in other words, the usual Sunday afternoon fun — the referees, umpires, back judges, line judges, and all other striped constables on the field will toss pink flags rather than their customary yellow ones.

Throw The Pink Flag!

(And why in god’s holy name do there have to be so many officials — gangs of them — on an NFL field? This is as baffling as why each NFL team has to have upwards of 20 coaches. That’s right, I’m not exaggerating — 20 or more coaches per team. Honestly, I think the NFL is insane. I mean, there are coaches and advisers sprinkled throughout each stadium, photographing plays, drawing up strategies, trying to divine what the opposition might do next, and all of them communicating with each other through electronic systems that make NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover radio set-up look like a couple of tin cans with string attached. Fellas, it’s a game for pity’s sake!)

Anyway, the NFL is going pink for breast cancer, natch. Every other sport has gotten into the pink craze the last few years. Hardly a day goes by when Major League hitters aren’t swinging pink bats or NBA point guards aren’t wearing pink ribbon patches on their uniforms.

Look, I’m a guy and I don’t have breasts to worry about, but, come on, is breast cancer the only disease left on the planet? And don’t hit me with the men-can-get-breast-cancer-too line. The odds of a UFO appearing over the stadium at London’s Olympics opening ceremony, according to one betting house, were precisely the same as those for a man suffering breast cancer — 1000 to one.

So, yeah, I’m not losing sleep over breast cancer messing up my life. I would assume most women are. And everybody’s been spending the last few years jumping on the breast cancer bandwagon.

The question has to be asked: Why breasts? Lung cancer is far more deadly for women in the US than breast cancer is, yet you don’t see NBA players bouncing basketballs painted up to look like spongy, alveoli-packed bellows, do you?

My take is breast cancer in women is the only thing that scares the poo out of American men because we have a breast fixation. If a woman loses her uterus to cancer, we shrug. But if she loses a breast, we’re aghast. Our puerile, tit-fetishy culture sees women pretty much as annoyances with big things on their chests we want to get our hands on.

In fact, we’re so obsessed with women’s racks that we go gaga over gals who’ve had bags of silicon surgically implanted under their thoracic skin.

Victoria Beckham’s Plastic

Reminds me of the time I had a drunken discussion at adjoining urinals at Chicago’s Club Lago with a guy I knew. He was raving about his new girlfriend. “Aw, Big Mike, she’s fantastic,” he gushed. “She’s got blond hair. She’s built, man! She’s got a good gig. She wants sex all the time.”

The guy zipped up and bestowed upon me the piece de resistance, the cherry on the sundae, the Number One in his Top Ten List of why his new girlfriend was the bomb. “And Big Mike, this is the truth,” he said, grinning, “she’s got fake tits!”

I swear I think he wanted me to carry him out of the men’s room on my shoulders.

As I said, I’m a guy, so I know this: We’re breast nutty.

The NFL, the NBA, the NHL, and Major League Baseball are virtually boys-only clubs. They want to show women that they care about them, considering females do buy tickets to games, but the idea of worrying about ovarian cancer or heart attack leaves them cold. But god forbid our little ladies should lose one or both of their tatas!

Then what would they be? The prospect is simply too chilling for most men to contemplate.


And speaking of condescending to our holy land’s little gals, Fujitsu has introduced a spanking new laptop just for them.

It’s called the Floral Kiss, which sounds like a pretty cool new sex technique, but is actually a trademark for a new PC designed for humans who possess vaginas. The Floral Kiss comes in your choice of colors: Elegant White, Feminine Pink, and Luxury Brown. Your smart new laptop also comes with gold trim. Whee!

Ooh! What Happens If I Press This Little Thing-y?

By “smart” I mean, of course, fashionable and trendy, not, y’know, having anything to do with you actually having to use your silly brain. So don’t worry your pretty little head off.

Jenna Sauers of Jezebel writes: “Maybe if you’re very good, you could ask your husband to buy you one for Christmas!”


It’s getting harder by the moment to be a Cubs fan.

The daddy-o of the clan that bought the team a couple of years ago for $845MM is the bankroll behind Dinesh D’Souza‘s “documentary” slopfest entitled “2016: Obama’s America.”

Joe Ricketts: Billionaire Blowhard

In the film, D’Souza posits that the President of the United States actually hates America. Don’t ask me to explain; the “thought processes” of D’Souza and his flock are beyond normal human comprehension.

Anyway, why does the man who set his kids up as billionaires so they could buy my fave baseball team have to be the one who finances this gunk? (Happily, two of the Ricketts kids — Cubs chairman Tom and Board Member Laura — have disavowed Dad’s right wing stances.)

Isn’t it bad enough that the Cubs have not appeared in a World Series since 1945 and haven’t won one since 1908? Now I have to root for them despite the fact that the owners’ papa is a wingnut?

All This And D’Souza, Too?

Believe me, if my boys ever win the Series in my lifetime, I’ll celebrate as never before, then I’ll wash my hands of them.

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

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

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

POETRY & BOOKS ◗ Various locations around IU campus & BloomingtonSylvia Plath Symposium 2012, celebrating 50 years since the publication of her “Ariel” collection, Through Saturday, Today’s highlights at IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger Auditorium:

  • Lynda K. Bundtzen speaks about Plath’s psychotherapy, & use of unconscious in her 1958 poems, Langdon hammer speaks about James Merril’s use of the Ouija® board for inspiration; 9:30-10:20am
  • Linda Adele Goodine & Suzie Hanna sepak about juvenile/adult fantasy & the liminal space between waking & dreaming; 10:30-11:20am
  • Jeanne Marie Beaumont, Annie Finch, Kathleen Ossip, & David Trinidad speak about PLath’s influence on the poetic process; 1-2:20pm
  • Bill Buckley & Peter K. Steinberg speak about Plath’s influence on scholars, students, & artists; 2:30-2:50pm
  • Linda Gates speaks about Plath’s relationships with A. Alvarez, Ted Hughes, & Assia Wevill; 3-3:20pm
  • Diann Blakely, Bill Buckley, Peter Cooley, Kimberly Maxwell, & Jennifer Thompson on being inspired, influenced, & healed by Plath; 3:30-5:30pm

POETRY ◗ Rachael’s CafeB-Town Poets, Open mic reading; 5-7pm

PANEL DISCUSSION IU Memorial Union, Walnut Room — “Human Trafficking & Media,” Penelists include Yana Hashamova of Ohio State University, Jon Daggy of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police, & Lesley Yarranton, London-based journalist; 5:20pm

BENEFIT ◗ Upland Brewing Company5th Annual Local Growers Guild Harvest Dinner; 6pm

LECTURE ◗ IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center — “Sex, Germs, & Worms: Infectious Disease in Primate Societies,” Presented by Charlie Nunn of Harvard University; 6pm

MUSIC ◗ Malibu GrillSteve Johnson Trio; 6-9pm

BENEFIT ◗ The Fields Clubhouse, Clarizz & Moores PikeHarvest Gathering, Dinner & silent auction, For Community Justice & Mediation Center, Featured speaker Jody Lynee Madiera of Maurer School of Law discusses her book, “Killing McVeigh: The Death Penalty & the Myth of Closure“; 6-9pm

FILM IU Cinema — “Blood of Jesus“; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceGrandview Junction; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleZion Crossroads; 7-9pm

STAGE ◗ IU Wells-Metz Theatre — “Richard III“; 7:30pm

LECTURE — IU Maurer School of Law, Moot Court RoomPatten Lecture Series:Why Pictures of People About to Die Depict News Events Involving Death,” Presented by Barbie Zelizer; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubOpen mic hosted by Martina Samm; 7:30pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticMichael Winslow; 8pm

MUSIC IU Auer HallNew Music Ensemble, David Dzubay, director, & Joseph Schwantner, guest composer; 8pm

MUSIC & BENEFIT ◗ Rachael’s CafeLive music, Presented by WIUX PledgeFest; 8pm

FILM IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger AuditoriumUB Films: “The Campaign“; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdKeller Williams; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopThe Broderick Album Release Show, The Kernal, Fluffer; 9:30pm

FILM IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger AuditoriumUB Films: “The Campaign“; 11pm


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. All Bloomington. All the time.

The Pencil Today:


“Physics isn’t a religion. If it were, we’d have a much easier time raising money.” — Leon Lederman



The students start moving in today. And you thought the construction traffic tie-ups were miserable this summer.

Within the next week, tens of thousands of kids and freshly minted adults will be lugging their used sofas up to dorm rooms and rental apartments.

Oh, and hundreds of pampered 19-year-olds will be careening around corners in oversized SUVs for the next nine months.

The Last Thing Many Of Us Will Ever See

Bloomington — ya gotta love it.


IKEA is going to build a bunch of budget hotels in Europe.

It won’t be too long before the Swedish company opens up its hotels here in America.

Yeah, you’ll save money but you’ll have to assemble your room with your own screwdriver.


I Couldn’t Have Said it Better Myself:

“Let me just put this right up front, for all the die-hard disinfectors out there: REGULAR SOAP WILL DO. For almost everything. Really. Not every surface in everyone’s life has to be wiped with antibacterial agents, not every child needs to be autoclaved on the daily, not every sneeze needs to be medicated with antibiotics, and regular soap works just fine. Unless you are some sort of domestic mom-surgeon making sandwiches out of immuno-suppressed bologna, you do not need to scrub up just to live your life. You’ll be fine — and, most likely, better — without this antibacterial obsession.”

That’s from Jezebel’s Lindy West.

From Jezebel

I’m telling you, few things bug the bejesus out of me more than those ubiquitous antibacterial sheets certain Moms — and it’s always Moms, make no mistake — scour down shopping carts with at the grocery.

Honestly, after Oprah hypnotized every Middle American Mom to tremble in terror at the very thought of s-e-x lest they immediately develop AIDS, the entirety of the Earth must be wiped clean every 13 seconds or so now.

You’d think our planet was nothing more than a gargantuan Petri dish of HIV, ebola, e-coli, gonorrhea, listeria, and every other bad boy microbe in existence. Which it is, actually, but that’s OK because we have immune systems which afford us a modicum of protection.

And those immune systems are going all to pot, thanks to our mania for rubbing down everything we see with disinfectant wipes. I shudder to think what some Moms might be wiping down when Daddy-o starts getting a little frisky.

Apparently, West reports, a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science has found that triclosan, an alarmingly common antibacterial substance, can actually stop your heart.

Read West’s piece, or if you’re really into arcana, peruse the study itself.

And relax, Moms, wouldya?


The Huffington Post reports that people are getting anal tattoos now.

Star Stuck

Here’s a suggestion for anybody thinking of getting one of these: I Am An Asshole.

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.”

“What If?” From XKCD

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.

The UniverseA Facebook community of astrophysics and astronomy geeks.

Sunset On Mars From The Universe (Facebook)

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.


Brown County Art Guild125th birthday celebration for Marie Goth; 5-7pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Bonz; 6-8:30pm

Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural CenterWorkshop: Remorse & Guilt, presented by Ani Choekyi; 6:30pm

Unity ChurchBloomington Peace Choir invites new members; 7-8:30pm

Max’s PlaceOpen mic; 7:30pm

The Player’s PubPost Modern Jazz Quartet; 8pm

The BluebirdThe Personnel; 8pm

Boys & Girls Clubs of BloomingtonContra dancing; 8pm

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

The BishopWoody Pines, Busman’s Holiday; 9:30pm


◗ 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:

  • Coming — Media Life; August 24th through September 15th

  • Coming — Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture; August 24th 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

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