Category Archives: Kim Kardashian

Today’s Hot Air

The Obvious

To this day I haven’t written a word about the efforts of Indiana statehouse legislators to get a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the ballot before Hoosier voters.

I apologize to all loyal Pencillistas who’ve been wringing their hands, wondering what they should think about this issue without my firm and wise counsel to guide them.

Wait and fret no more.

Indy Star Image

The House Vote, Last Month (photo: Charlie Nye)

Monday, the Indiana Senate Rules Committee passed on the resolution to the full Senate. If the Senate okays the bill, HJR-3, it would be the second of a three-step process to ensure that people who love people of their sex would never, ever, ever achieve the full rights and privileges heterosexual married couples enjoy here. In other words, the wise legislators are loath to grant homosexuals the same imprimatur that they would happily bestow upon the likes of, say, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries…, oh, wait, they divorced after 72 days of marriage. Hmm. Alright, how about Katy Perry and Russell Brand. Ah, no. What about…, aw, forget it, you know what the Senators mean.

Don’t you?


A Holy Union

Anyway, I haven’t written about the bill because, well, it’s stupid. And wrong. And hateful. I could write those six words every day. What else could I possibly write about it?

I know, this: Let’s all make it our business to vote out the idiots who are behind this vile bill.

A Nation Of Stars

The National Science Foundation tells us that Murricans are fast becoming less skeptical of astrology.

Yep. Acc’g to a study released this week, the NSF has found that in 2012 only 55 percent of us believed astrology is not scientific. That’s down from 62 percent in 2010.


The Zodiac

Astrology, of course, is the belief that the apparent positions of stars and planets affect human behavior on Earth. Many people confuse astrology with astronomy, which is like mixing up the Bible with Newton’s Principia.

The term scientific, in this case, refers to the process by which we rigorously discover, test, and verify knowledge. The scientific method, just as a reminder, includes the following steps:

  • Observe and identify a problem or question
  • Gather information
  • Form a hypothesis
  • Conduct experiments
  • Record and analyze the experiment results
  • State a conclusion or theory
  • Publish the theory to allow others to confirm or rebut it

That’s how we know, for instance, that the nearest star to Earth is 4.243 light years away. That would be just a shade under 25 trillion miles. Trillion. With a T. Or 25,000,000,000,000.

The shoe covers that the obstetrician wore when she delivered you exerted far more gravitational influence on your physical body than did the nearest star to the Earth.

But the people of this holy land who, in the last few years, have chosen to devote far fewer financial resources to our schools, more and more are coming to accept astrology.


The Nazis Are Coming! The Nazis Are Coming!

And, of course, science is not the only discipline we blithely laugh at in this holy land. History is a joke here as well.

To wit: New York Times best selling author Dr. Ben Carson the other day warned that progressives, liberals, and secularists are changing Murrica in the most despicable way possible. They, Carson told a Republican fundraiser, are leading us down the same path that Nazi Germany took.



He said:

There comes a time when people with values simply have to stand up. Think about Nazi Germany. Most of the people did not believe in what Hitler was doing. But did they speak up? Did they stand up for what they believed in? They did not, and you saw what happened. And if you believe that same thing can’t happen again, you’re very wrong.

Leaving aside the historical untruth that “most of the people did not believe in what Hitler was doing,” Carson clearly equates people like me with, oh, say, Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi “Angel of Death.”

To which I reply, with all due respect, Fuck you, Dr. Ben Carson.

Reproductive Hot Air

Oooh, Momma

These days I’m becoming a teensy fraction less revolted by parents, the most repulsive of which crow incessantly, Being a parent is the hardest job in the world.

To borrow a line from the comedian Bill Burr, Yeah? Tell that to the guy from eastern Kentucky with black lung disease.

Look, Kim Kardashian is a mother. Some pro athletes have spawned from sea to shining sea. I rest my case.

"Virgin" Mary

Anyway, I’m starting to soften toward parents thanks to the refreshing writing of parenting blogger JJ Keith, about whom I’ve yacked here previously.

Now, I know a ton of Pencillistas are moms (and you know — don’t you? — that you all are cool Mommas simply because you read me). So you, too, probably want to run away screaming when confronted with a room full of parents who are filled to the brim with themselves.

So here’s another tip: JJ Keith has a very cool Pinterest page. It’s called Mother Fucking Homemaking. If that title doesn’t grab you and hold you for all time, you’re probably the kind of mom who actually digs baby showers. In which case, you’re beyond hope.

Worry not, fellow members of the species Homo Sapiens sapiens. The Loved One and I are not planning on reproducing ourselves (for which decision I fully expect to be congratulated — well, I’m waiting…). It’s just that I’m actually enjoying reading about the act of raising brats, thanks to Keith. Maybe you will, too.

BTW: If you want to really get into the whole burgeoning STFU Parents movement, dig this blog of the same name. Get this: the blog’s author, Blair Koenig, has coined a fab new word to describe what’s going on in certain precincts: Sanctimommies. Beautiful, no?

That’s all. I’m finished today.

Your Daily Hot Air

You Say You Want A…

Okay, if you want to overthrow…, um, what- or whomever, I’m with you. Count me in for the revolution as long as certain global archcriminals get scalped.

Case in point: Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia. I wish I had his address. I’d throw eggs at his front window, at the very least.


Evil Prince

The Prince has sued Forbes Magazine in a British court for libel. The editors of that biweekly paean to wealth and two of its reporters, according to the Prince’s filing, wronged him when they stated that his net worth is $20 billion, rather than the more accurate (or so he claims) $29 billion. The bastards!

Honestly, what can you expect from a guy whose bazillions are laundered through a corporate entity known as Kingdom Holding Company? Really? Kingdom? He owns a hefty chunk of the right-wing media colossus News Corp. as well as slices of Apple and Citigroup. As the (alleged) 26th richest human on Earth, he’s not just part of the 1 percent, he’s of the .000000004 percent. Four freaking millionths of one goddamn percent!

Revolution, my friends, now.


This just hit me.

I want to sell T-shirts, buttons, and bumper stickers with this motto on it. Maybe even have it inscribed on my head stone. It is the single truest, most direct, punchiest thing any of us can ever say.

Here it is:

Bumper Sticker

This’ll Make Me Bazillions!

Of course, you can have your choice of jerk photos. Ayn Rand. Chris Brown. Lloyd Blankfein. Kim Kardashian. Anyone in power at Monsanto. You get the idea.

Simple. Straightforward. Don’t be a jerk.

Tarnished Genius

I’m no big fan of Bobby Kennedy. He and his bros had their political careers bought and paid for by Big Daddy Joe, whose fondest dream was to become the Boss of America through them. The Kennedy boys were entitlement personified. They treated women like dirt. They were so sexually acquisitive that they verged on being predators. They were in thrall to mobsters and wannabes. They were liberal when liberalism could get them votes, then they turned around and were conservative for the same reason.

But they were smart. And they did care about blacks and the poor. So I won’t throw the babies out with the bathwater.

After the whacking of JFK (by L.H. Oswald, alone, natch — I’m no conspiracy theorist), Bobby essentially had a nervous breakdown. He came out on the other side a different man. A better man, I might add. A man who had the courage to speak to what could have been an angry, potentially violent crowd one night here in Indiana.

Indy Star Photo

Bobby Kennedy Breaks The News

It was April 4, 1968. RFK was flying into Indy for a quick campaign stop. As the plane was about to touch down, the captain informed Kennedy and his staff that Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated. Bobby’s handlers told him it would be suicide for a white man to tell a crowd of black people that one of their leaders, one of their heroes, had been killed. Let’s not land, they begged him. Let’s go somewhere safe.

And Bobby said no. The plane landed and he gave this speech on the tarmac, completely extemporaneous and without notes, one of the finest in the history of this very, very imperfect nation:

Ladies and gentlemen.

I’m only going to talk to you for just a minute or so this evening, because I have some, some very sad news for all of you. Could you lower those signs, please? I have some very sad news for all of you, and, I think, sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world; and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause for the effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it’s perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black — considering the evidence, evidently, is that there were white people who were responsible — you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.

We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization — black people amongst blacks and white people amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand, and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion, and love.

For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust, of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.

But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond, or go beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poem, my favorite poet was Aeschylus. And he once wrote:

Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget

falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair,

against our will,

comes wisdom

through the awful grace of god.

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King — yeah, it’s true — but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love, a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke.

We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We’ve had difficult times in the past, and we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; it is not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.

And let’s dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.

Thank you very much.

Kennedy died of a gunshot wound to the head 45 years ago Thursday.


The Pencil Today:


“Marriage is a gamble, let’s be honest.” — Yoko Ono


Shelli Yoder allowed herself and her gang a scant 24-hours’ worth of reveling after her Democratic primary victory Tuesday.

Yoder At Her Front Door Tuesday Night

She gathered the troops together early last evening to begin serious planning for her run for Congress in the November election. Yoder, her communication director Alexa Lopez, and volunteers from around the state met at the Uptown Cafe on Kirkwood to plot strategy for Indiana’s 9th District race against Republican Todd Young.


I don’t care what the result in North Carolina was Tuesday — putting human rights up for a vote is not only wrong, it’s a dead-on indication that the rights in question flat out aren’t going to be rights once the polls close.

How do you think the federal Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts would have fared in a popularity contest back in 1964?

Unless enlightened leaders legislate those rights into existence, the most likely choice of the electorate would be to flip the finger to whichever group wants them.

For all his sins, President Lyndon B. Johnson twisted arms, bartered with, and cajoled senators to pass the laws that would guarantee legal equality for black Americans. He might have been a vote-stealing, crude and crass, venal pol, but he knew the nation needed federal legislation to bring its black brothers and sisters fully into the family. And he did so at the cost of his presidency.

Martin Luther King Congratulates Lyndon Baines Johnson

Barack Obama’s long-awaited imprimatur of gay marriage yesterday won’t cost him the presidency, but his view on the matter alienates him from at least half the voting public.

For my money, I don’t want democratic principles determined by an electorate that is more conversant in the private life of Kim Kardashian than Thomas Paine’s “The Rights of Man.”


My roster of Facebook friends tilts heavily to the left. That makes sense because I tilt heavily toward the left, even when I haven’t been drinking.

Lots of lefties these days are certain the nation as well as humanity itself is on a crash course toward disaster. If I took all the Facebook posts of my friends seriously, I’d be a juddering wreck. Our food is poisoned, the FBI is snooping through my sock drawer even as I type these words, war will be declared on Iran in a half hour…, Help!

I’d have to imagine the Facebook posts of Right-leaning folks are just as alarming, only for different reasons. The political and philosophical zeitgeist of the 21st Century holds that if you aren’t wringing your hands and being a drama queen, then you aren’t paying attention.

Rage is demanded by people who use Facebook to alert the world to the perils they see around every corner. I’m sorry to inform them all I don’t have that much rage in me.

But last night a post by the decidedly non-political Tyler Ferguson turned me into a snarling beast.

Ferguson reported that the college lads who live directly across the street from her have purchased and installed a new stereo system in their apartment. She heard them congratulating each other on finally having a sound device that can make their music audible halfway across the continental United States.

Tyler reports she can now hear the lyrics to the songs they play with crystal, if disturbing and annoying, clarity.

She writes: “I don’t recognize the current song, but the lyrics are ‘nigger’ and ‘fuck’ pretty much over and over. Nice.”

Now we have to assume the “artists” singing such an Euterpean delight are black. It’s perfectly acceptable in the recorded music industry world for young black men to liberally sprinkle their lyrics with the N-bomb.

Me, I immediately assumed the lunkheads blasting the music are white. Suburban white boys are the single biggest demographic that buys what I’ll indelicately christen “nigger/fuck music (NFM).”

I’m no shrink, but I’ll hazard the guess that the Zachs and Joshuas of the world embrace such cacophony as a way to demonstrate how macho and quasi-threatening they are. Testosterone has a weird way of making young men desperately want to display those traits.

So I added my comment to Tyler’s Facebook post thread. Several others already had offered to help Tyler commit mayhem upon the persons and property of the lads in question. I wrote: “And if you tell us they’re white, I’ll be happy to go with you and kick their balls up into their abdomens.”

See, my take on the white boys loving NFM is that they’ve reduced young black men to loathsome stereotypes. When I see a Mom-and-Dad-bought-and-paid-for SUV careening around the corner at Kirkwood and Walnut blaring NFM, I think the boys therein would have been perfectly comfortable some 65 years ago, sniggering at Steppin’ Fetchit while flipping a nickel to the bootblack who just shined their shoes.

Tyler responded: “They are pasty white.”

I came back with a flurry of obscene pejoratives directed at the lads. I concluded, “Grrrrrrrrr!”

So that’s the sum total of my emotional output due to Facebook for the rest of the month. Even if someone reveals that George W. Bush personally planted the explosives that toppled the Twin Towers.

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

Thursday, May  10, 2012

IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits, “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”; through July 1st — “Esse Quam Videri (To Be, Rather than To Be Seen): Muslim Self Portraits; through June 17th — “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”; through July 1st

IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibit, “Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze”; through June 29th

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Arts Center Exhibits at various galleries: Angela Hendrix-Petry, Benjamin Pines, Nate Johnson, and Yang Chen; all through May 29th

Trinity Episcopal ChurchArt exhibit, “Creation,” collaborative mosaic tile project; through May 31st

Monroe County Public LibraryArt exhibit, “Muse Whisperings,” water color paintings by residents of Sterling House; through May 31st

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

Monroe County Public LibraryUsed book and media sale; 9am-4pm

Monroe County Courthouse Lawn — Strawberry Shortcake Festival; 10:30am-2:30pm


Bloomington City HallPlatinum Bike Summit; 4pm

Bear’s PlaceMedia Noche Trio + 1 CD release party; 5:30pm

Farm Bloomington, Root Cellar — Ryder Film Series, “444 Last Day on Earth”; 6:30pm

Buskirk-Chumley TheaterCardinal Stage Company presents “Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”; 7pm

IU CinemaFilm, “The Kid with a Bike”; 7pm

Brown County Playhouse“Under the Umbrella: Life Is a Circus” performed by balancing artist Steven Ragatz; 7-8:15pm

Fairview Elementary SchoolScott Russell Sanders speaks about becoming an author; 7-8pm

Scott Russell Sanders

Max’s PlaceKeith Korns; 7:30pm

The Comedy AtticDan Telfer; 8pm

The Player’s PubCarpenter and Clerk, 220 Breakers; 8pm

The BishopGood Luck, Spoonboy, Kind of Like Spitting; 9pm

Bear’s Place Karaoke; 9pm

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