Category Archives: Lauren Spierer

Hot Air

No Schadenfreude Here

So Fred Phelps is dead. Lots of folks on my side of the fence are expressing glee over his passing. Not me.

I’d always seen Phelps as a pitiable, extremely sick individual. No sane person could do what he did for so long and so conscientiously. He gave his entire life over to a campaign of senseless, pointless, self-destructive demonstrations of pure hate. Yet he never hurt anyone except himself. Even people who fought tooth and nail against same-sex marriage and other LGBTQ advancements in rights must have cringed every time Phelps’ psychopathy-distorted face appeared on a TV screen. I’d argue that he did more to advance the cause of acceptance and rights for non-straight people than any dozen LGBTQ activists.

Phelps

A Face Of Pain

If I feel anything, it’s relief that man whose life was poisoned by sheer self-induced misery finally is at peace.

OTOH: When Andrew Breitbart died, that was different. He was sane but a self-centered, miserable, lying, dangerous excuse for a human being. To this day I’m deliriously happy that Breitbart’s dead.

The Girl & The Jet

Notice how a judge ruled against the Spierers yesterday? The grieving parents of the missing IU student wanted to keep some evidence under wraps in their negligence lawsuit against two young men who spent time with Lauren the night she went missing.

Apparently, Robert and Charlene Spierer thought the release of all evidence might compromise a potential criminal case against anyone who might bear responsibility for their daughter’s disappearance. The judge ruled, whoa, all criminal and civil proceedings are open to the public.

Well, that’s not precisely true but this is not a case of national security or clear and present danger or even anything that might embarrass someone in a position of power.

Anyway, how many of us have forgotten about Lauren? It occurs to me that I really don’t even see those missing student posters and flyers that still adorn doors and shop windows around town. Natch, the Spierers will never forget. And Lauren’s story will become headline news once again when she’s found.

Poster

Part Of The Landscape

The whole thing still puzzles me. Lauren is our town’s MH Flight 370. How can a college student or an airliner simply disappear from the face of the Earth? Kidnappers and murderers aren’t arch-criminals. They don’t possess wondrous machines that allow them to daze and awe the law abiding world while they go about their nefarious business. Real-life bad guys leave clues. They’re sloppy. They’re careless. They’re human.

Of course, that missing Malaysian jet probably was not hijacked or blown up. That breed of criminal doesn’t often keep his evil deeds on the qt. The whole idea being he wants the world to know what a fearsome character he is. Run of the mill baddies don’t go trumpeting their stunts, sure, but 99.9 percent of the time they lack the smarts and the wherewithal to cover up their actions for too terribly long.

Flight 370 Family

Waiting

Meanwhile, the hundreds of family members and friends await word in Kuala Lumpur. As do a couple of parents in Long Island.

Credible Numbers

Statistics centerfold model Nate Silver is taking a lot of heat these days for a climate change article he ran on his new website 538. In the piece, author Roger Pielke, Jr. states that we’re spending tons more dough to clean up after climate-related disasters than ever before, not necessarily because storms are getting worse or more frequent but because the value of our damaged or destroyed assets has mushroomed.

Those trying to alert the gen. public to the dangers of climate change are apoplectic. They feel the 538 piece just might give folks the wrong impression about how costly C.C. already is, and will be in the near future.

Now we come to the point where every climate change argument falls on either side of a line separating canon from apostasy. Nate Silver and Roger Pielke, Jr. suddenly find themselves cast as villains, saboteurs, heretics.

A few climate scientists are saying Pielke’s statistical methodology was suspect. Maybe. But Silver and those who work with and for him have virtually unassailable reps when it comes to crunching numbers.

It seems, though, that the criticisms come from the corner of the human psych that holds that established wisdom must never be challenged, even if the challenge is the splitting of hairs over a few dollar figures. Certainly acceptance of climate change is established wisdom these days, at least among those who are nominally sane. Sure, troglodytes like Sen. James Inhofe may believe climate change is a hoax and, yes, he’s in a position of power to do something (or, far more likely, nothing) about it. But the scientific community and we lay folks who consider ourselves well-read buy into forecasts of potential global climate disaster.

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath

Given that, anybody who dares to suggest things aren’t as dire as the most alarmist of us might believe is seen as the enemy now.

Climate change is real, and a real danger; only let’s not get sloppy with the evidence. That’s all Silver and Pielke are saying.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

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

SOPHIA TRAVIS

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

Sophia & Her Four-Year-Old Son Finn

Gun Crazy

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOD CRAZY

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

Rushdie

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

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

God’s Soldiers

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

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

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

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

Enjoy.

Friday, September 21st, 2012

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

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

Buskirk Chumley Theater:

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

First United Methodist Church:

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

Ivy Tech Tent:

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

IU Tent:

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

First Presbyterian Church:

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

Jake’s Nightclub:

  • Hudsucker Posse; 10pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoMonika Herzig and Carolyn Dutton; 8pm

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

MUSIC ◗ Chateau Thomas Wine BarDylan Carroll; 8pm

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

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdHairbangers Ball; 9pm

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

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

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

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

ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “The Bolognese School,” by Annibale & Agostino Carracci, through September 16th
  • “New Acquisitions,” David Hockney; through October 21st
  • “Paragons of Filial Piety,” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi; through December 31st
  • “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers,” by Julia Margaret, Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan; through December 31st
  • French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century;” through December 31st
  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Pop-art by Joe Tilson; through December 31st
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • What It Means to Be Human,” by Michele Heather Pollock; through September 29th
  • Land and Water,” by Ruth Kelly; through September 29th

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibit:

  • “Samenwerken,” Interdisciplinary collaborative multi-media works, Opening September 21st

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibit:

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

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibit:

  • “CUBAmistad” photos

ART ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits:

  • “¡Cuba Si! Posters from the Revolution: 1960s and 1970s”
  • “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”
  • “Thoughts, Things, and Theories… What Is Culture?”
  • “Picturing Archaeology”
  • “Personal Accents: Accessories from Around the World”
  • “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”
  • “The Day in Its Color: A Hoosier Photographer’s Journey through Mid-century America”
  • “TOYing with Ideas”
  • “Living Heritage: Performing Arts of Southeast Asia”
  • “On a Wing and a Prayer”

BOOKS ◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit:

  • Outsiders and Others:Arkham House, Weird Fiction, and the Legacy of HP Lovecraft;” through November 1st
  • A World of Puzzles,” selections form the Slocum Puzzle Collection

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Soup’s OnExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Culture: “CUBAmistad photos; through October

ART ◗ Boxcar BooksExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Papercuts by Ned Powell; through September

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • Bloomington: Then and Now,” presented by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • “Doctors and Dentists: A Look into the Monroe County Medical professions

The Electron Pencil. Go there. Read. Like. Share.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Biggest ‘Brown-Noser’: Paul Ryan” — From the Joseph A. Craig (Janesville, Wisconsin) High School 1988 yearbook

LOOK TO THE SKIES

Lake Monroe was the place to be last night at midnight.

The middle of Lake Monroe to be a bit more precise.

The Loved One and I lolled on a pontoon boat with friends, all of us craning our necks, watching nature’s spectacular light show, the Perseids meteor shower.

The Perseids

We were not at all disappointed.

We sat around in a circle, covering a 360-degree visual range, and let the streaks and flashes evoke involuntary oohs and aahs from us. It was 47 times better than a fireworks show.

At one point a massive meteor lit up the sky in the southeast, behind me. I couldn’t see the meteor’s arc myself but I saw the faces of the people facing me illuminated by its glow. Fantastic, I tell you.

Just to show you I’m not a complete religious bigot, I can understand why some might conclude after watching such a display that there must an uber-mighty fellow who put this whole shebang together just for our pleasure.

Many thanks to Hondo Thompson and his saintly bride Les for the invite. And listen to Hondo every Friday afternoon on WFHB from 1 to 3.

DAN SMITH HAS A GREEN THUMB

IU Kelley School of Business Dean Dan Smith is back in town after traipsing around the country this summer.

DAN SMITH

He’s only going to be the big man at Kelley for another couple of months. He’s been named the new prez of the Indiana University Foundation.

He raised plenty of dough for the Kelley so the U figured, hell, let’s let him raise cash for everybody.

THE PARTY OF GOD

Paul Ryan is a Roman Catholic.

Not This Jesus — The White One!

Willard’s moment of praise for his new bottom: “A faithful Catholic, Paul believes in the worth and dignity of every human life.”

What that’s code for: Ryan’s anti-abortion.

NOT LAUREN

That skull found in the White River in Indy a month ago?

It’s not Lauren Speirer’s.

And the wait goes on for her mother.

In related news, some chucklehead was found in the public parking garage across Walnut Street from Kilroy’s Sports Bar where the missing IU student partied the night she disappeared. The guy was carrying two loaded semi-automatic pistols and had a loaded shotgun in the trunk of his car. He also carried a digital rangefinder, according to the IDS.

America

So the cops hauled him in and questioned him about Lauren Spierer. Turns out he met her once. When the cops determined he had nothing new to add to the missing person investigation, they turned him over to the psych ward at Bloomington Hospital.

The shrinks there gave him a clean bill of mental health and turned him loose within hours.

Great.

Carrying all that artillery is no crime in this state.

People, we are fked up.

HUMAN ALGEBRA

How do you feel about the earthquakes that hit Iran, killing some 250 and injuring more than 2000?

And be honest with yourself.

How many American deaths in a weather-related event or some other natural catastrophe equal 250 dead Iranians?

Two? Maybe three.

Iranian People

That’s the way we think.

That’s the way people all over the world think.

SCARY

Click For Entire Article

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.

I Love 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.

Click For Entire Article

Caps Off PleaseComics & fun.

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.

Max’s PlaceKid Kazooey, children-friendly tunes; 3-5pm

Bryan ParkYoung Professionals of Bloomington mac n’cheese bakeoff, free tasting; 4-6pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Creek Dogs; 5-7pm

Bryan ParkKrista Detor outdoor concert; 6:30pm

Bear’s PlaceRyder Film Series: “The Pigeoneers”; 7pm

Ongoing:

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

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

◗ 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:

  • 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

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“We should stop going around babbling about how we’re the greatest democracy on Earth, when we’re not even a democracy. We are a sort of militarized republic.” — Gore Vidal

MIGHTY NATIONS — ONCE

Here’s the distribution of native language groups in what is now called North America, before the Europeans started coming over in the late 15th Century.

Click For Larger Image

In other words, this is a map of nations. Each of these nations not only had common languages but cultural ties among the various groups within.

They are no different, in those senses, than the United States or Mexico. The only things they lacked were steel and the wheel.

Steel And The Wheel

Accordingly, they disappeared.

CHARLENE SPIERER’S TORTURE

I bet it’s killing Charlene Spierer to refrain from divulging the name of the person she’s certain did in her daughter.

Charlene Spierer

She probably wants to shout the person’s name from the rooftops but, for obvious reasons, she can’t. There are little matters like getting a probable cause warrant, arresting the suspect, and arraigning him or her (oh hell, who am I kidding, him) that must be done first.

The Marion County Coroner’s office has extracted a tooth from a skull found a month ago in the White River in Indianapolis. As it stands right now, examiners don’t even know if the skull comes from a woman or a man.

Marion County’s Deputy Coroner tells The Journal News that the tooth will be compared to Lauren’s dental records in an act of kindness for the Spierers. Examiners generally don’t do that for specific parties who have reported missing people. But the high-profile nature of the disappearance and the Spierers’ savvy use of the media forced the Coroner’s hand.

Charlene has written an open letter to the person who snatched her daughter in the Spierers’ blog. She writes: “We were shocked when several people hired attorneys within days of Lauren’s disappearance. Five young men, five attorneys.”

That’s been my point all along: The last thing I’d think of doing if one of my pals disappeared would be to hire an attorney.

Lauren’s mom then addresses the person who did the deed: “Who are you? Did you go on any searches? Maybe you were no longer in Bloomington as thousands helped look for Lauren. Did you use Lauren’s disappearance to your advantage? Have we met? Time will tell.”

BLOOMINGTON BLISS

Our next door neighbors’ daughter, R, a senior at Bloomington High School North, copped an Honor award at the Monroe County Fair for her entry in the Bake It with Pineapple contest.

R’s entry was a pineapple coconut tart topped with meringue. Gotta tell you, it paled in comparison to another recipe she experimented with over the weekend: a zucchini-pineapple bread. Too bad — for my money if she’d have submitted the bread, she’d have won the blue ribbon.

All this is yet another way of saying I love living in Bloomington.

GUILTY DISPLEASURE

Tyler Ferguson of the Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls is all agog this AM. She’s going up to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indy tonight to see — oh, god, I don’t want to say it — Barry Manilow.

She’s been warned: Should she come in to Soma Coffee tomorrow singing any Manilow hit and thereby implanting it as an earworm in my fragile psyche, there will be hell to pay.

HOOKED ON A FEELING

In the category of sugary pop, you can’t beat this from BJ Thomas.

It’s recorded directly from the 45, complete with scratch and dust noise. How can you not love it?

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.

From I Fucking Love Science

Present and 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.

Caps Off PleaseComics & fun.

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.

Click For The Quiz

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

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

◗ IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center — Summer 2012 Sustainability Internship Symposium; 11:30am

Monroe County FairgroundsDay 7, 2012 Monroe County Fair, Hearts of Fire; 6:30pm — Music Makers Extension Chorus Group; 7PM; Demolition Derby; 7:30pm; Soul Patrol; 7:30pm; ; Noon to 11pm

◗ BEAD District Bloomington, Gallery WalkReceptions & exhibits:

WonderLabThe Science of Art: Screenprinting, with David Orr: 5pm

◗ IU Fine Arts Theater — Ryder Film Series: “Kumaré: The True Story of a False Prophet; 7pm

Bloomington Playwrights ProjectOriginal musical, “Dreams & Nightmares”; 7pm

Buskirk-Chumley Theater — “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”; 7:30pm

The Comedy AtticCostaki Economopolous; 8 & 10:30pm

Cafe DjangoDavid Miller’s Art Deco Quartet; 7:30pm

◗ IU Woodburn Hall Theater — Ryder Film Series: “Polisse”; 8pm

The BluebirdJJ Grey, Mofro; 8pm

Max’s PlaceKathy Gutjar; 8pm

◗ IU Fine Arts Theater — Ryder Film Series: “Oslo: August 31”; 8:30pm

Max’s PlaceTarpaper Turley; 10pm

The BishopDJ Junebug; midnight

Ongoing:

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; opens Friday, August 3rd, through September 1st

◗ 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: Bloomington Photography Club Annual Exhibition; 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 CulturesClosed for semester break, reopens Tuesday, August 21st

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

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“If you want to be a purist, go somewhere on a mountaintop and praise the east or something. But if you want to be in politics, you learn to compromise. And you learn to compromise without compromising yourself. Show me a guy who won’t compromise and I’ll show you a guy with rock for brains.” — former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson

WILL YOU BE MY HERO, PLEASE?

How about that Alan K. Simpson?

The old bird who used to be a demi-villain to liberals back in the ’80s is now a darling of the left set because he tongue-lashed his fellow Republicans over the weekend.

Simpson appeared on CNN with Fareed Zakaria Sunday and called GOP legislators’ anti-tax intransigence “madness.”

Anti-Tax-ists

Just goes to show how far we liberals and progressives have fallen when we have nobody to idolize but Republicans who occasionally say something that makes sense.

Simpson, by the way, says only a combination of solutions can revitalize the economy. That includes higher taxes for some Americans.

GO!

Click this logo for the Pencil’s events listing, the best in Bloomington, natch:

FACE TIME

I’m the most curious guy you can imagine (and that’s true on a number of levels.) But there are certain things I don’t need to see or know.

One of them is the video of the cops shooting that crazy nude man who was eating the face of another man.

Here’s A Pretty Cardinal

In fact, that’s all I know about the story. I fear that if I click on any of the articles about it, I’ll see too much.

There’s nothing more I need to know about it.

UNHAPPY ANNIVERSARIES

Get ready for the flood of stories on the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of IU student Lauren Spierer.

Profit-driven media is big on anniversaries. I look at it as lazy journalism.

If you think the Spierer anniversary will be bad, just wait until November, 2013. That’ll mark the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination.

He Did It, Okay? Can We Move On Now?

Oh, and steel yourself for yet another wave of conspiracy books, documentaries, and articles.

VEGETABLES ARE SOCIALIST

Michelle Obama’s new book comes out today. “American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America” recounts the story of her White House garden.

Which reminds me that the unimaginably bizarre Rush Limbaugh raked her over the coals last fall for her garden.

“We do not like being told that we can only eat what’s in her garden,” he ranted on his radio show, which is listened to by tens of millions of mammals daily.

BTW: he also called her “uppity” once. But neither he nor his listeners are racists. How do I know? They say so — when they’re not busy calling a professional woman who happens to have dark skin “uppity.”

Sometimes I just want to scream.

HARVEST FOR THE WORLD

I don’t remember if I’ve posted this song before but no matter, it’s worth hearing again.

The beauty of this Isley Brothers tune is that, while acknowledging that things are largely going all to hell, there is always hope. Every time I hear it, this song makes me think of morning.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“There’s nothing like eavesdropping to show you that the world outside your head is different from the world inside your head.” — Thornton Wilder

FRUSTRATING THOSE GOOGLE SPIES

Here’s a follow-up on a report from NPR’s Morning Edition. Reporter Steve Henn explained how to thwart Google’s mechanism for keeping track of your website search history.

This is important to people who believe our wired society is turning into a Big Brother nightmare. These folks don’t want some faceless, soulless corporation knowing what kind of winter boots they like to buy online or which political candidate’s blog they follow. It’s of even more pressing urgency to those who surf websites like, oh, say, www.hairydivas.com.

Yes, This Site Does Exist

(Now, I haven’t linked to the above-mentioned site not only because it’s NSFW but even if you were tempted to cruise it at home, you wouldn’t want to have this up on your screen if, by some weird turn of fortune, you up and collapsed of a heart attack and left this vale of tears. Can you imagine your loved ones and paramedics knowing that this was your last act on Earth? Suffice it to say this site is dedicated to comely women who proudly display extraordinarily lush growth in their tropical locales.)

Anyway, here’s how to stop corporate eavesdropping and avoid afterlife humiliation.

Go to Google itself. Type in the words google dashboard.

The top result should read Dashboard – Google. Click on it.

Sign in using your gmail password.

Your Google Accounts page will turn up.

Okay so far? Click on Manage account.

This page should turn up:

Scroll down to the section called Services.

Click on Go to web history. This should be displayed.

Now click on Remove all Web History. You’ll be asked Are you sure you want to clear your entire web history? Your web history will also be paused. Click OK.

That’s it. You’re finished. This should appear on your screen.

Now you’re safe to purchase online any brand of winter boot you desire without some market research weasel from Google knowing about it. And you can go to hairydivas.com. Just make sure your heart is in good shape.

THE SANTORUM BOGEYMAN

Lots of my Democratic friends were pulling for Rick Santorum to upset Mitt Romney in yesterday’s Michigan primary. I’d even heard that some Michigan Dems had registered as Republicans so they could cast a vote for the man who would bring us back to the good old days of the Inquisition.

Their reasoning? Santorum would be walloped in November by Barack Obama whereas Mitt Romney has a chance against the incumbent.

Very clever, no?

No.

I Wonder What Rick’s Measuring

This is why I’m thrilled to pieces that Romney edged Santorum in Michigan yesterday. What if by some bizarre chance Santorum was elected president of this holy land?

It would indeed become a holy land — and not in the ironic, jokey sense that I use the term. Santorum clearly desires a theocracy here.

That’s not a risk I’d be comfortable taking no matter how clever some people’s voter strategy is.

THE PRICE OF JUSTICE

So, Lauren Spierer’s parents have upped the reward for information on the whereabouts of their missing daughter to a quarter of a million dollars.

This acknowledges the possibility that someone, somewhere knows what has happened to the IU student and has not spoken up yet only because the money wasn’t good enough.

Wow. Imagine that. What kind of ghoul do you have to be to deny these poor souls closure because $100,000 just isn’t good enough for you?

Considering the likelihood that Lauren Spierer, who went missing on June 3rd, has met a horrible end, that would make for a total of two ghouls in this case so far.

SEX CRIME — 1984

Both Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart comprised Eurythmics. In truth, though, Eurythmics was all about Annie Lennox.

I’ve never seen the 1984 film, “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” The book was depressing enough, albeit brilliant literature. I couldn’t imagine sitting through the nearly two-hour exploration of a world that is terrifyingly possible. At least with the book, if the mood became too oppressive, I could put it down.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Liberals feel unworthy of their possessions. Conservatives feel they deserve everything they’ve stolen.” — Mort Sahl

DUH, GOLLY GEE, I DUNNO!

The day before yet another Republican primary, this one in Florida.

As always — I repeat, always; I mean it, always — Big Media is doing remotes from a bunch of heretofore unknown sandwich shops and church basements that the various candidates will visit to ask voters whom they’ll, um, vote for tomorrow.

And danged if the intrepid reporters invariably pick out the same kind of yokel: Well, uh, I haven’t made up my mind yet, and so on, ad nauseam.

Come on, people! There’ve been 373 debates within the last week alone. Moon Newt and Rich Mitt have been in the public eye for years. The issues they’ve skirted have been with us since time immemorial.

Who Are These Guys?

How on Earth can you not know who to vote for tomorrow?

Sometimes people say they need to actually see the candidates — with their naked eyes — before they can decide.

Look, neither the Republican candidate nor the eventual president is going to sit down with you and balance your checkbook, nor is he going to do your windows or vacuum your carpet. He’s going to be administering a government of 300-odd million people. You’re merely one of them.

He doesn’t have to visit with you personally in order to get your vote.

Sheesh, don’t people get it?

WHO’S RIGHT AND WHO’S WRONG?

If you’re not decrying the split between liberals and conservatives within this holy land these days, you’ll be accused of not paying attention. Many wags and wonks say the gulf is tearing our nation apart and is either created or exacerbated by the corporate media in order to provide content for its infotainment product.

Lah-de-dah.

But a recent study by University of Nebraska researchers indicates that liberals and conservatives react differently, and viscerally, to images of good and bad things. The researchers conclude that liberalism and conservatism may be driven more by biology than any analysis of issues.

Conservatives, the study finds, physically react more strongly to pictures of car crashes and flesh wounds whereas liberals react more to pretty, peaceful scenes.

In other words the right is spurred on by peril, the left by bonhomie.

This Ought To Push A Liberal’s Buttons

Those on the right, the researchers also found, exhibit more dramatic physiological reactions when shown pictures of Democrats than they do when shown Republicans. Oddly, liberals respond the same way. The researchers see this as further proof that conservatives are kicked into higher emotional gear by things they loathe or fear while libs are just the opposite.

Conservative?

It’s not much of a stretch to suppose that Republicans, therefore, are stimulated more by attack ads and fear-mongering.

So, don’t expect the pissing match between Moon Newt and Rich Mitt to peter out any time soon. And then look for even more thrills and spills come September and October.

STILL WAITING

Abby Tonsing of the Herald Times pointed out yesterday that Lauren Spierer turned 21 on January 12th.

The missing IU student’s parents, Charlene and Robert Spierer, still believe the male students who reportedly saw Lauren in the hours and moments before she disappeared on June 3rd have more information that they’re not sharing.

Daddy-o Robert called the story one of the boys told police “laughable.”

Lauren, On A Previous Birthday

I still can’t figure out why the four male IU students identified as having spent time with her before she vanished are all lawyered up. Then again, former assistant county prosecutor Maryann Pelic tells me it’s the smart thing for them to do (and she’s not at all implying they have anything to hide.)

TOO COWARDLY TO UTTER ICKY WORDS

So, the trial of the two idiots who sat on their hands when news of former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s sex crimes was reported to them will soon begin.

To refresh your memory, another assistant coach allegedly saw Sandusky naked in the football shower room engaging in anal intercourse with what appeared to be a naked 10-year-old boy. The assistant coach reported what he saw to head football coach Joe Paterno who, in turn, reported it to a couple of paper shufflers in the PSU athletic department.

Paterno promptly washed his hands of the whole affair, convinced he’d done everything he was legally obliged to do. Apparently, he was satisfied with doing next to nothing.

The two paper shufflers now face charges of failure to report a child sex crime to the police and lying about what they knew to a grand jury.

Sandusky has been charged with 50 counts of having sex with young boys.

Paterno died last weekend of lung cancer and the Penn State community came out to tell the world what a great guy he was, what a leader of men, what a moral beacon, and tons of other holy horseshit.

But when the scandal broke it was learned that Paterno allowed Sandusky to continue to use Penn Sate facilities for years after the great man was told about the shower incident. Despite being retired from the football program, Sandusky was allowed to keep an office in the football hall and kept bringing prepubescent boys to the place at all hours.

Paterno, apparently, never raised a peep about the creepy set-up. We know for a fact he never stopped any of it from happening. And, believe me, Paterno could have stopped it all — at least within the hallowed halls of the football facility.

Now, defense attorneys for the two paper shufflers seem to be focused on how all the fine, upstanding men involved in this case were afraid to use actual words to describe what Sandusky allegedly had done.

The defense attorneys are hoping a jury agrees that by the time the story got to the two university officials, it had been so watered down by skittish football men that it didn’t even sound like a crime anymore.

A CNN reporter contacted a couple of experts to decode the whole mess,. Laurie Levenson, who teaches law at Loyola (Los Angeles) University, told the reporter, “Sodomy, rape, and anal intercourse are not easy words for men, especially jocks, to verbalize, and they may become particularly reluctant when they are speaking to authority figures.”

Another expert, Dr. Chuck Williams of Drexel University said, “Being uncomfortable with the subject matter could have led all men involved to minimize the Sandusky mess and avoid confronting it head on.”

Man alive! This whole stinking tale becomes more rancid by the moment. One weekend we’re being told Joe Paterno was one of god’s “greatest gifts to the world,” (by a Catholic priest, no less) and the next we hear that god’s gift is too squeamish to blow the whistle on a child sodomizer.

A former Penn State quarterback called Paterno “the most extraordinary person I know.” But JoePa was not extraordinary enough to say a phrase like “My assistant saw Jerry Sandusky penetrating the anus of a child with his penis.”

There. I just said it. And no one’s calling me extraordinary.

Paterno even had a hard time telling police investigators and prosecutors what he’d heard. His testimony to the grand jury showed a man afraid to say dirty words.

Everyone involved made a choice: don’t say too much because talking about it is icky. The fact that at least one ten-year-old kid had his anus forcibly dilated to an approximate width of two inches did not at all enter into the equation.

Perhaps the best account of this ugly tale was written by Buzz Bissinger, the author of “Friday Night Lights,” in the November 10th edition of The Daily Beast. He wrote, “[W]e need to stop the daintiness and describe the alleged offenses for what they truly are in the vernacular to somehow try to capture the monstrousness. Not anal intercourse or oral sex, which sounds clinical, but butt-fucking and blowjobs and cock-grabbing and pants-groping and other assorted acts that the 67-year-old Sandusky allegedly inflicted on [the victims].”

Big time college sports guys can run fast, jump high, throw balls long distances, or plot out clever plays. But if they’re too grossed out to save a kid from being ravaged, they’re neither brave nor strong.

And they certainly aren’t god’s gift.

The Pencil Today:

TODAY’S QUOTE

“The clock talked loud. I threw it away. It scared me what it talked.” — Tillie Olsen

TEMPUS FUGIT

It was a wild ride around the sun this time, no?

Don’t unbuckle your seatbelt just yet. The next one promises to be just as bumpy.

HUGO

The Loved One and I caught Martin Scorsese‘s “Hugo” yesterday. An out and out visual treat. It was the master director’s love letter to the movies.

Understand that I’m a big Scorsese fan. His “Raging Bull” was the greatest sports movie ever made and deserves consideration as the greatest movie ever made, period. At least two scenes from his movies have become conversational mantras: “I’m funny how? I mean, funny like I’m a clown? I amuse you?” and “You talkin’ to me? I’m the only one here.”

Joe Pesci As Tommy DeVito

But Scorsese, in my unhumble opinion, always has kept a distance from his characters. He has handled the likes of Travis Bickle, Tommy DeVito, and Bill “the Butcher” Cutting with an icy reserve. He’s as dispassionate as a surgeon.

Even Hugo Cabret, the train station orphan who’s desperate to discover his purpose in life; Scorsese observes him from a remove. It’s the story of “Hugo” that Scorsese embraces, as if it’s his own.

“Hugo”

I’ll bet in the deepest recesses of his imagination, it is.

Anyway, one thing I couldn’t get past. The movie is set in a Paris train station. The vast majority of characters are French women and men (and kids). So why does everybody speak with an upper-class British accent?

NOCERA SWIPES MY IDEA

Speaking of sports (well, I mentioned the word in the above bit, didn’t I?), Joe Nocera penned a compelling piece for tomorrow’s New York Times Magazine. He suggests we strip away all the pretense and just pay college football and basketball players. He also recommends dropping the whole student-athlete charade.

Nocera

I endorse every word he writes, mainly because they’re precisely the things I’ve been hollering for years.

Living in a college town for more than two years now I realize how important the Hoosiers or the Buckeyes or the Badgers or even the Nittany Lions are to their surrounding communities.

Big time college athletics has become so ingrained in the life of the region around each university that the teams have become, in essence, public trusts. The Hoosiers, rightfully, are more a possession of the local citizenry than they are of Indiana University.

So, run the operation like a business. Which means pay the labor.

Even The Chinese Who Built The US Railroads Got Paid

NEWS AS ENTERTAINMENT

The Herald Times decreed today that the Lauren Spierer disappearance was the top local story of 2011.

I suppose that would be true if by “top story” you mean the one that played out most like a dramatic daily serial.

Me? I figure the top story was — once again — funding cutbacks for schools, libraries, social services, Planned Parenthood, and the like due to the 2008 crash and the inexorable move to the right in our holy land.

Then again, that’s not as riveting as The Case of the Missing Well-Heeled Pretty Blond Coed.

STAYIN’ ALIVE

Hey, if you’re planning to get sloshed tonight, remember to take the Yellow Cab Company up on its offer of a free ride home. IU-Bloomington Hospital as well as the city and the county are helping pay for the service.

Some 19 drivers will be shuttling the tipsy and the downright drunk home from their parties from 9:00pm through 4:00am.

See, It’d Be Better If This Guy Didn’t Drive Tonight

Call 812.339.9744 for your ride.

Oh, and don’t be a smart ass — the free ride is not meant for people shuttling between parties. There’s always some knucklehead.

THE FIGHTING GOP

Peter Sagal on “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me” revealed this morning that former Minnesota GOP governor Tim Pawlenty claims to relax by logging on to a website featuring hockey fights.

You know, where two uniformed simians on skates pound each others’ heads and faces and otherwise express their version of sportsmanship.

Relaxing

Yep, nothing like watching incidents of otherwise-felonious assault to reach that zen-like state of repose. As long as you ignore the fact that many hockey goons will suffer brain degeneration and may well die young.

Is it any wonder why I’ve never voted Republican?

TIME

It’s a good day to listen to the Chambers Brothers hit from the fall of 1968.

Live this next year as if it may be your last. And let’s hope we can say that to each other fifty more times.

%d bloggers like this: