Category Archives: Madonna

Hot Air


“I don’t want to sugarcoat it,” attorney Benjamin Crump said yesterday, “[Michael Brown] was executed in broad daylight.”

The only issue I’ll take with Crump is that an execution, by definition, takes place as a penalty for a capital crime, at least in this holy land. Michael Brown not only had committed no capital crime, he’d done nothing wrong at all save for walking in the street and not immediately scooting onto the the sidewalk before his killer opened fire.

In general, we don’t take the lives of jaywalkers in this great democracy.


We give cops guns and badges but we can’t give them brains no matter how much funding we allocate for our police departments. The cop who whacked Michael Brown didn’t use his fully human brain when he pumped the kid full of lead Saturday afternoon; no, he used the ancient, paleo-evolutionary part of it, the part “involved in aggression, dominance, territoriality, and ritual displays” [thanks, Wikipedia,] the part called by some the reptilian brain.

The cop who killed Michael Brown employed no more reasoning power and compassion than a crocodile.

The only question left is how many more cops are there like him?


A couple of nice young women came into the Book Corner yesterday. They were from Nashville, Tennessee. One of them told me she was a devotee of the Brothers Grimm. She found a colorful, richly illustrated, cloth-bound compendium of their best known tales. She was overjoyed.

The two told me they were in town to train the staff at the new Hyatt hotel on Kirkwood Avenue.

I wished them well. Their hotel, on the other hand? Ick.

Hyatt Place Bloomington

[Side note: As I write this I’m eavesdropping on a tale being told by a property owner near the hotel construction site. This property owner says heavy trucks crushed decorative lighting fixtures and much of a perennial garden she had installed outside her building. When she and her people complained to the contractor, the fellow essentially shrugged and said, Whaddya gonna do?]

Bang, II

The American Bar Association last week released a report finding that killings have actually increased in states that have Stand Your Ground laws.

Imagine that!

Al Jazeera America reports on that report, the product of a 2013 National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws set up by the ABA. The report recommends states ditch their SYG laws forthwith.

Figures. Liberal lawyers and socialist task forces — of course they’re going to be against laws that virtually declare states in which they’ve been enacted the Wild West.

From "The Wild Bunch"

Standing Their Ground

And that is the Wild West of a Sam Peckinpah movie. In other words, a load of bullshit.


Writer Miriam Krule points out in Slate magazine that with the death yesterday of Lauren Bacall, “all 16 of the 20th-century stars immortalized in Madonna’s Vogue are now dead.”

In case you’ve forgotten, here the others:

  • Greta Garbo
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Marlene Dietrich
  • Joe DiMaggio
  • Marlon Brando
  • James Dean
  • Grace Kelly
  • Jean Harlow
  • Gene Kelly
  • Fred Astaire
  • Ginger Rogers
  • Rita Hayworth
  • Katharine Hepburn
  • Lana Turner
  • Bette Davis


The Pencil Today:


“Virginity is the ideal of those who want to deflower.” — Karl Kraus


Humanity has accomplished many great things. We’ve built spaceships and traveled to the moon. We’ve mapped the human genome. We’ve cured diseases. We’ve painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. We’ve written “An American in Paris” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

We’ve even almost forgotten who Paris Hilton is, although that supreme triumph will take much more agonizing labor. Still, I have no doubt we can do it.

We’re Trying

That all said, we’re really a bunch of idiots.

Here’s proof (and h/t to funnyman Aaron Freeman for pointing this out): there exists a website selling a product called the Artificial Hymen.

That’s right, for all you gals who wish to position yourselves as virgins — even long after your first bonk has taken place — there is now a simple, inexpensive device designed to snow any proud man who values such things, as long as he doesn’t peer too closely at your nether geography (which, by the way, virtually no such man would be wont to do, if you get what I mean).

The Hymen Shop (No, This Is Not A Joke)

We forget that even in this modern day many of our brethren and sisteren still live in a fantasy world, circa the year 1437. You know, where men bashed each other over the head with maces and a young woman’s virginity was her most cherished possession.

One might suspect that even though certain men might demand their future wives be pristine, the females among us might simply laugh those benighted souls off.

Uh uh.

Many a woman, apparently, is buying the Artificial Hymen, inserting it into her previously visited special place, and neglecting to disabuse her current man of his smug assurance that he is the first guest to enter the vestibule in question.

I mean, honestly.

Along with Colm Tóibín‘s new book, “The Testament of Mary,” the Artificial Hymen just might signal a new fascination with virginity.

Weirder things have happened.


Speaking of sexual displays, both surreptitious and flamboyant, our cousins the bonobos, who reside in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, are masters of the art. At least the males are.

Sex is a big part of bonobo socializing. Apparently, they dig sex the most, rather like the characters in a late-70s Woody Allen movie. Their social groups are among the most bonhomous in nature, with sex being a primary mechanism by which they convey to each other their neighborliness.

Bonobos, Happy As Usual

Bonobos are among the rare primates (residents of Monroe County and most of the rest of humanity being the others) who engage in face to face kissing and coupling, oral sex, male and female homosexuality, tribadism, and — hold on to your hats, Hoosiers — “penis fencing,” performed by two males, each of whom is hanging by his arm from a tree branch. (I’m confident I don’t have to draw a picture of this little pastime for you.)

Anyway, bonobo dudes often walk around their social groups waving their bright red erections hither and yon. As in any animal’s social group, showing off the real Man’s Best Friend not only signals a willingness — nay, imperative — to begin humping but it is an advertisement of their rank, vigor, and power.

We’re told by geneticists that human DNA differs only minutely from that of the two Pan species (bonobos, Pan Paniscus, and chimps, Pan Troglodytes). This must be true considering the fact that certain members of a subspecies of Homo Sapiens sapiens — GOP Reaganensis or “Republicans” — are currently strutting around Washington DC waving their own bright red erections.

In Their Natural Habitat

See, Republicans earlier this month suffered a humiliating embarrassment. For the better part of more than three decades, Republicans have owned DC. But after the 2012 election, their philosophies, pronouncements, and shrill alarm calls don’t seem to impress much of the pack anymore. Heck, even one of the Republicans’ own dominant figures, Pat Robertson, recently has announced that the Earth is much, much older than that portrayed in the Bible.

His flock, it is presumed, sat slack-jawed in front of their TV screens as Robertson uttered this radical idea. The non-fundamentalist Christians among us are staring at this tableau in a state of shock.

It’s the equivalent of researchers peering through foliage at the sight of a bonobo teaching juveniles the basics of differential calculus.

In any case, many other members of GOP Reaganensis must adapt to this new environment as well. But first they must reinforce their standing within the social group. And, as I’ve indicated, they’re waving their bright red erections around.

How else can we explain the flap over Susan Rice?

Ayotte, McCain, & Graham (Not Pictured: Their Bright Red Erections)


Do you realize Madonna Louise Ciccone is now 54 freaking years old?

The Pencil Today:


“Fun is good.” — Theodore Geisel


A certain handsome reporter/blogger/smart ass was walking up Walnut Street in the brilliant sunshine Saturday afternoon. At 6th Street he ran into the Honorable Regina Moore, newly reelected Clerk of the great city of Bloomington.

The reporter revealed to Moore that he is working on a Top 10 Local Political Stories of 2011 piece for the upcoming issue of Peter LoPilato’s Ryder magazine. “Oh, ______,” Moore said, tugging at the reporter’s jacket sleeve, “do me a favor. Put in the piece that I got more votes than Mayor Kruzan.”

Let’s Make A Deal

I won’t reveal the reporter’s name because, in addition to being handsome, he is modest.

Moore continued. “All you have to do is put in a footnote or something. Nothing much. I can’t wait to show it to the Mayor!”

Consider it done, Regina. Um…, I mean, I’ll bet he does it.


City Council president Susan Sandberg got a kick out of the Beach Boys vid we ran in these parts Friday.

She revealed in the comments section that as a callow, hotsy-totsy youth, she formed a garage band called The Tsunamis. They played — you guessed it — California surf music.

Bloomington may be fortunate Susan’s band went nowhere as she now leads us boldly into the 21st Century. But alas, the world suffers.

What a chick troika it could have been — Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Susan Sandberg.

Or, The Dem Girls — Regina Moore, Susan Sandberg, & Isabel Piedmont-Smith


This is a No Spamily, No Brattle zone.

◗ My old East Pilsen neighbor and pal Rachel Thole, now of the Bay Area, links to an Onion newscast that would be freaking hilarious — if it weren’t so uncomfortably close to a serious newscast.

Al Yellon of Chicago was hot on this Saturday night, beating NPR by a day and a half. Seems that there’s a reality show about Muslim families living in the Detroit area. It shows them — get ready for this shocker — as normal, everyday Americans. Well, this just won’t do; this holy land’s Christian Taliban blew a gasket and threatened to condemn the show’s advertisers to hell. As far as I’m concerned, hell is having to live in a world where religious fundamentalists call the cultural shots.

Jan Takehara of — where else? — Chi-town, reminds us of Dion DiMucci, former front man for Dion & the Belmonts and, later, a solo act. Dion recorded a beautiful and touching song after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. “Abraham, Martin, and John” became a hit in late 1968. It was the first song that ever made me cry. To this day, I still tear up when I hear it.

Hey, Bloomington Facebookers: you’re falling down on the job. Start posting some stuff I can use here, okay?


Here’s Dion’s (and Dick Holler’s) homage to King: