Category Archives: Michael Bloomberg

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child well-fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth.” — Joan Chittister

WHY DON’T YOU MARRY HIM?

This is the best endorsement of Barack Obama yet.

Pee-wee Herman has come out four-square for the incumbent.

If you can’t trust Pee-wee, who can you trust?

THOSE WHITE CROSSES ON 3rd STREET

I’m told the pastor of St. Charles Catholic Church on 3rd Street is big — really big — on the abortion thing.

As you know if you’ve followed these screeds for the last year or so (yep, it’s been that long), I’m pro-abortion.

There. No mincing of words for me. None of this “pro-choice” mealy-mouthing. If you’re a woman and you don’t think you can handle a kid, do something about it. Give it up for adoption or, if you can’t bear going through with the entire pregnancy, avail yourself of a surgical procedure that is legal, to one extent or another, in all 50 states of this holy land as well as most of the nations on Earth.

The anti-abortionists, by and large, bug me. I find it hard to believe they are so reverent of human life that they feel god’s love even for the multi-cellular human zygote. That said, I’ve got to hand it to the Catholic Church.

The St. Charles Catholic Church Front Lawn

The Vatican instructs its faithful that life is sacred. To prove it, big boss Joseph Ratzenberger, AKA Pope Benedict XVI, and his predecessors have stressed that not only is abortion an evil, but so is war and capital punishment. Fair enough, I won’t quibble with that kind of philosophical consistency.

Problem is, we hear too much about what an abomination abortion is from the Catholic rank and file but when a state executes a man or woman — say in Texas, which is really, really good at it — churchgoers seem fairly mum.

Anyway, St. Charles’ top man, Thomas Kovatch, apparently has really got the flock going on his pet sin. The parish has erected 3,315 little white crosses on the church’s front lawn, one for each of the fetuses aborted every day in America. I checked on the church’s figure and found that it has taken the Guttmacher Institute‘s estimate of 1.2 million abortions performed in the United States in 2008 and simply divided by 365. Again, fair enough.

I’ll be looking for similar displays dramatizing the number of dead resulting from our Mideast Wars and our criminal justice system’s lethal injection program over the next year. The ball’s in your court, Thomas Kovatch.

[Ed.’s Note: When The Loved One and I stopped by the church this morning to take photos, we noticed the signs said 4000 fetuses are aborted a day. I took the above figure from the church’s weekly bulletin.]

STIFLED GENIUSES

Just in case you haven’t seen this (which, I presume, means you’ve been in a coma for the last two or three days):

Chart From Mother Jones

You know, we on the Left tend to portray the wingnuts on the Right as sub-primates but, honestly, this graphic indicates that they’re quite an imaginative group.

And, when all is said and done, the “journalists” over at Fox News also have long demonstrated their collective creative streak.

Dang, these folks ought to be writing mysteries, alternative histories, and graphic novels. They’d put out great stuff.

Just goes to show how perverse your life can become when you stifle your creativity.

THE BEAUTY OF LANGUAGE

You know who’s the hottest new sex symbol?

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s sign language interpreter, Lydia Callis.

Dig:

She turns signing into art.

So shoot me, I’m a guy.

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.


Sunday, November 4th, 2012

CLASS ◗ Dagom Gaden Tensung Ling MonasteryIntroductory Course on Buddhism; 10am

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoBrunch Show: Peter Kienle on guitar; 11pm

FEST ◗ IU Cedar Hall, Union Street Center2nd Annual Traditional Powwow, Native-American arts, crafts, foods, etc.; 11am-6pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallSenior Recital: Kaitlyn Reho on clarinet; 1pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts Center, Recital HallStudent Orchestra Recital: Timothy Kantor on violin, Micholas Mariscal on cello, Clare Longendyke on piano, Tal Samuel, conductor; 1pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallMaster’s Recital: Brendan Shea on violin; 2pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Chocolat“; 3pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallDoctoral Lector Recital: Hugh Conor Angell, baritone; 3pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallFaculty/Guest/Student Recital: Mu Phi Epsilon Founders Day Program; 4pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallSenior Recital: Jeremy Sison on trombone; 5pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubTom Roznowski; 6pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallDoctoral Recital: Grigor Khachatryan on piano; 6pm

MUSIC ◗ Bear’s Place — Ryder Film Series: Double feature, “Two Angry Moms” & “Keep the Lights On“; 7pm

STAGE ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Center, Auditorium — Comedy-drama, “Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps“; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleDavid Sisson; 7-9pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallStudio/Class Recital: Edmund Cord Studio; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Rachael’s CafeAdriana and Maya; 7-9pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdMatisyahu; 8pm

ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “Paragons of Filial Piety,” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi; through December 31st
  • “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers,” by Julia Margaret, Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan; through December 31st
  • French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century;” through December 31st
  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Pop-art by Joe Tilson; through December 31st
  • Threads of Love: Baby Carriers from China’s Minority Nationalities“; through December 23rd
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st
  • Embracing Nature,” by Barry Gealt; through December 23rd
  • Pioneers & Exiles: German Expressionism,” through December 23rd

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits through December 1st:

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

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits through November 16th:

  • Buzz Spector: Off the Shelf
  • Small Is Big

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits through December 20th:

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

ART ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits:

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

BOOKS ◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibits:

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

ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibits:

  • Doctors & Dentists: A Look into the Monroe County Medical Professions
  • What Is Your Quilting Story?
  • Garden Glamour: Floral Fashion Frenzy
  • Bloomington Then & Now
  • World War II Uniforms
  • Limestone Industry in Monroe County

The Ryder & The Electron Pencil. All Bloomington. All the time.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

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

YES, YOU CAN VOTE SATURDAY

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

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

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

OPEN YOUR EYES FOR A BIG SURPRISE!

Trojan horses aren’t just for computers.

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

Go Ahead, Open It!

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

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

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

Noble of them, huh?

Nuh.

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

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

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

HIS MAN

Michael Bloomberg backs Barack Obama?

Wow.

Convinced

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

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

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.


Friday, November 2nd, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticMyq Kaplan; 8pm

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

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

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

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

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

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdAdventure Club; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceLexi Minich; 9pm

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

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

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticMyq Kaplan; 10:30pm

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

MUSIC ◗ The BishopThe Darned, The Wild Dicks; Midnight

ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “Paragons of Filial Piety,” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi; through December 31st
  • “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers,” by Julia Margaret, Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan; through December 31st
  • French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century;” through December 31st
  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Pop-art by Joe Tilson; through December 31st
  • Threads of Love: Baby Carriers from China’s Minority Nationalities“; through December 23rd
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st
  • Embracing Nature,” by Barry Gealt; through December 23rd
  • Pioneers & Exiles: German Expressionism,” through December 23rd

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits through December 1st:

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

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits through November 16th:

  • Buzz Spector: Off the Shelf
  • Small Is Big

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits through December 20th:

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

ART ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits:

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

BOOKS ◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibits:

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

ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibits:

  • Doctors & Dentists: A Look into the Monroe County Medical Professions
  • What Is Your Quilting Story?
  • Garden Glamour: Floral Fashion Frenzy
  • Bloomington Then & Now
  • World War II Uniforms
  • Limestone Industry in Monroe County

The Ryder & The Electron Pencil. All Bloomington. All the time.

The Pencil Today:

TODAY’S QUOTE

From the movie, “The Apartment,” by Billy Wilder:

C.C. Baxter: “Did you hear what I said, Miss Kubelik? I absolutely adore you.”

Fran Kubelik: (smiling) “Shut up and deal!”

TRAPPING THE WORLD IN MY WEB

So, I got some news yesterday morning. Good news. Problem is, I don’t know if I should brag or play it cool.

Aw, you know me. I’ll brag.

According to my WordPress.com Site Stats, The Electron Pencil has been viewed by people in the following countries: the US (natch), Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Colombia, the UK, the Netherlands, France, Russia, Turkey, South Africa, Thailand, the Philippines, Iraq, India, the UAE, and Australia.

The Mighty Electron Pencil Tower, In My Backyard

This being the Internet, I assume at least some of those hits are accidents, people misinterpreting a category listing for porn, or scammers trying to empty my checking account. Still, that’s 17 countries spread across all six habitable continents.

Cool, huh?

ONE LESS WHOOPING CRANE

Some son of a bitch shot another endangered whooping crane dead recently. The incident was reported Friday to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. One of only 500 or so of the rare birds left in the US, the crane was found in the Muscatatuck River basin near Crothersville in Jackson County.

The current population of whooping cranes has increased from an alarming low of 21 in 1941. Of the birds now living in the US, some 70 percent are wild; the rest live in zoos and private sanctuaries.

Some whooping cranes can grow as tall as five feet. They graze in marshes and fields, pecking for small animals, fish, berries, and grain.

Adults are brilliant white with black wingtips and red and black masks. A whooping crane liftoff is a spectacular site.

A Whooping Crane In Flight

Did I mention the guy or guys who killed the crane are sons of bitches?

AIN’T THAT AMERICA?

Here is the defining snapshot of our holy land thus far in the infant year, 2012:

Billionaire big-city boss Michael Bloomberg smooches talent-free superstar Lady Gaga at the Times Square ball-dropping ceremony. Moments like these make me think it’s midnight in America, babies.

ROMNEY’S MATE

Look, Mitt Romney’s going to be the Republican nominee for president. He’s that party’s only near-centrist and he’s the savviest politician among the lot of them still in the running.

He’s The One

Remember how he dropped out of the 2008 race even though he was running virtually neck and neck with the eventual nominee, John McCain? Romney’s political instincts told him that the 44th Presidency was going to be defined by nothing so much as the nearly moribund economy.

I mean, Barack Obama’s in hot water only because the fallout from the Great Recession still is raining radioactivity upon us. People blame him for service cutbacks and unemployment even though he inherited from his four predecessors the conditions that caused those ills.

Four years ago, Romney figured, Why should I be the one to take that heat?

Smart choice.

So, when the GOP convenes in Tampa in August, that crafty pol will be the one telling the nation how fabulous things will be with him in the White House.

And Romney will hold up the arm of his running mate. But who will that be?

Mark it, dude, it’s going to be the right winger from our worst nightmares. The GOP’s most energetic base still considers Romney to be Abbie Hoffman with an expensive haircut. He’ll have to throw them the veep of their choice as a bone.

I get this creepy feeling we’re going to be longing for the good old days of Sarah Palin next November.

HELLO 2012

New Year’s Eve was a quiet affair at Chez Pencil. The Loved One and I stayed in and made some homemade pizza vanish.

We watched a couple of movies that, by happy coincidence, contained New Year’s Eve scenes: Billy Wilder’s “The Apartment” and Charles Chaplin’s “The Gold Rush.”

The Little Fellow Awaits His New Year’s Eve Guests

The years, oddly, seem to be getting shorter. I wonder if calendar makers are cutting back during these tough economic times.

WE DO FACEBOOK SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO

A no-spamily, no brattle zone.

Retro-junkie and film/vid producer Mike Flores posted a link to this old Bob Hope wisecrack last week.

Funny thing is, Hope could have told the joke exactly the same way except substituting “Republican” for “Democrat” and the other half of the country would have roared and said, “How true!”

We all think we’re brilliantly perceptive and the other side is either stupid or mesmerized.

IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR

This is a gem, a clip from a 1965 documentary on Frank Sinatra. Say what you will about him, he was an artist. This clip, in fact, features three artists: Sinatra, of course; the conductor Gordon Jenkins; and the announcer, Walter Cronkite.

Sinatra in the studio was demanding, mostly of himself. His phrasing and articulation were stunning. His ear was almost inhuman in its sensitivity.

Sportswriters talk about superstars who raise the game of their teammates. That’s what Sinatra did for the other musicians in the studio with him.

Well, we didn’t blow ourselves up in 2011. We’re still here and plugging away, albeit clumsily and often stupidly. In that sense, it was a reasonably good year. Let’s see if we can get another thing or two right in 2012.

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