Category Archives: Ohio State University

The Pencil Today:


“I could have been a Rhodes Scholar, except for my grades.” — Duffy Daugherty


Homecoming Day at Indiana Memorial Stadium. Our valiant Hoosier student-athletes meet the visiting Spartans of Michigan State University at noon.

Wait a minute — did I type student-athletes?

I suppose I dare not describe, say, third-string Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones in such unflattering terms.

Jones: No Schoolboy

Jones Tweeted yesterday his true feelings about playing for an outfit so silly as a university — even if that university is actually a football and basketball factory that just happens to churn out the occasional microbiologist or, ugh!, creative writer.

Here’s a screenshot of Jones’ Tweet:

By golly, he’s right! Why should an 18-year-old who is capable of typing the phrase “… we ain’t come to play SCHOOL…” on a social media site be considered anything so outlandish as a student?

I’m assuming the reluctant student is 18. The Ohio State football website offers tons of info on Jones, including his height, weight, what high school he attended, and even his mother’s name, but it doesn’t reveal his age. Perhaps it’s due to some sort of privacy restriction imposed by the NCAA.

You know, the governing body whose purpose, purportedly, is to ensure our college football heroes are parsing their sentences in English class.

Believe it? Silly fool.

Under the National Football League’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement signed with the NFL Players Association last year, drafted rookies make $390,000 in 2012, $480,000 in 2013, and $570,000 in 2014.

Let’s see some skinny English major make that kind of scratch three years out of college.

Jones has since removed his Tweet but nothing disappears from the interwebs.

And nothing changes at Ohio State University, come to think of it. Former football coach Jim Tressel resigned under duress in May, 2011, amid scandals that included players selling memorabilia without authorization and hanging out with a suspected drug dealer, as well as Tressel trying to cover the whole thing up.

With Tressel gone, OSU was supposed to be back on the straight and narrow. I wonder how that’s working out.

Well, a large human being who plays linebacker for OSU was arrested in July for domestic violence and assault. Storm Klein allegedly got physical with the young woman who is the mother of his baby. OSU suspended Klein. Before the case got to trial, the woman suddenly decided that maybe Storm Klein didn’t really get physical with her, or if he did, well, he didn’t mean anything, y’know?

Storm Klein At His Appearance In Court

Such changes of heart are common among wives and girlfriends of professional and major college athletes and coaches.

So Klein’s suspension was promptly terminated and he’s busy twisting the heads off opposing running backs again.

A couple of massive creatures who play for Ohio State were witnessed urinating in public in June. When they realized the cops were hot on them, they ran. In the real world, that would bring a felony charge of eluding the police. In OSU-land, the two players got rapped with misdemeanor obstructing official business, which sounds more like they refused to hand a stapler to a city clerk when asked to do so.

In any case, the two were suspended but they, too, are back to maiming opposing players.

You know, Klein and the two public-pissers may indeed be student-athletes, after all. They’ve learned, for instance, how the justice system really works in the vicinity of Columbus, Ohio.

Jones, too, is a student-athlete, whether he likes it or not. He’s already learned which side his bread is buttered on.


Everybody who knows me knows I’m voting for Barack Obama again this year.

I’ll be glum if that paragon of debt-leveraged, union busting, predatory capitalism, Mitt Romney, sneaks in.

That said, I don’t buy much of yesterday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report pegging the unemployment rate at sub-8 for the first time since, oh, the Jurassic Period.

“Here’s What We Do….”

Obama’s my guy but don’t for a minute think that he’s not a savvy politician.

My guess is the BLS underreported unemployment in August just so it could readjust its figures for September, the last such report before the election.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist but I know how successful political operations work.

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

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

FOOD ◗ City Hall, Showers PlazaFarmers Market; 8am-1pm

WORKSHOP ◗ Sanshin Zen CommunityExperiencing Zen, presented by Shohaku Okaumura Roshi; 8:30am-5pm

HOMECOMING ◗ IU Memorial StadiumOctSOBERfest, alternative, safe-drinking tailgate party; 9am-game time

FESTIVAL ◗ Town of Bloomfield, various locations2012 Bloomfield Apple Festival, music, contests, parade, games, food, etc.; 9am-10pm, through Sunday

FAIR ◗ Virgil I. Grissom Airport, BedfordUp in the Air Science Fair, Vintage airplanes, radio controlled air show, telescope viewing, food, etc., Balloon launch at 10am with on-board student experiments, Free; 9am-5pm

HOMECOMING ◗ Hoosier Village, behind DeVault CenterIU Alumni Homecoming Tailgate Party; 9:30am-game time

STAGE ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Center — Children’s play, “Knuffle Bunny,” Presented by Cardinal Stage Company; 10am

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumSpecial Exhibit openings; 10am-5pm

  • Embracing Nature,” by Barry Gealt, Meet the artist from 10:30am-12:30pm
  • Pioneers & Exiles: German Expressionism

STUDIO TOUR ◗ Brown County, various locationsThe Backroads of Brown County Studio Tour, free, self-guided tour of 16 local artists’ & craftspersons’ studios; 10am-5pm, through October

CLASS ◗ Monroe County Public LibraryAlef Ba Arabic Language & Culture, for children grades Pre-K through 2nd; 10:30-11:30am

STAGE ◗ Monroe County Public LibraryPreview of “Once Upon a Mattress,” for children & families, selected songs & scenes; 11-11:30am

CLASS ◗ Monroe County Public LibraryYa Ya Chinese Language & Culture, for children grades Pre-K through 2nd; 11:30-12:30am

SPORTS ◗ IU Memorial StadiumHoosier football vs. Michigan State; Noon

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleRobbie Bowden; Noon

WALK ◗ St. Thomas Lutheran ChurchBegin here for Interfaith Walk, Stop at different congregations, Learn about symbols & rituals; Hear prayer & song; 1-5pm

HALLOWE’EN ◗ Haunted Hayride & Stables, 8308 S. Rockport Rd.Friendly hayride, No spooks; 1-5pm

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumThematic Tour: The Tree in Art, Presented by docent Monica Kindraka Jensen; 2-3pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Metz CarillonFirst Saturday Recital: Arthur Metz & Amanda Jensen on the carillon; 2pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallFaculty Recital: Nigel North on lute; 5pm

ART & BENEFIT ◗ Blue Studio GalleryChip-Art: An Interactive Art Installation, for Monroe County United Way; 6pm

FILM ◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series: “Stars in Shorts“; 6:45pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallSymphonic Choir; 7-8:30pm

POETRY ◗ Rachael’s CafePoetry in a Time of Drought: Readings by Jenny Kander, Roger Pfingsten, JL Kato, Doris Lynch, Thomas Tokarski; 7-8:30pm

SPORTS ◗ IU GymnasiumHoosier volleyball vs. Nebraska; 7pm

SPORTS ◗ IU Bill Armstrong StadiumHoosier men’s soccer vs. Wisconsin; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoDawn & Jeff Hiatt; 7pm

HALLOWE’EN ◗ Haunted Hayride & Stables, 8308 S. Rockport Rd.; 7-11pm

HALLOWE’EN ◗ Bakers Junction Railroad Museum, SmithvilleHaunted train; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleKurt & Marge Young; 7-9pm

FILM ◗ IU CinemaTonight’s feature has been cancelled; 7pm

FILM ◗ IU Woodburn Hall TheaterRyder Film Series: “Meet the Fokkens“; 7:15pm

STAGE ◗ Bloomington Playwrights ProjectComedy, “Rx”; 7:30pm

STAGE ◗ Brown County Playhouse, NashvilleDrama, “Last Train to Nibroc”; 7:30pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticJackie Kashian; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallIU Singing Hoosiers, director, Steve Zegree; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubLamont Gillispe; 8pm

NATURE & FAMILY ◗ Lake Monroe, Paynetown SRAStories & S’mores, Campfire storytelling; 8-8:45pm

FILM ◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series: “Neighboring Sounds“; 8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoGyrogenics Ensemble; 9pm

FILM ◗ IU Woodburn Hall TheaterRyder Film Series: “The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls“; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s Place Aurgasmic Orchestra, DBN; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdClayton Anderson; 9pm

MUSIC & DANCING ◗ The Root Cellar at Farm BloomingtonNew Wave dance party; 10pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticJackie Kashian; 10:30pm


ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “New Acquisitions,” David Hockney; through October 21st
  • Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists; through October 14th
  • “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
  • Embracing Nature,” by Barry Gealt; through December 23rd
  • Pioneers & Exiles: German Expressionism,” through December 23rd

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • Ab-Fab — Extreme Quilting,” by Sandy Hill; October 5th through October 27th
  • Street View — Bloomington Scenes,” by Tom Rhea; October 5th through October 27th
  • From the Heartwoods,” by James Alexander Thom; October 5th through October 27th
  • The Spaces in Between,” by Ellen Starr Lyon; October 5th through October 27th

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibit:

  • “Samenwerken,” Interdisciplinary collaborative multi-media works; through October 11th

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits opening September 28th:

  • A Place Aside: Artists and Their Partners;” through December 20th
  • Gender Expressions;” through December 20th

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibit:

  • “CUBAmistad” photos

ART ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits:

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

BOOKS ◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit:

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

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Soup’s OnExhibit:

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

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

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

ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

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

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The Pencil Today:


“People ask me what I do in the winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” — Rogers Hornsby


As a native Chicagoan, I love the fact that a number of school systems around the area are operating on a two-hour delay due to yesterday’s snowfall. The WFIU newscaster this morning breathlessly advised listeners to stay tuned for any further announcements of delays or even school closings.

Anywhere from half to three quarters of an inch of snow buried locales around Bloomington on Thursday. The National Weather Service warns that snow may drift through this morning and into the early afternoon.

Half an inch of snow drifting! Hehe! How big will those mighty snow drifts be? Will I be buried up to my ankles?

Hell, when I walked Steve the Dog this AM, I could still see the grass poking through the white blanket.

These photos illustrate why I laugh. The first is from the infamous Blizzard of 1967; the second from last year’s equally infamous snowfall. Each dumped two feet of powder on Chicago.

Honestly, folks, I prefer what we in Bloomington have to what I once had to endure in Chicago. Still, I have to chuckle.


Tough Guy Pat moped into Soma Coffee this morning. He’d spent last night at Assembly Hall watching the men’s basketball team tank a home game against the godawful Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Just like that, Bloomington has tumbled from giddy to glum.


I had to ask him, Is this the beginning of the end?

“No, not at all,” Tough Guy Pat said. “It’s just the beginning of reality.” He went on to explain: Road tilts against Ohio State (“They’re gonna cream us”) and Nebraska (“I’m tellin’ you, they’re no slouches”) are up next for the Hoosiers.


While typing these brilliant thoughts, I heard out of the corner of my ear a taped quote from Republican presidential wannabe Rick Santorum on NPR. “We always need a Jesus candidate,” the uber-heterosexual candidate said.

The most closeted of the GOP contenders, Santorum also told the radio interviewer (the interview was not originally on NPR) why he was so dead set against gay marriage. Kids, he pontificated, “have a right to be known and loved by their dad and their mom. That’s what marriage is about. It’s not about two people loving each other.”

Miss Ricky fascinates me more and more each day.

The Touchdown Jesus Candidate


Last month I wrote about my long-standing distrust of people in whose homes books are absent. I said most of my pals display their books the way much of the populace of this holy land shows off their wall-sized flat TV screens.

The upshot was, I shouldn’t be so snobbish — not when I also have friends like Tyler Ferguson, who’s smart as a whip but claims to have neither the time nor the patience to read books.

Well, Tyler can’t say that anymore. She was laid low for three weeks recently by bronchitis. All she had the energy to do was read. She knocked off a number of tomes.

Now that’s she has recovered, she can’t seem to shake the reading bug. Today she’s carrying around “Tomatoland” by Barry Estabrook. “It just opens your eyes to the perils of big ag,” she explains.

BTW, the Bleeding Heartland Roller Girls (Tyler skates as “Kaka Caliente”) begin 2012 competition Saturday, February 4, with the B-Cup Challenge here in Bloomington at the Twin Lakes Recreation Center.

If you’re not there, you’re nowhere.

Bleeding Heartland Roller Girls In Action


Hard to believe, isn’t it, that not too long ago we all were frightened to death that the leaders of the US and the Soviet Union might push their respective red buttons and blow all our respective cities to smithereens?

Jonathan Schell‘s book, “The Fate of the Earth” in 1982 jump-started the anti-nuke movement with his dramatic descriptions of a massive nuclear exchange by the two superpowers. He cited scientific estimates that such an event might well destroy civilization and even end all life on the planet.

Five years later, New Zealand singer Shona Laing scored a college radio hit with her Cold War deliberation, “Soviet Snow.” She sang, “Are we wide awake? Is the world aware?” She concludes, “We’ve all got one eye on the winter.”

The nuclear winter, of course.

Just a little reminder that even though the Americans and Russians no longer threaten to destroy each other, the newly enlarged nuclear club presents nightmarish scenarios almost as terrifying.

Sweet dreams, kiddies.

Today: Sunday, November 6, 2011


So, we all got an extra hour of sleep last night, right? Why, then, do I feel as though a truck hit me this morning?

Fall. Back.

I hardly had the energy to acknowledge the existence of the Irish Tough Guys in Soma Coffee this morning. Tough Guy Tom was busy proclaiming that everything Republican candidates for president say now is a lie.

“Every single thing that comes out of their mouth,” he said. “No exceptions. All lies.”

Tough Guy Pat was busy ignoring Tough Guy Tom. Pat scrolled through his Smart Phone and pronounced that IU’s loss to Ohio State yesterday was a moral victory.

Which was in direct opposition to an earlier pronouncement. Earlier this sad season, IU had worn different color helmets and still went out and got sliced up by one mediocre opponent or another. Tough Guy Pat was disgusted.

“F. different colored helmets,” his spewed. “F. the band. F. moral victories. I just wanna see some wins, baby!”


I still haven’t decided what to do about the F-bomb issue. Do I spell it out in these precincts? Or do I play it safe and stick with the “F.” thing? Tell us your thoughts.

Free Speech Advocate Mario Savio After Dropping F-bombs, 1964


The Loved One and I passed by the IU Credit Union branch on Winslow Road yesterday on our way to the recycling center. The parking lot was packed. The Loved One remembered that it was Bank Transfer Day.

“You think those people are all transferring their accounts?” she asked. “Or is the place that crowded every Saturday morning?”

“Search me,” I said.

Neither the Herald Times nor the Indy Star seem to have been all that interested in the event.

The HT had nothing on it and the Star buried a perfunctory piece about Occupy folks marching through downtown. The Star piece did mention that protesters are urging people to transfer their accounts but didn’t specifically mention the Day thing.

Papers from Philly to California to Texas, though, trumpeted BTD.

Question: Did Bloomington forget about BTD and the IU Credit Union parking lot was just packed coincidentally, or did our faithful local journalistic institutions simply ignore it all?

And if they did ignore Bank Transfer Day, why?


Media scholar and lawyer Lisa Barr points out a Guardian piece about the chilling effect online trollers who threaten rape and violence are having on female bloggers.

The trollers, according to many notable online female scribes, are explicit in their threats.

But that’s not the saddest thing about the problem. Hell, men who are scared to death they have tiny penises have screamed obscenities at women since the beginning of time. Sadly, I fear there’ll always be men who make me feel embarrassed to possess XY chromosomes.

No, the saddest part is a number of women are giving up blogging.

Wrong reaction.

We writers know from the get-go that we’ll be taking a lot of abuse for our views. And people who are stirred to put pen to paper or fingertips to keyboard just to tell an essayist or opinionist who wrong she or he is are too often less evolved than the flatworm.

Guess what, kids — you just let those apes win.

A Petri Dish Full Of Flatworms: No Trollers Here


Ex-pat painter/author/educator and all-around good egg Anna Witte has released a new children’s book called “Lola’s Fandango.” Witte formerly taught Spanish at IU but due to the school’s policy of jettisoning people who aren’t on the tenure track, she had to move to Seattle, Washington to earn her daily bread.

“Lola” is Witte’s second kids’ tome. She scored with The Parrot Tico Tango in 2004. She wrote and illustrated that one. This time around it’s her words and illustrator Micha Archer‘s pix.

Witte says children’s books publishers prefer the work to be split up between two people.

I hope she does the illustrations on her next book. Her paintings are hanging in living rooms all around Bloomington.

Witte’s Work

Witte promises to come back to SoCent Indiana after the completion of the current school year. Look for an online exhibition of Witte’s work here soon.

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