Category Archives: Terry Gross

Hot Air

Potty Mouth

Okay, you wanna know what’s weird? Fox News, natch. ‘Course, you already knew that. But the point was driven home again yesterday when one Fox News commentator reacted huffily to Barack Obama’s utterance of the word “nigger” on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast.

Obama/Maron

The Prez & Marc Maron

For the two of you on this planet who don’t know the backgrounder yet, Maron does this online interview show in his garage and somehow scored a date with the Most Powerful Person on Earth. If you want more detail about it, click over to Terry Gross’s Fresh Air interview with Maron [the first time, I dare say, that the act of fellatio was ever broadcast on NPR.]

Anyway, Obama, talking about race relations in this holy land, said to Maron during the podcast:

Racism, we are not cured of it. And it’s not just a matter of it not being polite to say “nigger” in public. That’s not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It’s not just a matter of overt discrimination.

Now, that’s the kind of statement we’ve come to expect from the Good Obama — nuanced, incisive, compelling. As opposed to those statements of the Bad Obama — mealy-mouthed, evasive, nebulous — you know, the kinds of things that we demand our presidents say.

Obama has violated countless cardinal rules of the presidency, first and foremost among them being brown-skinned. Remember when George W. Bush’s chief of staff Andrew Card had apoplexy because BHO had the nerve to work in the Oval Office in his shirt sleeves? By uttering the South’s most famous gift to the American English vocabulary, Obama soiled the presidency once again, at least acc’d’g to a jimoke named Todd Starnes, who, apparently, says words for Fox on a regular basis.

Starnes, writing in his “Todd’s American Dispatch” online column, sez:

President Obama caused jaws to drop across the fruited plain when he uttered the N-word during the interview which was published on Monday. He mentioned the incredibly offensive racial epithet during a conversation over race in the aftermath of the church massacre in Charleston, South Carolina…. 

If he talks like that in public — I can only imagine what he says in private. [all sic]

Dig, this is from the “news” network that that for at least 36 hours tried to convince its senescent audience that the Charleston shooting was an attack on Christianity and not dark-skinned people. That Dylann Roof kid had to shriek that he did it because he wanted to start a race war before the Foxers finally came around to the truth of it all.

This, too, from the “news” network that champions and/or features the following people: Rudolph Giuliani, Jeb Bush, Nikki Haley — each of whom has been quoted as saying it’s impossible to know why Roof gunned down nine black people in a church, despite the facts that he told friends he wanted to kill black people, he explained to one of the black people at the church why he was killing black people, and then told the police he went to the church specifically to kill black people. Right, that Roof kid, he’s sure a puzzler.

So, Starnes positions Barack Obama as a foul-mouthed punk for merely saying the word that I’d guess a significant percentage of the Fox News audience uses in everyday language — and not in the abstract, illustrative sense that the President used it. Starnes shudders to think what maledictions Obama employs in private. One can only assume that in the Oval Office, women are “cunts,” Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who’ll visit Washington in September, is a “slant-eyed gook,” and a good weekend is chockfull of “bitches” and “whores” whose derrieres are covered with “animal trank.”

Because, isn’t that how black guys talk? And Obama’s a black guy, QED.

BTW: Starnes has written essays and/or posted videos at least five times regarding the Charleston terrorist act. Not once has he decried the odious racism that was at the heart of the massacre. In fact, he stuck with the attack-on-Christians trope much longer even than his Fox confreres.

The killing of nine black and brown human beings by a white supremacist, apparently, is far less serious than the president using the term “nigger” to make a point. Like I said, Fox News is weird.

Haley’s Kudos

Let’s give credit where it’s due. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley yesterday called for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the statehouse grounds in Columbia. I never thought she’d come around but she has and she should be commended.

SC Confederate Flag

Down With The Flag

If you want to split hairs and say she should have expressed herself in this manner long ago, go ahead. I agree. But she’s done it now; not every Republican has.

Bloomingfoods’ Tomorrows

Parsing the statements of the National Co+Op Grocers reps who spoke at last night’s Bloomingfoods co-op owners open house meeting, I sense that they see the local food retailer’s future much as I do.

National Co+Op Grocers people have taken over Bloomingfoods‘ operations this spring and summer in order to find out why the operation was collapsing in a heap. The president of the board of directors and the general manager have resigned, scads of mid-level managers have been axed, and even before Nat Co+Op took over, B-foods closed its flagship Kirkwood Avenue store.

My recommendation is B-foods should shutter all locations except the Near West site. Nat Co+Op director C.E. Pugh told the crowd yesterday that one of the many actions to be taken in the near future includes the shedding of “unnecessary assets.” That sounds like code for more store closings. “We’re going to be in the period of downsizing for a few months,” Pugh added.

Pugh and Nat Co+Op’s Paula Gilbertson, who’s serving as acting GM, both spoke of two of the three remaining B-foods locations in terms that cannot be described as optimistic. On the other hand, when talking about the Near West store Gilbertson and Pugh spoke of spiffying up the place.

Maybe — just maybe — B-foods can escape from this morass leaner and in possession of a brighter future.

She’s Got It

Day two of The Loved One’s birthday week. I’m posting songs dedicated to her Monday through Friday this week. Yesterday’s tune was Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend.” Today, let’s go with something from my fave blue-eyed soul brothers, the Average White Band.

 

 

 

Hot Air

American Dis-Ingenuity

Okay, so, like, I’m sitting here trying to think of the one thing that most made 2013 2013 and, man, I just can’t get past this:

Screenshot from Raw Story

I’d been thinking of the Phil Robertson dust up about gays being bad and Jim Crow being good and, really, that is very, very American and 2013-ish, indeed. But how can we ignore a congressional effort to silence scientists because they just might want to teach Americans something?

See, at first Congress was cool with the idea of naming an unpaid, ceremonial American Science Laureate whose job would be to fly around and tell schoolkids how fab science is. Honestly, how could anyone object? Someone did; namely the American Conservative Union‘s Director of Government Relations, Larry Hart, who, upon hearing of the idea, began a threatening-letter-writing campaign to Right-leaning members of the House. The threat being, of course, that if you even think of approving this, kiss your chances at re-election goodbye.

And you know what? The congressbeings caved! Yep. Whereas the whole Science Laureate idea was on a fast track to be rubber stamped by early September, after Hart brought the legislators to Jesus, House Republican leaders yanked it from their voting calendar.

Hart explained that with the nation being held hostage by our current Kenyan-in-Chief, the Prez himself likely would make one of his Schutzstaffel lackeys the Science Laureate and that guy would further the commie lie that there is such a thing as climate change and, just for kicks, take all our guns away and force our daughters to get pregnant just so they could have abortions.

Only the House bill did not call for the President to appoint a Science Laureate. That person would be chosen by, um, the House itself.

Oh well, the whole idea has been flushed down the Capitol toilet. America.

Just so’s I don’t depress my readers (and myself) too much, I’ve also chosen a positive, definitively American thing from 2013. That is, the discovery and announcement that the Voyager 1 spacecraft had passed the putative edge of the Solar System and continues on in its journey through interstellar space. Voyager was launched in the late summer of 1977 and has traveled nearly 12 billion miles in the ensuing 36 ½ years.

Here’s a photo that Voyager 1 took of the receding Solar System when it was some four billion miles out in June, 1990. The Earth is the “Pale Blue Dot” in the reddish-brown streak on the right side of the image. Try as I might, I can’t even make out the Monroe County Courthouse in this photo:

NASA/"Pale Blue Dot"

The Earth From 4 Billion Miles Out

Keep in mind that in 1977, there were no personal computers, widespread wireless technology was still years in the future, the Internet hadn’t even been invented yet, and Miley Cyrus hadn’t been born. Such a backward time, no?

Nevertheless, science geeks beginning nearly 50 years ago ideated, designed, and created a spaceship that has so far visited the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, has left the whole caboodle behind, and is still sending signals back to Earth.

And I can’t even get a good, solid broadband signal from Comcast in my home. Something’s amiss, babies.

Anyway, Voyager 1 is zipping along at a shade over 38,000 mph. It’s got enough battery power to continue sending signals back to us for another 11 or so years. After the year 2025, it’ll be on its own, crossing the “interstellar medium” (geekspeak for outer space nowheresville). And just in case some alien dudes and/or dudettes spot it and have the capability to capture it, the forward-thinkers at NASA placed upon it a gold-plated disc containing sounds of various forms of life on Earth, pix of dozens of human societies, a roadmap to the Solar System, and a bunch of other stuff that’ll show all those ETs who we are.

Voyager 1 Golden Disc

Hi. It’s Us, Your Neighbors.

Thankfully, the disc includes no pix of current members of the House of Representatives nor of tailless monkeys like Larry Hart. We’d like to give the rest of the Universe a good first impression of ourselves.

No Sir

Terry Gross ran a repeat interview with Elton John today on her Fresh Air show.

Not that I care all that much about Elton John; I’ve found one or two of his hits bearable but usually his music bores me to tears. So, under normal circs. I would leap for the radio dial to turn the interview off. But I was at the sink washing dishes from last night’s delicious New Year’s Eve lobster dinner (kudos to The Loved One) and so wasn’t able to react like a jungle cat.

Because of this I heard Gross’s intro to the interview and was mightily pleased when she continually refer to him as, well, Elton John. As opposed to Sir Elton John.

John

Plain Old Elton John, 1975

Loyal readers will know I loath all references to the British empire’s antiquated and money-wasting royalty-cum-class system. You know, queens and princes and earls and lords and all the rest of those interbred goofballs. And something that makes me even more irate is the fascination we Americans have for English royalty and and all those assorted “nobles.” Why any one of us here in this holy land would care a whit about that new brat who was born to the Windsor tribe last year is downright bizarre.

CBS-TV Image

De-Evolved Zoo Denizens Cheer The Arrival Of The Royal Baby

After all, we have our own royalty and nobility here: the Bushes, the Clintons, the Kardashians, and the Cyruses, as examples.

Anyway, I’ve always been a big fan of Terry Gross and today, I’m even more so. I guarantee she omitted the Sir bit intentionally. People refer to other rocks stars by their artificial tiles all the time, witness intros for Sir Paul McCartney or Sir Mick Jagger.

Terry didn’t go down that road and that’s a very cool thing.

As for the interview itself, well, it was pretty much as uninspiring as most of John’s music. He talked about how wonderful all the fellows who died in World War II were, how strong and wonderful his mother was, and how the 1950s were very bad times for a gay kid growing up. I’d bugged out by the 20-minute mark.

In any case, thanks, Terry Gross

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“”Many people consider the things government does for them to be social progress but they regard the things government does for others as socialism.” — Earl Warren

BOOK IT — WE’VE GOT BOOKER

How cool is it that Booker T. Jones received an honorary doctorate during commencement ceremonies at IU this weekend?

Booker T.

You know, growing up in Chicago and living within the city limits every day of my adult life until March 20th, 2007, I’d come to the conclusion — like most of my city-mates — that Indiana University was the place where Bobby Knight threw tantrums, won a few NCAA championships, got himself fired for being a jackass, and then the school went out of business.

That’s not much of an exaggeration. Of all the Big Ten schools, IU is probably the most anonymous. Perhaps Minnesota and Iowa might give IU a run for the title, but, nah, Indiana wins it.

If you can find three people in Chicago who know what town IU is in, I’ll give you a prize. I wonder if even a hundred people in Indianapolis know what town IU is in.

Northwestern is where all the future wealthy businessmen and doctors go. A few journalists, too. Illinois is known for Chief Illiniwek and the controversy of using the symbol of a wiped-out race to drum up support for its sports teams — at least it’s known for something. Purdue puts out engineers. Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State are sports factories. Penn State tolerates child sodomizers. Nebraska has a funny team name, Cornhuskers.

This Man Has A PhD In Cornhusking

And Minnesota, Iowa, and Indiana may as well be in Bulgaria, especially Indiana.

Chicagoans no more know that Booker T. Jones, among many, many, many other great and fabulous musicians, studied at the Jacobs School of Music than they know that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was born in Kuwait City. (In fact, many Americans assume KSM was born in the same nebulous African/Asian tribal town that Barack Obama hailed from — and for all the average American knows, all three men went to a madrahsah there.)

Booker T. gave the commencement address at one of the two undergraduate ceremonies Saturday. According to the IDS, he told the grads that he used to walk to class at the Jake every morning at 7:15.

I recall listening to an interview with him on Terry Gross’s Fresh Air show on NPR when his “Potato Hole” disc came out. He told Gross that he still practices his scales every single morning and he works on his music eight hours every day. Booker T., it should be noted, is 67 years old.

Booker T. Jones — he’s someone Indiana University ought to be known for.

TIME IS TIGHT

This is my absolute fave Booker T. and the MGs hit, from back in 1969.

THE PRESIDENT IS A SOCIALIST!

Looks like Obama-haters will finally get to see what an honest-to-gosh Socialist looks like now.

François Hollande beat darling of the Right, Nicolas Sarkozy in the French national election for president this past weekend. Hollande is a card-carrying member of the French Socialist Party (or Parti Socialiste, in French — the French are so bizarre, Steve Martin once observed, they have a different word for everything.)

Hollande — Ayn Rand Is Spinning In Her Grave

Not only that, Hollande lived in sin with a woman, fellow Socialist pol Sègoléne Royal, for more than 30 years, and then the two split up in 2007 when Hollande found himself a younger tomato named Valérie Trierweiler. Oh, and Hollande is a Jew.

Trierweiler — So, What Is It With French Presidents And Gorgeous Women?

A guy like Hollande would be as electable in these Great United States, Inc. as, well, Khalid Sheikh Mohhamed.

Now get this — the French Socialists are considered a Center-Left party in that country. Center-Left! There are, apparently, des gauches even more, um, gauche than the Socialists in France. Either that or we have lost all perspective on the political spectrum in this holy land, considering that the very word Liberal is dirty here.

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

Monday, May 7, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Venue Fine Arts & GiftsExhibit, Daniel Lager; through May 17th

Cafe DjangoThe Bloomington Short List variety show, featuring comedians, musicians, dancers, etc.; 7pm

The BishopDJ Betsy Shepherd; 8pm — Arrah and the Ferns, Chandelier Ballroom; 9pm

Arrah And One Of Her Many Ferns

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