Category Archives: The Cowsills

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Don’t threaten me with love, baby. Let’s just go walking in the rain.” — Billie Holiday

WHITE HEAT

This is truly evil, isn’t it?

It’s a screenshot from the National Weather Service page Saturday at about 4:55pm.

And dig that humidity: 19 percent! Honestly, those are oven conditions.

AND THEN, THE HEAVENS OPENED UP

Some folks around town got a little rain Saturday evening, just before sunset. Facebook pals of ours were gushing about the downpour while the ground surrounding Chez Big Mike remained rock dry.

But yesterday afternoon we all got our treat. The rain fell, well, in buckets. When the torrent wasn’t so severe as to knock one off his or her feet, local citizens were actually walking around courthouse square in the rain like little kids, simply enjoying the experience of being wet.

HERE’S THE STORY OF A LOVELY LADY…

Laura Grover’s Bloomington Storytelling Project is having a big do Saturday, 7:00pm, at the Waldron Center.

The Groovy Grover is looking for more storytellers to tell their tales, so if you want to regale the citizenry, email her.

This month’s theme will be “Shocks and Surprises” but, really, every BSP event is chock full of S&Ss. If you haven’t caught a night with the BSPers yet, you’re in for a riot. It’s amazing how many raconteurs, fabulists, and flat-out bullshitters live in this burgh.

You know, it’d be a great date destination. Even if your date should bore you to tears, the evening wouldn’t be a total loss. Try it.

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

So, 9th District Rep. Todd Young (R) is hitching his wagon to Mitt Romney, natch.

This area’s first-term congressboy crashed Washington in the 2010 elections on the coattails of the Tea Party revolution (and how revolting it was.) The Tea Party-ists have been lukewarm on the former moderate Massachusetts guv so far this election year.

All Aboard!

But the GOP gang is noted for its ability to fall into line, so the side of Right is standing by their man even if they are holding their noses.

Young last week was named honorary co-chair of Mitt’s Veterans and Military Families for Romney club, which actually boasts some three bazillion co-chairs.

They’re all fine and patriotic souls whose fondest wish is that a Republican — any Republican — evicts Barack Obama from the White House come November. Of course, in order for them to realize that goal, the economy has to tank even further than it is already.

Such a quandary: loving, loving, loving this holy land while at the same time hoping, hoping, hoping more people lose their jobs and see their retirement investments shrink.

Neat strategy, guys.

LO-TECH POLS

Meanwhile, Shelli Yoder, the Dem candidate for Young’s seat, issued a press release recently decrying the incumbent’s use of the mails to tell the voters of Indiana’s 9th District what a wonderful guy he is.

Young: “I’m Swell.”

According to the Yoder camp, Young spent nearly $300,000 sending out junk mail to voters in the District in the year April 1, 2011, to March 31, 2012. Yoder says Young is “one of the top senders of mailings in the House.”

The 87 Republicans who gained seats for the first time in 2010 spent some $9.8M on mailers during their first year in office. These are the folks who sold themselves by saying Congressional spending was out of control.

21st Century Communication?

According to House records, eight of the ten top 2011 mailers in the US House were freshman.

Franking privileges, which is the official term for taxpayers footing the bill for Congressbeings to send mail to their constituents, supposedly are limited to communications on the issues as opposed to campaign literature. But those of us who aren’t as adept at lying as politicians are understand that when we receive a glossy card or pamphlet from our senator or representative, he or she’s really only looking for our vote.

So Todd Young isn’t alone in using our money to convince us he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to us. Nor are Republicans alone in charging us for their PR postage —  two of the top ten frosh were Dems.

Still, in this Internet age how much sense does it make for our elected representatives to be sending us junk mail? And is any of their self-aggrandizing material actually effective?

Search me. I do know this — if Shelli Yoder wins her race against Todd Young, I’ll be watching her to make sure she’s not on the top ten list in 2013.

THE RAIN, THE PARK, AND OTHER THINGS

The Cowsills were the bargain-basement kids-and-mom of 60s-era Sunshine Pop. The sub-genre’s artistes included the Beach Boys and the Mamas & the Papas.

The sunshine sound began to die with the 1969 release of the Archies’ “Sugar, Sugar.” Even though it was that year’s top selling 45, it’s hyperglycemic lyrics and vocals forced much of the listening public to turn to more morose singer-songwriters for something akin to balance.

Me? I’m still not averse to naked optimism and head-in-the-sand joy in my music. After all, you can only listen to the Cowboy Junkies for so long before you begin to lose your will to live.

The story goes that Screen Gems wanted to do a weekly show about the Cowsills but thought the mom, Barbara, too homely for TV stardom. Screen Gems hired Shirley Jones to play the mom with the rest of the Cowsills playing themselves but when the kids found out about the plan, the family pulled out of the project.

I Hate To Say It But….

Screen Gems went ahead with Shirley Jones and even hired her stepson, David Cassidy, to play her kid in a sitcom based on a similar idea, “The Partridge Family.”

Anyway, in honor of yesterday’s rain:

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

St. Mark’s United Methodist ChurchThe Generations Project: “What’s Working, What’s Not?”, discussion of brain injury for victims and family; 10am-noon

◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryNew exhibit, “Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; 1:30pm-close, through September 21st

◗ IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture CenterSummer Arts Festival: Michael Spiro & IU Summer World Percussion Ensemble; 7pm

Third Street ParkCuba Friendship Caravan, pitch-in meal, music, and discussion with caravanistas traveling to Santa Clara, Cuba, with aid packages; 7-8:45pm

The BishopDJs Mr. & Mrs. Resur; 8pm

◗ IU Auer HallSummer Arts Festival: Kevork Mardirossian on violin and Lee Phillips on piano play Prokofiev, DeBussy, & Franck; 8pm

◗ IU Auer HallSummer Music Series: Zoe Martin-Doike on violin, Nathan Vickery on cello, and Chih-Yi Chen on piano; 8pm

The Player’s PubSongwriter Showcase; 8pm

◗ IU HPER, room 107 — Ballroom dance lessons; 8:30pm

Ongoing:

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibit, “I’m Too Young For This  @#!%” by John D. Shearer; through July 30th

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibit, “Urban Landscape: A Selection of Papercuts by Qiao Xiaoguang; through August 12th — Exhibit, wildlife artist William Zimmerman; through September 9th — Exhibit, David Hockney, new acquisitions; through October 21st

◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryKinsey Institute Juried Art Show; through July 21st, 11am

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

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