Category Archives: Wall Street Journal

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Toys of fate; it’s kismet!” — Curly Howard

THIS OLD, ELECTRON-STAINED WRETCH

How long do you think it’ll be before local papers like the Indy Star and the Herald Times cease coming out, well, on paper?

My guess is the Herald Times has five years left. Maybe fewer.

The Star? Five years as well. Seven max.

By 2020, the only paper newspapers remaining will be big-time, national publications like the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and one or two others.

The rest? Done.

The Indianapolis Star today runs a FAQ column on its new online subscription policy. The reality is “you get it on your iPad, on your Android phone, on your desktop, in print, on social media or countless other platforms.”

Newsprint is nothing more than another “platform.”

At the Book Corner, only one person under the age of 60 or so buys newspapers. That’s some guy who works for Opie Taylor’s; he’s about 35. I have no recollection of anyone in her or his 20s ever plopping down the 75 cents for an H-T — or any other paper, for that matter.

Wanna know a secret? I get all my news online. And remember, I’m a 30-year veteran of writing for newspapers and magazines.

I won’t cry over the death of the papers.

BAD NEWS, BOYS

Ya gotta love it when our elected officeholders display a sense of humor. Especially, when the humor verges on truth.

For instance, after the Me Party-ists and right wingers, who took over the universe in the 2010 elections, decided to roll back women’s access to abortions and contraception to pre-11th Century levels, a few female pols shot back.

Writer Beth Baker penned a sidebar to her main article “Fighting the War Against Women” in the Spring/Summer edition of Ms. magazine. Entitled “What’s Good for the Goose,” the sidebar lists four tongue-in-cheek actions either proposed or approved recently.

Here they are:

  • The “spilled semen” amendment — Introduced by Oklahoma State Senator Constance Johnson, it calls for any semen deposited outside a woman’s vagina to be considered “an action against an unborn child.”
  • Egg and sperm personhood — Passed by the Wilmington, Delaware, city council, it declares all human ova and spermatazoa “eggs persons” and “sperm persons.” They will be protected against “abuse, neglect, or abandonment by the parent or guardian.”

Emily (L), Meet Zach (Leading, R)

  • Erectile dysfunction treatment testing and counseling — Introduced by Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, it would call for mandatory psychological testing, a cardiac stress test, and sexual counseling for any man who wishes to get a prescription for Viagra, Cialis, or other branded boner pills. Additionally, such patients would be required to show the doctor a signed agreement from his sex partner. He then would be directed toward celibacy counseling.
  • Mandatory priapism video — Introduced by Illinois State Representative Kelly Cassidy, this bill would require men seeking boner pill scrips to watch a video on priapism, the most common side effect of such meds, and its treatment, which is awfully gory. (Boys, cover your eyes — it involves a scalpel.)

AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Funny? Sure. But none of these laws or declarations is any more ridiculous than the roadblocks to reproductive freedom the right loves to throw in front of women.

NO FUN

You can’t have missed this. Is nothing sacred?

A woman in Galesburg, Illinois told police last week that her home had been burglarized and a collection of her most precious possessions had been snatched.

An unknown intruder or intruders, the woman reported, had taken a pink bag filled with $1000-worth of sex toys.

Industry!

Her sex toys.

Man. That’s really hitting below the belt.

The beauty of the story is the reaction of Galesburg Police Captain Rod Riggs (okay, now I’m beginning to think this whole thing is a gag — Rod? Riggs?)

Anyway, Riggs told reporters, “There are a lot of odd ducks out there.”

Knowing cops as I do, it’s an even bet as to whether he’s referring to the criminal or the victim.

Or might he be talking about some of the contents of the pink bag?

And Why Not?

DEDICATED TO TIARA LIKES

Yep. That’s the name of the poor woman who had her sex toys swiped. Come on, Tiara Likes? Rod Riggs? Odd ducks?

Iggy Pop would have to love this story. “No Fun” was released on the Stooges’ eponymous first album in 1969.

According to legend, Iggy called Moe Howard of the Three Stooges to ask the great man for permission to borrow from the slapstick trio’s name. The legend has it that Moe indicated he didn’t care one way or the other. There is no evidence he finger-poked Iggy in the eyes through the phone.

Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.

I Love ChartsLife as seen through charts.

XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

SkepchickWomen scientists look at the world and the universe.

IndexedAll the answers in graph form, on index cards.

Indexed: Note To Hoteliers

I Fucking Love ScienceA Facebook community of science geeks.

Present and Correct(New Listing) Fun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.

Flip Flop Fly BallBaseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.

Mental FlossFacts.

Caps Off PleaseComics & fun.

SodaplayCreate your own models or play with other people’s models.

Eat Sleep DrawAn endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.

Big ThinkTapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

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

Monroe County FairgroundsDay 3, 2012 Monroe County Fair, Carnival begins at 4pm, Music: JackLegg, Sheila Stephen and the Rodeo Monkeys; Noon to 11pm

City Hall, City Council Chambers — Bloomington Food Policy Council quarterly meeting, open to the public; 5:30-7pm

The Player’s PubSongwriter Showcase: The McKibben Bros., Chris Little, Terry Turley, Tom Marshalek; 8pm

The BishopDJ Mikey Kapinus; 8pm

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

The BluebirdDave Walters karaoke; 9pm

Ongoing:

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • John D. Shearer, “I’m Too Young For This  @#!%”; through July 30th

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • Qiao Xiaoguang, “Urban Landscape: A Selection of Papercuts” ; through August 12th
  • “A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th
  • Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th
  • Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th
  • “Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th
  • David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st
  • Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012
  • Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st
  • “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st

◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits: Bloomington Photography Club Annual Exhibition; through August 3rd

◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery“Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st

◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st

◗ IU Mathers Museum of World Cultures — Closed for semester break

Monroe County History Center Exhibits:

  • “What Is Your Quilting Story?”; through July 31st
  • Photo exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“I’m supposed to have a PhD on the subject of women. But the truth is I’ve flunked more often than not. I’m very fond of women; I admire them. But, like all men, I don’t understand them.” — Frank Sinatra

BREAD AND CIRCUSES (MINUS THE BREAD)

Time to beat a dead horse again. Didja see where Hamilton County has to sell its physical rehab hospital just so it can pay its debt service bills on the two Taj Mahals it built for Cincinnati’s pro sports teams?

The hospital has been valued at $30M but Hamilton County’s offering it for half that price because, well, it’s desperate.

The Wall Street Journal last July called the public financing of Great American Ballpark and Paul Brown Stadium “one of the worst professional sports deals ever struck by a local government.” Hamilton County took on about a billion dollars’ worth of debt to get the stadia built.

Half A Billion Here…

County officials promised trusting voters that the two facilities, both on the Ohio River, would usher in a new era of economic fabulousness for downtown Cincy.

Didn’t happen. And, according to the WSJ, it wasn’t going to happen even if the economy hadn’t tanked in the last year of George W. Bush’s reign.

The beauty of this story is the reaction of Cincinnati Bengals vice president Troy Blackburn. The Bengals play football in Paul Brown Stadium. The team pays virtually no operating or capital improvement costs for its palace. Additionally, Hamilton County is contractually on the hook to pay for any as-yet uninvented gizmos like hologram replay devices the team might desire. Swear to god.

… Half A Billion There…

Blackburn’s Bengals pushed hard for the County to foot the bill and ink a sweetheart lease deal for the team. The Bengals threatened to move to another city if the County didn’t come through.

County officials caved in, of course, as almost all local pols do when sports team owners put guns to their heads. Hamilton County honchos promised the good burghers of Cincy that piles of dough would roll into city and county coffers as well as local businesses if the two cathedrals were built. Voters bought those promises.

When confronted by reporters about the County’s current financial hardships, including yearly shortfalls and essential service cuts, Blackburn shrugged and said his team was not to blame for anything. Hamilton County’s suckers, he rationalized, were “an informed and engaged electorate.”

Hehe.

… Sorry, Nothing Left For You.

Former Cincinnati mayor Tom Luken was against the deal from the start. “Anybody with half a brain can figure out this is a bad deal,” he says.

We are one weird eff-ing country, kiddies.

VIDEO KILLED

Uh oh — we’re even weirder than you and I feared. Some Hollywood producer is putting together a deal to make a film about the start-up of MTV.

As in, VJs and all.

VJs.

For all you kids out there, MTV used to play music.

Ya Gotta Love the “21 Jump Street” Pose

ILLINOIS SINNERS

Rick Santorum is telling Illinois voters they can atone for their sin of giving the world Barack Obama by voting for him (Santorum) in the state’s primary Tuesday.

Guess what — a lot of my left-leaning friends are registering as Republicans and voting for god’s candidate. Their rationale? Make Santorum the Republican candidate because he can’t beat Barack.

Man, that’s playing with fire.

Plus, I don’t think the GOP needs anybody’s help in committing political suicide this year. They’re handling it just fine already.

GIRLS TO WOMEN

I’m reading Patti Smith’s National Book Award winning memoir, “Just Kids.”

Here’s my capsule commentary so far: She knows how to write and she doesn’t know how to write. That’s what makes the book charming.

I haven’t got past her poverty-stricken early days with Robert Mapplethorpe yet. She’s young and dreaming and certain there is something important she has to bring to the world. Only she doesn’t know just what it is.

Smith was already in her 60s when she was writing the book. Still, it has the sound and feel of a hungry, delightfully pretentious, ambitious, 14-year-old geeky girl.

How refreshing. I’ve had it with reading about men and boys coming of age. It’s time for more women authors to let the reading public know what it’s like to be a proto-emo girl. Or any kind of a girl at all.

GIRLS TALK

Don’t be fooled by the cover art — this is the Dave Edmunds (with Nick Lowe) version of the Elvis Costello gem.

There are some things you can’t cover up with lipstick and powder

I thought I heard you mention my name, can’t you talk any louder?

Don’t come any closer, don’t come any nearer.

My vision of you can’t get any clearer.

%d bloggers like this: