Category Archives: Whitney Houston

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book.” — Julius Marx

THE BOYS OF SOMA WAKE UP

Believe it or not, the hairy men who inhabit Soma Coffee occasionally can form full and complete sentences before they’ve even finished their first cups of the life-giving substance.

Videographer Steve Llewellyn told us he lucked into a ducat for the Bourdain/Ripert gabfest last night at the IU Auditorium.

Bourdain

“I never really knew that much about him but he was hilarious. I had no idea — ‘Some guy’s talking about food, wow’,” Llewellyn says. “He had a lot to say about vegetarians. He said what you ought to do is cook bacon in front of a vegetarian. ‘Bacon is the gateway protein’.”

Tyler Ferguson (a member of the Boys of Soma Women’s Auxiliary) was at the “Good Versus Evil: An Evening with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert” show as well. “Didja hear when he mentioned Monsanto and people booed? The first person down in front who started the booing? That was me,” she said.

Ripert

After delivering his report, Llewellyn flipped open the IDS. Computer genius and web developer Boise Tomlin couldn’t help but comment.

Noticing that the news section of the paper carried quite a few column inches of sports-related gibberish, Tomlin opined, “Look at this. This daily newspaper has an entire section dedicated to sports. Half the paper is sports. And yet they still have sports stuff in what should be the news section. That’s ridiculous.”

Amen.

Speaking of non-news news, when I clicked onto the CNN website this AM, I noticed yet another three separate stories about the death of Whitney Houston.

I’ve been holding my tongue for nearly a week now.

In fact, I bit my tongue so hard on Facebook Sunday that I’m still tasting blood.

No more.

I was dying to say Sunday that the whole Whitney Houston mourning thing is way over the top, no?

I mean, really, when was the last time any of these people who are so all broken up over her demise actually listened to her music? And if they did listen to her music, didn’t they hear one of the most annoying hit songs ever? That is “I Will Always Love You“?

Honestly, did she not have any other way of conveying emotion in a song other than to up her voice volume to eleven?

All I knew of Whitney Houston was that she sang a lot of boring stuff white people liked and that she had a lot of trouble with substances. Ergo, her untimely death was no surprise to me. How could it have been a surprise to anyone else?

Perhaps it was the timing of her death, coming on the heels of the check-outs of Amy Winehouse and Etta James. People love the idea that things happen in threes (although they don’t — it’s really only our human need to see patterns even when there aren’t any). The Winehouse and James deaths were met with real outpourings of emotion, considering they were, well, true creative artists.

Have you seen this image floating around the interwebs these days?

So, it’s not that I have anything against Whitney Houston. She was a terrific singer, albeit one I never cared to listen to. But my preferences aren’t the sacred arbiter of what’s art and what’s not.

No, my quibble is with the folks who are trying to elevate her to some kind of weird martyrdom.

That’s all.

BIG MIKE’S SHELF

We’re trying a little something new down at the Book Corner these days. We’re dedicating a shelf for a week or so to each of our august literary sales drones so they can display their fave tomes.

Well, whaddya know, I’m the first vict…, er, choice. Here are my books for the week (or until somebody feels ambitious enough to put up a new shelf):

Made In America, by Bill Bryson

A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich

J. Edgar Hoover: A Graphic Biography, by Rick Geary

The Complete Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi

The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe, by Theodore Gray

In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote

Einstein: His Life and Universe, by Walter Isaacson

Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman: Adventures of a Curious Character, by Richard Feynman

Read. That’s an order.

HE-E-E-E-E-E-E-ERE’S TYLER!

Now then. Speaking of the one-of-a-kind Tyler Ferguson, she’s making big plans for the spring.

She’s got this crazy idea that she wants to produce a Bloomington-oriented TV talk show. The host, natch, would be none other than one Tyler Ferguson.

Yup.

It will be modeled after the legendary late-night talk show, “Playboy After Dark,” hosted by Hugh Hefner back in the 1960s.

Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr., Anthony Newley, and your host, Hugh Hefner

Tyler wants to call her show “Nightcap.”

She plans to tape the pilot in her living room with a live audience comprised of invited friends. The idea, according to the aspiring TV mogul, is the thing’ll be a party and throughout the evening, a lineup of guests will appear. Bloomington, Tyler reasons, is chock full of musicians, authors, poets, singers, comedians, and others. They’ll be interviewed by Tyler in the usual desk-and-couch set-up.

Ferguson already has her video director set up as well as her very own sidekick. And guess who that sidekick will be. Yep, this guy, Big Mike, president and chief executive officer of the international communications colossus, The Electron Pencil.

My Dream Job: Second Banana

Tyler banged away on her laptop this morning, taking notes on the show idea. The idea’s been floating around in her fertile cranium for a few weeks now. She expects it to run on You Tube and hopes to be able to secure a timeslot on CATS.

This thing just might be for real. Tyler already has set up one sponsor for the show, a start-up brewery  that’ll supply the booze for the party.

Look for a late May/early June release of the pilot.

A WOMAN’S PLACE

Apparently the ideas of women are pretty much irrelevant to the blowhard who’s running Congressional hearings on contraception, religious myth organizations, and the Obama administration’s new rules on health care coverage.

You know, it wasn’t too long ago that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) was considered just another loon in the GOP’s (POG’s?) stable of putative primates in Congress. Now, he’s chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“No Girls Allowed!”

And whaddya expect from the Party O’god? Have you caught the video of that human-impersonator on MSNBC last night who said things were so much simpler back in his day: women simply squeezed an aspirin between their knees to avoid getting pregnant.

This unindicted moral felon, a fellow named Foster Friess, doesn’t like the idea of women having sex. He’s a billionaire, so his “thoughts” carry weight in this holy land.

“Y’see, I’m Obscenely Rich And You’re Not.”

It occurs to me that these god-groupies who are so freaked over contraception really don’t need women. Females are so troublesome, after all. So I have a solution to all their problems. Here’s a partner that won’t file a paternity suit against you or demand birth control pills or even talk back when you just want to roll over and fall asleep the way the creator intended a man to act.

(I’d have posted a picture of the product here but — here’s a shocker — I thought it might be more prudent not to. You’ll just have to click on the link.)

I propose nominating the above-mentioned product as Mrs. Republican USA for the year 2012 — and for all the years thereafter!

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