“[Martin Luther] King’s response to our crisis can be put in one word: revolution. A revolution in our priorities, a reevaluation of our values, a reinvigoration of our public life and a fundamental transformation of our way of thinking and living….” — Cornel West
GORE VIDAL, 1925-2012
An unapologetic liberal. Of course, I don’t know why anyone should feel a need to apologize for being liberal.
I had my political awakening in 1968, when I was 12 years old. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were killed, segregationist George Wallace ran for president, Vietnam was raging. Riots, protests, the Democratic convention in Chicago — all of it thrilled and horrified me.
Then, on a steamy Wednesday night in August as Chicago cops rioted, busting heads and bloodying protesters, reporters, delegates, and innocent passersby on Michigan Avenue in front of the Conrad Hilton Hotel, Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley faced off on ABC TV. The moderator was Howard K. Smith.
Vidal was aggressively anti-war; Buckley aggressively pro-war. The two battled verbally until things seemed about to devolve into physical combat.
Vidal: “As far as I’m concerned, the only sort of pro-crypto Nazi I can think of is yourself.”
Buckley: “Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in the god damned face and you’ll stay plastered.”
I watched this live. I took sides right then and there.
Vidal would not back down, even when threatened by a Tory, royalist, blue-blood, former captain of the Yale debate team. He merely smiled when Buckley called him a queer.
I only wish liberals were as tough today.
If you read nothing else on the environment or the issue of climate change this summer, make sure you catch Bill McKibben‘s latest, terrifying piece in Rolling Stone.
Folks, we’ve got problems. The crisis is not tomorrow; it’s today.
And if you happen to encounter someone who denies global warming, don’t even bother arguing with them. Just tell ’em to kiss your ass.
MILLIONS OF CARS
Dig Tuesday’s XKCD: What If? post, imaged and linked below in Big Mike’s Playtime section.
This week’s physics theoretical asks, “What if there was a robot apocalypse? How long would humanity last?”
The answers (spoiler alert!) are — 1) not much would happen (unless we consider the computers that control the world’s nuclear arsenals to be robots, then too much) and 2) indefinitely (unless, again, the above contingency holds, then, oh, 13 seconds).
But the fascinating thing I found was the author’s calculation that at any given moment in the United States, there are 10 million cars on the road.
I might add that fully 75 percent of that number are snarled up at the Bypass construction zone at this very moment.
Shelli Yoder yesterday challenged Todd Young to a series of debates in each of the 13 Indiana counties that make up the 9th Congressional District.
Young’s camp pooh-poohed the whole idea. The Republican incumbent’s campaign boss, Trevor Foughty, told the Louisville Courier-Journal that the debate challenge is a publicity stunt.
Shelli Yoder & Todd Young
Funny thing is, Young himself upset long-time 9th District rep Baron Hill in 2010 in part by, well, challenging the Dem to a series of debates.
I’M A LION — GRRRROWWLLLL!
Will Murphy, former general manager of Bloomington’s WFHB and current honcho at Ft. Wayne’s WBOI, learned about Snoop Dogg’s transformation into Snoop Lion yesterday.
Or Maybe I’m A Soldier — Ten Hut!
Murphy observed, “Not sure what to make of this.”
I set the radio man straight. “Nothing, Will. Absolutely nothing.”
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 Charts — Life as seen through charts.
❏ XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”
XKCD: What If?
❏ Skepchick — Women scientists look at the world and the universe.
❏ Indexed — All the answers in graph form, on index cards.
❏ I Fucking Love Science — A Facebook community of science geeks.
❏ Present and Correct — Fun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.
❏ Flip Flop Fly Ball — Baseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.
Flip Flop Fly Ball
❏ Mental Floss — Facts.
❏ Caps Off Please — Comics & fun.
❏ Sodaplay — Create your own models or play with other people’s models.
❏ Eat Sleep Draw — An endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.
❏ Big Think — Tapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.
❏ The Daily Puppy — So shoot me.
The Daily Puppy: Skeeter The Samoyed
Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.
◗ Monroe County Fairgrounds — Day 5, 2012 Monroe County Fair, Senior citizens day, Joe Edwards & Jan Masters Show; 1, 3:30 & 6pm — Royal Flush karaoke; 6pm — Clayton Anderson; 7:30pm — Three Bar J Rodeo; 7:30pm; Noon to 11pm
◗ Cafe Django — Tom Miller’s Last Show; 7:30pm
◗ Max’s Place — Open mic; 7:30pm
◗ Bear’s Place — Americana Jam: Chris Wolf, Danika Holmes, Suzette Weakly; 8pm
◗ The Player’s Pub — Sarah’s Swing Set; 8pm
◗ The Comedy Attic — Bloomington Comedy Festival, audience vote decides the funniest person in Bloomington; 8pm
◗ Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington — Contra dancing; 8pm
◗ The Bluebird — Dot Dot Dot; 9pm
◗ IU Kirkwood Observatory — Public viewing through main telescope, weather permitting; 10pm
◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Center — Exhibits:
- “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; opens Friday, August 3rd, through September 1st
◗ IU Art Museum — Exhibits:
- 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 Gallery — Exhibits: 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 Library — Exhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st
◗ IU Mathers Museum of World Cultures — Closed for semester break, reopens Tuesday, August 21st
◗ 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