Friday, October 4, 2013


“I believe in a lively disrespect for most forms of authority,” Rita Mae Brown

Author of “Rubyfruit Jungle” (1973), which dealt openly with lesbian themes, Rita Mae Brown had resigned from the National Organization of Women three years before when founder Betty Friedan made remarks insulting to gays.  Rit went on to form the Lavender Menace and The Furies Collective.

IUN is hosting a two-day Rainbow Diversity Symposium with sessions on such topics as Coming Out of the Closet, Bullying, Harassment, and Suicide Prevention, LGBTQI Marriage, and Homosexuality and Religion.  A Safe Zone Project provided Advocacy Training workshop for those interested in providing support for LGBTQI people at identifiable Safe Spaces. Brandon Wagman, below, a founder of Rainbow Serenity, hosted a recent music and arts fair in Hobart.

Hoosier Congressman Marlin Stutzman made the moronic statement that Republicans were “not going to be disrespected.  We have to get something out of this.  And I don’t know what that even is.”  Robert Blaszkiewicz wondered if Obamacare covered foot in mouth disease.  Republicans, playing to their racist base, have been disrespecting the President for five years now with no end in sight.  Ray Smock feared the public would blame both political parties equally and say, in effect, “A plague on both your houses.”  He recommended Norman Ornstein and Tom Mann’s “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism.”

Jacqueline Foertsch’s “Reckoning Day: Race, Place, and the Atom Bomb in Postwar America,” though mainly about films and novels, analyzes such tunes as “Atomic Love,” “Atomic Baby,”and “Atomic Nightmare.”  The genre includes novelty songs (“H-Bomb Rock”), gospel-oriented (“Jesus Hits Like an Atomic Bomb”), or sexually suggestive (“You Hit Me Baby Like an Atomic Bomb” has the line, “a radioactive feeling in my knees”).  Foertsch mentions the Cuff Links’ doo-wop song “Guided Missiles” but not “Sh-Boom” by the Chords.  In 1962 Charles Mingus recorded “Oh, Lord, Don’t Let Them Drop That Atomic Bomb on Me.” Twenty years later Sun Ra and His Outer Space Arkest’s “Nuclear War” contained these lines: “Nuclear war it’s a motherfucker, don’t you know If they push a button, your ass must go.”

East Chicago lost a Sectionals heartbreaker to the Hammond Morton Governors (the school is named in honor of Civil War governor of Indiana Oliver P. Morton).  Each team won two matches, so the contest came down to which number one singles player would prevail. Fabian Garcia lost the first set 6-1 to his Morton opponent, who hit virtually everything back, and was losing the second when rains came.  After a delay he rallied to win the set.  With the third set tied 4-4, Fabian was a point away from taking the next game, only to see his opponent hit a ball that went into the net but dribbled over onto his side.  He lost that game and the next but received a big ovation from fans for his valiant effort. Dave was proud of his players, none of whom had tennis experience before going out for his team. It was quite a busy week for Dave, below left, who as Senior adviser was involved in Spirit Week, which coincided with Homecoming (he also announced the football game against Lew Wallace).  
Driving home on 80/94, I spotted a brilliant rainbow to the southeast.  As I got closer to Chesterton, the sky darkened and it started pouring.  Earlier we had lost electricity, but lights were on and a ribs, rice, and string beans dinner awaited.

Ray Boomhower’s Traces article on Herbert O. Yardley entitled “The Hoosier Decoder,” concentrated on Yardley’s years with the secret American Cryptographic Bureau.  Yardley wrote an adventure novel called “The Blond Countess,” whose main hero was a cryptographer.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio bought the rights to the two books and in 1935 released the spy movie “Rendezvous,” starring William Powell and Rosalind Russell.  The film, Boomhower wrote, “had little to do with Yardley’s experience with the Black Chamber.”

In his “Editor’s Page” essay, entitled “The Gentleman,” Boomhower admits to an adolescent fascination with classic films while growing up in Mishawaka.  Seeing William Powell in “The Thin Man,” he thought he might want to become a private detective.  The consummate gentleman, Powell was witty, brave, and unflappable.  My movie icons as a kid were Jerry Lewis and the Roadrunner.  My heroes were pitcher Robin Roberts and leadoff hitter Richie Ashburn, “Whiz Kids” on the 1950 Philadelphia Phillies. A fierce competitor, Roberts would sometimes steal bases when the situation called for it; Ashburn sometimes fouled off more than a dozen pitches at the beginning of a game.  Both were class acts off the field.  Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe called Roberts “one of the nicest men I’ve ever met.”  Following his playing career, Ashburn was a Phillies TV commentator for 34 years until succumbing to a heart attack following a broadcast at Shea Stadium in New York. Once describing how he’d keep baseball bats with him during hot streaks, Ashburn, known for his dry wit, told TV partner Harry Kalas that “he’d slept with a lot of old bats in his day.”

Frederic and Blandine were waiting for permission to film at Wirt Emerson School, which they visited two weeks ago.  Several people have told them about the innovative things going on there, so they think it’s imperative.  I called up Principal Adrian Richie, and he suggested they come next Tuesday morning when performers from China were scheduled to perform.  Just 12 more days before the filmmakers return to Paris.

Friday we attended Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” at Memorial Opera House.  First performed in 1938 with no set and few props, it takes place in the fictional small New England town of Grover’s Corner in the early years of the twentieth century.  While the acting was impeccable, especially John Larrabee as Stage Manager, the plot didn’t much interest me; I prefer musicals.

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