April is National Poetry Month.
My fave poet is Dorothy Parker. She was a smart-ass par excellence back in the 1920s. Parker was a member of the fabled Vicious Circle that met daily for lunch at New York’s Algonquin Hotel. Her regular lunch and repartee partners included Robert Benchley, Alexander Woolcott, Franklin Pierce Adams, George S. Kaufman, Harold Ross, Heywood Broun, and Ruth Hale. People like Harpo Marx, Tallulah Bankhead, Estelle Winwood, and Edna Ferber dropped by on occasion.
They engaged in banter and wordplay that fascinates to this day. Because a number of the Circlers had syndicated daily newspaper columns, the group’s bons mots would spread across the nation in those quaint pre-TV, pre-interwebs days. For instance, Parker was challenged to use the word horticulture in a sentence one day. It didn’t take her all that long to pronounce: You can lead a horticulture but you can’t make her think.
As the group grew through the ’20s, the Algonguin restaurant’s maître d’ began seating them at a huge round table, ergo, the repast became known to outsiders as the Algonquin Round Table. They referred to themselves as The Board. Their lunches, natch, were dubbed Board Meetings. Acc’d’ng to legend, the maître d’ assigned the group a new waiter named Luigi one day. From then on, they called themselves the Luigi Board, a takeoff on the Ouija Board, a popular toy at the time.
It can be said (if one wanted to speak pretentiously and presumptuously) that Bloomington’s own Boys of Soma is a direct descendent of Parker et al‘s Vicious Circle. Only we’re not vicious (not too much.) Nor are we as talented and accomplished as that gang. Ah, forget I mentioned it.
Anyway, my fave Bloomington poets are Ross Gay and Tony Brewer. Pick up one of their books this month and lose yourself in their meter. Read anybody’s poetry this month. Write some of your own.
Go ahead, play with words. It’s fun. And you just may hit upon a creative usage for the word euthanasia in a sentence.
A Healthy Success
Okay, so twenty-somethings now get to be covered by their parents’ health insurance policies. People with pre-existing conditions get to sign up for health insurance. Lifetime benefit caps are out. And the poor now can afford health coverage so that they don’t have to make the choice between that and Dumpster diving for dinner tonight.
In all, more than 10 million Murricans who didn’t have health insurance last year now have it this year. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
Yet some corporate media outlets still refer to its “disastrous rollout.”
What did I miss?
Wait, you mean because some people had trouble logging on to a massive, never-before-attempted online enrollment system for a few weeks, the ACA is a disaster?
In that case, I wonder what we might call a health care system wherein some 40 million people routinely find themselves shut out of simple medical care. An annoyance? Business as usual?
I’ll go with the latter. That is, it was business as usual until Barack Obama got his ACA through the Congress in 2010. The Act profoundly changed the way we provide medical care in this holy land.
Former Republican Flack Diane Sawyer Reports
I’m not in love with the ACA, mind you. But until we have universal, single-payer health coverage in the United States, it’ll have to do. And it’s one hell of a lot better than what we had before.
And if the Dems had any brains, they’d run with that ball through this year’s mid-term elections. They’ve got at least 10 million votes in their pockets right now.