Hot Air

City Of Lit

Keep your eyes and ears open for a new designation for the city of Bloomington (fingers crossed).

There’s a movement afoot to get this teeming megalopolis tabbed a City of Literature by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, known to us acronym-o-philes (made-up word; you’re welcome) as UNESCO. The UN agency pushes eggheaded pursuits around the globe so that all nations can live like sisters and brothers and not nuke the bejesus out of each other. Good luck with that.

Parker

Writer Dorothy Parker, Sharpening Her Tongue*

Ennyway, Caveat Emptor‘s John McGuigan has pitched the idea to Mayor Mark Kruzan who, in turn, has made City Council mistress of civics Susan Sandberg the point person on it.

Other Cities of Literature so far include include Iowa City, home of the world-renowned Iowa Writers Workshop, right here in Murrica as well as these international outposts:

  • Edinburgh, (Scotland) UK
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Norwich, (England) UK
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Krakow, Poland
  • Heidelberg, Germany
  • Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Granada, (Andalusia) Spain

So, hey, why not us? Acc’d’g to Sandberg, the 2015 deadline for applying for designation is mere weeks away so B-ton will aim for the 2016 window. The C. of L. is part of UNESCO’s Creative Cities dealio that recognizes “Creative Hubs” and “Socio-cultural Clusters” which:

  1. Strengthen the creation, production, distribution, and enjoyment of cultural goods and service at the local level;
  2. Promote creativity and creative expression especially among vulnerable groups, including women and youth;
  3. Enhance access to and participation in cultural life as well as enjoyment of cultural goods;
  4. Integrate cultural and creative industries into local development plans.

That’s us, right? So, pen-pushers, keyboard clackers, and other ink-stained wretches, contact our mistress of civics if you wanna suggest, support, or otherwise stuff the ballot box for our application.

[ * — Dorothy Parker has nothing to do with Bloomington; I just like her.]

Friday At The Fell

Speaking of B-ton’s creative types, the Ledge Mule Press‘s Dave Torneo — a crackerjack poet and letter-writer — will host tonight’s I Fell Building exhibit, Four Views.

Artists Erik Woodworth, Laurel Leonetti, David Long, and Sean Pendergast will trot their stuff out, mainly dealing w/ “unique representations of the subjective, images abstract and emergent.” (Artists, right?)

Woodworth

Erik Woodworth

Oh, and put aside next Friday eve for another installment of the Ledge Mule poetry reading series. Stayed tuned for more info.

Baked Bruisers

You can believe it or not but one former National Football League player says at least 60 percent of active players smoke marijuana regularly. This player, former star running back Jamal Anderson of the Atlanta Falcons, believes NFL players toke up not just for the high but because it helps them bear the pain incurred through daily hard-hitting practices as well as the body-blasting three hours of every weekly game.

NFL

Oh, Wow.

Here are the reasons advanced by players for smoking pot:

  • As mentioned, it serves as an effective pain reliever
  • It helps ameliorate concussion symptoms
  • This generation of players grew up in an era when marijuana carried almost no negative stigma
  • The league tests for banned substances, including marijuana, at a specific time of the year, allowing players to clean out their systems at that time then return to regular use thereafter
  • The league and the players association may have a secret deal wherein marijuana users are not chased with any vigor because, according to one player, “we wouldn’t be able to field a league.”

And the inexorable march toward the end of marijuana prohibition continues unabated.

Just Say No

All we can do is ask why.

The Colorado program that provides low-income women with free contraceptive devices is in danger of ending. See, a private funding organization pitched few mill at Colorado health officials so they could give free long-lasting birth control to women in the state. It was sort of a test — if women, especially poor ones, got intrauterine devices, for example, would that reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, teen pregnancies, and abortions?

IUD

The IUD — A Fairly Expensive Little Gadget

The answer? It sure as hell would. All three totals in CO not only dropped over the period of the program, they dropped precipitously. As in better than 40 percent. Poor women flocked to get the devices implanted. They flocked less and less to welfare offices and abortion clinics.

Huzzah, right?

Wrong. The private funding has run out and this past spring Colorado lawmakers refused to allocate dough for the program. I guess they just like the idea of single mothers on welfare, high school dropouts having babies, and abortion clinics sweeping out wombs by the score.

I mean, why else wouldn’t you fund such a bang-up good program?

Hey, wait a minute, I remember now: the Religious Right hates the idea of females having sex even worse than they hate welfare and abortion.

Okay, never mind.

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