Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dororthy Parker

Dorothy Parker and I shared a birthday yesterday, as we do very year. She and I are both Leo Snakes. Sometimes I think, if I hadn't had children, I would have ended up like her, drinking lots, considering my friends to be family, living with cats in a grubby apartment, thinking too much about my own dramas.


Authors and actors and artists and such
Never know nothing, and never know much.
Sculptors and singers and those of their kidney
Tell their affairs from Seattle to Sydney.
Playwrights and poets and such horses' necks
Start off from anywhere, end up at sex.
Diarists, critics, and similar roe
Never say nothing, and never say no.
People Who Do Things exceed my endurance;
God, for a man that solicits insurance!

I also love Mae West, another Leo Snake, who, at a time when women didn't do such things, created her own work, as a writer and performer. I've read her short novels, that the films and shows were based on, and they're good. Lots of insight into life during the 1920s - cross-racial relationships in Harlem, nightclubbing, criminals, slave trading (I mean trading women for into the sex industry). And, of course, she was arrested for profanity during her show, Sex, and was sentenced to ten days imprisonment for "corrupting the morals of youth." (just like Socrates) and she wrote about homosexuality. When her neighbours barred her boyfriend, an Afro-American boxer, from entering the apartment building, she simply bought the building. In her own way she was fighting discrimination and changing the world, and having lots of fun while earning lots of money.    

Such sassy women! Literate, independent, gutsy and influential.

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