Day 480: Portable Parker

Portable Parker: An anthology published for service folk stationed overseas

Not sure why I look forward each week to seeing which “Notable Quotable” appears on the cover of the Outreach Connection newspaper … but I do. I mean, I could get myself a Bartlett’s book full of them … but I don’t.

Instead, I make a stop at the downtown corner where Mr. Singh flogs his stack of issues each Wednesday. (As you may recall, the paper helps the homeless and the unemployed by giving them a “job” selling each week’s issue for $1 to $2 (while they pay about 25 cents per issue).)

The articles are provided by volunteers and range from movie reviews to inspirational themes to current trends, and are definitely written for the urban commuters who buy the paper, not the homeless and unemployed folk who sell it. In fact, this week’s cover story is called “Texting Obsession” and its author admits “the newest Facebook application is installed on my Blackberry Curve.” I don’t know about Mr. Singh, but it’s def. out of my league!

Notable quotable

When I spotted the inspired choice of quotation today, I let out a squeal of glee : The notably quotable Ms. Dorothy Parker herself!

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”
— Dorothy Parker (1893 – 1967)

Parker is most famous for writing for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Hollywood movies (A Star is Born, The Little Foxes), as one of the legendary Algonquin Round Table quipsters, and for such witticisms as:

  • “Women and elephants never forget.”
  • “Take care of luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.”
  • “The two most beautiful words in the English language are ‘cheque enclosed.'”
  • “If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.”
  • “Brevity is the soul of lingerie.”

So I was pleasantly surprised to find out she was also a civil rights good-deeder from way back.

In fact, 21 years after her death, the NAACP designed a memorial garden for her remains outside their Baltimore headquarters. The plaque there reads:

Here lie the ashes of Dorothy Parker (1893–1967) humorist, writer, critic. Defender of human and civil rights. For her epitaph she suggested, ‘Excuse my dust‘. This memorial garden is dedicated to her noble spirit which celebrated the oneness of humankind and to the bonds of everlasting friendship between black and Jewish people. Dedicated by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. October 28, 1988.

P.S. I bet Dorothy would have grooved to this French carol (filmed at the recent Kaleidoscope event to raise awareness of key issues surrounding women and cancer). Enjoy!

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