Joe Biden calls the Policy Crisis Line

From the President’s Joint Address to Congress, April 28, 2021 (paraphrased in the presidential Twitter account).

COUNSELOR: Policy Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
PRESIDENT BIDEN (caller): Trickle-down economics has never worked.
COUNSELOR: So what do you think we should do about it?
BIDEN: It’s time to grow the economy from the ground up and the middle out.
COUNSELOR: Well said! Just once I’d like to hear someone in Washington say that.

The Cure at Troy call the Poetry Crisis Line (part 2)

See Part 1 here (or see the 3 pages together below).


Congratulations to newly inaugurated President Joe Biden (who quoted from the same play in his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention). May we all make it through the lengthy healing process.

JERRY (counselor): Poetry Crisis Line, what is your emergency?
THE CURE (chorus): Human beings suffer
JERRY: Philosophers have written a great deal on the question of why people suffer.
THE CURE: They torture one another
JERRY: That is one reason.
THE CURE: They get hurt and get hard.
JERRY: As long as it’s consensual.
THE CURE: No poem or play or song can fully right a wrong inflicted and endured.
JERRY: So we’re talking about a lengthy healing process?

Excerpted from The Cure at Troy by Seamus Heaney

The Poetry Crisis Line’s presidential endorsement


Because of the gravity of the current election, the Poetry Crisis Line is taking the unprecedented step of endorsing a presidential candidate for the first time in our three-year history.




The Poetry Crisis Line endorses Joe Biden, who knows firsthand the therapeutic value of poetry, yet who understands that words alone cannot replace a health care plan. We also appreciate Mr. Biden’s positions on climate change, biodiversity loss, and preserving our democratic institutions, so that we will continue to have a country to write poetry in and a planet to read it on. These plans may not be enough on their own, but they give us a beginning on which we can build. And his economic plans will support a strong economy and a stronger middle class. Of course, poets aren’t expected to understand economics, but we seem to understand it better than the current president.

Mr. Biden’s opponent has staked out positions on a range of issues, including bullying, corruption, police brutality, sexual assault, child abuse, global warming, dictators, and the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, these positions always seems to be in favor.

Some say he only seems to take this position because of biased coverage, since the criticism comes from left-wing figures like…uh… John Bolton, and establishment media darlings like…um…Noam Chomsky. In reply, the Poetry Crisis Line must acknowledge that we, too, are biased against bullying, corruption, police brutality, sexual assault, child abuse, global warming, dictators, and the spread of COVID-19—and we hope you are too.

By contrast, Biden is a relatable protagonist—seasoned, familiar with loss and grief, with a long road ahead. There is still room for character growth, and some outcomes are still unknown—yet after the past four years, we hope the audience understands that democracy is an interactive performance, and depends on all of us doing our part, at elections and in between. And in an interactive performance, it will be good to have a protagonist who listens, for a change.


Memorandum from the Commission on Presidential Debate Drinking Games



In light of recent events, the Commission on Presidential Debate Drinking Games (CPDDG) has made adjustments to the rules for the final Debate Drinking Game of 2020.

In the interest of public health and safety, we no longer recommend drinking every time Vice President Biden rambles or begins a sentence with “Here’s the deal,” as this can result in alcohol poisoning or liver toxicity. Likewise, to avoid severe liver toxicity, we do not recommend that players drink each time the President

  • Lies
  • Interrupts
  • Insults his opponent
  • Lies again

For a more balanced drinking game, CPDDG recommends drinking if:

  • An insect lands on either participant
  • The moderator needs to use a taser or air horn
  • Trump interrupts so loudly you can hear it through Biden’s microphone
  • You want to cheer Biden on for saying something that would ordinarily cross a line

We consider it reasonable to drain your glass if

  • Biden loses his cool
  • Either candidate says something comprehensible and concise
  • Trump tells the truth

You may also drain your glass if Trump

  • Doesn’t show up (you might as well, since you bothered to pour it)
  • Shows up but refuses a COVID test
  • Shows up at all (we consider it inhumane to expect anyone to listen to him while sober)

Also, in light of recent videos that have surfaced online, the CPDDG recommends replacing the canceled debate with a dance-off between President Trump and Senator Harris. This will make possible a multi-day drinking game. In the days following the dance-off, we propose that you drink

  • Whenever Trump or his surrogates insist, against evidence, that the President won the dance-off
  • Whenever Trump or his surrogates claim it was unfair because Senator Harris had a “natural advantage”

You may drain your glass when these surrogates try to walk back the “natural advantage” claim, and insist that it didn’t mean what it sounds like.