Jumping to conclusions
We've all heard by now about the purported run-in at LAX that one of the
Biggest Little's US representatives, Patrick Kennedy, had with a security
guard. Supposedly, Patrick lost his composure and grabbed the woman by the arm,
causing an injury, when his carry-on bag was deemed too big to go through the
x-ray machine. Because he is who he is, with no shortage of enemies, this story
has gotten big play. The BeloJo even sent a reporter to Los Angeles, panting
with anticipation about this big "scandal."
P&J say let's not jump to conclusions. Let's wait until this thing plays
out. There is allegedly an airport security tape that will give us a better
picture of just what happened, but there are also a number of other reasons why
we sense this whole episode is being blown out of proportion.
First of all, we're talking about an airport security person whose first move,
after deciding she had been mistreated by Patrick, may have been to go running
to the National Enquirer (a publication noted for paying its sources)
with her story. Secondly, this occurred at almost the same time that another
airport security person accused Jeopardy host Alex Trebek of abusive
behavior and immediately proceeded to file a lawsuit.
As a member of the famous and wealthy Kennedy clan, Patrick might as well be
walking around with a big dollar sign on the back of his suit jacket. Is it not
totally plausible that someone, once they had a run-in with Patrick, would
think they'd just hit the jackpot?
P&J have known Patrick since he was in the state legislature. We don't for
a minute believe that he spouted off, "Don't you know who I am?" as alleged by
the security person. It just doesn't match up with the character of the man. We
can imagine that after being detained, perhaps to the point of almost missing
his flight, Patrick might say, "Look, I'm Congressman Kennedy and I have an
important speech, and I've got to get on this plane," or something like that.
The whole, "Hey, get out of my way, I'm a big shot" posture just isn't credible
to your superior correspondents.
The incident, as it has been spun by the security woman in question, just
doesn't add up. The part that we do believe is that, after having a minor hissy
fit, Patrick came back and apologized to her. Certainly, the LA police are
doing their job by investigating this matter and the press is doing its job by
covering the story. But it's just as certain that a wealthy celebrity in a
rush, who has momentarily lost his cool, looks like a winning lottery ticket to
some people (as Jim Baron, ace reporter of the Times of Pawtucket, so
succinctly put it this week). Let's not have a rush to judgment here. There's
an awfully acrid odor about this whole thing.
A sign of the times
Before the haggling at the State House over the removal of the words
"Providence Plantations" from the state's official name reaches the level of a
hair-pulling fight in the junior high school girl's room, Phillipe and Jorge
would like to make a modest proposal.
State officials have now dipped so far into their bag of excuses as to suggest
that re-doing official stationery and sand-blasting the offending words off
state buildings would make these changes prohibitively expensive. That's a nice
try, guys, but a little weak, as state Representative David Cicilline, sponsor
of a bill to put the question before voters on the November ballot, was quick
to point out.
However P&J are fairly certain that those folks whom we greatly respect,
such as Cicilline and the Rev. Virgil Wood, would perhaps be quite fine with
legislation that demanded that any new stationery or building plaques would not
include the words "Providence Plantations."
This would allow the use of existing official letterhead at no extra cost for
the immediate short term. And while it would not eradicate the words chiseled
into existing buildings, those testaments from our Rogue's Island founding
fathers might provide an excellent reminder to future generations that, indeed,
times do change. And also that Vo Dilunduhs have raised their awareness enough
to recognize that certain words are offensive to certain people, but that we
can be wise enough and big enough to make amends.
Whaddya say, gang?
P&J read with interest the news story on a federal advisory panel's
approval of a new drug, Uprima (Up, up Rima!) that's being proposed as an
anti-impotence cure. The drug, which, unlike Viagra, works on the brain, rather
than the blood supply to the penis, is manufactured by the Illinois-based Tap
Pharmaceuticals, a joint venture between Abbott Laboratories and Takeda
Concern about the new compound is based on the fact that there are a number of
potentially serious "side effects" -- fainting, vomiting, dizziness and low
blood pressure among them. Somehow, after hearing about how the drug works and
noting that its chemical name is apomorphine, P&J note that this sounds
like another drug we've heard of -- heroin. We bet that, if granted final
passage, this new pill will become a fave rave of junkies everywhere.
CBS = Conflicted Broadcasting System
Perhaps it's the "Wisdom of Finke" moving slowly up the corporate ladder that,
once again, has put CBS in the middle of controversy over the nearly complete
erasure of the line between news, and entertainment and ad sales at the
Longtime Vo Dilunduhs will recall the immortal words of ex-Channel 12 general
manager Bob Finke, who, while serving on a panel that Phillipe had the good
fortune to be moderating, once told a room full of URI journalism students and
faculty members that he considered his viewers "dumb as shit," and made his
programming decisions with that philosophy in mind. And don't think for a
second that he didn't believe it and act accordingly.
Recently, we were treated to the revelation by CBS execs that the network was
using high-tech imagining to place the CBS logo in the background of live and
videotaped news reports. These ranged from cute little graphics slipped on to
the back of hansoms in Central Park, to the New Year's eve obliteration of an
entire skyscraper wall which, in reality, featured an NBC News logo and
When CBS marketing execs were asked how such a champion of journalistic
integrity as Dan "What's the Frequency, Kenneth" Rather might feel about this
visual scam, they replied it was none of Rather's, or the news department's
damn business, in so many words.
Now we have CBS about to air a TV special on April 15 featuring the female
Walter Cronkite de notre jours, Leeza Gibbons, spotlighting creators of the
Internet portal site iwon.com, which will give $10 million to a randomly
selected person who has used the site in the past few months.
What the producers of the "iwon.com annual $10 Million giveaway" won't be
telling you -- either through Bob Finke or a fake graphic -- is that CBS is the
majority stockholder in iwon.com. Jeffrey Chester, head of the Center for Media
Education, told the Associated Press, "This is clearly a commercial for a CBS
investment and should be labeled as such." Why? No doubt because CBS's viewers
are dumb as shit and would never find out on their own.
Sleep tight, Edward R. Murrow.
Mr. Charles Darwin had to gall to ask
This just in from the distinguished panel of inquiring minds who select
recipients of the Darwin Award:
"One of the long-awaited moments of each New Year is the awarding of the
Darwin Award. Darwin Awards are (by definition) granted posthumously. This
citation is bestowed upon that individual (or remains of), who through
single-minded self-sacrifice, has done the most to remove undesirable elements
from the human gene pool. And the 1999 Darwin Award winner is:
"(Newsdate: September 5, 1999, Jerusalem) The switch away from daylight
savings time caused consternation among terrorist groups this year. At
precisely 5:30 Israel time on Sunday, two coordinated car bombs exploded in
different cities, killing three terrorists who were transporting the bombs. It
was initially believed that the devices had been detonated prematurely by
klutzy amateurs. A closer look revealed the truth behind the untimely
explosions. Three days before, Israel had made a premature switch from daylight
savings time to standard time in order to accommodate a week of Slihot,
involving pre-sunrise prayers. Palestinians refused to `live on Zionist
"Two weeks of scheduling havoc ensued. The bombs had been prepared in a
Palestine-controlled area, and set on Daylight Savings Time. The confused
drivers had already switched to standard time. As a result, the cars were still
en-route when the explosives detonated, delivering to the terrorists their
If Timothy McVeigh had only worn a watch.
Department of New Trends
In this week's edition of the New Yorker, a review of Stefan Kanfer's
new biography of Groucho Marxin suggests the book gives us a new look "at
Groucho's inner life." That, coupled with the knowledge that an upcoming cable
film bio of the Three Stooges promises to show "the dark side of the Stooges,"
leads your superior correspondents to believe that we are on the cusp of a new
trend. Yes, it's depressing explorations into the minds of prominent
We breathlessly await the arrival of Norman Mailer's 900-page essay on what
made Lou Costello tick and, of course, the Martin Scorsese flick that will
emerge from the Mailer tome. Yes, Buddy, there is life after Plunder Dome. Call
your agent now and get in line for the lead role.
Meanwhile, Phillipe & Jorge have already alerted a string of publishers
that the text for our own "Tubby Boots: The Man, the Myth, the 18 Grasshoppers
a Night," will soon be on its way.