Who will be the sole
Your superior correspondents must admit we don't know much more than what we've
seen in various news reports about Richard Hatch, the Middletown man who was
arrested and charged after being accused of abusing his adopted son. Reports
indicate that Hatch's friends rallied around him, suggesting he's an excellent
father and that there's something highly dubious about the charges. At this
time, we don't have a clue, but if the charges turn out to be bogus, this guy
was seriously "Richard Jewelled."
Of course, this was front-page news on May 1 because Hatch had just returned
from a remote island in the South China Sea, filming the new, yet-to-be-aired
CBS "reality" series Survivor. The series features 16 strangers who are
thrown together on an island. The last one to survive the weeding-out process
(in which the participants are polled and may vote out the others) wins $1
million. In researching the story, the BeloJo discovered that Hatch had made
the cut of the final seven, although the network will not confirm it.
More interesting was a little item culled from Hatch's C.V. and
mentioned in Saturday's Other Paper -- in 1979, shortly after graduating from
high school, Hatch worked "as chauffeur to the owners of Studio 54" in New
York. Hey, was there a more superior service job in all the land at that time?
While Hatch apparently survived his days in the wild with both Steve Rubell and
Ian Schrager, not to mention 16 strangers on a desert isle, his real survival
story will be at the hands of a Family Court judge here in the Biggest Little.
The name game
As we all know, the Rev. Virgil Wood suggested during the annual Martin Luther
King Jr. Day breakfast this year that we drop the word "plantations" from the
official state name. A few weeks back, your superior correspondents received
this missive from Mark Binder, the Rhody playwright and humorist, with some of
his thoughts on the subject:
We all know the real reason to keep the name, "State of Rhode Island and
Providence Plantations." Is not because we're racist. Or conservative. Or even
the money it would cost to change. It's because, with 42 letters, our state --
the littlest in the union -- has the biggest name. Wouldn't the 18 letters of
"State of Rhode Island" be enough? Not a chance. We need to over-compensate.
So, in an attempt to use historical revisionism to create racial harmony, the
State Institute for Larger Letter Yields came up with the following list of
suggestions and their proponents:
* State of Rhode Island and Narragansett Bay. A tourist-industry favorite.
* Consumers of Rhode Island and Providence Place Mall. (Possibility of
* Providence, Rhode Island -- Vincent A. Cianci Jr., Mayor. Forget about the
rest of the state, let's give credit where credit's due.
* Viewers of Rhode Island and Providence the TV Show. Requires additional
legislation mandating that everyone will have to look as good as the folks on
* State of Alan Shawn Feinstein. (Ask for a big donation.)
* Clam Cakes and Mr. Potato Head Chowder. (A new state name and a new state
* Gamblers of Rhode Island and the Narragansett Tribal Lands, which We'll Trade
for West Warwick. If You Pass the Casino. (98 letters!)
* For the geographically correct: Newport, Jamestown, Block Island and Parts of
* And finally, State of Rhode Island and Hot Wieners. Nobody else in the world
has as many as we do.
After the fall
Sombreros off to Manoel Felciano, understudy for the role of Judas in the
current revival of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Ford Center in New York
City, and the early odds-on favorite for scene-stealer of the year. One day
last week, when the regular Judas, Tony Vincent, had taken ill, Felciano took
over the role. He decided to cement his big break by falling into the orchestra
pit during his first big solo number on stage. When Judas crawled back on stage
with a little help from the orchestra conductor, the audience reportedly went
wild and later gave Felciano a standing O during the curtain call.
We're assuming that the big applause for Judas was due to this amazing
comeback, rather than audience identification with the character (although you
can expect the likes of Gary "Bow-wower" Bauer to claim that this was just
another indication of America's cultural decline). Upstaging the hero,
especially after he's just been crucified, is no easy task, so here's to you,
The new merit badge for spinning
Phillipe and Jorge have seen a flyer from the Public Relations Society of
America's Vo Dilun branch, which contains the following job announcement:
"Scouts Seeking PR Counsel -- The Public Relations Committee of the
Narragansett Council of the Boy Scouts of America is looking for PR
professionals willing to donate one to two hours each month to serve as members
of the committee."
Funny, but as the ad goes on it mentions nothing about "crisis control." This
appeal couldn't possibly be related to the hammering that the Narragansett
Council is taking from the media and the public over inaction on the gay scout
at Yawgoo who was (we believe illegally) fired from his job. We're sure the
omission of "No homos need apply" is probably just an oversight. See, they
really do need help.
Gore at fund-raiser with Clinton
Another charming story about Al "Two-by-Four" Gore, the man who was born with a
board lodged up his buttocks.
Appearing at a major Democratic National Committee fund-raiser at the Sheraton
New York on April 24 with Billary and Hillary, Gore followed on their
energizing, Hollywood-crafted performances with his usual pedantic droning.
Comedian Jon Stewart and crooner Tony Bennett comprised the entertainment for
the evening. (Shoot us, please. We can't take any more of that cutting edge,
faux liberal Democratic taste with which the Clintons and Gores try so hard to
impress us that they are "hip.")
Writing in Salon, Jesse Drucker noted that as Mr. Whore's stultifying
speech interminably continued, "several audience members were noticeably
slumping in their chairs. One dinner guest seated at a table near the rear
resorted to sticking food up his nose to entertain himself."
We knew they should have never invited Ted Kennedy, or at least made him sit
Phillipe and Jorge come across a wonderful little addition to Vo Dilun literary
cultcha in Street Talk, which bills itself as a "Black Underground
Community Newsletter," and we are pleased to report that it goes straight for
the throat. The recent March/April issue features a full-page (albeit horribly
drawn) sketch of the Bud-I, holding stacks of money, as "Stain Man;" lists of
"Negroes to Watch" and "Dangerous White Folks"; and it goes after Providence
school superintendent Diana Lam and school committee members with a machete.
A sample line which P&J enjoyed a great deal, although some members of the
black community may find it less amusing: "Hip, hop and hurray, Gordon Gee has
gone away. Did he say goodbye to any of you Negroes he invited for tea with
Please, whomever the anonymous authors and editors may be, put us on your
P&J are huge fans of the Wednesday "Dining Out" section in the New York
Times. And not just because Wylie Dufresne, the son of old Casa Diablo
friends Dewey and Polly Dufresne, has become the flavor of the month with 71
Clinton, his new restaurant on Manhattan's Lower East Side.
However, one would think that the William Grimes, the gourmand who does the
feature stories and restaurant reviews for "Dining Out," and his editors would
display a bit more social awareness than to focus on Charleston, South
Carolina, in the April 26 edition. As Grimes may or may not know, the NAACP has
called for a boycott of South Carolina by people and organizations from outside
the state, which we imagine is the bulk of the Times' readership, until
the legislature clears up that messy little problem about flying the
Confederate flag over the State House. Even the New York Knicks have refused to
use their traditional pre-playoffs retreat in South Carolina until the Klan
stops making the decisions there.
A severe lack of taste indeed in the dining section of The Gray Lady -- even
if the paper did manage to get one black face, out of 42, into the accompanying
photos taken inside Charleston restaurants.
Quotes of ther week
From Mary Dempsey, a self-described "nobody" who nonetheless was protesting the
state Ethics Commission's new "Baloney Bill," which would eliminate
restrictions on gifts to politicians and allow them to receive $150 a pop and a
total of $750 per year from what will primarily be expense account lobbyists:
"I think it takes the gonads of an elephant to come up with a proposal like
And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse in the Cornel Young Jr.
"Put your hands together for Mr. Johnnie Cochran!"
-- The Rev. Marlowe "Arsenio" V. N. Washington