For all the talk about state Senator Billy Irons' attempt to wrest the majority
leader's mantle from Senator Paul "Slappy" Kelly at Halitosis Hall during the
upcoming legislative session, it would pay to look a bit deeper than the two
Kelly, for all his political travails and abominable domestic behavior, has
surrounded himself with top people on his leadership team. Bouncing Slappy
would mean that intelligent, talented, committed and highly ethical solons,
such as Teresa Paiva-Weed, John Roney and Michael Lenihan, would be exiled to
the boonies if Irons wins the Democratic leadership position. This is the way
the State House game is played. The chances of these lawmakers having any real
key input to major decisions by an Irons leadership, or getting bills through
those who supported the insurrection, would be slim and none.
Irons, meanwhile, is relying for backing on the likes of John "My Sharona"
Celona and a gang that doesn't look it could ever shoot straight. So whatever
quarrels we may have with Kelly's leadership, he -- like any good top exec --
has had the intelligence to surround himself with top-notch people. This should
be a real consideration when the fur starts to fly in the back rooms this
In search of more accurate statistics
USA Today ran a story on September 19 about how the famous drop in petty
crimes in New York City seems to be slowly eroding, signaling a perceived
return to the "bad old days." Seems that Mayor Rudy Giuliani's much-touted
"Broken Windows" campaign may be only a passing phase, according to some
The paper's reporter attended a community board meeting in which a 57-year-old
city dweller, Lydia Saltzman, complained, "I can walk down the street without
being mugged by someone looking for crack, but I can't walk down the street
without seeing a banker in a suit and tie (urinating) on my stoop."
This brings us to another, more scientific report that P&J noticed in the
news recently. Whenever we visited the city in recent months, we thought the
guys lurking around public men's rooms in the Big Apple were subtly implying
they wanted to pick up your superior correspondents (or, at the very least,
compliment us on our obviously dashing style). Turns out that they were just
researchers for the American Society for Microbiology.
Yes, the ASM has just released its findings: only 49 percent of visitors to
the restrooms at Grand Central and Penn Station in New York washed their hands
after completing their tasks. Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg
when it comes to hygiene. We'll bet that none of the bankers mentioned in Ms.
Saltzman's more informal survey washed their hands after their al fresco
outings. This means that if the ASM doesn't research those non-handwashers,
cross-referencing them by income and vocation, a false picture will continue to
emerge, unfairly stigmatizing the working class. By pissing outdoors, rich
people are able to escape scrutiny. We just thought you'd like to know.
P&J once again invite all of our friends, readers, and those for whom we
have hopefully gone to bat at one time or another: do us the favor of helping
out the Fund for Community Progress by attending the Phillipe and Jorge Roast
on Thursday, September 28 at Rhodes-On-the-Pawtuxet.
The fund will be the beneficiary of this celebration of 20 years of the "Cool,
Cool World," as we get roasted and toasted by the likes of shy and retiring
Providence Mayor Buddy "Vincent A." Cianci; ace JAR-head reporter Jim Taricani;
supreme Superior Court Judge Rogeriee Thompson; shadow governor Myrth
"Peppermint Patty" York; and everyone's favorite preppy, Attorney General
Sheldon Whitebread. The Urinal's witty, urbane and unctuous columnist Bob
"Lonnie Love" Kerr is emceeing, Senator Jack "Little Big Man" Reed is the
honorary chairman, and thanks to the Phoenix for helping to drive the
The festivities include a "Pernod and grapefruits all around!" reception at
5:30 p.m.; a buffet dinner catered by Johnson & Wales' famous-chefs-to-be
at 6:30; and inflammatory comments beginning at 7:30. Tickets are available by
calling the fund at 941-7100, or you can use the form in the ad for the event
on page 20 of this section. It's a great cause, and we're willin' to get smoked
in public to support it. Be there or be square, because the bread rolls are
guaranteed to be flying.
While in Washington, DC, last week, Phillipe & Jorge were lucky enough to
come across a celebration of Liberian independence and a joint protest against
against deportation rules that could affect Liberians. It all took place in a
park next to the Capitol. What made it truly memorable was the presence of more
than 250 members of Rhode Island's Liberian community, the largest delegation
from any state, and the participation of our own Jack Reed.
Your superior correspondents were in the nation's capital for a seminar put on
by the Indonesian minister of marine affairs and fisheries. He's a very funny
man and quite worldly, and his daughter is enrolling at RISD next year (!),
showing just how far Vo Dilun's small-worldism can extend. As we lunched, the
minister told P&J a very funny story about his first trip to the United
States with a group of other Indonesians on a fact-finding tour.
It seems the group ate at a Denny's restaurant somewhere in the Deep South,
and as they were leaving, they thanked the manager. He in turn called out to
them as they reached the front door, "Y'all come back now!" The whole party
immediately turned around and walked back to the manager, thinking they had
done something wrong.
No, guys. Come back LATER. Some OTHER time. When you're hungry again!
We know you're out there and we also know that, chances are, you're already
regular readers of the "Cool, Cool World." How do we know this? Well,
long-standing critics of P&J (e.g., disgraced former office holders,
right-wing nutbags, all manner of media types) have always considered Casa
Diablo ground zero for all that is culturally out of the mainstream. Of course,
more broadminded individuals realize that there is a wide diversity of
communities out there in the real world. Among them are those who follow
nature-based, Earth-centered religious practices; Wicca, Witchcraft, Druidism
and Santeria are among the pantheistic belief systems we're talking about.
While some folks consider all this "really weird," the philosophy that things
are sacred and deserve respect does not strike your superior correspondents as
a bad idea.
So here it is. The first ever Pagan Pride Day in Vo Dilun will be this
Saturday, September 23 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Nickerson Green on the Rhode
Island School of Design campus. It's sponsored, naturally, by the Cauldron of
Annwyn Pagan Society, and will, according to organizers, "feature a day of
spiritual celebration and community solidarity, complete with workshops,
drumming circles, children's activities, artisans and metaphysical merchants,
live music and a Fall Equinox Ritual to end the day." Admission is free, but
donations will be accepted and donated to Sojourner House.
So what's up with the haircuts at the Sydney Olympics? No, P&J don't mean
those swimmers with shaved heads or bleached and spiked-out runners and
cyclists. We're talking about NBC's Bob Costas and Tom Brokaw, who look like
someone put a quarter in the little pony they were sitting on while the barber
was still cutting.
Perhaps there's an Australian rule that requires any visiting TV journalist to
get a haircut that makes them look like a six-year-old heading off for his
first day of school. Either that or NBC's stylists were scared that Southern
Hemisphere humidity would overpower the liberal doses of mousse that they
usually apply, giving their talking heads an "Instant-Abbo" look. Brokaw's 'do
is so severe it looks like a Sears Lawnboy was hoisted up to provide the
finishing touches, making each newscast look like his audition for a high
school theater production of Our Town.
Costas, meanwhile, has always tried to play to the Michael J. Fox crowd,
hoping to look like a 17-year-old for the rest of his life. Except for growing
a little pudgy, he can still almost pull it off with his new Down Under 'do.
But Costas appears to have gotten his hair colored with Tang, and he's
affecting a George Strapitonolous feathered bang effect on his forehead.
Perhaps the answer is that Bobby doesn't have to sit in the barber's chair, but
like many of Vo Dilun's finest politicians, can simply drop it at the
hairdresser's for a quick shampoo and refluffing.
Now there's an "Olympic Moment" we'd like to see -- and it might even
help the ratings, eh, Mr. Ebersol?
Considering the jaundiced eye through which most people view Hollywood
celebrities, we think that noted show biz liberals director Robert Altman and
actor Alec Baldwin may be doing no favors for their preferred presidential
candidate, Al Gore. Both Altman and Baldwin have suggested that if Dubya Bush
wins the November election, they will seek residency in some country other than
the good old U.S. of A.
In Altman's case, he's already claimed France as his new home if the worst
happens. This could be because Altman enjoys smoking in all restaurants and
public places, or actually prefers the company of black-clad,
bathing-once-a-week poseurs who will make fun of his American accent.
P&J think that if enough Hollywood celebrities announce that they'll also
leave the country if Bush wins, it could precipitate enough of a late
groundswell of support to catapult Dubya into the White House. So pull-eze,
denizens of Hollyweird, cool it with the threats.
Quote of the week
From the UAW's monthly newsletter, Solidarity, comes this quote from
Republican vice-presidential candidate, Dick Cheney, on why he left the public
sector to become the CEO of Halliburton, the giant Texas-based oil equipment
company: "I reached the point where I was mean-spirited, short-tempered and
intolerant of those who disagreed with me, and they said, `Hell, you'd make a
great CEO.' So I went to Texas and joined the private sector."