Moe, Linc, & Curly
BY PHILLIPE & JORGE
One of P&J's sources has passed along a hilarious account of the
Missing Linc's performance at the podium during the recently completed meeting
in Our Little Towne of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The
National Preservation Conference was a terrific success and a showcase event
for the Renaissance City.
So you can imagine how pleased Richard Moe, president of the National Trust,
must have been when Governor Bigfoot referred to him throughout his remarks as
"Richard Poe." Providence Mayor Buddy "Vincent A." Cianci, who was in the
audience, was seen exaggeratedly mouthing the word "Moe," in hopes that the guv
would twig to his mistake, every time Bigfoot inserted his size-16 brogan into
But you know the Bud-I, and this was about as far as he would go to help out
his old adversary. When Hizzoner got up to speak, the Bud-I jumped on the
opportunity to twit Bigfoot, noting how he knew almost everyone in the city,
and while Vincent A. had heard of an Edgar Allan Poe who once lived in
Providence, he was unaware of anyone named Richard Poe. From all accounts,
Big Linc turned the color of a lobster, no doubt more upset by Cianci's jerking
of the gubernatorial chain than his own possible embarrassment of an honored
The story reminds us of another great GOP leader, former President Ronnie
Rayguns, who once referred to Liberian political leader Samuel Doe as "Chairman
Moe" throughout a public conference.
Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!
If you didn't see it on the national news, or hear it on Imus in the
Morning, there was a wonderful moment at the star-studded Concert for New
York on Saturday, October 20, featuring a person whom none of the performers
had previously heard of. New York firefighter Mike Moran, who comes from a
family of firefighters and lost his brother (also a firefighter) at the World
Trade Center, came on stage to speak as a representative of the honored New
York Fire Department.
Moran said the usual about everyone being gone but never forgotten. And then
he said, "In the spirit of the Irish people, I'd like to say, `Osama bin Laden,
you can kiss my royal Irish ass!' " The crowd went nuts, and again
referring to bin Laden, he ended with, "I live in Rockaway. This is my
face . . . bitch!," which sparked another enthusiastic reaction from the
crowd. It was an incredibly touching, emotional moment. Leave it to
the Irish to get it right.
Chipping away at grief
Many wonderful stories about New York's heroes have been told since September
11, and another took place last week, on a Florida golf course. During the
National Car Rental Golf Classic, a Manhattan stockbroker, who was to play in
the traditional opening day pro-amateur pairings, gave his coveted spot to
Patrick Marcune, a golf-playing New York police officer, who'd spent every day
since September 11 working at Ground Zero.
Marcune's partner was supposed to be pro Shaun Micheel, a veteran who has
never won a tournament. Micheel didn't know he'd be playing with a member
of the NYPD until he arrived at the course at the Walt Disney World Resort and
was informed of the switch. Justly inspired by Marcune's presence, Micheel
shot a seven-under-par 65, four strokes ahead of Tiger Woods, which left him in
a tie for the lead.
Micheel told the New York Times, "Every time he bent over after a tee
shot, the letters NYPD [on Marcune's shirt] were looking right at me. It
put things in perspective . . . I felt like maybe I could do something to help
him get away from the stuff he is going through. I hope I did." We're sure
you did, Shaun, and we'd be proud to carry your bag any day.
P&J believe it's wrong to fault Poppy's Boy on all environmental issues.
Just last week, he took a solid stand by adding a new species to the endangered
wildlife list: the Providence Urinal Reporter, a bird best known for hanging
around watering holes and squawking loudly. Corporate management has threatened
this rare bird in its main habitat on Fountain Street, where editors and senior
executives have been taking a growing number of potshots. They are the second
group added to the list by Dubya since he became president, the first being the
vanishing Dot-Com Millionaire -- a pig whose species, Billgatescine, was once
thought to be in terrific health.
The Other Paper's "Political Scene" column recently noted how the official
State House portrait of former Governor Bruce "Captain Blowhard" Sundlun
depicts the captain holding a newspaper with the prominently displayed
headline, "Sundlun closes banks, proposes airport terminal."
Blowhard explained to the BeloJo that he got the idea for the newspaper motif
from a portrait of Henry C. Pell, the former representative from New York and
ambassador to Portugal, which hangs in the Newport digs of his son, former
Senator Claiborne Pell. The featured headline was, "Pell appointed ambassador."
The column then asked a few local pols to speculate on the suitable headline
for Bigfoot's portrait. We understand that the BeloJo folks just love any type
of "official" recognition (it was their paper wielded by the captain). Still,
we begin to wonder when it extends to the proud display, in one of their
editorial rooms, of a plaque bestowed by the state for the paper's help in
putting down the Dorr Rebellion, thereby ensuring that non-landowning white
males would continue to be the only legally recognized voters. In any case, the
portrait with newspaper idea is basically played out.
We suspect that Linc instinctively understands this, but a few well-placed
props could still enhance the gubernatorial portrait. Unfortunately, Governor
Sundlun rejected Casa Diablo-generated ideas, such as being portrayed while
wearing a coonskin hat or wielding a megaphone.
Perhaps the Missing Linc should go symbolic. Rather than the traditional
portrait, he might commission a painting of an empty hammock. And if we're
going for props, we think holding a "to-go" bag from Chelo's is way cooler than
the newspaper gimmick. Or how about an image of Bigfoot with his index fingers
jammed in his ears while Henry Shelton hovers in the background, trying to talk
Finally, an extra chilling aspect of the whole war on terrorism which should
remind us that this is going to be a long, hard, and ugly battle.
A report in the October 22 issue of Time magazine notes that Taliban
fighters would often skin Soviet soldiers alive after catching them. The
magazine also cites a letter written to classmates by a West Point graduate
who's extremely familiar with Afghanistan and the Taliban: "Sometime in this
war I suspect we will see videos of US prisoners having their heads cut
off." Starting right now, let's say a few prayers -- to whomever you
choose -- for the people who will be fighting for us all.
Journalism note: Chris Chivers, late of the BeloJo, now with the New York
Times, and an old pal of P&J, has been given the Uzbekistan beat for
America's organ of record. Not your typical ink-stained wretch, Chris
served as a Marine captain in the Persian Gulf War, and he often provided a
refreshing viewpoint on the Urinal's op-ed pages during his tenure on Fountain
We've got counseling
Can we be touchy-feely enough these days?
Damien Robinson, a defensive back for the New York Jets, was recently arrested
after an assault rifle was allegedly found in the trunk of his car after a
practice at Giants Stadium. He claims he forgot it was there after he'd gone
for some target practice. The Jets management, independent of possible
legal proceedings and a potential five-year sentence, fined Robinson $30,000,
demanded that he perform community service, and, get this, said he had to
Ahem. Counseling for what? Being an effing moron? Boy, if
that's a legitimate counseling enterprise, P&J are hanging out our shingle
Petitions have been cropping up around Providence, calling on the city
solicitor and police department to drop the ludicrous "weapon" charge still
pending against Mr. Sher J.B. Singh, the man detained at the Providence train
station on September 12. A variety of pundits have weighed in on this,
including the maybe-too-reputable Bob Kerr of the BeloJo, but this doesn't mean
that everyone is on the same page.
A letter to the editor in the Other Paper of October 23, under the heading,
"Sikhs, too, must sacrifice in wartime," suggests there's nothing inherently
wrong about the weapons. Peter J. Ruggeri writes, "I believe in freedom of
religion. However, we cannot be expected, as a nation in crisis, to make
exceptions to laws based simply on religion (our emphasis) . . . Enacting any
kind of legislation to amend the law for religious concerns should be
approached very cautiously lest we open the door for anyone who gets arrested
to plead `religion.' "
Those who crafted our Constitution felt religion was a serious enough issue to
include it in Amendment Numero Uno. So, yes, we would agree that any alteration
of law should be approached very cautiously. Therefore, we'd direct Mr.
Ruggeri's attention to the Ohio Court of Appeals case from 1996 that was noted
days earlier on the editorial page by Sarbpreet Singh. In that case, Judge J.
Painter of Hamilton County dismissed charges in a similar instance, finding,
"To be Sikh is to wear a kirpan -- it is that simple. It is a religious symbol
and in no way a weapon. As long as the kirpan remains a symbol and is neither
designed or adopted as a weapon, laws (prohibiting wearing of the kirpan) are
This would appear to be at least one legal precedent -- and completely in tune
with the American tradition of religious freedom.
Falwell cashes in on Sept. 11
You can't say that Jerry Falwell isn't consistent. Ever since his despicable
comments of September 13 on fellow fake Christian Pat Robertson's 700
Club television show -- when he accused abortion-rights activists, gay
people, and others of being complicit in the attack two days earlier (his exact
words: "I point the finger in their face and say, `You helped this happen.' ")
-- he's tried to distance himself from himself.
First, the entire week after the broadcast, Falwell tried to maintain damage
control, claiming his remarks were "taken out of context." This was
demonstrably not true, as evidenced by the many tapes of the exchange. Then, he
appeared September 20 on ABC's Good Morning America and acknowledged
that his tirade was "stupid" and "indefensible."
But stupid and indefensible apparently don't add up to "wrong" for Jerry. He
must have been sitting with his fingers crossed behind his back when he
apologized, because Jerry Falwell Ministries sent out their latest appeal for
funds on October 4, accusing "liberals, and especially gay activists" of "a
vicious smear campaign."
The letter, signed by Falwell's son, Jonathan, goes on to claim that Jerry was
"being roundly vilified by the news media for remarks he made in a TV interview
while calling for spiritual revival in America." Gee, since when has spewing
hatred at people with whom you don't agree equaled calling for a spiritual
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Issue Date: October 26 - November 1, 2001