Is it just Phillipe & Jorge or does the local television news seem even
more vapid than usual? The most crucial thing your superior correspondents have
learned in recent weeks is that Eric McKeehan, the 17-year-old being held for
allegedly masterminding a planned attack on the high school in New Bedford,
Massachusetts, bears a striking resemblance to former MTV star Beavis of
Beavis and Butthead fame. And much as your superior correspondents
believe in the bedrock principles of the American judicial system -- such as
the presumption of innocence -- we contend that there's no exculpatory evidence
strong enough to counter the problem of "looking like Beavis."
Meanwhile, the JARheads' ratings continue to impress over at Channel 10,
despite reporter Dan Jaehnig's obvious resemblance to Butthead. It's hard to
believe that this is because of the JARettes' ability to cleverly pad with
fluff the 12 minutes of real news in the weekday 5 to 6:30 p.m. "newscast." Now
that September 11 is starting to recede, Channel 10 has gone back to the stuff
-- like an inconsequential fire at a truck stop on Interstate 95 -- that served
as typical TV news fodder in the preceding months.
Case in point: reader Paul D. of Smithfield writes Casa Diablo to express his
appreciation for a recent consumer report, featuring strategies to save money
during the holiday shopping season, by the fragrant Audrey Laganis. Among the
thought provoking tips in the report:
Save receipts to track spending
Seek sales items
Shop with a debit card, rather than a credit card
As Paul notes, Audrey neglected to mention, however, that we should all wear
helmets while rushing from store to mall during this hectic time of year, lest
we injure our fragile brains while falling off the back of the turnip truck.
Your superior correspondents tip the beret and sombrero to our old friend M.
Chuckie Bakst of the Urinal for his forthrightness in reporting, even at his
own expense. In Chuckie's Thanksgiving Day column, he rightly protested
Governor Bigfoot's proposed $5 million cut of affordable housing funds to
decrease the apparently imminent shortfall in the state budget.
Writing about his discussion of the issue with Bob Carl, the Missing Linc's
director of administration, Chuckie revealed, "I said, `I don't think it's
responsible to endanger the housing program.' [Carl] said, `Who gives a [damn]
what you think?' " P&J suspect that a mention of feces may have preceded
the parenthetical expletive included by Chuckie, but to suggest that a
gentleman member of the state cabinet would speak in such a manner to a noble
prince of the keyboard is simply outrageous.
This after the plan to sneak Mr. Carl in the back door as URI's interim
president failed when the state Board of Governors for Higher Education
unsuccessfully attempted to cashier Bob Carothers. Perhaps Bob can get a job
working with BeloJo executive editor Joel "You Don't Matter!" Rawson down on
Fountain Street, once Bigfoot sets sail for Wellfleet in 14 months.
Speaking of M. Chuckie, "R.A." e-mailed P&J about yet another Vo Dilun
mystery: "Have you noticed that Bakst keeps slamming Myrth York as being
stiff and `wooden,' even in his most recent column about the Newport Creamery
takeover. How come we don't ever get a column from him talking about the
awkward physical presence of Lincoln Almond?"
Yes, R.A., we've noticed, and we find it odd that the Chuckster, the man who
made the historic "Nerds in Paradise" tour of Foxwoods a few years back with
former Representative Rod Driver, would be discussing the "awkward physical
presence" of anyone in politics.
As the urethra of injustice overflowed, another e-mail was received last week,
this one from an outdoor lover who was left quite unimpressed by the ostensible
"bike lane" created along scenic Allens Avenue in Providence by the state
Department of Transportation. (Note to Messrs. William Ankner, DOT chief, and
Bob Carl -- we'll call you "Doctor" when you start referring to us as "Your
"I think you guys should SLAM DOT for the joke they're calling a bike lane on
Allens Avenue. The newly completed 'bike lane' is a shoulder, complete with
broken glass and road debris, with a bike stenciled on it every several hundred
feet. It's so typical for lame-ass RIDOT to call the shoulder a bike lane. I
know you guys like to pick on Dr. Bill and here's a really good reason to
further humiliate the fetid bureaucracy he leads on the hill.
A fuming bicyclist in Providence!"
Broken glass, indeed. Boy, these bike riders are such sissies, eh, Bill?
We've also noticed that many automobile operators on the route pay little or
no attention to the bike lane. We wonder how frequently Providence police stop
anyone for the related violations.
Double-breast beating boys (will be boys)
P&J are always happy to see the Other Paper go the Cool, Cool World route.
In this case, the story in the Urinal of November 27 on the juvenile pissing
contest held at the Raphael Bar-Risto in Providence, starring the Bud-I's chief
of staff, Artie Coloian, and radio talk show "journalist," John DePetro.
Certainly, this was a worthy contender for front-page status, what with the war
in Afghanistan, the rapid erosion of civil liberties on the home front, and the
latest in human embryonic cloning emanating from Worcester of all places.
Although Coloian and DePetro have divergent stories as to what went on at the
glitzy Union Station hangout, your superior correspondents' familiarity with
junior high school pathology gives us some pretty good insight into what went
down. Perhaps Raphael's should consider installing a larger men's room since
the current space appears far too small to simultaneously contain DePetro's ego
and Coloian's Plunder Dome baggage.
We always thought that DePetro's seemingly misleading "Independent Man"
moniker was supposed to have some sort of political resonance. But when Coloian
told Mike Stanton of the BeloJo that, "DePetro was speaking with two or three
women. He seemed to be putting on a show . . . " we got the idea that maybe
"the Independent Man" has more of a Bob & Carol & Ted &
What's in a tune?
Madison Avenue is determined to turn every famous band and musician into
prostitutes by using their hit songs to sell products. But P&J are starting
to wonder if anyone at the agencies that produce these spots listens to the
lyrics while snapping their fingers to the melodies and congratulating
themselves for having made another rock icon bend over.
Two recent cases seem to prove the "content is nothing" argument -- "loved the
melody and can dance to it, but couldn't pick up the lyrics very well," goes
the thinking. "Still, I'll give it a 10." The first struck as we watched a
commercial for the English Premier soccer league, which was accompanied by one
of our all-time favorite hits, "That's Entertainment," by the Jam, from their
1980 album Sound Effects (how's that for obscure?). Despite the title,
this is a darkly sardonic song, and as we watched the pride of British soccer
display their skills in the 60-second spot, we wondered how it pertained to the
lyrics, unless it was to subtly glorify the hooliganism which has plagued the
English game for decades:
The crash of glass and the rumble of boots
An electric train and a ripped-out phone booth
Paint-spattered walls and the cry of a tomcat
Lights going out and a kick in the balls
THAT'S entertainment. THAT's entertainment
Yeah, and bring the kids to the match with you.
Next up is the car commercial that leads off with the highlighted vehicle
rolling by with a huge American flag in the window, as John Fogerty's
"Fortunate Son" plays. Unless P&J were completely out of the loop, isn't
this song a vicious attack on the Vietnam War, complete with the justified rap
that those who fought the battles were largely determined by social class, and
that there were few patriots in the posh schools? No wonder the spot cuts out
just before, "I ain't no senator's son, naaww." It's tough to buy an SUV on
All this harkens back to Ronnie Rayguns trying to commandeer Bruce
Springsteen's "Born In the USA," as a theme for his reelection campaign, having
no idea what the song was about. Fortunately, the Boss jumped in and said, "Not
a chance," quickly ending that farce. Give us 41 shots, barkeep.
Standing tall in the gutter
As members of the congressional GOP, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Corporate
America, and K Street lobbyists try to wrap themselves in the flag and cite
9-11 to promote the reduction of civil liberties and an economic stimulus
(honk!) package that gives huge tax breaks to the wealthiest, no one can top
the remark of PricewaterhouseCoopers lobbyist Kenneth J. Kies, as reported by
the Washington Post. Kourageous Kenny said, "I wouldn't be doing my job
-- not necessarily for my clients -- but for my country if I wasn't being
helpful in terms of offering ideas that can be helpful in stimulating the
economy." This was to explain why, he said, it would be "impossible" not to
advocate for a reduction in overseas taxes for his clients such as GE and
What a hero! Ten-hut!
Two of the great figures in jazz passed away recently. First, pianist Tommy
Flanagan, one of the most elegant and exacting players in the business, and
perhaps the greatest accompanist a singer could have (he worked with Ella
Fitzgerald for years). He could do it all with great intelligence, style, and
Also, Norman Granz, the founder of Verve Records (one of the very best jazz
labels in the late '50s/early '60s), and later Pablo Records, and the creator
of the legendary "Jazz at the Philharmonic" concert series which, from 1944-57,
brought the great music to people all over the world.
Goodbye to two class acts.
Send David Mamet's paycheck and Pulitzer-grade tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issue Date: November 30 - December 6, 2001