Betcha by golly wow
BY PHILLIPE & JORGE
It's all well and good that Governor Bigfoot emerged from hibernation to
testify before the Lottery Commission, speaking against increasing the number
of video lottery terminals at Newport Grand Jai Alai and Lincoln Park. In many
respects, Phillipe and Jorge agree with the governor's view that gambling isn't
about economic development.
But we have to say that the Missing Linc and his factotums' explanation about
why they were lobbying Connecticut's Pequot Tribe for a contribution to URI's
convocation center project is about as lame as it gets. The Narragansett
Tribe's depiction of this as rank hypocrisy is, of course, absolutely on
target. And Bigfoot's attempts to make it sound otherwise are truly pathetic.
If he were really cool, Almond would just say, "Yeah, I'm a hypocrite. So
what?" But he's not really cool. He's a politician. And a Republican. So what
are you gonna do?
If there's any doubt that the television news industry has become a fully owned
subsidiary of the entertainment business, the advent of CNN's promotional ad
for anchor Paula Zahn ought to convince any skeptics. Last weekend, the "all
news" network aired a 20-second spot in which a narrator explained how their
morning news anchor was "provocative, super-smart (and) oh, yeah, just a little
sexy." The words "provocative," "smart," and "sexy" were flashed on the screen
(sexy in red lettering), but the coup de grace was superimposing the sound of a
zipper as the voiceover mentioned the word "sexy." If they're willing to go
this far, your superior correspondents are only disappointed that CNN didn't
add slapping and moaning noises to the fetid mix.
We assume CNN execs became shocked, absolutely shocked, after the first few
thousands irate callers and e-mailers weighed in. The promo was pulled, and on
Monday, the "news" channel issued a statement about how the promotions
department (apparently operating without any oversight) created the spot
unbeknownst to station executives and top management.
Of course, CNN has been experiencing falling ratings and the curse of an aging
demographic of late (what, those highly prized 14-year-olds aren't interested
in news?). Another recent initiative has been to spice up their afternoon
gabfest, Talk Back Live, with more camera-friendly hosts. They've been
holding "tryouts" of a sort and a leading contender is said to be the
easy-on-the-eyes/sleazy-on-the-air former Hard Copy and Extra
tabloid TV veteran, Maureen O'Boyle.
One person who's got to feel good about all of this is local talk-radio host
John "The Journalist" DePetro, for if this is indeed part of the news industry,
his brand of rumor-floating, rabid opinion-mongering, and self-promotion would
probably qualify. Artie Coloian's nemesis was scheduled to be deposed on
Wednesday, January 9, but for the life of us, we can't figure out what sort of
confidential Plunder Dome information DePetro might have been privy to. Judging
from his on-air commentary, it's more spin than anything.
P&J were struck by a line from a book by William Kennedy, the chronicler of
Albany's sordid past, which was recently cited in the New York Times. In
a daydream scene entitled "Roscoe and the Pope," Kennedy writes, "Woe to him,"
the pope says, "who builds a town with blood and founds a city on
iniquity." Sound familiar?
Crazier than us?
While it's always nice to embrace the idea that there are no crazier or weirder
people than those from Vo Dilun, a.k.a. the Planet Stupiter, a recent trip
to New Orleans by Phillipe and Jorge leaves us thinking the Big Easy has us
licked, so to speak. We, of course, do not include our gracious hosts,
Zeke and Martha, who appear to be bastions of sanity in Nahwlins.
With the Crescent City facing a rare cold snap, the local media did their
Little Rhody best, reminding residents to do things like letting their hoses
trickle to avoid frozen pipes, which has reduced the city's water pressure in
the past to the point where major businesses were forced to close because their
sprinkler systems didn't work. They also had plenty of Vo Dilun trademark
inane advice, such as making sure people went out and bought all the candles,
batteries, and white bread they could get their hands on.
But nothing topped the front-page headline from the New Orleans
Times-Picayune, which blunted stated, "Snow, sleet may pay visit to
N.O.; Crash-fest likely, drivers forewarned." Now that's telling it like
it is to people unaccustomed to driving in the snow, and the BeloJo might do
well to do likewise the next time the Biggest Little is facing a storm, when
drivers will get amnesia about how to deal with the icy conditions they faced
only 10 or so months back.
P&J were also impressed by another headline in the same T-P, which
boasted, "Decline in gunfire makes this New Year's Eve safer." The lead
paragraph read, "No one was reported injured by falling bullets on New Year's
Eve, but police say they still are concerned about the types of guns seized
from revelers during the night." The mild concern was noted after police
confronted a man who'd just shot a 12-gauge shotgun into the air, and then
heard gunfire from an adjacent street. This turned out to be four men
shooting AK-47s skyward to "zing" in the New Year. Get me some more ammo and
another can of Dixie, honey.
The reason Phillipe has been walking around and chirping lately is the issue of
a new CD by Clarence King and the Regents, a London-based retro jazz/blues band
whose lead singer is P.'s sister, Sally. The album is an absolute pisser,
highlighted by songs like "Fever," which Phillipe's younger, immeasurably
better-looking, and more charming sibling torches up big-time. Quite an
evolution from her first band, called Ut, an all-woman avant-garde trio, whose
music received great reviews in the Times, Village Voice, and
New Musical Express, and whose raucous sound was praised (?!?!) by one
critic as being like "Patti Smith meets the Ford Motor Company." Clarence
King and the Regents are quite a bit more polished, to say the least. Buy
Your superior correspondents were also delighted to see Peg Moline, the wife
of the famed Ken "Flyin' Hawaiian" Ng, a Casa Diablo charter guest, on
Entertainment Tonight on January 7. Peg, who is the editor of
chi-chi West Coast fitness magazines, put her intellect on full power to
provide commentary on "Celebrity Pregnancies," no doubt rolling on the floor
laughing during breaks in the taping. Thanks to our monitor, Ms. P., who
provided us with the breathless details.
Finally, a huge tip of the beret and sombrero to Dan Doyle, executive director
of the University of Rhode Island's Institute for International
Sport. Doyle, who is the father of the Rhode Island and World
Scholar-Athlete Games, National Sportsmanship Day, and the International
Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame on the URI campus, was named by the Sporting
News, in a year-end issue featuring the "100 Most Powerful People in
Sports," as one of the paper's "10 to watch in 2002." Dan's work building
bridges among kids from nations all over the world is unmatched, and we've been
watching him for 15 years, never mind just in 2002. Congrats.
Yes, let's do that
Very interesting to see George Mason, Governor Bigfoot's senior policy advisor
on economic development and energy issues, playing spokesmodel for the Missing
Linc, who's facing yet more controversy over the proposed Quonset Point
container port. One would think that the guv would have full-time help on
an issue this important, but Mason is known primarily for blowing off meetings
of the QP-Davisville Advisory Committee because he teaches a course at
Providence College. This has left the advisory board less than amused on
occasion, since no one else bothers to replace Mason for the scheduled
Mason was quoted in the Urinal in regard to the various studies Bigfoot is
pushing at a mere $1.5 million cost, while he simultaneously cuts affordable
housing funds, saying, "My mantra is 'Let's find out.' If I had a T-shirt,
it would read, 'Let's find out.'" Well, we guess George took the teaching
job to be able to afford a T-shirt. Let's find out.
Here's a great fund-raising idea that might just work in the Renaissance City
with, naturally, that little Vo Dilun twist. The Los Angeles Police Department,
subject of a number of highly public scandals over the years (hello, Darryl
Gates) has come up with a great way to make a little money and polish its image
at the same time.
On the mail order store of their official Web site (www.lapd.com), they've
added a brand new product, Elite Force LAPD Law Enforcement Patrol Officer
West. Los Angeles' finest already offer baseball caps with LAPD logo, a "Grill
and BBQ" apron and the delightful Homicide Division coffee mug (with the motto
"Our day begins when yours ends"). But taking on Hasbro and Mattel is a new
tack for the department.
Needless to say, Patrol Officer West is Caucasian, a "1/6 scale authentic
collector figure. Fully posable action body, die-cast metal weapons and
accessories: firearm, baton, flashlight, duty belt, OC spray and handcuffs.
With custom expression mechanism." Perhaps Rodney King is wondering why they
neglected to add Taser devices.
Checking out this nifty gift idea, your superior correspondents thought the
Providence Police Department could get in on this sort of merchandising. After
all, the mayor has his marinara and olive oil, so why not a PPD action figure?
It might not be wise, though, to call him "Officer Flynn" unless they want to
outfit him with a replica Louisville Slugger and table to pound it on. We also
suspect that an Urbano Prignano in-action figure would be a bust, but we love
the logical visual of duct tape over the mouth.
Send amulets, amethyst, and Pulitzer-grade tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Issue Date: January 11 - 17, 2002