BY PHILLIPE & JORGE
Let's see if we've got this right: in an Associated Press story ringing down
the curtain on Trent "Lacquer Head" Lott's career as a power in the Senate's
Republican leadership, Lott claims he fell into a "trap" set by the many
political enemies who dislike him because "he's conservative, Christian and
from Mississippi." Sounds like Lacquer Head has the makings of an excellent
criminal-defense lawyer. Yes, your honor, I robbed that bank, but the staff
there set a trap for me. Every time I walked by, they kept waving a big wad of
bills, just daring me.
Trent should probably really be pissed around now at Ole' Strom, since he was
obviously in on the trap. The tricky way he suddenly turned 100 sure fooled
But perhaps we do owe Senator Lott a debt of gratitude here. It really took a
totally boneheaded and thoughtless expression, reeking of white supremacy, to
arouse the country into recognizing that this sort of mentality is still out
there and flourishing. Sadly, Lott's musings, on how everything would be just
dandy if the Dixiecrats had won and those pesky civil rights activists knew
their place, are shared by many white Americans -- Republican, Democrat, and
If Lott is really serious about searching his soul, we'd suggest he start by
locking himself in a room with the first two volumes of Taylor Branch's history
of the Civil Rights movement, Parting the Waters and Pillar of
Fire. Reading about true heroism, people who risked (and frequently lost)
their lives struggling for freedom, might give him pause to wonder how the hell
Strom Thurmond fits into that pantheon.
Finally, while watching this whole ugly circus play out, Phillipe and Jorge
were reminded of Randy Newman's malignant 1974 masterpiece, "Rednecks," which
sounds like a detailed description of Trent Lott's college years: "We got
no-necked oilmen from Texas/And good ol' boys from Tennessee/College men from
LSU/Went in dumb, Come out dumb too/Hustlin' round Atlanta in their alligator
shoes/Getting' drunk every weekend at the barbecues/And we're keeping the
While we continue to be amazed at Lott's befuddlement and apparent
cluelessness, it behooves us to remember that we are all infected with this
poison to some degree. We might not end up ravenously gnawing on our own foot a
la Trent, but our continuing failure to confront our racial history is a giant
hole in the soul of America.
X-rated bicycle derby
If you've been reading the Phoenix regularly, you have seen articles on
some of the bicycle activists in the Providence area. We recently received an
alert from the Recycle-a-Bike group, whose members were outraged by what
appeared to be one of the most bizarre events we've ever heard of. Apparently,
bicyclists from throughout the Northeast were being alerted by an online
bicyclist magazine (www.ridezine.com) about a major biking event in Providence
on Saturday, December 21, "The Pussykat."
The idea was purportedly for folks to gather at Kennedy Plaza at 6 p.m. and
ride around town, making frequent stops at bars and, among other places, strip
clubs. Your superior correspondents have been pondering for days now what
possible connection could exist between bicycling culture and heterosexual
flesh joints. And why is a group bicycling event being scheduled to start at 6
p.m. in late December? Coldness, darkness, alcoholic beverages, and woman
taking their clothes off -- where is the connection with real bicycle culture?
Indeed, the email address for those with questions about this "event" was
Perhaps our friends at Recycle-a-Bike can give us a report on what exactly
happened at the "Pussykat" event (Our suspicion? Absolutely nothing). They were
planning to express their unhappiness about this adventure in X-rated biking by
showing up at the event and protesting.
But think about it for a minute. You've seen people who are into bicycle
riding. They tend to be young, fit, energetic, perhaps even surrounded by a
patchouli aroma. And you've seen the denizens of strip clubs. How many have
been on a bicycle in the past decade? Perhaps a bicycle seat, but that's
another story all together.
Anyway, we looked around Kennedy Plaza on the night in question and didn't
detect anything, so if there was some activity, we'd ask our guerrilla bicycle
friends to drop us a line and let us know what transpired.
And nothing but the truth?
Is the Bush administration lying to the American public about Iraq? Of course.
But if it makes you feel better, they are lying to everyone else, too.
A Geneva-based reporter, Andreas Zumach, managed to get his hands on a version
of the top secret 12,000-page Iraqi weapons report that existed before US
spooks edited it for the public, media, and the UN Security Council, and he
found that 24 major American corporations gave support to Iraq's biological,
missile, and nuclear weapons program. This despite the fact that providing
every form of cooperation and supplies has been outlawed since the 1970s.
Among others, such corporate heavyweights as Honeywell, Sperry,
Hewlett-Packard, and Dupont were all listed as aiding Iraq's weapons program.
But Boy George's hired guns managed to get the sole copy of the report and
edited out these unbelievable transgressions before such nations as Britain,
France, Russia, and China got to see the document. Nothing like porking your
allies, is there?
P&J have always maintained that if Dubya really wants to prove that Iraq
has biological arms and weapons of mass destruction, he only need to point out
that of course it does, because we provided them to Saddam Hussein, back when
making a buck mattered more than countering potential terrorism. Then again, it
might prove a bit troublesome politically for the Bushies if a gas canister
with "Made in the USA." on the side becomes responsible for the death of our
soldiers, right Dubya?
Lie and damned lies, eh kiddies?
Drip, drip, drip . . .
Speaking of Boy George's administration, P&J are disconcerted by the way in
which Boy George's assortment of henchmen are playing the media like a violin.
Nearly half of the knives sticking out of Trent Lott's back last week -- such
as his being called a "walking pinata" -- were courtesy of the White
House. But as Maureen Dowd pointed out in her New York Times column, the
compassionately conservative Bushies were careful not to leave any blood on
their hands, so these comments were all made off the record, but nonetheless
reported by the putanas of the press. When reporters become the
unofficial mouthpiece for this kind of political legerdemain, it's time to take
a hard look at who's zoomin' who.
First, do no harm.
That is the lead principle for doctors, but now that Dr.
Bill Frist is being foisted on us as Senate majority leader, he has already
violated this oath. To be more acceptable to the right wing, so carefully
cultivated by Dubya Bush and Karl Rove, Frist is pulling back on his support
for AIDS funding and stem cell research. Your superior correspondents would
argue that by going against his knowledge and responsibility for the best kind
of heath-care, Dr. Frist is guilty of selling out to the moron majority. Not
to mention making millions from his father and brother's health care company,
which recently shelled out millions for illicit activities.
Sleep tight, Hippocrates.
Yo! Merry Christmas
David Sedaris has become a short-term personal savior for P&J due to the
recent publication of his story in last month's Esquire, entitled "Six
to Eight Black Men." It is simply the most hilarious Christmas-related story we
have ever read, and are sure you would enjoy it. It can be found at
is incredibly funny, and he appears regularly on NPR. His story about devoting
all his time to singing advertising jingles in a fake Billie Holiday voice,
when he was a kid taking music lessons, is a classic. "My baloney has a name,
it's O-S-C-A-R, my baloney has second name, it's M-A-Y-E-R. . . ." This is
another gem from a ridiculously talented writer.
Kudos and congrats . . .
. . . to Artie Coloian, The Bud-I's former chief of staff, and former state
senator and probate judge John Bevilacqua, for being among the 4000 people
recently reported by the state Division of Taxation to be delinquent in their
payment of taxes. It is always nice to find out that the people you always
thought were creeps are indeed so. And good on the state tax agency for
highlighting their chicanery. Certainly, it's a better idea to point out who is
screwing the Rhode Island public than to print the names of the johns who are
merely contributing to the street-level elements of the local economy.
Send chestnuts, lumps of coal, and Pulitzer-grade tips to email@example.com.
Issue Date: December 27, 2002 - January 2, 2003