Phillipe and Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: News from Little Rhody and Beyond


So now self-absorbed blowhard nancy-boy Catholic Bishop Tommy Tobin has used another major event — Gina Raimondo’s inauguration — to draw attention to himself by refusing to attend. Wow! Bow-wow!

Phillipe and Jorge believe that there is an easy way to halt this grandstanding by the belligerent bishop: Don’t invite him. If you were hosting parties and a person who you invited kept telling you not just that he wouldn’t attend but that he thinks you are immoral, would you keep asking him to stop by? Not a chance. Don’t give this posturing a-hole a chance to attack you by saying no.

This might be good for the Bish. Not being invited to the dance might actually help Tommy by giving him more time to check up on his paedo and shirtlifter priests, a woefully weak effort to date at best. Maybe if he got former Bishop Looie Jellonose to help him he might make more progress (honk!).

On a related note, the removal of Our Gina from the LaSalle Academy Wall of Champions at Tommy’s request due to her stance on abortion drew big headlines for the publicity-hungry bishop. But it also sparked some questions he would rather not address, such as why was pro-choice Sen. Jack Reed’s plaque allowed to remain? Picking your fights, Tommy, you chickenshit?

The result of this, P&J are informed by a person whose plaque also graced the Wall of Champions, is that they have taken down the entire display that celebrates the school’s many prominent and highly successful graduates of the distinguished and greatly respected school. (You know, the Little Rhody traditional path to success: LaSalle, Providence College, Suffolk Law School and hey, presto, Speaker of the House or Supreme Court judge.) Thanks, Tommy, for spurring the elimination of tributes to many people who have been assets to The Biggest Little and should be recognized for their achievements, no matter what their political and social positions. Collateral damage, indeed.

Just stay home from now on, Tommy.  No one needs a skunk at his or her garden party, and you absolutely reek.

Baron Was a Prince

Phillipe and Jorge were greatly saddened at the death of longtime Pawtucket Times and Woonsocket Call political reporter Jim Baron, a friend and colleague.

Jim was the consummate journalist covering the comings and goings at Halitosis Hall, and you could always find him trundling the State House hallways when the General Assembly was in session, notebook in hand and questions for any and all at the ready. Phillipe in particular dealt with him often at press events, and he invariably had a not-necessarily-inflammatory, but to-the-point query on the topic at hand. He was also a gentle giant, with a positive but world-weary demeanor that implied, “Well, what the hell you gonna do?” He was kind and caring person, and a helluva reporter, who will be greatly missed.

Other Side of the World

Now that our old pal North Korea’s “Supreme Leader” Kim Jong Un is grabbing headlines, people are learning a bit more about one of the Axis of Evil countries, a dictatorship that has no equal in the world at this point for suppression of its people.

But for a realistic glimpse into North Korea, P&J recommend the “Inspector O” mystery novels by James Church (a pseudonym), that center on a member of the police force in Pyongyang, the NK capital. In his travels, Inspector O provides an eye-opening (and disturbing) insight into life in this socially and politically walled-off country. (We recommend starting with “Corpse in the Koryo,” which refers to the best hotel in Pyongyang.)

A friend of P&J’s who is an expert on North Korea and has traveled there frequently knows Church, who also is regularly in and out of the country, and our pal knows who the author really is.  He expresses amazement that Church is still allowed in and out of the country without being permanently barred or simply thrown into prison, as the NK government officials know who he is in real life.

But if you want a subtle look at the bleakness of life in North Korea and the fears that go with walking out your door every day into a lawless society that can have you working in a freezing slave labor camp in the mountains in a Pyongyang minute for the slightest indiscretion, the Inspector O books are a must. Life there makes looking over your shoulder a must, and living in a one-room concrete apartment that resembles a jail cell look like the Playboy mansion.

Bowling and Herb (not to be confused with Herb Weiss) Updates

Here are two great new things on the local landscape that you will want to check out. The Breaktime Bowl and Bar is at the Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main Street in the Bucket (of course, if you don’t already know that, we don’t know where you’ve been). It’s a 6-lane duckpin bowling alley (and Jorge, who grew up bowling duckpin at Al’s Central Avenue lanes in the Bucket is totally thrilled about this) on the third floor of the building and “officially” opened on Friday, Jan 9 (although there was a “soft opening” that occurred right after Christmas for those in the know about such things). The lanes are open from Thursdays through Saturdays (Thurs, Fri hours are 4pm to 1am, Sat it’s 9am to 1am) and there is morning and afternoon bowling on days when the Wintertime Farmers Market is operating. Reservations are highly recommended. Contact them at breaktimebowlandbar.com or by phone at 844.467.3383 (see our story at motifri.com/breaktime-bowl-and-bars-grand-opening).

Meanwhile, over on Peck Street in downtown Providence (next to the Copacetic “Rudely elegant jewelry” shop) is the new Elevated cannabis lounge. If you want to know more about this business, email them at feelingelevated@gmail.com and ask what they are all about.

Chooch of the Week

This one’s a challenge because “chooch-mania” is currently the rage all over the place and not limited to the Biggest Little. John Huppenthal, the outgoing “state superintendent of public instruction” in Arizona, made a point of sending out a “notice of non-compliance” to the Tucson Unified School District as he was on his way out the door, threatening to cut off their state funding over ethnic studies classes. Apparently some Tucson schools have committed the unpardonable sin of teaching from what Huppenthal sees as an African-American and Mexican-American “perspective.” We wouldn’t want anyone in Arizona to think that there are nothing but white folks in that state now, would we?

Super Mario

The death of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo sparked comments from across the country, usually in relation to his skills as an orator. Phillipe can back up those raves, as Cuomo once spoke at a press conference in Washington that P. helped organize. Speaking after the also-eloquent Libby Dole (yeah, Bad Bob’s wife), also no slouch at the microphone, he simply blew her and the crowd away with an inspiring speech about the need for better education for future workforce members that was spot-on every message point. P. had heard the previous raves about his linguistic skills, and they didn’t touch the real thing.