Phillipe and Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: A Goodbye, A Last-Minute Gift, Resolutions, and WTF, CIA?!

A Legendary Reporter Retires

Probably no television street reporter in the Biggest Little is as recognizable and ubiquitous as Sean Daly. who announced last week that he was retiring from the day-to-day grind of reporting the news. For 42 years, Sean reported the news, mostly in Vo Dilun (he spent a few years in Chicago and began his career in Washington, DC). Since 1981, when he started reporting for WLNE-Channel 6 (more recently he has been with WPRI-Channel 12) Sean was on the scene of almost every major story in the state.

He was known among his peers as a tenacious competitor with his own unique style: the booming voice, the way he would say “Sean Daly.” A two-time Emmy Award winner, he was the ultimate pro. Your superior correspondents have known Sean since he arrived here and have shared many a laugh with this always-upbeat reporter. Sean is also a big music fan (he recently burned Jorge a CD of one of his favorite bands, New Orleans’ Neville Brothers) and you can often see him out at the clubs at night, enjoying the music and cheering on the band.

All of Vo Dilun will miss seeing Sean on the little screen, but we hope to still see him around town so we can swap tales about all the crazy things that make the Biggest Little a reporter’s dream gig. Best wishes to one of the classiest reporters we’ve had the pleasure to know.

P&J’s Top Christmas Gift Idea

P&J’s friend and one of the most interesting artists around these or any other parts, Xander Marro, has a new book out called Trouble. It features pictures and writing by “some of the best troublemakers this city (and it’s nearby environs) has to offer, including Mike Leslie, Annapurna Himal von Wagner, Katrina Salander Clark, Walkeer Mettling, Matthew Derby, Mark Baumer, Mike Taylor, Rachel Ruth,Tom Bubul, Heather Benjamin, Lisa Carver, Matthew Lawrence, Eli V Manuscript, Jamie Lowe, Mimi Chrzanowski, Daniel Daley, Mary-Kim Arnold, Bert Crenca, Suzy Gonzalez, Mickey Zachilli Ccool Ddogg and some guy named Rudy Cheeks.

The book is available now at Ada Books, the AS220 project space, or the Dirt Palace Etsy etsy.com/listing/214997956/trouble?. The book is a work of art, from the amazing hands of Ms. Xander herself.

New Year’s Resolutions
Phillipe and Jorge always have a few New Year’s resolutions combined with heartfelt advice, which usually stay in play until at least Jan 2. Here are a few that will help you on your road to a better, wiser and more fulfilled life. You’re welcome.

The Crystal Ship: If you decide to pick up some fruity hottie in a bar and your target suddenly announces that they have full faith in the ability of Alex and Ani jewelry to give special insight into the soul and increase their ability to connect with the metaphysical universe, do two simple things. First, offer to buy that shiny-eyed airhead a drink. Then take the bartender aside and tell him to mix your wide-eyed sweetheart a frou-frou Polynesian umbrella drink with plenty of fruit. Discreetly mix in two shots of Everclear grain alcohol, which will be certain to crystallize their thinking, (Geddit?) Next, before they tuck into their moonshine cocktail, say you are going to the bathroom, sneak out the back door, call for cab, and go to another popular alcohol-revved meat market. Works every time.

Moving Experience: Never, ever, step in front of a moving bus. Especially if it is going at a high rate of speed. But also watch your back, as there are many others who would doubtless like to throw you under it. But if you are to be tossed beneath a bus, we would recommend a school bus, which at least has a monitor assigned to looking under the vehicle for possible mangled or dead people at every stop.

Not Well Done: Never eat anything that you see actually move on your plate after you have been served. Yes, sashimi and sushi include raw fish, but when that unagi starts some Lazarus-type squirming before you dig in, race for the door.

Happy New Year!

Waterboarding Is Not Surfing

It is tough for Phillipe and Jorge to judge the results of the recent Senate report on US government torture of foreign terrorists. Maybe we have read too many Vince Flynn and Lee Child suspense novels to think that whatever our CIA and other official clandestine organizations do to halt the murder of Americans is well justified, and would not be successful without these hideous war crimes (which is what they are, at heart).

Naturally, the CIA report was dealt with by the highest levels of government operatives − no doubt lying through their teeth to both the US Congress and American public − hey, that’s part of the job description − including such disreputable and repugnant characters as the unspeakable Dick Cheney, who said it contained only “a lot of crap.” Pretty good professional analysis, Dr. Death, especially since you said you hadn’t read the report, and were the top cheerleader for waterboarding.

Unsurprisingly, the claims are that Dubya the Dumb, the embarrassment and abomination who was our president at the time, knew nothing about this until four years after the torture was authorized. That’s the sign of a great, hands-on leader. “Don’t wake me from my nap or interrupt my Pee Wee Herman bike ride unless it’s important.”

Obviously the statements from our own poster boy for the horrors of torture, Sen. John McClain, that torture does not generally produce valuable or legitimate information, were ignored by his armchair warriors at the CIA and in Congress, who are now claiming otherwise. Not really what you would call based on firsthand knowledge, but tough shit, Senator. Say hi to the gang at the Hanoi Hilton.

But what most disturbs P&J are tactics like the “extraordinary renditions” our government seemed to enjoy. That is the tactic used when the vernment takes a suspect viewed as valuable and secretly flies them to a “black site” in the country of one of our allies (at least at that moment in time) for “enhanced interrogations,” as the soulless Cheney would put it. (That phrase is the sort of military-speak akin to “collateral damage.” Yeah, we bombed an elementary school and killed 50 innocent kids, but we wounded an Al Qaeda lieutenant. Wow. Bow-wow.) Those rendition countries have governments that are less receptive to public/media exposure of their investigative techniques, and are quite comfortable with such niceties as attaching a car battery to their prisoners’ genitals or snipping off bits of body parts. Now can we have more foreign aid money, Uncle Sam?

And yet the U.S. public is appalled when our international foes in this ugly, ugly war against terrorist ghosts see fit to show beheadings on video. They know what their friends have been subjected to − however much it was deserved for mass murdering and oppressing women, children and blameless civilians − but payback is a bitch, ain’t it? Bring a knife to a gun fight? We’ll bring a scimitar in HD. Seems to be just as effective to-date.

P&J don’t mean to be depressing, but you get what you pay for. And what price has or will the U.S. pay when allies are revealed to be no more ethical, moral or humane than the insane and vicious scum we are fighting?

P&J report. You decide.