The Whole World Is Watching
That was what protesters chanted at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago and it has never seemed more true than today. Almost everyone has a cell phone with a camera in it, and things get posted all over social media. If you are an elected government official, you better tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth because you will be found out. And your blunders will be displayed for all to see.
That is why something as seemingly routine as the roll-out of a new tourism effort by the Raimondo Administration has become a huge fiasco. The obvious errors in the initial promotional video (skateboarding in Iceland when all footage was supposedly “shot in Vo Dilun”) were jumped on immediately. On April 1, a story in GoLocalProv noted, “According to staff members at Commerce (Corporation, the state’s newly constituted economic development arm), nearly 100 errors have been found.”
Governor Raimondo says she’s gotten a lot of positive feedback on the campaign but, as far as P&J can see (by watching and listening to local television and radio reports, perusing social media and randomly talking to people), well over 90% of the “feedback” is negative. And it doesn’t help when Betsy Wall, the person the governor chose to be the chief marketing officer for the state, acknowledged in a radio interview that she doesn’t know what Gaspee Days are. Gina maybe should have talked to the South County bard, Jon Campbell, about being the state’s chief marketing officer as his frequent and hilarious posts on Facebook about this issue were among last week’s top entertainment.
And we could go on: Why pay inflated prices for out-of-state designers and marketing people when we have some of the best designers and marketers in the country right here in the Biggest Little?
Oh yes … mess up our deadline, will you? On Friday afternoon, Governor Raimondo, responding to the hailstorm of criticism that emerged after the roll-out, rolled it back in and announced that the “cooler/warmer” motto was gone, that some of the companies that worked on the campaign were going to pay back some of the money they were paid, that more certified Vo Dilanduhs would be consulted on and (more importantly) listened to about the campaign and Betsy “What’s Gaspee Days?” Wall had been shit-canned.
Bob Healey, RIP
Just as Motif’s last issue was being edited, we learned that Bob Healey, the beloved Cool Moose with the well deserved reputation as one of the most honest people in local political circles, passed away. Bob had been a longtime contributor to Motif and an even longer-time friend of Phillipe & Jorge’s. It has pretty much all been written in the days after his passing – his brilliance and his humor, his generosity in providing pro bono or extremely affordable legal services for all sorts of people in need, his creation of businesses he loved (like the little cheese shop in Warren that is no more).
Bob Healey was a very special and very Rhode Island person. Obviously, no one will fill the void created by his passing and he will be sorely missed by all of us.
Branding Der Donald
It was touching to see Native Americans recently announce a formal tribal name for Donald Trump: Walking Eagle … because he’s so full of shit he can’t fly. Unfortunately, they somehow failed to convey this explanation to the GOP front-runner for president and he is reveling in the recognition.
Phillipe & Jorge are not psychiatrists, as most of today’s chattering class pundits analyzing Trump seem to think they are. But we do bet that we have seen more episodes of “The Bob Newhart Show” (where he plays a shrink) than the media geniuses ever did, and have also carefully examined how Lorraine Bracco’s character in “The Sopranos” plied her profession. So let P&J offer our informed and scientifically grounded opinion: We get the impression that Walking Eagle grew up in a household where everyone yelled and no one ever laughed. Poor little Donny.
Speaking of the Trump family roots, it is a shame that his forebears chose to change their name from Drumpf to Trump at a time when Germans weren’t exactly the flavor of the month due to some messy quarrels in Europe. This abandonment of his Teutonic heritage is especially sad nowadays, as most of Der Donald’s disjointed, unhinged Sieg Heil!-inducing tirades could be summed up by columnist Molly Ivins’ famous remark about one of Republican gadfly politico/TV show host Pat Buchanan’s right wing screeds, “It sounded better in the original German.”
Trump certainly is a continental kind of guy. He has married two mail-order-bride, Eastern Eurotrash ex-porn stars, neglecting the fact that had the reptilian Ted Cruz done so, Walking Eagle would claim they were both Russian deep undercover sleeper agents who were controlling slimy Ted’s brain like a modern day Manchurian Candidate. (“See the Queen of Diamonds, Ted? Shoot up the Senate.”)
So as Walking Eagle pursues the vote of the angry White Van Man and splits the entire Republican Party (thank you very much) by his using his “best words” to roll out his bigoted demagoguery, he has become a bigger threat to the entrenched GOP establishment elite than even Hillary. And trust that if all those staunch backers of the Grand Old Party aren’t able to get rid of the diseased Donald at the Republican convention, despite claiming to be true to their school’s candidate, they will be cutting their arms with razor blades in the voting booth. Should Hillary Clinton win the Democratic primary through a farcical convention delegate count that is blatantly rigged for her, they will pull the lever for the condescending Ms. Pantsuit who is closer to their core interests than the monster raving loony they and Fox News have created. The devil – or eagle – has … you know.
And one last rant: For all the support that Trump is supposedly generating from the White Van Man, we guarantee you that if Trump ever sat down next to any of his strident, macho man supporters in a bar, they would be moving to the opposite end within five minutes of hearing Walking Eagle go on and on about now smart he is, how rich he is and how he can get any woman he wants. Probably saying under their breath as they relocated, “What an asshole!”
Sleep tight, America.
Why Voting Matters
As P&J continue to urge our readers to vote for Bernie Sanders versus Billary in the upcoming Little Rhody Democratic primary on April 26, one undercurrent we hear is that if Bernie does not get the national nomination, they will stay home on election day in November. Please, do not, no matter who the GOP candidate is, although if it is Der Donald, it is even more imperative that you vote. Because not voting is essentially a vote for the Republican candidate, and it is your given right, which you should never thumb your noses at, even if it requires pinching them when you pull the lever.
Phillipe & Jorge turn to one of our heroes for why everyone needs to vote, practical wisdom which we cite here:
Politics is the art of controlling your environment. That is one of the key things I learned in these years, and I learned it the hard way. Anybody who thinks that “it doesn’t matter who’s president” has never been drafted and sent off to fight and die in a stupid, vicious war on the other side of the world – or been beaten and gassed by police for trespassing on public property – or been hounded by the IRS for purely political reasons – or locked up in the Cook County jail with a broken nose and no phone access and 12 perverts waiting to stomp your ass in the shower. That is when it matters who is president or governor or police chief. That is when you will wish you had voted.
– Hunter S. Thompson, circa 2002
Our Cold, Dead Fingers
Hoping to bring some sanity to America’s disgrace in regard to the embarrassing and frightening over-abundance of assault weapons and other gun models that have nothing to do with hunting or defending your home, let us quote the always sardonic wit of one of P&J’s favorite essayists, David Sedaris:
If you don’t think a mental patient has the right to bring a sawed-off shotgun to the church where his ex-girlfriend is getting married, you’re part of the problem.
– from “Think Differenter” in Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls
As one learned mind who we can’t recall once said, which should be stating the obvious, “When assault rifles are being used to kill elementary school children and nothing is done about it, something’s wrong.”
Which leads us to the stirring lyrics of “Something’s Wrong” by K’s Choice:
When your pubic hair’s on fire, something’s wrong;
When you think you’re the Messiah, something’s wrong;
When you mistake a plane for Venus, something’s wrong;
When your girlfriend’s got a penis, something’s wrong
Yep, having legal access to assault weapons and cop killer ammo would fit right in there.