Phillipe & Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child and Can’t-Miss Events

Not Cool, Not Warm

Phillipe & Jorge hope that in the “Cooler and Warmer” PR fiasco here in the Vo Dilun, we do not miss the irony of the fact that its head cheerleader, Governor Gigi, is neither cool nor warm. She is essentially Hillary Lite, infatuated by Wall Street and the Big Apple, icily imperious in the manner of someone who always believes they are the smartest person in the room, and oblivious and unable to recognize the truly cool talent right in front of her eyes, such as RISD designers.

What is perhaps most galling and inexplicable about this embarrassing incident is the total ignorance of PR/Marketing 101, in which you learn as much about the product you are trying to sell as you can, from people who know what they are talking about and of which they have an institutional insiders’ memory and knowledge — in this case, the state. Evidently, the RI Commerce Corporation, which was at the reins of this horse that ran off a cliff, didn’t even bother consulting with the heads of Little Rhody’s regional tourism boards, who have made their living out of illustrating why we have the Biggest Little State in the Union and drawing visitors here so we can strut our stuff.


The fact that a person like Evan Smith, CEO of Discover Newport, was not consulted boggles the mind. P&J have seen Smith in action through the years, and he is interested in all facets of tourism, well-informed and extremely knowledgeable. The sustained success of tourism in the City by the Sea would have proved invaluable to the clowns like Mr. Milton “I Heart New York” Glaser, the supposed legendary PR genius who came up with the preposterous “Cooler and Warmer” slogan and logo. Instead what Glaser delivered, for maxi-millions, was a “says nothing” design and message.  His second-rate product could have been improved upon by plucking a random RISD design major off of Benefit Street and offering him or her $500 and a six-pack of a craft brew to top the creativity and relevance of what was foisted upon us.

Since RICC chief exec Stephan Pryor didn’t have the balls or decency to resign in the face of this absurd cock-up, he and Governor Gigi threw another clueless and incompetent out-of-stater, RICC marketing director Betsy Wall, under the bus. Pryor has continued to try to mealy-mouth his way out of this burning garbage dump by admitting mistakes were made (No shit? Gee, thanks for filling us in!), but at the campaign’s now total implosion, the whole things falls back into Ms. Not Cool, Not Warm’s lap.

When you are looking for directions in the future, Gigi, ask the old guy sitting on the front porch next to the highway, not the blind kid perched a few feet away playing  the banjo.

Footnote: Phillipe and Jorge have a great deal of faith in Rep. Lauren Carson, who is heading up the House commission that’s looking into what went wrong with “Cooler and Warmer.” Rep. Carson and Co. have been ratcheting up the heat on Pryor and other guilty parties, in essence taking names and kicking ass, which is about the only way The Ocean State can truly recover from this display of stupidity and tone deafness that has again put our beloved Little Rhody into the national eye in a manner that only a diehard Three Stooges fan would admire.

Go get ‘em, Lauren. Spare the rod, spoil the child. Which brings us to …

Turn the Other Cheek

The video of a 5-year-old being spanked with a paddle by a teacher at a school in Monticello, Georgia, lit up the social media universe last week. Of course the fact that the mother of the child (who took the video) gave her permission for the kid to be disciplined, in a district where it is allowable with parental consent (like it or not, sports fans), became a mere sidebar to the incident.

As we Yankees all know, the Northeast is light years ahead of our peckerwood cousins in the Deep South when it comes to civility and decency. Perhaps this could be a good learning moment for the corporal punishment enthusiasts down in Dixie. All they need to do is take at look at the very best elite institutions in New England and see how they demonstrate proper, refined and couth behavior, such as the best of the prep schools that produce our future political leaders and intellectual elite.

As tales of everyday life at these pre-Ivy incubators full of privileged students suggest, such as at our own St. Groper’s School in Middletown, students are not spanked by teachers, but teachers ask to be spanked by their students. Preferably with minimal clothing.

That is simply what one does in the British boarding school tradition, eh, Miss Manners?

Rally for Bernie
This is a very active time of year for Phillipe & Jorge. Tuesday, April 26, is the date of Vo Dilun’s presidential primary. As we have stated here before, we are all in for Bernie Sanders and, that evening, there will be a HUGE rally for Bernie at The Met in Pawtucket. Your superior correspondents will be emceeing this event that will have lots of entertainment, including a number of bands (The ‘Mericans and Jorge’s friend, the rarely seen original troubadour, TinkerLee Taylor, are among the performers). The Biggest Little has always been a stronghold for Hillary, but we are keeping our fingers crossed for a miracle here. Come on down and celebrate the positive force in national politics that Bernie is.
The Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame
The last issue of Motif featured the program for the fifth annual Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony and concert. This will be on Sunday, April 24, beginning at 2pm at Hope Artiste Village where the Hall is situated and where the new displays for this year’s inductees will be revealed. Then, everything moves next door to the inevitable Met Cafe for the inductions and the concert.
This is of more than a little interest to the denizens of the Cool, Cool World as among the inductees are the two bands that Jorge (Rudy Cheeks) began his long musical journey with, the Fabulous Motels and the Young Adults. While the Young Adults were fairly well-known back in the 1970s, the Fabulous Motels included some of the same members and were a truly revolutionary crew. From 1970 to 1973, the Motels were unlike any other band. They played primarily original songs when the club scene was almost all cover bands, they put on a “show” that was unlike any show you have ever seen (how many bands would break into a “game show” in the middle of a set?) and were, by default, the “house band” at RISD. Because of the odd nature of the band, the Motels didn’t get to play in too many clubs, but did make a small splash in NYC in the early ’70s at the Mercer Arts Center, a few years before CBGB.
For Jorge, the fact that over 40 years after the fact the Fabulous Motels are still fondly remembered by those who got to see them is gratifying indeed. Almost all surviving members of the band will be there and almost all of those who have passed on will be represented by family. The evening ends with a performance by the Young Adults. Also performing are inductees Bill Harley and Sugar Ray Norcia & the Bluetones (and a possible appearance by Greg Abate, the great jazz saxophonist. This will be a very special event.