Fools Rush In
“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” – Mark Twain
Samuel Clemens’ wise observation seems applicable to both our President Macho Man and North Korean dictator or Supreme Being of the Gods and Marvel Comics or whatever he calls himself, Kim Jong-un, as they puff themselves up and issue cosmic threats over ballistic missiles and nuclear war. Meanwhile they spend their time stuffing salamis down their pants and ogling photos of Vladimir Putin with his shirt off.
It is very easy to realize that Mr. Jong-un-deux-trois-go! Is simply barking mad and so far off the predictability charts as to be actually frightening. What is scarier is that the mentally damaged Trump feels it necessary to make even bigger waves in response to this murderous Muppet. This is due to The Donald’s deep insecurity about his own masculinity, which is evident every time he opens his mouth or encounters a woman. And in trying to strut his stuff, President Pussy-Grabber sends strong signals to most normal men that he has nothing in the bank sexually, as demeaning and assaulting women in an attempt to showcase your manhood is a sure sign he isn’t getting anything anywhere unless he brings a cashier’s check with him. That, of course, doesn’t register with his base (an apt word, in this case) supporters, but then they have already shelled out long ago for their new pick-up trucks to compensate after a night of erectile dysfunction.
So now the military general wannabe Orange Orangutan comes out firing with his “fire and fury” statement, mimicking Pentagon jargon such as ridiculous, high school boys’ fantasy names: Operation Desert Storm, Operation Valiant Guardian … Operation Urgent Fury. Wow. Bow-wow. Perhaps we should hark back to the infamous “shock and awe” bunker buster bombing in Afghanistan. That worked out well and solved all the problems there, n’est-ce pas?
Having these two lunatics trying to one-up each other with their juvenile threats and verbiage would be comical if it wasn’t bordering on suicidal foolishness. You decide, onlooker.
Who’da Thunk It?
There are few local stories as shocking and sad to P&J as the saga surrounding the URI Institute for International Sport. Last week, founder and former head of the IIS Dan Doyle was sentenced to seven years in prison for embezzlement of more than $1 million from his prize project.
Phillipe worked for Dan Doyle at the IIS as a freelancer, and he would guarantee that all of his co-workers were as flabbergasted as we were when the charges were brought against Doyle. The man seemed almost messianic in his attempt to link athletics and education for kids, and did admirably inspire local and international youths through IIS’ RI and International Scholar-Athlete Games. And it still seems hard to reconcile someone who slept in his office and was constantly driving all around New England to give speeches for chump change was skimming a million bucks off the top for his personal aggrandizement.
The international version of the Scholar-Athlete Games was a gem, and Doyle brought in speakers such as President Bill Clinton and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as the legendary Aretha Franklin, showing clout far beyond what is normal for Little Rhody. In fact, the IIS and its games have probably brought URI as much recognition on the global stage as Titanic discoverer (among many other achievements as a National Geographic explorer) Bob Ballard brought to the URI Graduate School of Oceanography.
In fact, it was the reach of the International Games that first got P involved with Doyle. Phillipe was taking a long, exploratory walk with a friend and colleague through the streets of Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka (as one does), when he entered a posh hotel and was amazed to see a huge banner strung across the lobby that read “University of Rhode Island: International Scholar-Athlete Games” as a recruitment incentive for local students. P took a picture of it, and upon return to URI, where he was working at the time, went to the IIS to give it Doyle, thinking, correctly, how proud of it he would be. Sri Lankans probably know as much about The Biggest Little as Vo Dilunders do about Sri Lanka, but at least some now know URI.
And the man rightly took pride in his work. Events at the International Sports Hall of Fame in Kingston, where the IIS was housed, drew star level participants and attendees from the sports world, from elite players/former players to sportswriters/sportscasters from the national media. Playing amateur psychologist, P can only surmise that all the great work being done by the IIS convinced Doyle that any means justified the end, hence the embezzlement charges and a trip down a long path to many bad decisions on the financial end.
No good deed goes unpunished, as the saying goes, but in this case, according to a jury, it is justifiable. But it is surely sad.
Phillipe and Jorge have some experience in the world of advertising and understand its goals, so we rarely bother commenting on the more obviously absurd TV spots we see. But we feel compelled to in the case of Rob “The Heavy Hitter” Levine, a personal injury attorney (they don’t call them “ambulance chasers” anymore, folks) who insists on besieging us with his touting of his services.
In one of the more recent of Levine’s ads, he gets into the full swing of being a “heavy hitter,” (unintentional pun, but we apologize anyway) by donning a baseball uniform to act out his pitch (ditto “sorry” above, this one’s intentional). But if you are going to go full bore, Rob, here are a couple of tips from the learned P&J.
First: Don’t pitch if you’re wearing an oversized batting helmet.
Second, don’t wear an oversized batting helmet while you’re speaking on camera. The first image that you conjured for P&J was the famous shot of Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis posing for a photo op in the turret of a tank while wearing a laughably oversized helmet that looked like it would fit Andre the Giant, who had the most enormous cranium of anyone we have ever met in person. And that includes TV news anchormen, notorious for being the biggest skullheads around. (But it plays great on camera.)
Perhaps more appropriate, certainly even more humorous, is the conjuring of Rick Moranis’ “Dark Helmet” character in the Mel Brooks Star Wars spoof, Spaceballs. Moranis is plenty funny on his own, but the helmet makes P&J guffaw every time we see it.
Unless you are planning to wear the baseball uni in front of a judge, “Heavy Hitter,” we suggest you bring a little more gravitas to the plate (ouch, sorry again) in your ads. We’ll even give you a hand tying your tie.
Your superior correspondents bid a fond farewell to our dear and much loved friend, Patti DeQuattro, who passed away on July 29. For many years in the 1970s and 1980s, Patti worked booking and handling business affairs for numerous RI-based bands. Among them was Jorge’s band, The Young Adults. We will miss her kind and loving presence.
Ed Note: Dear lawyers, the opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Motif.