Squid's Ink

Squid’s Ink: Mayflies, Gadflies and Shoeflies

Several Random Fails

  • Did anyone else notice that Providence Pizza Week coincided with Passover? As one organizer said, “What? Pizza is flatbread. Think of it as Italian matzah.” Maybe next year they’ll schedule a RI Brunch Week during Ramadan…
  • Rep Patricia Morgan is advocating for increasing parental control over education by prohibiting sex education that discusses sexuality, thereby increasing the number of future parents.
  • The I-195 Redevelopment District (the folks responsible for the lovely new park that might be overshadowed by the stalled “Fane Tower”) have announced they’re going to spend $4 million to build a food and drink pavilion. A great use of taxpayer-approved bonds? After all, PVD doesn’t have enough restaurants or any food trucks.… 
  • Moments after a federal judge lifted the public transportation mask mandate, RIPTA and the RI Airport Corporation issued a joint statement, “If you don’t wear a mask, we believe the COVID virus will respect your choice.”
  • Governor Dan (Wrong Way) McKee renewed the contract with the ambulance company whose unlicensed driver killed a 77-year-old woman in a car crash. Since 2019, the state has paid $102.6 million to this company. RI’s population is 1 million. That’s $100 per person. Think about it. 

Voting Vacillations

Our Rhode Island Red voter weathervane has been spinning in circles. The US Supreme Court just dismissed the Gaspee Project’s attempt to overturn laws requiring identifying campaign donors. At the same time, Republicans are pitching a law requiring identifying actual voters. As it currently stands: no bags of money for campaign contributions, but if you’re collecting absentee ballots from a dementia ward or graveyard, nobody’s going to check.

Looking for Dr. Evil…

Following in the footsteps of Elon Musk’s grab of Twitter and Jeff Bezo’s stewardship of The Washington Post, Motif would like to announce that it is officially for sale. Asking price? One billion dollars! 

Permanent Ink

At the 2022 Motif Tattoo Awards, nearly two-dozen attendees got tattoos with the slogan, “Hi, Neighbor!” At the forthcoming Motif Marijuana Awards, we’re going to be offering free tattoos of “High Neighbor!” In a blatant attempt to lure folk away from the Ocean State, The Miami Herald is offering tattoos that say, “Bye, Neighbor.” And Vladimir Putin continues to offer Volodymyr Zelenskyy a lead tattoo that says, “Dead Neighbor.”

Reparations Shmeparations

Our hackers unerased several deleted proposals from Providence’s Reparations Committee:

  • The mayor and city council should pretend to advocate for low-income housing while giving tax breaks to wealthy investors.
  • With the forthcoming legalization of cannabis, pay lip service to equity by allowing several non-white people to become fronts for multinational marijuana growers.
  • Change the name of Brown University to Black University and force the Brown family to change its name to the White family. Any preexisting White family members would be allowed to keep their name, or change it to Rainbow.
  • Require all Providence students to opt into charter school lotteries to undermine teachers’ unions and further gut the public education system.
  • Rather than spending money on advertising and mailers, candidates for office would be permitted to pay cash for votes.

Toe locking, fat testing, and sexual harassment?

To combat a plague of humiliating resignations, the RI Department of Education will be offering an online course called, “Abusing Students? Do it the RI-t Way.” It includes lessons for:

  • Increasing class sizes to stunt student development and growth
  • Micromanaging curriculum through excessive legislation
  • Narrowing the achievement gap by suppressing top-level accomplishment
  • Requiring teachers to police students
  • Requiring police officers to discipline students
  • Suppressing civics education, so that fewer citizens participate in the political process
  • Prohibiting principals from disciplining teachers or police officers
  • Hiring superintendents without public input.

When asked about the course, RIDE Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green, looked surprised, and said, “Aren’t we already doing all that?”

A Marvel(ous) Plan?

In an effort to increase low-income housing for the wealthy, and prevent another article about “the shadow of the empty Superman building,” city and state officials have finally caved in to real estate developer David Sweetser’s blackmail and coughed up a bailout package of $41 million.

The amorphous deal for 285 apartments promises 57 moderate-income “housing units” (with no real guarantee of their affordability), plus shopping and a spiffy lobby! In return, the city will get … a guarantee of reduced tax revenue for 30 years! Whoo hoo! But at least the building won’t be empty, right?

Unfortunately, if any children move in, there won’t be any additional funding to hire new teachers. One of our hackers wondered, “Can’t anyone in the government do math? Oh, right, they’re products of the public education system…”