Under the Influence
The legendary writer and public provocateur H.L. Mencken once wrote that a serious journalist had to do two things: Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
That has been one of the touchstones for Phillipe and Jorge since we have been writing this column continuously (albeit for a variety of media outlets) for what is now our 43rd year (Yikes!). There were other inspirations, but now obscured by time, and you wouldn’t recognize them anyway.
P&J aren’t sure if we ever comforted the afflicted to the degree we would wish, but we sure as hell afflicted the comfortable, by attacking the powers that be at the leaders at the State House and the then-mighty Providence Urinal. Our goal was to piss off, in a very wise-ass fashion, all of them.
Which had never been done before, and which set their hair on fire.
Phillipe alone had the governor, speaker of the house, and head of the Urinal’s editorial board call his bosses and demand that he be fired. Fortunately, his superiors didn’t take shit from anyone, rallied around and said what he did on his own time was his choice. (Read: Get stuffed, pal.) P&J – 1 Dickheads – 0.
(Quick note to aspiring journalism/communications ‘utes. If you think you are ever going to make enough money in this market through your grand ideas and typing skills, fuggedaboudit. Unless you can bullshit your landlord into taking a case of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a dozen Slim Jims each month until you catch up on the rent, get a real job, boys and girls.)
Aah, but now the point we’re trying to get to. Despite all our tedious labor, one thing we would never call ourselves is “influencers.” What a despicable word.
Other than this over-inflated, abused and obscene misnomer – as anyone can call themselves an “influencer” – it comes in second in the Cringeworthy Category only behind the bean bag toss game that has now jaw-droppingly been called “Cornhole.” Really? REALLY?
There’s a larger point to make here. “Influencers” is simply a self-promoting and pretentious title to claim. If you ever hear P&J say we are influencers, you have permission to put a .22 slug into the backs of our heads, mob-execution style.
So we have a few questions for these clowns who claim that title:
- Who are you?
- What are your credentials? (Saying you have a podcast does not count)
- What mouth-breathing, clueless lost souls who have no ability to make decisions on their own do you hope to “influence?”
- Do you really believe anyone cares what you think about anything, as you are most likely delusional?
So please, please let us never refer to anyone as an influencer, because it insults everyone’s intelligence. Then again, this is America in 2022 and its farcical social media. So being a con man is now accepted if not celebrated, as illustrated by our electing a deranged, lying grifter like Donald Trump as our president, a sin that just keeps on giving.
Ad Nauseum (cont’d.)
As the TV political ads are now picking up steam, P&J are amused to see the direction they are taking.
Perhaps the weirdest one we have seen is governor Dan “Who He?” McKee’s spot featuring his mother. We understand the thinking behind it — family guy, respects his elders, not afraid to make fun of himself — but it is just bizarre to wheel Mummy out as his foil. The only redeeming piece of it is at the end, when Mom quips about what a true guy he is, a governor who still lives with his mother. Instead of fidelity, that conjures up for P&J a fat kid living in the family basement playing Dungeons and Dragons with a can of grape soda and a lapful of Cheetos (We think they mean orange soda – influen… er, editor).
And some unsolicited advice to our endorsed candidates for governor and looie guv, Nellie Gorbea and Deb Ruggerio: turn the energy level up a couple notches in your ads and hit kitchen table issues like people having no money for such pesky items as food and fuel. Not even half of your admirable traits of action and attitude are coming across.
We would refer them to the best ad locally, by Shannon Liss-Riordan, running for attorney general in Massachusetts, who comes across as engaging, with a smile on her face while still looking like an ass-kicker.