When P&J heard that Dickie had passed on we remembered all of the amazing things he had done and thought that we might describe him as "colorful." But in Casa Diablo's Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, we noticed that the word "flamboyant" has this citation: "Characterized by waving curves, suggesting flames (architecture term)." That sounds about right. Dickie burned right through life with a flame that warmed and astonished his many friends. He lives on in the herats of those fortunate enough to have known him.
GILBERT STUART Self-portrait.
A hearty huzzah for First Face: The Buck Starts Here, by Jim Wolpaw and Steve Gentile. It is a fascinating look at fabled Rhode Island artist, prankster, and ne'er-do-well Gilbert Stuart — specifically, his creation of the famous portrait of George Washington that graces our $1 bill.
Wolpaw, who directed the Providence cult classic Complex World, which just celebrated its 20th birthday, and who garnered an Academy Award nomination for his bizarro look at poetry, Keats and His Nightingale: A Blind Date, has once again pulled off a quirky, quiet little beauty.
The documentary, which aired on PBS stations last week and will be shown again on WSBE in April, reveals Stuart to be a snuff-addicted wild man and the Father of Our Country to be about as much fun as a roll of wet toilet paper. The image that emerges: Gilbert and George sitting in a room, about as mismatched as John Waters attempting to work in harmony with Dick Cheney on the latter's biopic.
Nice work, Jimmy, you old party guy!
EARTH, WIND AND FIRE
OK, maybe not Earth, Wind and Fire exactly, but this is an invite to the next best thing locally, the 2011 Land and Water Conservation Summit at URI's Memorial Union on Saturday, March 26.
This has been one of the top enviro events of the year in the Biggest Little, drawing hundreds to URI — featuring everyone from hardcore professionals to the Birkenstocks-and-backpack brigade.
There are countless workshops and exhibits that address more issues than can fit in this space. It provides enviro networking that would make Mark Zuckerberg envious. And you are bound to come away from it with more info that that tiny little green brain of yours can handle in one sitting, fortunately presented in ways that don't require slapping yourself awake.
Keynote speaker will be Steve Sloan, Greater Boston Regional Director of the Trustees of Reservations. The estimable state Senator Sue Sosnowski and state Representative Art Handy will provide a look at this year's Vo Dilun legislative agenda, and a good time is guaranteed for all.
For more information and to register, go to landandwater partnership.org/summit.php. As always, be there or be square.
JUST US/NOT THEM
Phillipe and Jorge often cite Richard Pryor's definition of justice in America, referencing blacks in prison and saying, "Justice? That's who's in jail: just us."
P&J's current short-duration personal savior on the economic front, Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi, makes us think of that in the lead-in of his most recent contribution to the mag, "Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?" To wit, as he interviews a federal regulatory insider on the Great Recession: