• Congrats to the recently announced inductees to the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame ("the Class of 2011"). They are Geoff Charles, David Jones, Larry Kruger, Florence Markoff, Ed Pearson, John Rooke, Bud Toevs, Chuck Wilson, and the recipient of the first Shepard Award, the late Bob Fish. Having spent a few decades in commercial broadcasting myself, I am especially pleased to see those folks I personally worked with and admired, close up — i.e., Geoff Charles, David Jones, and John Rooke — in the Hall. I also worked for Bob Fish for many years, a wonderful boss and charismatic guy.
• Playwright Edward Albee spoke at Roger Williams University last Sunday evening and he was marvelous — full of wisdom and truth-speaking on the plight of the artist in the modern world. Pleased to see a lot of students there to soak it up.
• Donald Trump running for president? Sorry, but there would be something very wrong about having that hairdo grace the corridors of the White House. Talk about things the Founding Fathers never envisioned . . . .
• "Tommy from Queens" sends the "Cool, Cool World" a news report on whacked-out pastor Terry Jones (not to be confused with the Python Terry Jones), who achieved his "Disgrace the Nation" (and the world) moment last Friday when he conducted a thoroughly insane "trial" of the Koran and then had one of his dwindling band of sycophants ignite a kerosene-drenched copy of the Islamic holy book with a plastic lighter. On the video of the event Jones is seen saying, "That burned quite well." Why can't clowns like this, who just want attention, merely learn to sing bad melisma and try to get on American Asshole?
• In a postscript to the Koran burning incident, the Pastor Jones, in an attempt to show that he's a "real American," is marketing "Islam is the Devil" coffee mugs, T-shirts and baseball caps on his website. Ah yes, a true Man of God.
• Don't forget the tribute and scholarship fund event to honor the memory of Larry Friedlander, this Sunday, April 10 at the Hi-Hat from 3 to 9 pm. Great music, good people, and a worthy cause. None of us will forget Larry.
• A couple of weeks back I was writing about recent changes in The New York Times Magazine and noted the subtle shift in tone between Deborah Solomon's "Questions for ______" column and the newest version called "Talk" with the interview conducted by Andrew Goldman. This week, Mr. Goldman decided to pick up the snarkiness gauntlet with his interview of Arianna Huffington. A regular cat fight.
• I very much enjoyed last week's Phoenix cover story on the history of graffiti and, on the Phoenix's regular Wednesday confab with the Bud-I and Ronzo on WPRO's "Buddy Cianci Show" (it's known as "cross-promotion" in the biz), I asked the former mayor — the first Providence chief executive to face the graffiti issue back in 1983 — about his early battles with graffiti. The Phoenix story took the implicit perspective that there is some graffiti that truly qualifies as "art." I wholeheartedly agree with that premise but also understand the vandalism and public nuisance angle. The dilemma is that, at its core, graffiti is, always has been, and always will be an outlaw art form. Attempts to co-opt or control it are doomed to failure. It's always tough to face it, but the answer is beyond the realm of legislation.
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