P&J were thinking about a few things this week and, as a way of sharing them all with you, we’re blatantly going to steal a trick that The Urinal’s Pinky Patinkin and Bill Reynolds use on a regular basis: filling up space with bulleted items in their columns. This is the journalist’s equivalent of throwing it over the transom, since it requires the insight of a mayfly and about the length of one’s lifespan to write. But we love you, boys, you know that.
• NBC’s new show The Blacklist, starring James Spader, is about the best coming-out party we’ve ever seen. Spader — who has the balls to take on any crazed, scary, or off-the-wall role — has in his screen character whiffs of Sherlock Holmes, Mr. Reese of Person of Interest (another great show), and even Hannibal Lecter (sans cannibalism and mass murder). A bit violent for the squeamish, The Blacklist is still far better than the gratuitous blood and guts offered by shows like CSI: Your Mother, or whatever they call that dreck now.
• The celebration of former Rhode Island Secretary of State Susan “Muffy” Farmer’s life at Grace Church in Providence on Tuesday, September 24 was the least she deserved. The house was filled with anyone who is anyone in Little Rhody, and the service had enough upbeat moments to honor her fantastic ability to deal with anything and everything with a smile and a laugh. Short vignette: P&J once showed up at Muffy’s doorstep for dinner one night. She opened the door, gave us the usual smiling greetings, and then informed us her mother had died that day. We offered our sympathies and said we should leave, but then she laughed loudly, said, “No way. Send in the clowns!” and ushered us into her home for a delightful and upbeat — if at times emotional — evening. We’ll miss you dearly, Muffy.
• Considering the fact that the Biggest Little — Newport, in particular — has been called the “Sailing Capital of the World,” haven’t you all been riveted by the coverage of the America’s Cup — that ego-feeding competition between two rich, self-absorbed assholes with wet bottoms who bought boats out in San Francisco that look like nothing the ones you’ll see on Narragansett Bay? We are simply riveted by the competition. (Honk!) Luff the jib! Trim the spinnaker! What ho, lads! It’s like the anti-NASCAR. Where’s “Captain Courageous” Ted Turner winning the Cup in Newport and crawling under the table with a bottle of Jack Daniels firmly in-hand and at-lips at the final press conference?
• Last week news broke that another 30 people will be laid off at the BeloJo, many of them from the editorial side of the paper. It’s yet another great idea by absentee owners, A.H. Belo Corp., whose executives care more about what hooker they’ll pick up in a Dallas bar than they do any of the Rhode Islanders who lose their salaries in mass layoffs like these. Naturally you’ll hear nothing about this from Urinal publisher Howard Sutton, as he enjoys a martini while getting bent over the arm of a sofa by the boys from A.H. Belo, other than that it’s a “cost-cutting” exercise. Well you can add “quality-cutting” exercise to that as well. Oh, but that new website you’ve been working on for about 75 years sure will take up the slack, eh, Howie? Maybe by next year it’ll be up to high school web design standards, but perhaps without the equivalent content.