A flock of turkeys

By PHOENIX STAFF  |  November 26, 2013

 1129_turkey_Curt_top.jpg
Curt Schilling, aka @gehrig38

CURT SCHILLING

This year had the potential to make us start feeling bad for Curt Schilling, who appeared on last year’s turkey list for his role in the most infamous business deal in Rhode Island history. After all, in 2013 we not only learned of Schilling’s recent (likely stress-related) heart attack, but also that his family put the contents of their Medfield, MA, mansion up for sale. The online gallery of wares including computer games, smartphone cases, a seemingly broken ping pong table, and a “SCHILLING 38” Red Sox bathrobe made for some of the most depressing digital window shopping we’ve done in a while.

But with all of that said, it’s really, really hard to feel pity for a guy who continues to pick fights with the goofballs lobbing insults at him via Twitter. In July, someone tweeted at Schilling about “the employees you screwed over,” to which Schilling replied that he “didn’t waste a dime, employed 400 people for 5+ years, #stopsayingstupidstuff you elected the clown that cost you,” adding a nice backhand to thousands of voting Rhode Islanders as he tried to deflect the heckler.

A few months later, Schil’ responded to another wise-guy (”@gehrig38 . . . the most I’ve spent on a video game was $60. . . What about you?”) with the response: “keep sitting on the sidelines popping off while others try to make a difference #keyboardtoughguy.”

Curt, it’s a widely acknowledged PR rule that a Twitter celebrity — no matter how far they’ve fallen in fame, money, or public favor — has absolutely nothing to gain by mixing it up with the Twitter masses. And when you respond by tossing physical threats like “How about I just knock you out?” when an instigator tweets “@gehrig38 How about you donate all the money you make on ESPN to the State of Rhode Island, you piece of shit?” it’s you who becomes the #keyboardtoughguy.

And a turkey, to boot.

Gobble gobble!

JAMES WOODS

Speaking of twitter turkeys, 2013 was a banner year for the Rhody-raised actor who starred as Sharon Stone’s slimy pimp of an ex-boyfriend in Martin Scorsese’s Casino. Yes, James Woods is apparently fond of packaging his right-wing rage into 140-character bursts. According to various Woods tweets fired out during October’s federal government shutdown, President Barack Obama is a “liar,” a “true abomination,” and a man who “cried crocodile tears for the victims of chemical weapons in Syria,” “already decided he doesn’t care” about America, and “has done more for gun sales, less for race harmony and more damage to community than any president ever.”

Now, reasonable folks can disagree about the honesty of our commander-in-chief and the efficacy of his policies; we don’t begrudge Woods for airing his blunt political views. It’s the hint of martyrdom that makes us gag more than a mouthful of Aunt Jean’s marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole.

“@RealJamesWoods dude, aren’t u worried about. . . u know. . . ever working again??” chirped one Twitter user during one of these diatribes. To which Woods responded, “I don’t expect to work again. I l think [sic] Barack Obama is a threat to the integrity and future of the Republic. My country first.”

Right, James. There’s no nobler act of “country first” self-sacrifice than smushing your fingers onto your smartphone screen and tapping “Send” as you slug High Lifes and scream at the Dancing with the Stars judges from your living couch.

Lo and behold, Woods has found work again. Just this week, the Science Channel announced that he will co-host a show called Futurescape with Morgan Freeman. God Bless America.

LINCOLN CHAFEE AND HIS ADMINISTRATION

Given Providence’s well-documented glut of parking spaces — “We have over 15,000 parking spaces!” squawked a representative from the city’s Downtown Improvement District during an ill-advised recent promo video — it’s hard to imagine that a dearth of parking would ever be cited as a reason for doing anything in the capital city. But that’s exactly what Governor Lincoln Chafee’s administration did in recent months to justify digging up 2000 square feet of grass on the state house lawn in an expansion of a previously existing lot.

Governor, we understand that you’re not running for reelection and that you want to go out with a bang, not a whimper. But, please, swapping turf for pavement at one of the state’s most prized bits of greenery — and pissing off the Capital Center Commission and transit advocates in the process — is not the way to do it.

Staking your legacy on the expansion of parking on Smith Hill makes you worse than a lame duck — it turns you into a. . . well, you see where we’re going with this.

Our list of turkeys is by no means exhaustive. Tell us about your 2013 turkeys via Twitter (@provphoenix) and Facebook.com/ProvidencePhoenix.

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