Easily the most otherworldly, bizarre event in this year's busy campaign season was the August 23 appearance on Channel 12's The Rhode Show by Providence mayoral candidate Christopher Young, renowned for his multiple bids for office in the Biggest Little under the banner of the Monster Raving Loony Party.
Host Elizabeth Hopkins quickly dropped into standard cotton candy Rhode Show mode and asked her guest for his favorite fun place to go in Rhode Island. Little did she know she had just kicked in the door to Christopher's patented brand of public displays of weirdness.
Young replied that it was the Catholic Church, which we believe polled slightly below a Port-a-John exposed to 12 hours of scorching sun in a recent WPRI-Fox Providence survey. The mayoral hopeful then allowed that he also likes to sing songs for fun and unprompted — and to the stunned surprise of Ms. Hopkins — pulled a tape recorder from his pocket and held it to the lavaliere mike he was wearing on his shirt. Background music in place, Christopher jumped in and began singing into the live mic with a voice and pitch that was fleeing the right notes at warp speed.
With a tin ear that would have made Jack Haley proud, he cranked out an original song that ran along the lines of what a high school girl bathed in Patchouli oil and clothed in India Imports threads, having just smoked her first joint, might pen: "The rich man in his house high on the hill . . . are you lost?"
"Candidate on the TV set, have you lost it?" would have been a much more apropos verse.
Young wrapped up his wounded warbling ready for another question, only to be told by his host that he had used up his allotted time. Undaunted, the candidate asked if he might bring in his real, live guitarist sometime to help (who, he informed us, was waiting in the lobby). As the embarrassed Elizabeth backpedaled like a Bizarro World Lance Armstrong, Young pressed on, declaring that he would like to come in again and sing. "How about later this week?" he asked. As Hopkins signed off in stupefied and red-faced embarrassment, the request was still awaiting an answer.
Atta boy, Chrissie, you're keeping things interesting. And stay by that phone, the next jingle may be from David Gregory on Meet the Press or the producers of American Idol. Or perhaps Phineas T. Barnum, who just may have risen from the grave after that performance.
See the video at foxprovidence.com/dpp/rhode_show/coffee-with-the-candidates-chris-young.
Now that calling people "Nazis" has become the favorite party trick of Fox News and their rabid followers on the conservative right, let's take a closer look at this tactic, spurred by Frank Rich's excellent Sunday column in the August 22 New York Times.
When it comes to talking about real, honest-to-God Nazis, who stood firmly behind that wild and crazy guy Adolf — who, according to the radical right, probably "had some good ideas" — none stand out quite like propaganda minister Josef Goebbels, known as "The Poison Dwarf" (a name not to be uttered within the vile little devil's earshot if you wanted to see the morning).