Ghouls on parade

By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  March 17, 2010

We shall miss him.

If you have any interest at all in environmental issues and how they link to economics, social issues, the media, and beyond, you will want to attend the day-long 7th Annual Land & Water Conservation Summit on Saturday, March 27 at URI's Memorial Union on its Kingston campus.

The Summit is the biggest and best conference of its sort in Rhode Island every year, and Phillipe is a regular seminar contributor. With tons of workshops, featured speakers, and a chance to meet and chat with fascinating people, it is a real show. This year's keynoter is noted Maryland author and Baltimore Sun enviro writer Tom Horton, who will talk about "Saving Chesapeake Bay's Land and Water — Lessons Learned After 25 Years." We hope he has been looking at the work that has been done here for the last 25 years-plus, because the folks on that "other" bay could learn a bit from Little Rhody.

Information and registration forms can be downloaded at As always, be there or be square.

A couple of weeks ago, your superior correspondents were speculating on the provenance of a "new tradition" created by this year's Vo Dilun State Wrestling Champs, the Cumberland High Clippers — singing the tune, "Build Me Up Buttercup." Brittany Ballantyne, a Cumberland High student, penned a missive to Casa Diablo to explain:

I was scanning through the pages of the Phoenix when I stumbled across a brief article about my hometown. Cumberland making news doesn't happen too often so I was even more thrilled when I realized the article was about our wrestling team. I'm a senior wrestling manager this year, and I like to consider this team "the greatest team you've never heard of." The "Buttercup" tradition began last year. It did not originate from Cumberland's movie producers the Farrellys' film There's Something About Mary. In fact, the song was one of the team's personal favorites to sing obnoxiously and out of tune in the locker room.

At wrestling meets, teams have a sickening habit of running out on the mat with "hardcore" songs to intimidate the opposing teams. Cumberland used a different approach. When other teams hear lyrics such as "why do you build me up, buttercup, baby just to let me down?" streaming through our speaker system, they seem a bit confused. Confusion soon turns into smirks and attacking, pointing fingers. We blast this song to confuse people on purpose. I mean, who is going to take a team with this intro seriously? Not many, until our first match begins. Our devoted and disciplined wrestlers are what the crowd, coaches, and opposing teams take seriously. The minute the music hushes and we start our matches, teams finally understand what we're all about. No sugar-coated buttercups, no crybabies — just a quiet storm about to make a lot of noise, as proven at the state tournament.

Thanks for the explanation, Brittany and, once again, congratulations to the team.

Casa Diablo regulars know the great affection your superior correspondents have for Jorge's hometown of Pawtucket. Last week, two people who have been key figures in the revitalization and recent rise of the city were recognized for their achievements.

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