Philadelphians are no strangers to superlatives: ugliestdirtiestfattest, and once again, GQ Magazine has rated our sports fans as among the worst.

Now, shamefully, we can add another unique moment in the history of shameful Philadelphia episodes…We have destroyed a lovable, helpless robot. The poor hitchBOT was able to traverse all of Canada, traveled to Europe, was welcomed to Bean Town, and survived a visit to New York City. But Philadelphia was its Waterloo (or should we say, Wooderloo). It’s not clear exactly what happened, but we can imagine some likely scenarios.  What we do know is that we are some of the meanest urbanites in the world…


It looks like the faithful coming for the papal visit in September will be making a true, old fashioned pilgrimage. As in, they will have to walk for miles. It appears that the security will be even more stalwart than the faith of the followers with a “security perimeter” that will stretch for blocks. Which doesn’t exactly radiate a welcoming spirit…


As of now the security measures have not been carved in stone, but it’s not going to be any paradise for the locals. Roads, highways, and even bridges may be closed. Philly Mag thinks we should get some forbearance since this is such a colossal undertaking.

And our esteemed Mayor has even traveled to the Holy See to get some logistical pointers.

Perhaps the multitudes will not be as great as first thought – reports of disillusionment with the pontiff have been brought to light.

Regardless of the potential mess on the ground, it will be a rapturous time for many Catholics and an economic godsend for local businesses.

In terms of actual logistics, the devil may be in the details…

Stamp of the Inaccessible City

Let’s stamp out any appearance of ungraciousness!  (Translation: I’m tired of walking. How many more kilometers?)

It seems Christine Flowers is right, she’s a born conservative. Science has actually found biological differences between people of differing political viewpoints. But, Christine seems to believe that being a conservative makes her superior to immoral, un-American, “liberals” and homosexuals. Her writings are usually predictable and slightly overwrought, but now we know it’s her brain that’s to blame – she’s not simply trying to write as badly as possible. Her most recent column is full of the purplest of prose (though she might go red at the reference to any shade of lavendar). Miss Flowers’ latest screed is inspired by the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. Its incomprehensible writing supports her thesis that the decision has her totally addled. She LIBERALLY employs a thesaurus, but fails to CONSERVE coherence in her column.

We usually find her writing pretentious and cliched. But, now that we know she can’t help it, we can just read her blog for entertainment value…


Scarecrow: I haven’t got a brain… only straw. Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven’t got a brain? Scarecrow: I don’t know… But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking… don’t they? Dorothy: Yes, I guess you’re right.

Let’s support Santorum in all his sartorial splendor!


Talk about an unholy alliance…If you google “ARAmark” and “evil” you get 29,800 hits. But perhaps the megacorporation has done some penance, as they are the chosen ones for official merchandise for the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia.

ARAmark sure knows how to put the FUN in the profundo!  Let’s face it, piety and abstinence are sooo last millennium.  It’s the 21st century and even a pilgrimage by the Holy See has to be accompanied by a merchandising crusade. But we’re sure all the money will go to the poor…oh, wait…Anyway….take a look at some of these Biblically inspired bibelots!

Holy logos, look at all those fine garments! There are lovely vessels for drinking water AND wine; dishes for serving your daily bread; baby rosary beads; and don’t cross crucifixes off the gift list, there will be more of those than the loaves and fishes!

Don’t cut corners on your Pope-wear, get this “I Mitre Pope Francis” t-shirt now!

The only suggestion we might have is a few more “Phillycentric” souvenirs…Maybe silver bullets for killing local werewolves and protecting yourself from those residents who lack halos? Papal pretzels? Or maybe some other regionally inspired tchotchkes…


Get the whole trinity of plush toys — the Father, the Satan, and the history spirit! has an article about a recently published report that includes Philadelphia as a “divided city.”  The report is thin on original ideas, but thick with sound bites. This new report cites David Brooks and Charles Murray (talk about academic rigor – NOT!). Two conservatives whose arguments rarely stand up to intellectual scrutiny.  Oddly, the tone of this “report” is quite Brooksian…Social Science based on vague “research” and popular conservative cultural ideas. It also seems to favor urban models developed in the mid century. We think it should more accurately be titled, “Using GIS and US Census Data to Put a New Spin on the Age Old Class Divisions While Padding Your Curriculum Vitae.”

The use of “creative class” in this report (from a Toronto university) is a bit of a misnomer and disingenuous.  What about artists, writers, etc. who are the truly creative among us, vs. those in finance and law (not terribly “creative” pursuits).  True creatives often live in cheaper neighborhoods, so would be “outliers” in this report. The report’s “creative” class really just describes the rich. Maybe it’s just their data analysis that’s truly creative.

The report paints American cities with a very broad brush and makes inaccurate assumptions (e.g., about Center City). This locale hasn’t been “industrial” for quite some time, if ever. Though the researchers assume it was an industrialized part of the city and is now just a residential area filled by the “creative” class (i.e., yuppies). The maps in the report are also rather specious. The “pluralities” of a certain “class” identified in any given area may be just over 50%, but the tract is still given only one designation. This is how Manayunk is creative, but “Richmond” is not.  Yes, they don’t even have the neighborhood names listed correctly…

Creative mapmaking and Yuppiemandering

Creative mapmaking and Yuppiemandering

Society Hill vs Southwark is an old example of the divide that this report argues is some completely novel phenomenon. There have always been geographic and class divisions in America.  Population growth and universal college education have simply produced more people with better pedigrees to live in more desirable locales so they can push the poor out further. The situation is not new, but the numbers are.  This report will not be read by most, but it’s “findings” will be repeated and reported widely.  Maybe that was the point all along…

We should be looking for ways to Brook these divides...

We should be looking for ways to Brook these divides…

Residents should be aware that there’s an organization of rabid tree-huggers that are trying to plant one million trees in our area.  That’s one MILLION!! CRRRAAAZY!! Luckily, in this hyper-competitive, sports-obsessed city of Killadelphia, we have an opposing team that’s working to fight this greening juggernaut.  (And you thought Killadelphia was just about shooting folks!) The city is partnering with PECO to “Kill-a-Million” and they’re off to a pretty good start in Queen Village! (PECO is an Exelon company, but maybe in this case should be Mexi-lon since many ”team members” don’t appear to speak much English.)


Perhaps you’re wondering…is the team really up to the job, what with the recent influx of hipsters, locavores and neo-hippies striving to green our blue-collar town?  You bet your assplundh they are!!!  So next time you see some eco-maniac digging a hole and planting a baby street tree, just remember — it doesn’t stand a chance against the home team!

Green city, clean slaughters?

Green city, clean slaughters?

Much media attention has been focused on pro-Russian “resisters” Putin’ the crime in Crimea, but recently we’ve had a few totalitarian moves of our own here in town.  We’re always saying that it’s 1957 in Philadelphia, and in fact this seems like Cold War-era activity – but in the USSR!   NOT in the USofA!  Uniformed members of the state allowed to run roughshod over minority shopkeepers (well, they are capitalists…)?  These are activities that make the PPD have more in common with Russian thugs than public service – more brownshirts than men in blue.  And their comrade, John McNesby (could anyone look MORE like an overfed member of the Politburo???), not only denies the allegations, but believes his FOP members should receive extra rubles for lost overtime despite NEVER having worked the overtime.

In a nice bit of newspeak, Officer Tolstoy (is it some amazing dystopian coincidence that one of the officers investigated by the grand jury just happens to have the last name Tolstoy???) is the head of a Public Safety charter high school.  I hope they’re teaching the proper “surveillance” techniques to their young pioneers.

But there will be no gulag for these goons.  In a clear demonstration that these thugs have the full backing of the state, they are absolved from all prosecution. Perhaps PROSECUTION is the operative word here.  If they were to be prosecuted, is it possible that all those cases that they had their corrupt hands on would have to be reexamined?  Is Seth Williams keeping the lid on a potential Pandora’s box of false arrests and future lawsuits?  It’s chilling to think that keeping criminal cops on the force is the path of least resistance.  If I’d been arrested by one of these public servants I’d have a Constitutional lawyer on retainer…