Philly.com 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
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…
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?
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…
Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch…Yes, squirrels apparently did originate in North America about 36 million years ago, though in the western part of the continent, not in Philly.
If you read the comments on the squirrel article at philly.com, you realize that the average local detests squirrels. But here’s a surprising tidbit for all you haters out there: squirrels are cousins of groundhogs.
That’s right. Those “bushy tailed rats” are not all that different than our beloved Punxsutawney Phil. They’re both part of the same taxonomic family, Sciuridae. So if you love Groundhog Day, you have to embrace Sandy Cheeks as well…
A digital artist in Los Angeles, inspired another LA-based digital artist who in turn inspired local artist Bruce Wayne Berry Jr. to create a video that is the total complement to our Greenest City image (who cares if nobody else thinks we’re green!)… His video may also be a (fantastical) view of the TRUEST greenest city in that there is not a single human being messing things up.
Check out this eerie video of Phantasmadelphia. It’s interesting to see, even if illusory, what the city would look like devoid of all humans. Then again, maybe with our taxes, schools, and bad business climate it will turn out to be a documentary depicting a phuture Philly where all inhabitants have fled!
Reminds us that going green means the streets are paved with gold for some city departments, like the water department…
Here is an excerpt from the notes of an employee safety committee at the city of Philadelphia:
…some dust particles were able to get into the eyes of a worker that was cutting…on a table saw. The employee did not go to the clinic and another employee was able to remove the visible particles. The following week the employee experienced discomfort and blurred vision…
Who knew that blue-collar workers could perform medical procedures on the job as well as working with power tools?!? But is that any more surprising than wily dust particles stealthily making their way into the eyes of city employees?
Now, some incredulous souls may be wondering whether the city has safety procedures in place. Well, of COURSE they have a safety policy!!! Do you expect them to comply with it as well???
The doctor is IN! Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk…
Whaddya want??? Over 3000 staff members are missing, too, and you’re worried about stuff!?!
Is Upper Darby the crazy crime capital of Pennsylvania, or has its publicity-seeking police chief created that impression? Well, from stashes of frozen cats to daughters gnawing on their moms to families of naked, musical protesters, there does seem to be plenty of offbeat offenses.
And is it just us or do an inordinate number of these crimes involve inappropriate sexual conduct…?
- A predatory foot fetishist who sprayed an anti-fungal on boys’ feet which he then proceeded to tickle while “pleasuring” himself
- Lesbians having sex in a local McDonalds and violently driven from the restaurant by other patrons yelling anti-gay epithets
- A latex-loving dominatrix connected to more than one suspicious death
- A well-lubricated, self-abuser exposing himself and then taking cops on a low-speed chase
And now add to that the corpulent couple copulating in full view of two dozen bike cops. That’s one ride those officers won’t soon forget. Maybe Upper Darby cops should be considered Pubic Servants…