As human beings, there are some things we should just know in 2014: The earth is round. Fire is hot. Ryan Gosling is sexy. This also applies to major news stories, particularly ones that remain the spotlight for months and months.
I mention this because earlier this week local celebrity boxing promoter Damon Feldman, who recently came under fire for booking George Zimmerman, revealed that he was not aware of Zimmerman’s controversial past. He said, “When I learned everything, it was so bad. I only heard the verdict.”
This is bafflingly stupid. You would have to be living on Mars, in a cave, with your fingers in your ears to have missed even the most basic facts about the Trayvon Martin murder, which permeated news coverage for months.
Alas, Feldman—though astonishingly dimwitted—is not the dumbest person to have ever made headlines. Here, 10 people who are dumber than Damon Feldman, including three local contenders.
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“Where are our men? Why are they not protecting us?” Tyema Sanchez recently told the Daily News. “Men are failing us. I feel as though we are not being protected.”
And just like that: My brain exploded all over my desk.
Not really. But you catch my drift. I am not picking up what Sanchez is laying down.
But, first: Let’s back up a bit. Women — and men — in Philadelphia are being shot, and sometimes killed, over handbags. It’s exactly the kind of senseless, screwed up, innocent-victim type of crime that makes suburbanites wring their hands and shout about the atrocities of living in a big city. It’s bad for the victims and it’s bad for the city.
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Photo | Joel Mathis
Philadelphia might lead the nation’s big cities when it comes to bike commuting, but this winter it feels like every single person in the city is cramming onto a SEPTA vehicle at rush hour. This winter’s holy-shit-it’s-cold temps and this week’s storm smörgåsbord are forcing cyclists, walkers and other non-transit-taking commuters to reconsider their options for getting around. Good for SEPTA revenues; bad for those of us who regularly commute by bus and train.
As annoying as meandering tourists and as lacking in self-awareness as toddlers, these people have taken over SEPTA without any regard for the rules of the ride. I now find myself wistful for the days when rowdy teenagers and well-rehearsed beggars were the people I ignored on the way to work. Here, a rundown of the unspoken commandments of commuting:
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Photo | Shutterstock.com
File this under sentences I never expected to type: I’m really excited that Pope Francis is definitely, probably, maybe visiting Philadelphia in 2015! I never thought I’d care about a papal presence in my own city, but Francis’s sorta-liberal views about homosexuality and penchant for selfies, has endeared him to cynics across the world—including recovering Catholics like me. (Not to mention big-time media outlets like Gawker who called him “Cool Pope Francis” and Rolling Stone who put him on the cover of their upcoming February issue.)
A pope hasn’t visited Philadelphia since 1979 when John Paul II came to town. Since the current pontiff is notably hipper than his staunchy predecessors (see: selfies), we owe it to him to show him a good time in our humble metropolis. Here, 10 must-visit Philadelphia sites that Pope Francis should definitely, probably, maybe see.
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Erica Palan, 28
It’s 9 p.m. on a Saturday night, and my boyfriend and I are driving toward the Philadelphia skyline. We’ve had a lovely evening visiting friends who just bought a house in Ambler. We giggled at old photos, had burgers and beers on the deck, and played board games in a room with track lighting and Yankee Candles. Then we headed back home to Fishtown to begin our evening
“Let’s never move to the suburbs,” my boyfriend says as we sip lagers at our neighborhood dive bar. “I just think we’d be so … boring.”
He’s not alone. For many millennials, suburbia’s white picket fences are looking more and more like cages. In August, Leigh Gallagher, author of the new book The End of the Suburbs, told this magazine, “Millennials don’t really have any interest in this kind of cul-de-sac life. They’re not saying they hate suburbs entirely, but they want to be someplace where they can walk everywhere.”
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I am writing this post while sitting on my couch, which is wedged between a bookcase and an armchair in the corner of my cluttered living room. My feet are propped up on a cardboard box, one of the many that clutter this room and block all the outlets on the walls. I am hoping I can write this post without having to play box Tetris in order to get access to electricty to power my laptop. The only sound I can hear besides the clicking of the keyboard is my cat bellowing in the basement. He’s been holed up there—nestled behind the dryer—for almost 48 hours, the trauma of a 10-minute car ride across town too much for his skittish soul to bear. Later, I’ll sit on the floor of the cellar and push a can of food at him, hoping to coax him out so he doesn’t get desperate and pee everywhere.
The joys of moving. Read more »
Lesson learned: Reese Witherspoon is kind of a diva. When her husband got pulled over for a DUI, she made a big old Hollywood scene by shouting, “Do you know my name?!” at police. She later issued an apology, stating that she was “deeply embarrassed” by what happened, blaming it on alcohol. Read more »
As my colleague Joel Mathis reported last week, the launch of the Daily News and Inquirer paywalled websites isn’t just about pageviews. It’s also about trying to sell some more newspapers, since print products are still the lifeblood of any legacy media organization (including this website’s parent mag). The new all-access digital subscription plans are cheapest if you get one weekend paper delivered. No brainer in terms of economical value.
It’s a little backwards, though, if you consider that young people are most likely to want the cheapest subscription price. They’re also the folks least likely to want a physical paper dropped on their stoop every Saturday or Sunday. Here, 16 creative ways to repurpose the stack of dead trees you’ve opted-in to. Read more »
On Friday, I was headed down 19th Street, on the way to my favorite bar for happy hour. It was 5:45 p.m. The sun was shining, the sidewalk was crowded with commuters, and I had my sweater slung over my shoulder as I scurried down the street. With my office building still visible in the background, I ran into a group of teenage boys. They spotted me from down the block and began catcalling and making comments about my physique. As I passed the group, one boy reached out to me. He opened his arms wide, as if he were about to give me a bear hug. I jumped away at just the right second and was able to scurry away. They didn’t follow and aside from my own raised blood pressure, it was a harmless encounter.
Except that it reminded me so much of Barack Obama. Read more »
Last week, news trickled out that longtime television interviewer Barbara Walters planned to retire next spring. It seemed, perplexingly, both inconceivable—can TV news exist without her?—and reasonable. Walters, 83, has had a series of health issues in the last year, including a bout of the chicken pox earlier this year. After 52 years on the small screen, it made sense that she’d be ready for a break. Read more »