Everything You Need to Know About Legalizing Marijuana

I would like to respond to yesterday’s post by fellow Philly Post-er Beth Capriotti wherein she rhetorically threw her hands up in the air in bewilderment and, with a discernible note of pride in her glib know-nothingness, declared that:

Like rap music and twerking, here’s something else I have to live with that I just don’t understand.

Beth, you are on your own with the twerking and rap enlightenment, except to say this: Twerking is just a modern version of dirty dancing, which has been around since at least Cleopatra’s day. As for hip-hop, I’m guessing that by “I just don’t understand” you actually mean that, blinkered by a generational divide and the remove of white privilege, you’ve never really made the effort to understand the last great evolutionary leap in the continuum of modern music and what is arguably the most influential sociocultural phenomenon of the last 30 years.

But I might be able to help with the pot thing.
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Philly.com’s Commenters Are More Vile Than You Think

Last February, Philly.com posted a heartwarming story, also published in the print edition of the Daily News, about a North Philly peewee basketball team that needed to raise $11,000 to get to the International Small Fry Basketball Tournament in Orlando. The community rallied to pony up the money. Online, the story garnered this insightful comment:

YOUR ARE LOOKING AT THE GRATERFORD CLASS OF 2020. — LARRY CHESWALD

Classy, Larry.

A May story about Eagles owner Jeff Lurie’s second marriage, to Tina Lai, who is Vietnamese, brought this illuminating thought:

SHE HAD HIM AT ‘ME LOVE YOU LONG TIME.’ — Unknown

A story about a black bus driver arrested for trying to kidnap a child in Delco garnered this bon mot:

A VERY HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH TO ALL!!!!! — cynic al

And a story set in West Philly resulted in this doozy:

BRING IN WILSON GOODE TO DROP A BOMB OVER THAT ENTIRE COMMUNITY. INSTEAD OF MLK DAY WE SHOULD CELEBRATE WILSON GOODE BECAUSE THAT WAS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I COULD THINK OF … HE IS MY HERO AND WOLD VOTE FOR HIM AGAIN. A TRUE PATRIOT! — Friend to All

As any perusal of old editorial cartoons will attest, distasteful discourse has always been a part of the American conversation. It’s the price you pay for free speech—some of that speech is bound to be awful. But the Internet has been a game-changer in the hate-speech sweepstakes, allowing anyone to instantly comment on just about anything. The online-comments sections of major metropolitan newspapers have become magnets for racists, sociopaths and assorted trolls, who every day deface the walls of award-winning reportage with their graffiti of ignorance and intolerance.

Then there is the comments section of Philly.com.

To quote Obi-Wan Kenobi: Nowhere will you find “a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.” On a good day, it’s bad. On a bad day, it’s vile.

There are a lot of bad days on Philly.com.

“Philly has a reputation for being a crass community, doesn’t it?” understates Kelly McBride, an expert in media ethics at the Poynter Institute, a highly respected journalism think tank that more or less serves as the conscience of the industry. “That’s the thing about comments sections: They hold up a mirror to the community and reflect back the good parts as well as the parts that you just don’t find very attractive.”

She’s being kind. A better way to put it might be: Is the city really this full of hateful, horrible people? And even more sobering: What kind of “civic dialogue” is Philadelphia reflecting to the world?

Goliath Squashes David: Comcast Ruling Kills Class-Action Lawsuits

On the morning of March 27th, the corporations finally won their war on the people. A little after 10 a.m., before hearing oral arguments on a same-sex marriage lawsuit that burned up all the media oxygen that day, Justice Antonin Scalia announced that the Supreme Court was throwing out an anti-trust class action lawsuit brought against Comcast by two million cable subscribers. It was the other shoe dropping in a pair of decisions that will have a profoundly debilitating effect on the the average citizen’s capacity to seek judicial remedies for the destructive and/or discriminatory actions of giant corporations. Read more »

How Twitter Wrongfully Accused, Then Cleared Bryn Mawr Man of Boston Bombing

This GIF, showing a Boston bombing suspect morph into Bryn Mawr-born Sunil Tripathi, went viral today


 
Like many of you, I was up most of the night following the jaw-dropping events in Boston to the best of Twitter’s ability. Between midnight and sunrise, it was a foregone conclusion on Twitter that the Boston Marathon bombing suspect in the White Hat (who, as of the publishing of this post, remains at large, and is considered armed and very dangerous) was Sunil Tripathi, who was born in Bryn Mawr, graduated from Radnor High School, and up until a few weeks ago when he mysteriously disappeared, was a philosophy major at Brown. Read more »

Don’t Be a Dick, Dick Yuengling

There was a time back in the ’90s that a portion of my nightly prayers were dedicated to asking God to make Dick Yuengling adopt me.* Such was the depth of my devotion to Yuengling Lager back in the day. It was church and everything else was just beer. It wasn’t just that Yuengling offered full-bodied flavor and a rich amber hue at a reasonable price in a marketplace monopolized by over-priced, piss-tinted corporate firewater. Yuengling represented the triumph of indie, proof that a small, family-owned brand tucked away in the mountainous redoubts of Pennsyltucky’s Coal Belt could take on the transnational corporate beer barons and not only hold its own, but grow up to be the largest American-owned brewer in the nation. And it only took 184 years! Read more »

The Banality of Evil: The Bugman Cometh

Shortly before noon on Monday, Melissa Ketunuti, a 35-year old Children’s Hospital research scientist, was beaten, bound, choked to death and then set aflame in the basement of her own house on a tony block of Center City. The gruesome brutality of the murder, the sheer brazenness of perpetrating it in broad daylight, not to mention the zip code of the grisly crime scene, sent a panicked shiver through the legions who live, play or work downtown. Read more »

Louis C.K. Is the Perfect Comic for Right Now

Wanna hear a joke? Two schlubby middle-aged lesbian guys walk into a bar.

“Boy, I’m fat and bald,” says the first one.

“Boy, I’m lonely and depressed,” says the second one.

LOL, right?

OK, it’s probably funnier the way Louis C.K. tells it — in fact I know it is — which would explain why he kicked off a sold out national tour with a three-night run at the Merriam last night and I just sat in the cheap seats. Part man, part manatee, C.K. took the stage last night dressed in muffin-topped jeans and a not entirely flattering blue t-shirt stretched across his lumpy thorax and cod-white limbs, a pruned-back Bozo-like shock of ginger hair and matching goatee. Read more »

10 Congresspeople You Will Meet in Hell

On Friday, the House of Representatives finally, a full two months after the fact, voted to greenlight nearly $10 billion in relief funds for victims of Superstorm Sandy. (Katrina funds were approved 10 days after the fact.) More specifically, the House voted to extend the debt ceiling on FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program by $10 billion, the first installment of a projected $60.4 billion relief package. Read more »

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