Jim Kenney’s Mean Girl 101

Jim Kenney, Chris Christie

Jim Kenney, Chris Christie

Like most people who were tweeting from the Linc on Sunday night, I’m going to assume that Councilman Jim Kenney wasn’t putting much thought into his 140 characters.

An Eagles fan, the possible mayoral candidate was annoyed when he spotted New Jersey Governor Chris Christie snuggling up to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in the skybox. Here’s what that looks like:

Admittedly, part of me likes that a Philly politician would not only publish those tweets but defend them. Councilman Kenney – who has a history of Twitter tantrums – didn’t take them down, explaining, “I have a big nose and he has a fat ass. Just as life deals you.”

But, as much as I enjoy Philadelphia’s unique brand of feisty real-talk, I can’t help but think the same thing I think every time someone attacks Christie for his weight: Kenney sounds like an idiot, and he probably needs a hug.

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Facebook and “Friends” in the Wake of Ferguson

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Scene from last Wednesday’s protest march (top); detail from a controversial post on the Facebook page of a Central Bucks West guidance counselor.

As a 29-year-old woman, this is how my Facebook feed tends to look: baby picture, wedding picture, baby-at-a-wedding picture, Supernatural spoiler (that last one might be my own contribution).

But over the past couple weeks, I’ve noticed an even less appealing trend: racist rant, thinly veiled racist rant, confusing meme that I suspect is a racist rant.

To clarify, I’m from the Northeast.

This is not, necessarily, to say that my hometown is any more backward than your own hometown. (Unless you’re from Amherst — you guys are pretty squeaky clean.) There’s an ugly, dumb contingent in every group of humans, and most of the time, I love that place. But post-Ferguson, I find myself rethinking my Internet relationship to the (Often, But Not Always) Great Northeast.

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It’s Time to End Philly’s Horse-and-Carriage Rides

It’s not every day that New York looks around and says, “This place is too crowded, too dirty, too rough to deliver an acceptable quality of life.”

But next week, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration is slated to introduce legislation that would phase out the city’s horse-drawn carriage rides, a popular tourist attraction that’s significantly less popular with animal-rights activists (as well as any sentient person who has spent more than 15 minutes in modern-day city).

“We are going to get rid of the horse carriages. Period,” de Blasio told the New York Post shortly after being elected. “There are some moving parts to work out. But we are going to quickly and aggressively move to make horse carriages no longer a part of the landscape. … They are not humane, they are not appropriate for the year 2014. It’s over. So, just watch us do it.”

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Ranking Philly’s 5 Mortal Parking Sins

 

Even with the strange new lens through which Philadelphians now view City Hall and parking, what happened over at the intersection of Broad and Market earlier this month was truly strange. After unified public outcry over apps that allow users to auction off their public parking spots, City Council responded, advancing a bill that would make it illegal to sell or reserve these spots.

In any other city, I assume that this is how things are supposed to go: Citizens see a problem, the government responds, changes are made.

But this is Philly, where pay-to-play is a time-honored tradition, and where our unique brand of parking rage and bureaucracy has earned us a reality TV show.

How did we come together over, of all things, parking? It seems that Monkey Parking and Haystack — two of the apps in question — are at the pinnacle of injustice, so clearly corrupt and backwards that even Philadelphia can’t embrace them.

With snow on the horizon and holiday shopping season in full, frenzied swing, here’s a reminder of Philly’s parking faux pas, from minor infractions to unforgivable transgressions (all of which are risky maneuvers in a city that routinely lands on Santa’s shit-list).

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Home Sweet Northeast for the Holiday

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My trip home for Thanksgiving is barely a trip. Many people have a longer commute to work, and plenty would travel farther for pizza. But because I’m from the Northeast — where moving to another parish or, God forbid, a different Wawa precinct, is taboo — a 35-minute drive counts as something of a homecoming.

And — I-95 construction be damned — it feels good to go home.

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Five Things Philly Needs to Fix Before Pope Francis Gets Here

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It’s not every day that the pope puts Philadelphia on his itinerary.

In what seems like an epic win for a city that treats newscasters as A-listers and almost imploded when Miley Cyrus stumbled around for a couple of weeks, Pope Francis has officially confirmed his September 2015 trip, a three-day visit that coincides with the World Meeting of Families (I’ll assume the Weymouths’ invitation is in the mail).

Mayor Nutter has stated the obvious, calling preparations for the visit a “massive undertaking” that will require a “tremendous amount of coordination.”

Officials are all over the usual: coordinating security, transportation and hotel accommodations for an influx of tourists that could momentarily double the city’s population. Which is great, but I can’t help but wonder who — in the words of my Catholic grandmother — will be responsible for “covering up our sins.”

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Now That Amy Schumer Can Say Pussy on Comedy Central …

shutterstock_84519679-AMY-SCHUMER-400There’s no elegant way to say this, so I’m going to let Jessi Klein do the honors.

We can say pussy now!” the head writer and executive producer of Inside Amy Schumer announced over the weekend during a panel discussion for the New York Comedy Festival. “Can we talk about that? It was a great moment in U.S. history.”

Obviously, she was being funny here, but the crowd certainly approved. And while it won’t go down in any history books, the show’s fight to say the word “pussy” on Comedy Central did get quite the round of Internet applause and a firm endorsement from Lady Twitter.

As you probably know if you’ve spent more than a half hour watching Comedy Central, they drop the word “dick” pretty liberally for comedic effect. And this didn’t seem right to Schumer and her team, who — in addition to being advocates for equality and free speech and other noble notions — didn’t want to interrupt a sketch about meerkat pussies with a clunky “bleep.”

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Feminism Isn’t Dead. It’s Just Confused.

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For as much as I enjoy dropping the F-word proper (and I do — no one has ever accused me of being a lady), I have to admit that the other F-word — feminism — has been giving me trouble.

In an article titled “Is Feminism Dead?” for Philadelphia magazine’s Conversation Issue, Sandy Hingston recently sat down with two Philadelphia millennials to gauge how they felt about the word.

The answer, of course, is no – feminism is not dead. Beyonce does not stand in front of banners bearing dead words, or even sickly words. But is feminism confused? Judging from Hingston’s enlightening conversation — as well as pretty much every smart, reasoned discussion on the topic that invites a diverse group of women — feminism is having something of an identity crisis in 2014.

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