Buzz Bissinger to Collaborate With Caitlyn Jenner on Memoir

buzz bissinger caitlyn jenner

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Buzz Bissinger will be collaborating with Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner on her new memoir, The New York Times reports.

Bissinger, whose book about high-school football in small-town Texas, Friday Night Lights, became a successful TV series and who chronicled the challenges Mayor Ed Rendell faced trying to reverse the downward spiral of city government in A Prayer for the City, also wrote the Vanity Fair cover story in which Jenner came out as female and described her struggles with gender identity. Read more »

Why I’m Buying Girl Scout Cookies By the Case This Year

There are a couple reasons I buy Girl Scout cookies by the case.

For one, they are the most perfect and beautiful cookie in all the land, an almost otherworldly balance of chocolate and wafer and dreams come true. If David Bowie were to return to us as a cookie, it would be as a Thin Mint.

Secondly, I’ve found that Girl Scout cookies appreciate in value as the months go on, and come fall, can actually be used as currency. Bitcoin might be circling the drain, but if you have a freezer full of Do-Si-Dos in November? Well, friend, you’re in charge.

But also, and I very rarely say this, it’s about more than cookies. The Girl Scouts, Tagalongs or no Tagalongs, will always have a place in my heart. Read more »

No, Millennials Aren’t Ruining the Workforce

First, a disclaimer.

Even though I technically fall in the “millennial” camp — a generation that Pew defines as adults age 18-34 — I’m on the upper end of the spectrum, and it’s starting to show. I don’t know how to use Snapchat, I get anxious every time someone talks about Peach, and I just recently upgraded to an iPhone 4. A little over a year ago I invested in a sectional sofa and premium cable, so my days of being even the least bit relevant are numbered.

But, yes, still a millennial. And as such, according to a recent piece in Philadelphia magazine, part of a generation that is responsible for “ruining the workforce.”

Did I raise an eyebrow at that headline? Yes. Did I raise it as high as some of my fellow millennials? Judging by the hundreds and hundreds of heated comments the article inspired, absolutely not. (I mean, Jesus Christ, guys — calm down already. I’ve gotten divorced with less drama.)

As deliciously millennial as it would be to write an opinion piece critiquing an opinion piece, I’m going to pass. (Or, am I going to tip-toe around it for another 400 words in a millennial tightrope-walking act, reluctant to commit and afraid to offend in the absence of a trigger warning?) Instead, in the interest of restoring the peace, I’m here to dispel some common misconceptions about my people. Read more »

What David Bowie Meant to Philly — and What Philly Meant to David Bowie

“Bowie kids” in front of Sigma Studios on 12th Street near Race during the recording of Young Americans in 1974.

“Bowie kids” in front of Sigma Studios on 12th Street near Race during the recording of Young Americans in 1974.

By 1973, being a “Bowie kid” was an act of individual rebellion complete with its own thriving subcultural support group. The club of trailblazers had already been formed, the glittery dress code had been established and the “outrageousness is next to godliness” ethos was set in stone. Bowie’s 1972 concept album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (and the ensuing U.S. tour and Rolling Stone cover story) had made him an international phenomenon. But he had been recording in England since 1966, and he had been wearing dresses on album covers and publicly declaring his bi- or homosexuality (depending on how the presence of his wife Angie was interpreted) since 1971. Ziggy was simply the most successful packaging of twenty-six-year-old Bowie’s basic themes: alienation, androgyny, other worldliness, production values. And highly theatrical act was the perfect innovation in a rock concert business where demand for showmanship was outpacing supply. Read more »

How to Deal With the Mummers: 4 Steps Inspired by Your Racist Aunt on Facebook

Finnegans New Years Brigade 2016

Finnegans New Year’s Brigade’s Caitlyn Jenner performance on Friday. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

If you believe the Mummers, things will be different next year.

In a press release issued Sunday, parade organizers condemned this year’s antics — including brown face, signs referring to Caitlyn Jenner as a “tranny,” an attack on a gay man and This Unholy Specimen — and outlined an impressive, seemingly sincere plan to make next year a more inclusive event.

Newly minted Mayor Jim Kenney, for one, seems hopeful. “There’s been lots of strides that the Mummers Parade has made over the years, but there is always one dumb thing that happens that really does affect people and offend people,” he said Tuesday. “We have to try to start over, and we’re working on that with the human relations commission and our LGBT affairs leader Nellie Fitzpatrick.” And now there’s discussion of sensitivity training, pre-screening of acts, sanctions and more.

I like Kenney, and I hope he’s right. But at the same time, this is only his fifth day on the job. It’s easy to have hope less than a week into even the most impossible of gigs, to truly believe that a mix of hard work and know-how can bring about change and uncover truth. (I’ve never been mayor, but I have bartended at TGI Friday’s, so I feel pretty qualified to pass on this advice: When your blender shorts out during the middle of the Ultimate Mudslide happy hour that is Philadelphia, Mr. Kenney, just try to remember all of the reasons you don’t want to go to jail. I find writing them on a napkin helps.) Read more »

11 Things You Might Not Know About: Philly’s Public Squares



They’re some of the most revered spaces in the city — the five open public squares William Penn laid out in the 1680s to keep the green in his “greene Countrie Towne.” Today we hoverboard inside them, crave homes adjacent to them, let our kids clamber over their statues and fountains. Here, some facts you might not know about Rittenhouse, Logan, Washington, Franklin and Penn squares, courtesy of James McClelland and Lynn Miller’s new book City in a Park. Read more »

How Millennials Are Ruining the Workforce

Illustration by Jason Raish

Illustration by Jason Raish

As a boomer, I have a special interest in millennials. It’s the same sort of interest I have in car wrecks: I don’t want to see what’s going on, but I can’t look away. Take, for instance, the cover story that Time magazine had a few months back about how millennials are raising their children. I didn’t read the article. I couldn’t, because the very first paragraph stopped me cold. Here it is, reproduced in full:

On a playground in San Francisco, 4-year-old Astral Defiance Hayes takes a stick and writes his name in the sand. His twin brother Defy Aster Hayes whizzes around their father.

The fact is, I don’t need to know anything more about how millennials are parenting than that two of them thought it was a great idea to name their twin boys Astral Defiance and Defy Aster.

I mean: Who does that? Read more »

Three Philly-Area Pups Will Compete in Puppy Bowl XII

From left: Rottweiler Leah; Lab Marley; Kevin

From left: rottweiler Leah from Center City’s Morris Animal Refuge; lab Marley from Souderton’s Salfid Rescue, Inc.; schnauzer Kevin from Marlton’s New Life Animal Refuge.

If Super Bowl Sunday finds you curling up with dog treats instead of chips and dip, chances are your idea of the Big Game is Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl. This year’s production, the 12th, will feature contestants from three local animal shelters: Center City’s Morris Animal Refuge, Marlton’s New Life Animal Rescue, and Salfid Rescue, Inc., in Souderton. Prepare to lose your heart: Read more »

Diversifying New Year’s Day: Inside Philadelphia’s First Puerto Rican Mummers Troupe

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All photos | Bradley Maule

Sixteen-year-old Niurka Mojica stands in the center of the circle, a mass of blondish curls piled into a bun and accented with a red flower. As three drummers pound congas, she lifts the hem of her billowing red skirt up in the air, then shakes it down to her toes. She puts her hands on her hips and thrusts her chest out. She grabs the skirt again and swivels her hips. Around the circle there are singers and percussionists and other girls shaking brightly colored skirts back and forth. A couple of masked men in satin costumes bop along to the music, as does someone holding a gigantic satin-clad puppet whose horned head almost touches the ceiling.

All of these people at Christ Church & St. Ambrose at Sixth and Venango are members of Los Bomberos de la Calle, a Puerto Rican bomba y plena group that’s part of the new Philadelphia Division of the Mummers Parade, which was formed to increase diversity among the parade’s participants. Today’s rehearsal for the parade has swelled Los Bomberos’ ranks from about 10 to 20, and even brought some people — as well as the giant puppet — from Allentown. On New Year’s Day, group founder Tony Mendez estimates there’ll be 30 or 40 people marching, all of whom will make history: It’ll be the first time in the parade’s 160 years that a Puerto Rican group — or any Latino group, for that matter — will march. Leo Dignam, of the Department of Recreation, told division members at a meeting a few weeks ago, “This will be the big story of the Mummers Parade this year.” Read more »

Here’s My Problem With Tina Fey’s Mean-Girl “Philly” Accent

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Tina Fey on SNL (left), and at the opening of Sisters in New York (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Before we start, let’s get a couple important things out of the way.

1) Tina Fey is annoyingly talented and outrageously funny. There are a few seasons of 30 Rock that I’d argue are as good as anything that ever happened on TV, and if I made smart weekend choices, I would have seen Sisters. I don’t, so I saw The Night Before and kept wondering if Tina Fey and Amy Poehler could have saved it.

2) No one should apologize for jokes, least of all Tina Fey. She already warned us that she will not be held responsible for the loss of any PC angel wings, and for that I salute her.

3) Can I say that she looked amazing in that leather mini dress? Or is that anti-feminist? Screw it — as a woman who would sell the remainder of her soul for an ass like that, I’m saying Tina Fey looked amazing. While we’re at it, Hillary is having a great hair week. Well done, ladies.

This all said, I could have done without that now-viral “Bronx Beatsegment on Saturday Night Live this past weekend. In case you live under a beautiful Internet rock, here’s the idea: Basic Bronx housewives Poehler and Maya Rudolph host a talk show, while Fey plays their heavily accented guest, Cousin Karen from the violent hellhole that is Philly. Read more »

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