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Date » 2008 » November « Home

Your Grandmother Got Rickrolled

This is at yesterday’s Macy’s Day Parade. I have no idea why anyone would have been interested in some song about imaginary friends, but in the middle of it Rick Astley comes out and you know the rest. The best part is the announcer at the end: “That was Rick Astley singing the rickrolling phenom ‘Never Gonna Give You Up.’”

I look forward to the Goatse float in the New Year’s Day Parade, or maybe Barack Obama will get in on the Internet meme fun: “Now that I have just been inaugurated as president, let me say: All your base are belong to us.” [via]

Abridged Daily News Columnists

Elmer Smith: Hey, we’re back to the “no casinos at all!” movement, apparently. I’m excited. It means we’re going to get some more awesome rhetoric like this:

Have you ever seen the rhetoric that goes around the gambling prohibition? You know what it is. Look, we have had a good time. We have been together yesterday, we have been together today, I have known a lot of you guys for ages. How about after the talk, we have a minute or two, let’s go on up to your room and we will play a little nickel, dime, quarter poker. Want to play some poker this afternoon? Why not? It’s a nice thing to do.

Would we be outraged if the California State Police came barreling through the door and arrested us for violation of California’s prohibition on gambling? Of course we would. Because, who is not supposed to gamble? Oh, you know who is not supposed to gamble — them poor people, that’s who. My God, they will spend the milk money. They don’t know how to control it. They can’t handle it. But us? We know what we are doing.

I’d suggest reading that whole essay linked above if you’re one of those unfortunate enough to be working today. (I’ve linked this thing about 5 times so far; I’ll probably finally shut up about it if you do read it.)

Ronnie Polaneczky: Oh! This is about the nice woman who works the gate at Franklin Field. Fun column. But check out this little note about Penn senior Ricky Choi: He “has launched his own clothing line of lacrosse wear.” Impressive. Only a Penn lacrosse player, no?

Fatimah Ali: Hey, Fatimah Ali! It’s been since Oct. 28, though there’s the very real change I simply have missed her columns before now. Hope everything is going well. Anyway, she is super angry at Mayor Nutter:

I believed his promise that Philadelphia would see a new day, although I must’ve missed exactly what kind of new day he meant. Looking back, I realize that I was too naïve.

But that’s not all!

Crooks could use some restraint and cut down on the city’s criminal-justice burden. People who litter could up their standards and not drop their trash on the streets. Safe and clean streets attract more city dwellers and can help regain the tax base that’s eroded over recent decades. Maybe we can even attract some big corporations to set down roots here and create more jobs.

“Hey, guys, could you cut down on the thievin’? Times are tough right now. Give us a couple of months.” And whenever you drop that bag of chips on the ground instead of in a trash can, you are preventing another big company from coming to Center City.

Christine Flowers: A four-page poem about how the Eagles stink! A parody of The Raven, even. Isn’t that more of a Halloween-style poem?

And, as you know, the Eagles won 48-20 last night. Fitting.

Haiku Contest: Update

I haven’t checked out your haikus yet but my parents tell me there are a couple good ones. Hooray! Everyone who entered as of right now gets some piece of crap from my desk if he or she wants it. (I have like five screeners of Leverage, featuring Academy Award-winner Timothy Hutton!) Updates regarding this to follow.

Philly.com, Meet Haiku

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I cannot believe
This is a weekly feature
I’m blaming Tierney

I am haiku champion!

Insta-contest!: Write your best Philly.com haiku feature haiku and win something from my desk. I’ll even give you a choice: A Frank TV clock, a Semi-Pro “We’re #4″ foam hand, a copy of the book Destiny at Your Fingertips: Discover the Inner Purpose of Your Life and What It Takes to Live It or a gallon paint can from Phillies Paint the Town Red Week in 2006. Winner will be chosen by me later today if I remember.

Live Haiku Challenge [Philly.com]
Thanks, Jon P.

Northeast Times Letters Bonanza!

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Thanks to the holiday the Northeast Times is already out this week. Best part of Thanksgiving! Let’s take a look at the letters page, which opens with the headline above.

Dismayed by behavior of our city officials

I agree 100 percent with your editorial A city in crisis that was in the Nov. 13 edition of the Northeast Times.

I am very disappointed in Mayor Nutter and the way

I guarantee this will not be the closing of libraries or pools or whatever. It will be something stupid.

he had turned his back on the situation with Councilman Wilson Goode Jr. and his aide, Latrice Bryant.

Ding ding ding! I want you to know that I didn’t look ahead.

Pin thief deserves a lot of misery

I hate thieves! Recently, we found the perfect Charlie Brown pumpkin to place out front of our house. It was only there a few hours before it disappeared. Shortly after, someone stole the ghost ornament out front, also. How pathetic for someone to have to steal such things.

Recently, I attended a 100th birthday party for my dear neighbor at a lovely country club in Upper Dublin for my dear neighbor. It was a lovely affair with a small gathering of friends, neighbors and family.

My coat was placed in the coatroom there. I’ve had a beautiful heart pin on my coat that belonged to my sister Anna when she was alive. She passed away nine years ago after spending many years in St. John Neumann Nursing Home, where her husband had visited her every day.

At that time, their home in Port Richmond was broken into twice by dope fiends in the area. They stole everything of value, including my sister’s jewelry. A few mementos were left undiscovered, and that pin was one of them. I treasured it because I loved my sister so much.

At first I didn’t realize the pin was gone, but soon missed it. Someone took it off my coat in the coatroom, and that broke my heart. I hope that miserable vulture has nothing but misery because of their thievery of that treasure and anything else they may have stolen!

This is historic, people: Someone in the Northeast Times complaining about the suburbs! I’m way past the stage where I question why the NE Times prints any letter, but if you’re still there, this might be a good one to noodle on.

Let them eat at home

I’m in agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture’s ruling about restrictions on food programs to our schools.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why parents can’t be responsible for providing food for their children. Isn’t it basically a parent’s responsibility to provide clothing, nourishment and house for their kids?

I realize that some families have problems and require help, but this shouldn’t be a massive problem. But to charge taxpayers, especially in this economy, to pay en masse for these programs is ridiculous.

If people can’t provide breakfast, lunch and dinner for their children and they show proof of financial difficulties, then by all means we will feed your kids, but no one should have carte blanche to these giveaway programs.

Like our letter writer here, of all the government spending and waste, I believe “feeding children” is the one we really need to cut first.

How to solve parking problem

Rather than just increasing the parking fees at Center City parking meters, why not start enforcing parking violations on non-metered streets in residential areas throughout the city?

On any given day or night on my block, there are at least 10 or more cars parked on the wrong side of the street facing opposing traffic; two parked trucks when NO TRUCK PARKING ANYTIME is clearly posted; one car parked directly in front of the fire hydrant down the corner; another car parked beyond the stop sign up the corner; and sometimes, a car or two double-parked with no flashers on for hours at a time.

Why not have two police officers for an hour or two on each shift in each police district start ticketing these illegally parked vehicles? It’s a no-brainer — end the free-for-all illegal parking epidemic on our residential streets while increasing much-needed revenue.

I predict “ongoing free-for-all illegal parking epidemic” is number 86 in Phillymag’s December issue.

Phillymag’s Groundbreaking Dec. Issue

112608rockysteaks.jpg If someone (the devil, I guess) were to come to me and ask me to come up with the most annoying magazine feature imaginable, I’d be able to reply immediately: Rocky and cheesesteaks, which has the added bonus of sounding really hacky and out of towner as well as being superbly annoying. Then the devil would be like, “You’re cold, man,” and I’d get a golden fiddle.

In an unrelated story, Philadelphia magazine’s December issue is a list of the top 100 moments in Philadelphia in the last 100 years.

To celebrate its 100th anniversary, Philadelphia magazine devotes its December issue to the 100 moments that have shaped Philadelphia over the last century. Included on the list are the filming of Rocky, the MOVE bombing, the Phillies 2008 World Series victory, and Frank Rizzo becoming police commissioner. But the mag says the single most important moment in Philly history since 1908 was the birth of the cheesesteak.

There are two things anyone who’s lived here more than six months never wants to hear about again: Rocky, and cheesesteaks. This feature is all that with the added bonus of Phillymag being the one who’s doing it.

Check out the top 10 slideshow, which features a No. 10 of “Dilworth & Clark, 1951″ (who could forget that moment!), the results of two baseball games at Nos. 6 and 7 and “the invention of the computer” at No. 4. I’m currently working on a feature about the top moments of the last 1000 years. I’m thinking “printing press invented” at No. 1 and “Mickey Morandini’s unassisted triple play” at No. 2.

Discussion Questions
1. Why is the Phillies’ 2008 World Championship more important than the Eagles’ back-to-back NFL titles in 1948-49? How about the Athletics’ 5 titles? Where should the Athletics’ 107-45 (!) season and subsequent loss in the World Series in 1931 rate?

2. Does the inclusion of the MOVE Bombing at number two make the top 10 less white, or does it actually somehow make it even whiter?

3. Throwing snowballs at Santa in 1968 is definitely on this list, since it’s right up there with Rocky and cheesesteaks in terms of annoyance. Where do you think it ranks?

4. It was pretty awesome when the Big 5 started playing a full round robin season again back in the late 90s. When Phillymag does another version of this list in another 100 years, where will Drexel joining the Big 5 (expected date: 2065) rank?

5. Cornbread tagging the elephant. Top 20, no?

Abridged Daily News Columnists

Jill Porter: Hey, it’s a pro-Alycia Lane column. About time, local media! We all know Larry Mendte’s friendly, but you don’t really have to needlessly bash Alycia Lane when it’s ol’ Lar’s sentencing day.

Lots of Larry Mendte coverage this week. It’s like the media re-discovered how hilariously ridiculous this whole story is. (Myself included.) Ha ha, spying on your co-worker and then being sloppy enough to get caught!

Porter’s column is a standard over-the-top Daily News special but any column that stops Philly.com commenter racism is totally worthy of praise. Even if it just turns the commenters to sexism. Hey, at least it’s different!

Man Holds Wacky Presser

112508roboCCD.jpg It had been a while since City Controller Alan Butkovitz had had some ridiculous press conference where he came up with some wacky idea, and so Get rid of the student TransPass program! Hell yeah! Wait, what?

Ahh, he says that the TransPass program allows truant kids “to roam the system from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.” Umm, probably? Oh, right, and one person was attacked and died on SEPTA, and if he could exploit that death a bit, he would be able to sleep well at night. (I think that was the gist of it.)

SEPTA says it has no evidence of crime by students with TransPasses. More specifically, to quote the Inquirer: “In a written response to Butkovitz, he said crime statistics, which show a spike in crime after school dismissal times, have not changed much in recent years.”

But whatever, let’s get to the most awesomest idea in the history of awesome press conferences:

And he urged that SEPTA police turn over the responsibility for rousting homeless people from the concourses to civilian officials, to free up more police to deal with violent crime.

Civilian officials? Who, Center City District? Once Upon a Nation? City Tavern employees? Society Hill Civic Association? The A-Team? An Army of Robocops?

Either way, I can’t wait ’til a team of private employees get to harass the homeless downtown so the homeless don’t harass rich people. Sometimes I’m so proud to live in this city it almost makes me cry.

Should SEPTA end student TransPass program? [From The Source]

Miss Lane And Mister Mendte

BBC ONE! BBC TWO! etc. A friend in Europe writes in with news of the BBC’s coverage of Larry Mendte Sentencing Day, America’s greatest new holiday. She writes:

This was listed in the “other top stories” section of bbcnews.com, right along side “IMF approves aid to Pakistan” and “Obama pledges jolt to economy.” Definitely in the same news league…

Definitely! News of Larry Mendte’s house arrest sent the stock market tumbling. Or soaring, whatever it did yesterday. And the way the story is worded (e.g., “Miss Lane”) is so proper and British; it’s adorable.

A former US TV news presenter who hacked into a rival’s e-mail and leaked gossip to the press has been sentenced to six months under house arrest.

Larry Mendte, 51, was also handed 250 hours of community service and a $5,000 (£3,300) fine. He was sacked in June. [...]

Mendte apologised to Miss Lane, who was present for the sentencing. She provided a confidential statement which was given to the court but made no public comment.

You know what I’d really like to see? That confidential statement. Now if only there were some way to get Alycia Lane’s password and read her confidential communication. Hmm…

US TV anchor convicted of hacking [BBC]

Ben Franklin Supports Larry Mendte

Buried near the end of Regina Medina’s recap of Larry Mendte Sentencing Day in today’s Daily News is this little nugget about who sent letters to the judge in support of ol’ Larry:

Letters of support for Mendte had been sent to the court by his therapist; his colleagues, such as NBC 10 sports director and anchor Vai Sikahema; and even Ben Franklin portrayer Ralph Archbold.

Do you think it was written in faux old-timey prose like the signs at the Betsy Ross House? (”I, Benjamin Franklin, hath no idea what this ‘Inter-net’ is, but Larry hath a good heart!”) I’m letting you know right now: If I ever get arrested, I’m calling out for support from the Phillie Phanatic, Swoop, Hip-Hop, Lil’ G and Big Shot.

Mendte to Lane: I did wrong [Daily News]