We need more Amishness in Philly. When I was a little kid, I never thought I would do anything other than join an Amish Mennonite church and adopt all the lifestyles of the sect. Surprised? Guess you haven’t seen my baby album. Yup, that’s Phillygrrl. The toothy brown kid with the print dress to my ankles, two thick braids to my waist, and plastic glasses you could see half a mile away on a foggy day.
Sigh. Here’s the short of it. So my parents came from Pakistan. Settled in South Philly. Visited Lancaster country one Saturday and (what!) decided they wanted to be Amish. Then they realized it was easier to be conservative Mennonite. The whole horse and buggy thing sort of freaked my mom out. The whole conservative, shunning-the-world thing didn’t.
Point is, I spent the better part of my life thinking I was a little white kid with German grandparents who turned the other cheek and would at some point pin up my hair and put on a covering. How’s that for a screwed-up childhood? But cohabiting in a world where there is so much emphasis on “loving thy neighbor” has its perks.
Take for instance the Nickel Mines massacre in 2006. You know the story. Thirty-two year old Charles Carl Roberts takes a bunch of kids in an Amish schoolroom hostage and ends up killing five of the girls – all under the age of 13. Sickening. The absolute pits of humanity. (I still have trouble reading about it.) Continue reading
Friends. My list of friends, both realworld and facebookworld, is always in a constant state of flux. When I was younger, I was so desperate for friends, anyone who acknowledged my existence was automatically my best friend. I’m still trying to outgrow that mindset. Throughout my school days, however, I realized that while my overtures of friendship were always undertaken with the best of intentions in mind, sometimes someone just needed to get their physics homework done. As in their definition of friendship was what I would now consider “networking.” Which is cool. I know everyone wants PG to help them get those A’s. No biggie.
But the advantage of living in the real world is one gets the chance to reach outside of one’s comfort zone and make friendships that are cultivated on mutual respect and admiration – not grades or some other tangible asset. It’s a constant struggle. But one worth taking. So, will you be my friend?
Guest post from thabooger!
I was going to title this something else (I think you have an idea) but I didn’t want to piss anyone off. Before I moved here I saw an African American (or just a regular ol’ “American” but whatever) wearing a shirt saying, “Fags are the new N*ggers”. It kinda made me chuckle but I got to thinking how much it made sense. Granted “blacks” had it far shittier than homosexuals and nothing homosexuals go through in this day in age can compare to the atrocities that “blacks” had to endure (I put blacks in parentheses because I’d be pretty f*ckin offended if someone referred my people as the browns). I mean it’s not like homosexuals are being hunted down and lynched just for walking down the street. And its not like homosexuals are forced to dine in separate sections of the restaurant or drink from separate fountains (And god forbid they have to sit in the back of the bus). But when it all comes down to it there is an entire group of people being denied their right to partake in a simple event called marriage. Continue reading
Me: Hey Mom, did you see that newspaper I left out for you?
Me: I left a copy of City Paper for you. Didja check it out?
Me: The front-page article about Olney, didja read it?
Mom: Why would you leave that junk on my bed?!
Me: What?! It was an entire article about our neighborhood. You didn’t read it?!
Mom: You know I don’t read those porno-mags you bring home!
Guest blogger thabooger shares his views on weed….
To this day I still can’t figure out why marijuana is illegal. It’s the safest drug to ever be consumed by a human being. It’s impossible to overdose on it although scientists say in order to OD on marijuana you would have to smoke your own body weight… so that’s like a little over 200 pounds of marijuana (Where the hell am I gonna get money for that? And you wouldn’t be able to stay awake for that long anyways).
Most people I talk to have this false notion that the reason for marijuana prohibition is backed by some sort of scientific research. In fact most people still think that if smoked you will eventually end up in a psycho ward (watch the old anti-marijuana propaganda video Reefer Madness if you get a chance). The real reasons for its demonization is scattered with unwarranted fear, corporate assholes protecting their assets (big tobacco and alcohol), racial tension towards Hispanics, good old fashion yellow journalism and last but most definitely not least our beloved legislators in all their ignorant, incompetent and corrupt glory. I mean for Christ’s sake it used to be legal to smoke weed and eat hash laced candy. There was even a time where the government required people to grow hemp!
There are more reasons to make it legal than to keep it illegal. The government’s so called “War on drugs” was a major flop. It currently wastes around 20 billion dollars a year trying to stop people from getting high (which I think is a God-Tgiven right). Don’t get me wrong, I can totally understand why they would want (crack) cocaine, crystal meth, heroin, and the likes to be illegal. Those drugs have proven to be detrimental to society and cause people to steal and in some cases even kill just to get that high again. But weed? Pot? Buddha? Ganga? Trees? Hash? The Wacky Tobaccy? Give me a break. I remember a scene in Half Baked where Dave Chapelle was required to go to a substance abuse class for marijuana. He walks up to the podium and tells everyone that he needs help because me smokes marijuana. He then gets booed off the stage when Bob Saget stands up and asks “You ever suck d*ck for marijuana?” Funny scene but the message is loud and clear. Marijuana is less addictive than alcohol and tobacco. And in my personal experience marijuana is nowhere near a gateway drug.
BUT WAIT!!! California??? Legal weed??? Not just for medicinal use??? According to CBS 5 news just announced that Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, introduced legislation Monday that could approve the sale and taxing of marijuana for recreational use (if approved by the California Legislature). If taxed California would receive 14 billion annually on marijuana sales.
“With the state in the midst of an historic economic crisis, the move towards regulating and taxing marijuana is simply common sense,” says Ammiano.
Makes sense to me. I think it’s time that the right wing fascist conservatives of America should just step aside and let the Constitution take center plate because the Bible is seriously wearing out its welcome. America was not founded as a Christian nation; in fact a lot of the founding fathers were Atheists. No offense to any Christians out there…
Seen on wall of City Line Avenue apartment building.
My name has been twisted any number of ways since I was born. But I’ve never really come across anyone who denied its existence. Which is why I was shocked when the operator who picked up the phones at Thunderbird Lanes, Willow Grove refused to believe my name was real when I tried to leave a message. When he hung up on me the first time, I was shocked. When he hung up on me the second time, I was outraged. I dashed off a quick email to the manager of the Willow Grove Thunderbird Lanes, Mr. David Zeitz.
Imagine my surprise at receiving a phone call from Mr. Zeitz an hour later. Turned out the manager was also the CEO (something Mithras found out quite a bit ago).
I told him my of my two unpleasant experiences. He apologized. I accepted. C’est tout.
Is officially the best song ever! Yes!
My new fav blog (probably because I’m supposed to write for it) is Adelphia Stories, the brainchild of one M. Axel. I enjoyed this post from Don Bito, PG guest writer extraordinaire! Bito’s latest post, at Adelphia Stories, dishes on the South Street Bridge, her one true love and Inga Saffron. I’m intrigued. (There’s also a post about Skittles vodka, but you didn’t hear that from me.)
But a struggling tourism trade is only half of Philly’s problem. The other, I would argue, more pressing issue, is the fact that we are constantly hemorrhaging the population we have. Of course there are many factors contributing to this, but as a young veteran of city driving I can tell you there is little about city life that frustrates me as much or as often as the traffic situation. And as much as we would like to be forward-thinking and express our architectural creativity, there’s no point in shooting ourselves in the foot in the process. Would I enjoy meandering along a more beautiful, pedestrian-friendly SSB? Absolutely. Would I start a bloody revolution if the city spent $50 million reconstructing a major traffic bridge without improving the flow of traffic?