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Archive for April, 2010


Friday, April 30th, 2010

A.P. takes on Comcast-Spectacor chairman Ed Snider for continuing to shove his Republican views down the throat of a city that is overwhelmingly Democratic.

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EARLY WORD: Takin’ It To The Streets

Friday, April 30th, 2010


Location: Meet at Broad St. and South St.; Headhouse Square, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Time: 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Date: Saturday, May 01, 2010

In over 300 cities worldwide, supporters of marijuana law reform take to the streets to protest prohibition policies and demand the changes that are inevitable. Legalization and regulation of cannabis hemp for all purposes – industrial, medicinal, recreational, and religious – it doesn’t matter why you support marijuana legalization, come out and join hundreds to thousands of your fellow reform advocates here in beautiful downtown Philadelphia. Our route begins at the intersection of Broad St. and South St. where participants meet beginning at 3:00PM. At 4:20 the march begins east on South St. until we arrive at Headhouse Square at 2nd St. and Lombard St. Speakers, vendors, and music will be awaiting the crowd of over a thousand people at Headhouse Square. Speakers include Senator Daylin Leach, who will be introducing a medical marijuana bill in the Senate shortly, local reform activists, and others TBA. Participants are encouraged to wear costumes, be artistic, make floats, whatever creative thing you can think of to get in the spirit of things.  MORE

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CINEMA: Enter Sandman

Friday, April 30th, 2010

noes_poster.jpgA NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (2010, directed by Sam Bayer, 95 minutes, U.S.)


What could it be but nostalgia that took me to the Riverview theater last night for a 12:01 am screening, losing valuable sleep in order to catch the first showing of Nightmare on Elm Street, Michael Bay’s rebooting (oh, I’m starting getting sick of that word) of the long-running horror film series? Seeing the original way back in 1984 was one of my giddiest teen-age movie memories, discovering the character of child killer Fred Krueger with other kids who like me worked at the multiplex mall theater in Christiana, Delaware. My fondness for Wes Craven’s original is probably rooted in that experience but the film cagily tapped some of the primal dread of his notorious Last House on the Left while adding a much more palatable coating of fantasy.

Twenty-six years later, was the movie as fun, was it half as fun, as it was on that spooky and excited night of my youth?  Well no, of course not; you can’t go home again nor am I afraid can you go back to Elm Street.  If making Freddy wrestle Jason Vorhees of the Friday the 13th series in his last appearance (2003’s Freddy Vs. Jason) wasn’t a sign things have run their course, this cautious and overly-reverent remake withers under the responsibility of not just supplying some creepy scares but of setting the stage for a whole new string of sequels.  Much like the re-workings producer Bay has carried out with Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street takes the mangy, disreputable spirit of the original and turns it into professionally directed, carefully measured teen fodder.  The old series is at turns corny, stupid and crazy but it has never been this boring.

It opens well, inside a dreamy late night diner where a loose-knit group of teens sit at nearby booth, slowly realizing that they are all being haunted by the same dreams of a mysterious man in a striped sweater.  When a few of them die off in deaths modeled after those in the original series, Quentin and Nancy (Kyle Gallner and Rooney Mara, as long-in-the-tooth high school students) play sleep-deprived detectives looking to answer the mystery of their connection to this strange Fred Krueger.  This gives the one star in the cast, the current madman of choice Jackie Earle Haley, a few scenes of backstory as the pre-burned Fred Krueger, school handyman and ultimately a victim of a lynch mob, once the parents are convinced he has molested their children.   In the script by Wesley Strick (screenwriter of Scorsese’s Cape Fear remake), there are echos of deeper ideas: has the parent’s guilty secret come home to roost in their children, who are abusing drugs and self-mutilating to escape their crazy dreams?  Is Freddy really guilty of the parent’s accusations? These ideas are dispensed of in the most boring way possible, because this rebooting isn’t the kind of re-imagined work Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale was for Bond or The Dark Knight Returns was for Batman.  Instead it is like a re-recorded Greatest Hits, hitting the same notes and playing the same tune, only lacking the surprise and verve of the original rendition, with a restrained direction that eschews modern flash for a flat-footed eighties-like style.  Boringly competent and never fun, this new rendition is a Nightmare you’ll easily forget by the morning.

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NEWS CLUES: Like A Sticky Bear Trap Of Truth

Friday, April 30th, 2010


newsweek.jpgThe new owners of The Inquirer have selected Gregory J. Osberg, former president and worldwide publisher of Newsweek and, to be the publisher and chief executive officer of the paper’s parent company. A native of Paoli and a graduate of Conestoga High School, Osberg, 52, most recently was president and chief executive of Buzzwire Inc., a mobile-media company that provides content and video for mobile phones. He has previous experience running an Internet-based recruitment service. Osberg called himself a “change agent” and saw his role, in part, to challenge the company to more fully embrace the opportunities offered by the digital world. His appointment underscores the stated desire of the new ownership group to position the company to take advantage of the growing reliance on the Internet as a source of news and a place of commerce. His personal goal for the company, he said, is to position it as the most successful local media company in the country. “Someone has to be the first regional media company to figure out the successful model,” he said, referring to the challenge of moving a fading print product to a digital world which, at the moment, has proved less lucrative. “Why can’t it be us in Philadelphia?” [via PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER]


yogi-bear.jpgCharles W. Olsen Jr., 39, of Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, was found guilty today of illegally killing a 707-pound bear over bait during the 2009 hunting seasons, and ordered to pay fines and restitution of $6,800, plus court costs, according to Pennsylvania Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO) Vic Rosa, of Wyoming County. The origins of the case began when Luzerne County WCO Cory Bentzoni became suspicious when he saw a truck loaded with pastries from a local store traveling along Route 309 in Dallas, Luzerne County. “It was about one week from the opening of the statewide bear season, and I thought that something illegal might be underway,” WCO Bentzoni said.  “Being that we were so close to bear season, seeing that person drive by with an unusual amount of pastries was like watching an individual go down a row of parked vehicles testing each handle to see if it would open.  Something just didn’t seem right. However, as ‘possession of pastries’ is not an unlawful offense, there was no probable cause that would have permitted me to pull him over and question him, so I did the only thing I could; I wrote down the truck’s license plate number, found that it was registered to Olsen and then instructed all Game Commission personnel operating bear check stations throughout the region to notify me if Olsen brought a bear into one of the check stations.” [via PR NEWSIRE]


handicap-stripper.thumbnail.jpgA Quakertown waitress who told her employer she hurt her back on the job and could no longer work was apparently not in so much pain that she couldn’t shake her money maker. Christina Gamble, 43, of 2 Braxton Court, Quakertown was arrested today on workers compensation fraud charges after authorities discovered she was working as a stripper at C.R. Fanny’s Gentlemen’s Club and Sports Bar in Wilson while collecting benefits. Gamble told her employer on Nov. 9, 2007, that she slipped and fell during her shift, hurting her back, and quit before her shift ended. Her former employer, Red Robin, submitted an accident report to its insurance carrier three days later, according to the Attorney General’s Office. A year later, in November 2008, after a workers compensation judge awarded her benefits, Gamble allegedly told her doctor she could not work, and that standing and changing positions were difficult. Eight days later, Gamble was observed by private investigators working as an exotic dancer in Wilson, the Attorney General’s Office. [via THE MORNING CALL]

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THE BLOB: Oil Enters The Mouth Of The Mississippi; ‘Drill, Baby, Drill!’ Choir Uncharacteristically Silent

Friday, April 30th, 2010


THE GUARDIAN: The US coastguard is investigating reports that oil from the Deepwater Horizon rig has begun washing ashore near the mouth of the Mississippi river. Yesterday the coastguard said up to 5,000 barrels a day were flowing into the sea – five times the rate previously estimated – as an assistant chief at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said he was “frightened for the country”. Louisiana has declared a state of emergency and the White House said the president and the joint chiefs of staff were being briefed regularly on the situation. Yesterday Barack Obama said BP was “ultimately responsible” for the spill. A spokesman confirmed that the US national coastguard had received reports of the oil washing bp-viet-cong.thumbnail.jpgashore. He said officials from the coastguard and BP were out investigating the reports, and would make an announcement later today. Last night NOAA said persistent winds from the south-east were forecast through the weekend, which would continue to push the oil ashore. It has declared the incident a “spill of national significance”, defined as: “A spill that, due to its severity, size, location, actual or potential impact on the public health and welfare or the environment, or the necessary response effort, is so complex that it requires extraordinary co-ordination of federal, state, local, and responsible party resources to contain and clean up the discharge.” The designation allows for a wider federal response, with funds and assets being used from around the country, particularly from other coastal areas. “I am frightened for the country, for the environment,” said David Kennedy, assistant chief of the National Ocean Service at NOAA. “This is a very, very big thing, and the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind-boggling.” MORE

drill_baby_drill_large.gifSALON: Of all the politicians and pundits who urged the nation to “Drill, baby, drill” and “Drill here, drill now,” only Rush Limbaugh seems willing to venture an argument. Or rather a conspiracy theory, insinuating that terrorists decided to blow the rig to celebrate Earth Day. He doesn’t seem to realize that an oil spill caused by terror would be just as devastating as a spill caused by error, and is an equally powerful reason not to drill. Nobody will ever support drilling more avidly than Palin, who instantly rejected Obama’s proposal to permit ocean drilling where it has previously been prohibited. “Behind the rhetoric lie new drilling bans and leasing delays; soon to follow are burdensome new environmental regulations. Instead of ‘drill, baby, drill,’ the more you look into this the more you realize it’s ‘stall, baby, stall,'” she complained. Soon, perhaps, we will  be able to imagine how much more oil could be pumped onto the beaches and wetlands if we got rid of all those burdensome rules. MORE

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EARLY WORD: Another Brian Jonestown Massacre

Thursday, April 29th, 2010


June 8th at the TLA.

PREVIOUSLY: 15 Essential Rock Artifacts Unearthed In 2005

By Jonathan Valania

1) Patti Smith Horses: 30th Anniversary Legacy Edition (Arista)
As the high priestess of punk, Smith revived the shamanistic notion that words could be strung like Christmas lights, and — when whipped around like donovan_sunshinef.jpgwhirling dervishes atop three-chord garage rock — could open the portal of the ecstatic.

2) Bruce Springsteen Born to Run: 30th Anniversary Three-Disc Set (Sony)
After two commercial duds, the suits demanded a hit or else. Written as a time-lapse snapshot of one long summer night in the teenage jungleland of Jersey.

3) Donovan Try for the Sun (Sony)
Deathless acid-folk from the land of peace, pot and microdot.

4) No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (Paramount)
Best thing on public television since Sesame Street.

5) Talking Heads Brick (Rhino/Wea)
All eight studio albums remixed to sound like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Just kidding.

6) Flaming Lips Fearless Freaks (Shout! Factory)
Unflinching home movie about a bunch of Okie space cadets who clicked their heels three times and wound up somewhere over the rainbow.

7) DJ Shadow Endtroducing … : Deluxe Edition (Island)
Alchemical turntablist clones groovy Frankensteins out of the recombinant DNA of semiprecious vinyl. Nine years later beat scientists are still trying to bjm-dig.jpgfigure out how he made this monster mash.

8) Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (Domino Reissue)
This is still the king of carrot flowers. Come back wherever you are.

9) Dig! (Palm Pictures)
The Dandy Warhols’ guitarist nails it when he predicts that in 10 years his band will likely be forgotten but people will still be buying Brian Jonestown Massacre albums.

10) James Segrest and Mark Hoffman Moanin’ at Midnight: The Life and Times of Howlin’ Wolf (Pantheon)
Documenting the hard-time-killing-floor life of the spookiest-voiced bluesman to crawl out of the Delta ooze and walk like a man in Chicago.

11) The Man Who Fell to Earth (Criterion)
Red-haired, lizard-eyed and cocaine-thin, David Bowie plays the titular extraterrestrial in Nicholas Roeg’s navel-gazing 1976 study of the metaphysics of alienation and ambiguity.

12) Peter Guralnick Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke (Little, Brown)
He sang like an angel and died like a pimp: naked, chasing a hooker and staring down the wrong end of a gun. He was only 33 when he went to oldies stooges-fun-house.jpegheaven.

13) Various Artists One Kiss Can Lead to Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost and Found (Rhino/Wea)
She’s goin’ to the chapel and she’s gonna get married and she’s gonna cut that bitch Sheila if she even looks at her man again.

14) Ramones Weird Tales of the Ramones (Rhino/Wea)
Their genius wasn’t that they really only had one song. It’s that you can listen to it 85 times in a row and never get tired of it.

15) Stooges Fun House (Elektra/Wea)
Thirty-six years old and they still make Metallica sound like pussies.

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DEENEY VS. DISTEFANO: The Future Of Newspaper Journalism Is ‘Location, Location, Location’

Thursday, April 29th, 2010



DISTEFANO: The creditors hung on and bested the hometown investors because they believe we, the people who put together, distribute and sell the news, features and investigative reporting assembled daily under veteran Inquirer editor Bill Marimow and frugal Daily News boss Mark Frisby can make them more money than if they grabbed the best offer and ran. MORE

DEENEY: One component of the price is the company’s real estate, including its building at 400 N. Broad St. and its printing plant near Conshohocken, which was valued at $30 million. The new owners might ultimately decide to sell the real estate later to recoup more of the $318 million in debt that banks and other financial institutions were owed dude, this is a real estate deal primarily the new owners are betting on a rebound in the real estate market at which point they will convert the inky headquarters into condos. I think they’ll convert the printing press to condos, too, it’s in a pretty sweet spot on River Road in Conshohocken. MORE

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SEX IN THE CITY: Men I’ve Dated

Thursday, April 29th, 2010


BY GLORIA MARIS Ever date someone who was so gorgeous and witty and talented that you couldn’t believe they were slumming it with you? He’s a performance artist, actor, and filmmaker. When he lived in Philly he paid his bills by working for a moving company. He didn’t need to belong to a gym. Some large two-digit percentage of his body was tattooed, most of it professionally, some of it half-covering a few old scratches that looked as though he’d done them himself.

We met at a weekly artists’ social night shortly after I moved to Philadelphia, when I was still married. After my husband and I split, he wasn’t in the immediate wave of men in that circle of friends who started hitting on me — he waited until he was between girlfriends, instead.

There’s a coffee shop around the corner from my home, and we met there. It was unusual to see him in daylight. He knew me as someone who dabbled in experimental films and worked on a couple of local productions. I explained that before filmmaking I’d worked for about 10 years in the dot-com industry. “The 1990s were great,” I said. “If you could just say the word Internet you could get forty grand a year and free pizza and beer until you tripled your body weight.”

“I don’t know what the Internet is for,” he responded, “other than porn.”

We slept together only twice, I think. Most of the time I was speechless that someone so hilarious, talented, and ripped would bother to spend time with me. I don’t know what his motivations were: Curiosity about someone who works 9 to 5, rather than artist’s hours? Had he heard something about me from another filmmaker? Simply trying to get through a dry spell? We didn’t exactly have much in common to talk about, and our conversations were limited.

He quit seeing me very soon. He met a burlesque dancer (or was she a roller-derby skater? Likely both) whose name is a flower and who must be ten years younger than myself. He was shy about it. I approached him after one of the artists’ social nights, and I asked him if he’d like to share a cab home with me. He hemmed and hawed a little, so I said, “Ah. So you don’t want to come home with me. That’s OK.” I smiled.

“Well, no. I mean, I do,” he said. “But I don’t think she’d like me to,” and he indicated the dancer. MORE

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WHY SO SERIOUS: Glenn Beck Has Lost One Third Of His Television Audience Since January

Thursday, April 29th, 2010


MEDIA MATTERS: Let’s put Beck’s ratings into context. Yes, in the world of cable news, his numbers are impressive, and virtually any host would be happy to have them. But look how far Glenn Beck has fallen recently. In late January and into February, the program was averaging 3 million viewers each week. And late last year, the show spent month after month flirting with that figure. Today, the viewership is trending around 2 million (Last week it was exactly 2.01 million viewers.) — which means that in a span of just three months, Glenn Beck has lost nearly one-third of its television audience.And that has to be sending up all kinds of red flags inside Fox News, which already struggles to find any big-name advertisers to fill out the commercials on the controversial show. Keep in mind, there are more than 200 companies that have gone on the record as saying they will not buy ad time on Glenn Beck’s show. Applebee’s? No. AT&T? No. Bank of America? No. Best Buy, Campbell Soup, CVS, Ditech, Farmers Insurance Group, GEICO, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Lowe’s, Nutrisystem, Procter & Gamble, Progressive Insurance, RadioShack, Sprint, State Farm Insurance, The UPS Store, Travelers Insurance, Verizon Wireless, Vonage, or Wal-Mart?


Corporate America (aka the beloved free marketplace) wants nothing to do with Beck. (Sort of like the NFL wanted nothing to do with Rush Limbaugh last year.) Today, there are less than a handful of nationally recognized advertisers who appear willing to purchase air time on Glenn Beck. Think about the deep, deep discounts Fox News likely has to offer the remaining advertisers in order to get them to come aboard. (And the show is supposed to be a hit.) Now add to that equation the fact that Glenn Beck has lost 1/3 of its audience since January, and you can see where this is heading for Fox News. How soft are Beck’s current ratings? He’s now posting the type of numbers that his show used to get when he was on vacation and somebody less famous stood in for him, like when he took a few days off in late March and his show averaged 1.9 million viewers. Beck’s been back from his March vacation for weeks now, but his ratings are roughly the same as when he wasn’t even there. MORE

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NPR FOR THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t

Thursday, April 29th, 2010


listen.gifFRESH AIR

“Song of Myself ” captures in a particular voice and at a particular moment something alive, generous, and hopeful in the developing culture of the United States, and it escaped, almost immediately, the bonds of its fervent nationalism: it became a way forward in the twentieth century for poets all over the world — in Latin America and Russia and Portugal and China and India and North Africa. For all its fame, the poem and the years during which it came into being are something of a mystery — one that has been studied by Whitman’s many biographers. (My favorite is Paul Zweig’s Walt Whitman: hass200_custom.jpgThe Making of a Poet) Son of an alcoholic carpenter with a large and troubled family, the young Walt Whitman had only a few years of formal education. He was an office boy at eleven, a journeyman printer at fourteen, a school master in the farm country of Long Island at seventeen, and a journalist for hire at twenty-two in the booming suburb of Brooklyn, where he also became a flaneur, an appreciative stroller, of Manhattan across the river, the new urban world of the crowded and bustling nineteenth century. He churned out newspaper articles and book reviews and theater and art reviews and editorials. He wrote a very mediocre and melodramatic novella on the evils of drink. He was during those years — as he described it — “simmering, simmering.” In 1855, from his reading — English romantic poetry, American poetry and philosophy, German philosophy, history, popular science — from his daydreams, from a brief stint in New Orleans as an editor and the glimpses of the country he got in his travel there and back, from his mother’s Quaker heritage and his father’s workingman’s democratic rationalism, from the air he breathed in the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan, their commerce and idioms, and from the flood of life he had made it his profession to observe, came this altogether unexpected poem.  MORE

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LOL: Afghan GI’s Recreate Lady Gaga Video

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Pretty sure this is why the terrorists hate us.

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TONITE: Welcome To The Liberation

Thursday, April 29th, 2010


Sonic Liberation Front
Tonight, Thursday, Apr 29, 9:30 pm
Tritone Bar, 1508 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146-1636
(215) 545-0475  $5

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Hitler NOT Happy About The Sale Of Philly Papers

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

RELATED: Senior Lenders Outbid Local Investors, Purchase Inky/DN for $139 Million; Tierney Out [h/t to PHILLYGRRL]

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Via BuzzFeed

Cost of the War in Iraq
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