Saturday, October 23, 2004


Lately, I've been down on Philadelphia. It doesn't take much for me to announce my utter loathing of The City of Brotherly Love. I hate Philadelphia, I simply hate it here. I realize this may be projection as much as anything (a way of dealing with my family woes, employment woes, etc.).
So before I begin what is going to be "a litany of complaints" as Dear Leader puts it, I will point out what I like about Philadelphia:

It's about the only city I know where you can afford to buy a decent house without sending yourself to debtor's prison.
It's very convenient to New York.
There is a lot of history here.

It's a walking city.

There are some very cool people here. Some.


Our public transit is a bad joke. The underground is frequently closed, the trains (and in particular the R7) never run on time, most lines shut down at 12:30, and we have some of the highest fares in the country. Oh, they're probably going to go up again too.

The Historical Commission is more dedicated to knocking down buildings than protecting them.

The city is filthy: the people don't care about it and neither does the muicipal government. Hell, two weeks ago I was stuck behind a garbage truck and I saw the driver throw an empty bottle out of the window.

People are rude in general.

The city lies about how much lead is in the water, and tries to cover it up as well. (Money quote in case the link dies: "Some cities, including Philadelphia and Boston, have thrown out tests that show high readings or have avoided testing homes most likely to have lead, records show.") Maybe that's why I believe my statement so much:

This city is filled with incredibly stupid people. After 5 years of living here I believe that I personally have become more stupid.

The rivers are polluted.

Our city council and our mayor are chronically mired in corruption, patronage deals, and pay-to-play (and the Mayor's Republican challenger was no prize either).

Speaking of government, the state legislature treats Philadelphia as if it wasn't part of the state.

The wage tax sucks.

The whole city stinks. Whether it's subway and alleys that reek of urine and feces, the water treatment plant near Bridesburg, the Rohm and Haas fumes that according to one friend turned the air in Fishtown purple a few years ago, or the aroma of petroleum distilling at the Sunoco plant, this city has a stank to offend each and every nose in the world.

The blue laws surrounding alcohol are more idiotic than Connecticuts (though thankfully nowhere near as bad as Utah's).

The public school system here is as bad a joke as SEPTA, if not worse.

People liek to point to our "thriving" music scene. I agree there are a lot of good bands here, but do they get any airplay at all in this city? We have one free form college staion, WKDU. WXPN, UPenn's station, plays nothing you can't hear on a classic rock station, as well as that awful "singer songwriter folk music." There is nothing like WMBR here. There is nothing like WFMU. The press, including the weekly alternative media, shout hosannas for every new band out there, but once the novelty wears off they fail to offer sustained support. There is nothing at all like the Boston Noise. The rock scene here has NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING on Boston's music scene.

This summer, a developer tried to build luxury Mcmansions in Valley Forge National Park. This in and of itself isn't surprising, since real estate developers are notorious for being craven bastards who would sell their own children into prostitution if the profit margin looked good. No what's surprising is this plan actually almost went forward. But then, what can you expect from a city that once moved to raze Independence Hall to build luxury condos?

Our natural gas company, PGW, has proposed hitting paying customers with an $80 surcharge to cover all the deadbeats whodon't pay. PGW's service, by the way, is typically rotten.

Our senior senator is Arlen Specter, who believes in magic bullets, defended murderer Ira Einhorn, harassed Anita Hill, campaigns as a moderate except when he campaigns as a right-wing extremist, and is known as one of the meanest senators in Congress. He also voted against extending the assault weapons ban, always helpful in a city with a murder rate as high as Philadelphia's.

And our junior senator, Richard Santorum? Dumbest member of Congress since 1998. A man who not only believes that homosexuals shouldn't have the right to sex in their own home, but believes that NOBODY has the right to sex in the privacy of their home (I have a letter from him to prove it). A man who so fervently believes a fetus is a person, that when his wife miscarried they actually brought the fetal remains home so their kids could cuddle it before they buried it. (gotta scroll down).

Our state imports more garbage from its neighbors than any other state in the union.


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