Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

19 January 2006

Jan. 19 column

January 19, 2006
Platform Diving
by Brian Hickey
About five or six shots of SoCo into a recent Friday night at the bar, the conversation took a marked turn for the absurd. Not quite sure how it got this far, but before long, some strange words left my mouth:
"You know, I really would make a good mayor."
The delusions quickly leapt from semi-grand into the realm of grandeur, thanks to instant polling results from Fairmount that projected the 2007 race at Hickey, 6; Undecided, 2; and everybody else, nada. (OK, maybe someone said they'd vote Milton, but I reckon they were lyin'.)
It meant little that, after another short glass, all six pro-Hickey voters started angling for high-paying administration gigs. The way I saw it, they weren't exposing themselves as fair-weather supporters; they're simply well-learned students of Philly politics.
So after the seventh or eighth shot, the smoky corner-bar air smelled like victory.
The eighth or ninth brought bold declarations of a mandate.

So yeah, I may run for Mayor of Philly next year...

13 January 2006

Pissing off Catholics

January 12, 2006
Bearing True Witness
By Brian Hickey

Hope you had as spiritually renewing a "Justice Sunday" as I did. Rather than dialing up Christian radio and listening to Saints Rick Santorum and Jerry Falwell proclaim their brand of liberty throughout the land from a North Philly pulpit, I watched football.
Two playoff games. A full day. And not once did Samuel Alito come to mind.
After dinner, thanks to the divine wonders of TiVo, I got my daily God fix. It came in the form of a two-day-old episode of The Book of Daniel. NBC's latest attempt to corral its lost-ratings mojo—it comes complete with a walking, talking Jesus—is the story of an Episcopalian minister with a sweet tooth for Vicodin. (Praise God!) His wife's chosen poison is the martini; his birth son's, man-love; and his adopted Chinese son's, the blond daughter of a rich congregant who isn't much for mixed relationships (Can I get an amen?).

In episode one, the minister bails his daughter out of jail after she gets pinched for selling weed. His brother-in-law pilfers some $3.2 million in church funds and dies. The dead man's wife then proclaims her lust for a woman suspected of helping to steal the still-missing loot. Facing the loss of his congregation, the minister seeks help from a Catholic priest who summons some friends to investigate. Friends who turn out to be the mob. (Hallelujah!)
I'd planned to watch the show even before conservative Christians claimed it was nothing short of sacrilege. The program was an example of "anti-Christian bigotry," said the American Family Association. As such, an affiliate in both Arkansas and Indiana pulled the show before it aired. (So much for not judging lest ye viewers have a chance to judge for themselves.)
I quickly found myself agreeing that NBC was sinfully wrong. I didn't want network executives smote, but in an era in which torn-from-the-headlines stories equal big ratings, they disappointed me. My beef? They didn't go far enough. Drugs, fornication and racism are staples of many American homes, not just those of the consecrated. For more ...

Let the letters begin

Well, you bash the church, and you're going to hear about it. The truth hurts, doesn't it?

To the editor:
I know it's fashionable these days to bash Catholic priests. We've moved beyond blind admiration for the Fathers Flanagan, Sullivan and O'Malley. But the vicious attacks that Brian Hickey leveled against the clergy via his fictitious clerics (deviants all) just fans the flames of anti-Catholicism and indicates to what extent your paper is willing to be a sycophantic mouthpiece for the so-called 'progressive' secularists out there in readership land. I'm frankly sick and tired of having my faith ridiculed by every columnist (lapsed Catholic or not) who thinks it's fun to use 'pervert' and 'priest' (or variations thereof) in the same sentence.

And the hypocrisy of City Paper is breathtaking, given the fact that the back of your paper is usually filled with unimaginable filth that poses as 'advertisements.' Maybe you should clean your own house before throwing stones at the admittedly untidy houses of others.


Christine Flowers

Aww, shucks, and here I thought priests who take advantage of YOUNG BOYS might rank a little higher on the sin chart than adults who pay for prostitution. But I digress, and introduce you to the strange world of one Leeroy Jenkins. (Good luck getting him out of your head):

12 January 2006

Thursday morning

So anyway, beyond posting Philly Blunt each Wednesday night (a full couple hours before the paper hits the street, mind you) I'll be using this blog as a place to address issues that can't get into my weekly column ... and to touch on other issues that aren't really fit for publication. Like how I have to hop in the shower now and get to work.

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