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:

24 August 2008

The Sunday Funnies and More

Just got done watching the U.S. Men's Basketball "Redeem" Team take out the Spaniards. Good stuff, right? Very right.

In any event, my back's still aching so I've prescribed myself more couch rest, a sentence that enabled me to get through a bunch of reading material. So with no further delay, here are some stories that caught my eye.

Like, the Inquirer's look at the looming Democratic National Convention. It's no coincidence that the biggest night -- Obama Thursday -- will occur inside the new Mile High Stadium. Because it's the home of legends, the two-time Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos, the finest franchise in all of sport. The lead-up nights have a distinctly local flavor, though, with the man who hired John Timoney away from us (Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, who gives a good interview) on "One Nation" Monday, Gov. Rendell and Sen. Casey on "Renewing America's Promise" Tuesday, University of Delaware alum, diehard Birds' fan and our next VP Joe Biden on "Security America's Future" Wednesday.
Seems like the standard angle so far is that Biden can appeal to "working-class voters" who flocked to Hillary during the primary season. I'm getting really tired of the standard angle though, because nobody has the guts to call it what it really is. So, allow me:
They think Biden can chisel his way into the stone heads of bigoted white voters who refuse to pull Obama's lever solely because of the color of his skin. No, babies, we have not come that long a way -- yet.

Hillary's northeast Pennsylvania supports rallying before primary.

Speaking of the University of Delaware, caught an unusual story about three Hens getting robbed at gunpoint after a party just a bit off-campus. It's unusual because that type of crime rarely ended up in the police reports I'd have to scour twice-a-week for The Review.

Meet the new ocean, same as the old ocean? Yep. Medical waste washed ashore in Avalon. They call it a fluke. I call it punishment for chasing the partiers out of town, turning The Princeton into a friggin' Fado cousin and trying to be all hoity toity n'shit. The beaches reopened today (Sunday), but still.

Also in the Inquirer, an obit for Alfred Zappala, a class-act anti-war mainstay whose foster son Sherwood Baker died in Iraq and was featured in the solid Was It Worth It? series that ran under my watch at the paper I used to work at. My thoughts go out to his former wife Celeste Zappala and the rest of Alfred's family.

And finally, a front-page expose on the fact that people text when they shouldn't. Like when they're driving. Or crossing the street. (Emoticon use notwithstanding, a funny read.) My favorite vignette:
Web sites such as (for BlackBerry addicts) and (a mobile social network) carry war stories. One woman toppled a flower display at a funeral. A man at a wedding banged into the bride.

Banged into the bride, did he? Wonder how the groom-to-be felt.

Left to right: 1) Oh no she di'int. 2) Oh yes she di id. 3) Ooh baby, I like it when you text like that. 4) Oh, you too good for me now? 5) Mmm, that's right baby; you mine. 6) Where can I pick up some whipped cream?

From the NYT Magazine, a solid, cover-all-bases piece about Obama's true economic philosophy (Spoiler alert: He's nowhere near as liberal as the GOP-talking-point-regurgitating zombies would have you believe), and a profile of John McEnroe at 50. (Still an American treasure, fo'sho.)

There was a cosmic converence in the mailbox this week. Esquire came first, with Tom Brady on its cover. Then, GQ arrived, with White Jesus girlfriend Gisele sporting a bra, knee-high socks and nothing else but for an unfortunately-placed blanket. Damn you blanket. Damn you straight to hell (or a NE Pa. Hillary rally)!

What I enjoyed most about the Brady piece is that it reminded me of a "manager's retreat" that we had at a place I used to work for at which the boss I used to work for handed out copies of "The Four Agreements," a quick read that resides on the border of self-help and new-age gobbledygook. The story's not online yet, so I'll have to transcribe what writer Tom Chiarella made of a prop designed to help managers smile as they tried to do more (work) with less (resources).
It's a maddeningly sticky read, confoundingly self-apparent and densely self-congratulatory, written in standard new-age prose bilge.

Sounds about right.
As for Gisele in GQ, well, um, there were words next to the pictures, I hear.


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