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:

10 May 2009

On Killing Real, and Watching Excellent Musical, Killers

Image from
You know why I've enjoyed freelancing columns for the Inquirer (and the Metro, as well)? Because it reminds me of my A.C. Press days, in which readers often write cogent letters to the editor to express their disagreement with your story, or stance. As in, not littered with profane insults or incoherent arguments.
Like this one, from Jeffrey L. Short of Drexel Hill taking issue with my Thursday piece calling for the death penalty to be studied so it can be levied fairly (not to mention more often). I may not agree with all of what Short says, but it's a good letter:

Government's power to kill
Brian Hickey tells us that society has the right to execute criminals ("It is society's right to execute," Thursday).
I would agree with that proposition, if society had godlike judgment. History and the state of the current legal system have led me to conclude just the opposite: Human society is hopelessly corrupt and tainted with original sin (or hopelessly irrational, if you are secular).
If the demagogues like Hickey get their way, we will wind up with the exact situation he seems to oppose: The innocent will die and the guilty will walk away, chuckling. If you can't trust government to do something like deliver the mail, how can you grant government the power over life and death?
Jeffrey L. Short
Drexel Hill

Clearly didn't devolve into a playground-style verbal spat, and I have mad respect for that. Just three things, though:
1) I clearly disagree with the takeaway,
2) Government corruption does nothing to diminish, say, the evidence they had against Gary Heidnik, Ted Bundy, Osama bin Laden or anybody caught because citizens witnessed their crimes.
3) And why's he gotta go postal and drag the United States Postal Service into this?! Because I sure as hell trust my mailman.
But still, good letter that went against many of the comments posted on the online version. Well done, J.L.S.

Also a well-done to the band, The Killers, whose Camden show I reviewed for You can see the review here. Somehow, I also weaved American Idol into it:
Every last member of the remaining quartet was just a little off on “Rock Week.” Danny, more so than even Allison, who Texting Americana eliminated. That shrieking was unbearable. But he was my pick from the moment he auditioned on, despite Adam’s remarkably talented run. But Adam’s idolization will end in with a final-week loss. Some of middle and southern America are ready for a black President, but there’s no way that the ignorant will vote for a guy who posted pictures of himself kissing another guy.
But even Danny’s Elm Street nightmare rendition isn’t what hurt my musical soul most. Gwen Stefani and Paula Adbul did that all by themselves. Gwen lost every last blonde streak of credibility by with a spastic, vocally sour version of how she’s just a girl, oh little old her.
And Paula, I don’t even know where to begin with what she did while debuting her insufferable single, “I’m Just Here For the Music.” One thing that came to mind was that a circus performer had slid his pet Monchichi into a silver bustier, black stockings and heels with the command of “Do whatever it takes to make people despise music in all its forms.” The other thought was, “I despise music in all its forms, and I refuse to listen to another song. Ever.”


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