April 16, 2015 |
MANY A YOUNGSTER with the sounds of newspaper presses thundering in their dreams had one great wish: They wanted to be a Sandy Grady when they grew up. Sandy could mold a sentence into a work of art, no matter the subject, from boxing to the Olympics to baseball to the political scene, all of which he graced with a fluid style that never seemed to bump. Some of his memorable words still ring like a punch in the funny bone. He once wrote of an unpopular Eagles coach: "He couldn't sell iced tea to a Tasmanian at a dried-up water hole.
April 14, 2015 |
FAR BE IT from me to suggest that elected officials sometimes act in their own interests. But it's hard to look at Dwight Evans these days and not think he's feathering his own nest. Long out of the catbird seat after years in the catbird seat, Evans seems poised to perch again. Last week, he endorsed Jim Kenney for mayor and, along with other Northwest Philly Democratic bigs, thereby invited a critical chunk of African-American votes to back Kenney's candidacy. This is significant because, if history's a guide, most of those votes likely would line up for the leading African-American in the race, state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams.
April 1, 2015 |
That it should come to this! But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two: So excellent a king; that was, to this, Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother That he might not beteem the winds of heaven Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth! Must I remember? Why, she would hang on him, As if increase of appetite had grown By what it fed on: and yet, within a month - Let me not think on't - Frailty, thy name is woman! When it comes to women and Hamlet - Shakespeare's take on dead patriarchs, lustful queens, and avenging scions - the Bard isn't exactly kind.
March 30, 2015
ISSUE | RANDOM ACTS Kind stranger in rain Philadelphia was truly the city of brotherly love last week. My wife, 88, and I, 94, were walking to a medical appointment on 10th Street near Walnut when it began to rain. A young woman saw us and gave my wife her own umbrella, saying, "You better take this. " My wife and I were shocked at such consideration from a stranger. When my wife demurred, the woman said that she could always replace the umbrella. We may never see this kind soul again, but we hope she sees this message of gratitude.
March 28, 2015 |
TRENTON - Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto said Thursday that he doesn't think Republicans have the "political will" to raise taxes to replenish New Jersey's near-depleted fund for transportation projects. For months, Prieto (D., Hudson) and the rest of the Legislature's Democratic leadership have been pushing for a plan to raise revenue for the Transportation Trust Fund, which they had warned would run out of money July 1. "It looks like [Republicans] are heading in a different direction, again kicking the can down the road," Prieto told reporters Thursday.
March 26, 2015 |
IT'S BEEN nearly 33 years since Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of murdering police officer Daniel Faulkner , and although the case has been a hot-button issue because of the trial's fairness and death-penalty sentence, it has come to the fore again in one of the most unlikely places: "The Voice. " As Nick Vadala reported on Philly.com, Philadelphia street performer Anthony Riley has left the show, despite an amazing chair-turning audition that landed him Pharrell Williams as coach.
March 23, 2015 |
On the epic finale of Empire , record mogul Lucious Lyon announced that performers - including Patti LaBelle, Rita Ora, and Snoop Dogg - would donate a percentage of their fees from a benefit concert to Black Lives Matter. It was another example of how - in the shadow of the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police officers, particularly in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y. - current events have seeped into prime time. Television shows often exist in a world in which current events rarely have an effect on the plots.
March 6, 2015 |
Benjamin Netanyahu did a disservice to the U.S.-Israel alliance and the goal of preventing an Iranian bomb by his political grandstanding before Congress this week. If his real goal was to prevent Tehran from getting nukes (and not just to boost his reelection odds or trash President Obama), then he undercut it. Let me count the ways. First: By accepting a Republican invitation to address Congress issued behind Obama's back, the Israeli premier transformed a serious issue into a partisan slugfest.
March 4, 2015 |
The name Margaret Cho instantly brings to mind hot-button political activism and outrageous first-person humor, things you'll find in equal measure during her shows at Helium Comedy Club on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Whether as comedian, actress or author, Cho covers racism, feminism, abuse, LGBT empowerment, sexual liberation, corporate interference, bullying, and more. Her current stage show is titled "There's No 'I' in Team, but there is a 'Cho' in Psycho". She also has had a late-night talk show, All About Sex , which recently completed its first six-episode season on TLC, and documentaries such as Adventures in Comedy . Cho, 42, is still as passionate about stand-up comedy as she was when she first gained national attention in the early '90s for her frank takes on being young, bold, and Korean American.
March 2, 2015 |
For years, Philadelphia fretted about the "brain drain" - college students leaving town as soon as their education ended. That trend has been reversed with millennials - those aged 20 to 34 - now representing the largest group of city residents. Millennials are everywhere - except at polling places on Election Day. The candidates for mayor know that and are trying to solve a political puzzle vexing campaigns across the country: How to get millennial voters, who previously have shown up in force only for historic events such as President Obama's 2008 election, to pay attention to local campaigns?