Thursday, December 01, 2011
“This is a classic slingshot.”
Please feel encouraged to call the Philadelphia Magazine office and demand a public apology from them for disparaging The Mummers. Here's their number: 215.564.7700
Let me quickly go over what happened. Philadelphia Magazine printed on page 72 of their December 2011 issue a list of “THINGS WE NEED TO GET RID OF.” The Mummers were on that list.
Frank Sherlock showed it to me. We were hanging out and he said I wouldn’t believe it. It shot through me. I mean to say like an enormous encapsulated bullet of hateful set of problems that have more to do with class than anything since the mummers are working class. All of them. This is a working class town, Philly.
But I was so angry! And I went onto Philadelphia Magazine’s Face Book page and demanded that they write an apology to the citizens of Philadelphia, AND OF COURSE to The Mummers. They ignored me completely at first. So I kept writing, making clear that none of us are blind to the fact that their magazine caters to the very wealthy, elite, advertising 600 dollar dinners, etc.
Soon enough they blocked my entrance onto the site. I went to the office. And everyone should know right away that my office visit was LITERALLY nothing but polite, right from the beginning! I didn’t STORM IN YELLING! I walked into 1818 Market Street and said hello to the receptionist, who in turn said hello to me.
I told her that I would like to speak to the online editor. She asked me to take a seat, and I did. There was a beautiful Calder on the wall, under glass. WOW! And the view was of course a 600 dollar view of the city, 36 floors high.
A few minutes later she asked what I wanted to speak to an editor about. I told her that I was there for two things. 1) To find out exactly who wrote the list saying that the mummers SHOULD LEAVE TOWN! 2) To ask for a public apology to The Mummers and to Philadelphia.
This city does not belong to the rich. This is Philadelphia. This is the city where working class people DESTROYED the transit company nearly a century ago after their hit squad murdered peaceful strikers on Broad Street. NO ONE took the trolley, everyone started walking to work and put them out of business! This is the same Philadelphia who STILL lives here! I can feel and believe this.
After I explained my reason for coming to the office the mood changed dramatically. Instantly actually. I was told NO ONE was in. Which is ridiculous of course. I said, oh, are they all on lunch break? I can wait. I was handed a business card to contact one of their editors by email. The shake-off. I said, no, I’ll wait here to speak to someone in person.
Now you’re being removed. I was told this. Security came. Then the police were called, and I showed page 72 to one of the men who said he knows people who are mummers, which of course is easy to believe since there are so many mummers. But he said I still had to leave the building. I understood.
The reason I’m writing this is because of the misinformation Philadelphia Magazine is now saying about me. The magazine’s arts and entertainment editor Victor Fiorillo wrote on Zoe Strauss’s Face Book page, “CA, Philadelphia Magazine blocked you not because you were demanding an apology, but because you were spamming the page. And now you've been arrested.” What an asshole. What a smug, corporate-humping prick!
The truth is that they were embarrassed by what I was saying. And they gloated over my removal from the office on Face Book. Oh, and while I was being escorted OUT, one of the magazine’s enforcers said that I was to be arrested if I ever stepped foot inside the building again. NICE!
10 THINGS TO GET RID OF. Get rid of. We GET RID OF things of no use. Right? Philadelphia Magazine is SAYING that The Mummers are of no use. They are saying that mainly because they are extremely uncomfortable with working class people and this is an all-out, 100 percent working class event, The Mummers Parade on New Years Day.
I’ve spent my entire life watching working class people get cut, and cut, and CUT deeper into the disappearing edges of this world. Nearly everyone in my family works – or has worked – in factories. I’ve heard countless stories of company abuse, and watched aunts and uncles die breathtakingly and heartbreakingly too young.
Get rid of? When I worked in retail in the elite, posh Rittenhouse Square neighborhood of Philadelphia I made a point on New Years Day of saying to customers, “Happy Mummers Day!” They HATED IT! I can still remember the sneers, snickers, rolling eyes, and the occasional, “You mean NEW YEARS DAY!”
We are STILL the same city who has told company bosses and corporations to fuck themselves. I can feel and believe this. And what Philadelphia Magazine does when they say that the mummers are SO INSIGNIFICANT that they should be gotten rid of is PROOF that it is the wealthy one percent they speak for. Philadelphia Magazine has TODAY PROVEN that they are in fact not at all interested in the 99 percent of Philadelphians who make this city shine! I’ve met the rich of this town, and they’re a bunch of fucking bores! And Victor Fiorillo is just another bellhop carrying their bags with a grin! CHUMP!
FUCK PHILADELPHIA MAGAZINE, AND FUCK THEIR ELITE AUDIENCE!
But LOVE for Philadelphia, where I learned to love the world!