PAPERBOY: White Punks On Dope Guns Edition

BY AMY Z. QUINN Like time, news waits for no man. Keeping up with the funny papers has always been an all-day job, even in the pre-Internets era. These days, however, it’s a two-man job. That’s right — these days you need someone to do your reading for you, or risk falling hopelessly behind and, as a result, increasing your chances of dying lonely and somewhat bitter. Hey, we know how it is — so many words to read, so little time to surf for free porn. That’s why every week, PAPERBOY does your alt-weekly reading for you, freeing up valuable nanoseconds that can now be better spent roughing up the suspect over at Suicide Girls or what have you. Every week we pore over those time-consuming cover stories and give you the takeaway, susswellscover.jpg out the cover art, warn you off the ink-wasters and steer you towards the gooey caramel center each edition. Why? Because we like you.


PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY: Steven Wells profiles some Philadelphia gun owners who were, in turn, previously profiled in a book all about America’s gun owners, authored by a dude from Jersey who now lives in West Philly. Actually, I take that back — the story’s really about Steven Wells, and how hanging out with gun owners made him feel. Yawn. (Jeff Fusco/Jeff Cassidy photos ARE disturbingly awesome or awesomely disturbing, though)

CITY PAPER: Last week’s CP cover told the kind of story we’ve seen too much of these days — a tale of a dead young black man and how his family and friends are left looking for answers. This week they flip that idea on its head, and instead offer a life-affirming story of friendship, loss and how a very much alive black man found a new life for himself by honoring his dead best friend. Mary Wilson’s solid cover piece introduces us to David Sylvester, who lost his best friend in the World Trade Center, and channeled his grief into a new life mission — biking across continents. He made it across the United States and down the length of Africa before a car accident in West Philly nearly ended it all.

It’s a pretty straightforward story, writing-wise, but that’s OK. Sylvester’s story is affecting enough on its own; the story of how Sylvester was racially profiled in rural Massachusetts would be laugh-out-loud funny if it weren’t so . . . true:

. . . Sylvester walked his bike up to the nearest farmhouse and asked for directions. He didn’t realize that the woman who lived there had called the cops the second she saw him coming. When he got back on the road, a police cruiser pulled up alongside him. The officers asked if he’d seen a “suspicious looking” man on a bike. He said he’d keep an eye out.When they continued eyeing him, Sylvester realized what had happened. “You mean me?” he asked, shocked. “What am I going to do in these spandex shorts?”

Look out, Asia — Sylvester’s knee is healed, and he’s set his sights on that continent next.

cp_2007-08-02.jpgINSIDE THE BOOK

PW: I consider it proof of my loyalty and devotion to my journalistic craft that not only did I read the story about the ventriloquist and her creepy-ass, er, totally artistic dummies, I even looked at the pictures. Good thing the Phawker Health Plan includes visits to a shrink, because I’ll be having nightmares about this one for weeks. Shudder. Ever wondered what happens when an SUV full of drunken crumbs comes crashing into your sitting room? Well, for one thing, you get a bill from the city for the equipment they use to haul the car out of your house. Kia Gregory serves up this little bit of L&I logic in a story about how Lincoln Drive homeowners are sick of out-of-control cars messing up their nice siding. Also? Mmmmm, waffles.

CP: ATTENTION: THERE IS NOTHING CUTESY, FUNNY OR NEW ABOUT THE MISS CRUSTACEAN PAGEANT. So please, everyone stop listing it in your Summer Fun Guides as if it’s anything more than a way for the Ocean City locals to sneer at the shoobies who decide to join in. Bitter? Me? Naaaaah. Did you know Drexel has a figure-skating program? Meet Michael Solonski, would-be architect and — maybe? — future Olympian. You can bet that Luis Navarro, the 16-year-old shot and killed Saturday night for his new dirt bike, will land on the cover of one, maybe both, of the city’s weeklies this fall. In the meantime, Nathaniel Popkin asks us to ponder where we all get off calling Philly a city of “brotherly love” when young brothers are being felled in the street each day.

WINNER: CP, for being ventriloquist-dummy free

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