BY AMY Z. QUINN 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 Thursday we pore over those time-consuming cover stories and give you the takeaway, suss out the cover art, warn you off the ink-wasters and steer you towards the gooey caramel center of each edition. Why? Because we like you.
ON THE COVER
CITY PAPER: Like, didn’t these people get the memo about how we’re not supposed to be reading anything weighty, anything that requires thought and deductive reasoning in the day or two before holiday break? Ah well. Tom Namako offers up a cover story tasty as a holiday ham (that’s cloves you smell, Dad, I swear) examining the impasse over Pennsylvania’s gun laws from several views — including looking up the barrel of a Pike County “sportsman” who sees many of the important nuances in the issue, except where it really counts:
Some of the research Iannantuono refers to is some of the same
inconclusive reports that anti-gun groups use to make their case. It’s
not that laws like one-gun-a-month would hurt Iannantuono — “My wife would kill me if I bought any more guns,” he says — but it’s the idea that gun restrictions penalize people for crimes that can be solved through other, better means.
“It’s where maturity enters the picture,” he says of cities with
high crime rates. “It’s a dysfunctionality. If I’m not mature enough,
if I’m not developed enough morally, spiritually and intellectually to say that if someone disrespects me, I’m not just going to be mad, that I’m going to harm that person … well … ” he trails off. “That’s a
basic human development characteristic that someone missed along the way, that you’re going to be disrespected and go shoot someone. It’s just so out of the realm of rational behavior.”
There’s also state Rep. Kate Harper, who lives close enough to the city to realize that some sensible gun reform is in order and is feeling the wrath of her constituents. And Vince Fumo, shuckin’ and jivin’ his way to target practice, and everyone and his grieving mother agreeing that there are too many guns on the streets of Pennsylvania’s cities, but disagreeing on . . . everything else.
I do have to say, I wasn’t in love with the cover art or the headline, both of which seemed a little bit flippant compared to the seriousness with which Namako (rightly) approaches the topic. Not the right place for a “Christmas Story” reference.
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY: Steven Wells finds exactly the warmhearted holiday tale to warm the cockles of yer cold, dead heart, checking in with “the” athiests, who bravely wage their moral war against Melchior, Balthazar and Gaspar despite ongoing oppression from schoolchildren dressed as angels.
“Christians don’t own Christmas,” says [noted atheist Margaret] Downey. “If they did, you’d have Jesus grottos in department stores. You’d have kids sitting in the Virgin Mary’s lap.”
Back in West Chester, such subtleties are lost on Santa. “You’re being hypocritical!” he shouts. “That’s a Christmas tree. I’m a Christian. Jesus is the reason for the season!”
Santa storms off angrily before the startled atheists can point out
that dressing as an old pagan fertility god (who was co-opted by the
churches and was then co-opted again by the retail industry), and then heckling others for “stealing” Christmas, verges on the surreal.
Surreal, you say? Like when you realize this is the same woman we can probably thank for making the Boy Scouts of America pay the price for their God fearin’, gay hatin’ ways. In this story, the defenders of Christmas are all loonies, the atheists are smart and logical, and the person who gives the real money quote — the perfectly articulated one that frames the entire issue in one perfect paragraph — is an anonymous source. Meh.
And then there are the nonjoiners, like 33-year-old Mathilda, a Philadelphian who won’t give her real name. She sees no reason to leave Christmas to the Christians.
“To me Christmas means eggnog lattes and gingerbread cake at Starbucks and hanging out with my Jewish family at the movies,” she says. “I also just got an awesome winter wonderland snow globe at Target. Sure, it plays that sucky ‘Santa’s coming to town’ song, but it’s cool.”
Mathilda says she’s “a reasonable and tolerant person.”
“My problem is that sentiment isn’t returned — like the boycott of The Golden Compass. That pisses me off. Pledging allegiance to one nation ‘under God’ pisses me off. That my right to choose an abortion is constantly being questioned and threatened pisses me off. That when I travel outside of the country, everyone I meet assumes I’m a fucking moron God-fearing, self-righteous American pig pisses me off. Nancy Grace, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Arlen Specter piss me off. Christian bumper stickers piss me off. I could go on.”
No really, please don’t, unless you want to tell us your name. Otherwise your righteous indignation don’t mean shit.
INSIDE THE BOOK
CP: A little schoolin’ on what the separation of church and state are supposed to mean. Should PennDOT subsidize business owners feeling the squeeze of road work on Germantown Ave? He’s a media overlord, you dyke bitch !
PW: Not sure if I missed this last week or what, but it’s worth checking out Jeff Fusco’s gorgeous black-and-white photo slideshow of the installation of John, Cardinal Foley. Is Atlantic City’s Irish Pub and Inn really a “dive”? Does anyone care? I must take exception with Matt Prigge’s list of six hideous (and by hideous we mean violent and disturbing) holiday-related movies for its unforgivable omission of the horror classic Silent Night, Deadly Night. Do the words “homicidal, ax-wielding Santa” mean nothing to you people?
WINNER: The godless heathens of PW