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. That’s why every week, PAPERBOY does your alt-weekly reading for you. 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 center. Why? Because we love you!
ON THE COVERS
CITY PAPER: Let me get this straight, now. There are folks in Pennsylvania who breed dogs out of their homes, dozens and dozens of litters a year, who then sell those dogs for money — yet they have trouble understanding why they should be made to be licensed as commercial dog breeders and have to comply with the same standards and inspections as larger commercial kennels?
At first blush, much of this sounds sensible. Indeed, proponents say that, if enforced, the amended laws will finally protect the pups in Pennsylvania’s infamous puppy mills . . . But to owners worried about reconfiguring or rebuilding kennels, regulating temperature or paying extra vet bills for things they’ve always done themselves, the proposals seem draconian and punitive. They fear that their legitimate businesses will be collateral damage in the state’s attack. Instead of improving the welfare of canines, the whole thing is threatening to disintegrate into a statewide culture war over the role of dogs in people’s lives.
We’ve got Gov. Rendell, (lover of Golden Retrievers and HRC), a state agency called the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, claims from “hobby breeders” that the governor’s on some kind of doggie crusade, and a big fat news peg with the Oprah thing. I especially like all the hotheaded rhetoric the dog breeders throw around — one guy claims Rendell’s goal is “the elimination of animal ownership.” *Rolls eyes* Nicely done all around. Also, gorgeous border collie nomnomnom doggie! I want to bring that dog to my yard and throw a ball with him.
PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY: Lengthy cover piece examines Philly’s jazz scene, a mere 12.5 years after PW’s “first annual” jazz issue. Lots of names, a good bit of history, and shoutouts to more jazz bars than you can shake a (drum)stick at. Fearlessly tightrope-walking that line between authoritatively written and too Inside Baseball.
“The chemistry here right now is really exciting,” says Gene Coleman, a composer, bass clarinetist and music curator for the Slought Foundation, a PMP grant recipient. “Something is happening that wasn’t happening five years ago.”
It may never be New York, where you’d have to clone yourself to take in all the “microclimates” available in a given week. But a Philly night with three simultaneous can’t-miss shows doesn’t seem rare at this point. J. Michael Harrison, host of The Bridge on WRTI-FM, recalls a time “when I felt I had to go to New York to check out the music, and I don’t feel that way anymore. I talk to people down in Atlanta and other places, and they’re not getting it like we do.”
From the sounds of it, there’s plenty to be had here, but no one venue, artist or festival which ties it all together in a quantifiable “scene.” Though, does Philadelphia’s jazz scene need, and can it support, a MegaBankArts Jazz Festival (sponsored by PW)?
CP: Hey look! It’s Papertrigger! We knew ’em when they were in short pants, I tell ya. Some lady who likes to wear high heels is running for the state Senate, managing to sound fairly uninteresting despite her assertions to the contrary; Brian Howard buys a house, urges you to not stalk Stephen Colbert but please take pictures if you do.
PW: Dan McQuade christens a new online column about drugs by poking holes in the idea that big seizures of drugs by cops actually mean fewer drugs on the street. “By The Numbers,” aPSA about the city’s homicides showing during the Philadelphia Film Festival, packs a lot into a minute; twists and turns, but still no closure, in the case of Peggy Reber.
WINNER: Hmm. . . I dunno. CP has that cute little doggie, while PW’s cover reads like a proposal to a bank for why they should finance a Jazz Festival. Call it a draw.