BY DAVE ALLEN 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 COVER
CP: Doron Taussig takes a serious look at the many sides of Mayor Mike. It’s a fair-minded deconstruction of the Mayor’s response to the budget crisis and the heat he’s taken, mostly over closing pools, libraries and fire stations and over operating behind closed doors.Taussig posits that there are really five Nutters at work at City Hall, complete with nifty caricatures of each by Evan M. Lopez. I hear the Mayor still answers his own phone, so I’d advise keeping the about-to-drool-on-himself “Nutter the Incompetent” away from the receiver.
Nutter has been accused of making haphazard, poorly informed cuts. As Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez understands it, the mayor failed to give his administrators clear parameters for cutting, leaving the decisions up to them. And the bureaucrats, being bureaucrats, decided to protect the bureaucracy.
It’s far from a total Nutter-buster, though. Even the “professional nitpickers” — Taussig cops to this, and so do I — throw him a bone.
It’s fair to ask whether Nutter’s early budget projections were a bit rosy, but we’ve reached a point where he can’t have been expected to see this coming. Given that everything he’s had to do has been unplanned and reactive, can we really say much about his vision and ability besides, hey, the guy got screwed?
He’s even had to shelve his budding rap career, poor guy. Hang in there, Mike. Your city is still a shining beacon of hope for transplants like me.
PW: After sticking it to evangelical Christians last time out, Steven Wells tackles UFO abductees this week. He’s not just cherry-picking nuts and weirdos, though; according to Bob Gardner, it’s been “E.T., phone Philly” for the last year.
Some of the skepticism may be because Philly has never really been a big UFO town. But this summer, says Gardner, “things went kinda crazy.” Philadelphia had what UFOlogists call “a flap.”
In 2007 there were only five sightings in Philadelphia. In June, July and August 2008, says Gardner, there were 47 sightings in the Philly metro area alone.
“From January through August there were 153 cases in Pennsylvania,” says Gardner. “And 63 of those were in July, which was the single most sightings in any one month in any state. By comparison, California had 32.”
A lot of the sightings have been out in Bucks County, but there’s a UFO group that meets in Fishtown (get on it, Sweeney!) Wells clearly dug deep on this one, and mostly he keeps the snark on ice and lets the UFOlogists tell it themselves. Even the women who seem to have been involved in an “alien/human-breeding scheme.” Seriously. Wells doesn’t have to vent his skepticism, because even the true believers aren’t sure of what they’ve seen. Anything that puts us ahead of California on the bizarre-o-meter can’t be all bad. Your move, Ah-nold.
INSIDE THE BOOK
CP: There’s always room for… Wilmington: Looks like what A.D. might have seen during his drugged-out theater days. More Nutter, fewer answers. Jazz at the Art Museum: Quilt while you’re ahead.
PW: Low on the totem pole: Scarcity in Southwest. Re-joining the Love Train. Adam Erace is down with Bar 210 but not up on his hip-hop; the performer’s name is “Lil Jon.” Feeling fine in 2009? Nah, I’m battening down till Inauguration; things are nuts out there.
WINNER: PW takes it this week, because CP missed a golden opportunity with “The Nutters.” Shoulda been like “The Klumps,” with Eddie Murphy playing everybody and farting a lot.