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: CP’s Style issue plops an unlikely fashion victim on the cover: mild-mannered firebrand Duncan Black, AKA Atrios, Eschaton’s blogger-in-chief. He’s looking sharp and he’s definitely not in typical blogger-wear. If he’s always looking this good, he won’t be anonymous for long.
“I get recognized every three months or so, which is about the level of public recognition I’m happy with,” says Black. “I don’t hide my identity, but I don’t put a picture up prominently on my site either, so only people who care to search for it will see what I look like.”
Elsewhere, Felicia D’Ambrosio lays out the rules of Philly style…
Style here comes from the most organic place — the fertile dirt of a university town with an art scene and an attitude, a city that belongs as much to the people who make it run as the people who run it.
… and a team of fashionistas makes over a fairly impressive list of Philly notables. The best shots are of Chifa’s Chad Williams, artist Amber Lynn Thompson, and designer Kris Chau. The writeups on each are pretty scant, but the photos really pop. Feast your eyes and consider perking up those threads.
PW: Eddie Alvarez [pictured, below] kicks ass, while Ryan Crawford takes names. If you didn’t follow the world of Mixed Martial Arts before, take notice, because Alvarez, a Kensington native, is taking the sport — once largely underground, but now gaining in mainstream appeal — by storm. Sixteen wins against two loses, and he’s leaving a trail of battered and bloody competitors in his wake:
His accomplishments come at a time when extreme fighting is finally gaining mainstream respect. After decades of being touted as a barbaric sport, Mixed Martial Arts has enjoyed a surge of popularity over the last five years. Once known as the inhumane spectacle that John McCain referred to as human cockfighting, extreme fighting has gone from barbarous game to legitimate combat sport on the same plane as boxing.
The stigma is eroding and endorsement money is flowing. Naturally, when money’s at issue, all things illegal and hated quickly become legal and beloved. Subscriber fees for Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view events raked in more than $220 million in 2006.
Crawford speaks MMA lingo without drinking the bloodthirsty Kool-Aid as he charts Alvarez’s rise from brawling on the streets to entering the Octagon backed by mega-endorsements, and we get to see the humble, sensitive family man behind the unstoppable wreckin’ machine. I probably won’t shell out for pay-for-view to follow Alvarez’s future battles, but in this city, a champ of any kind deserve a hero’s welcome. Glad it didn’t take a roundhouse kick to the face to open our eyes.
INSIDE THE BOOK
CP: Cop-out: Still trashin’ Thrasher. Starfish tearing apart our city: Believe it or not, it’s a business model. Stache Bash: John Oates no longer welcome. An important distinction: African-American chicken and waffles.
PW: Spooning with Fork. Philly’s DA candidates want to throw an old man back in jail. BMac digs through the mail; hilarity ensues. Who doesn’t love a good dick joke?
WINNER: Fighter’s trunks win out over more fashionable duds this week. PW takes it, trapping CP’s leg and cranking its knee joint like a twist-off bottle cap.