Archive: January, 2009
For a while there, it looked like Philly was poised to become the Eastern capital of wind power. In 2004, PECO gave citizens the option of purchasing wind energy to power their homes and businesses. Two years later, Gamesa, the second-largest maker of wind turbines in the world, opened three manufacturing facilities in Bucks County. And then the city really got serious about wind power — by involving its beloved football team. Last year, the Eagles announced that wind energy would power its training complex and Lincoln Financial Field.
Unfortunately, the region's wind industry has reached a roadblock. This month, Gamesa said that it will close its blade-manufacturing branch in Bucks County, laying off 184 workers. The branch will relocate to western Pennsylvania, where there is more physical space to make larger blades. The Philadelphia region can't really compete with that. But, as Hamida Kinge reported in Next American City, Gamesa faces another problem:
“We have lost a generation of skills in this country because manufacturing has been shipped overseas,” says Peck, “and we now need to retrain our people in key manufacturing areas to keep up with the renewable energy sector.” In the past, Gamesa has had to send some of its green-collar workers to Spain for training.
The good news is that Bucks County seems to be on top of this:
Now, “Bucks County Community College is our primary source of training,” Peck says. The college performs on-the-job and technical training and is currently putting together a professional development program for the company’s management team.
But is that enough to keep Gamesa here? If President Obama keeps his word on doubling the country's use of renewable energy, then wind power will certainly play a role in that. Here's hoping that Philly will, too.
Damnit, UO. Now I can't buy your cute frocks.
In days past, Urban Outfitter's catalogs were somewhat classy. Yes, almost every picture was of a half-stoned girl in an extremely elegant dress emerging out of the woods. But they were usually covered up and naturally pretty, and the graphic artists decorated the page with ink drawings of bird, trees and flowers. It was wonderfully whimsical, really.
All of that went to hell in the spring 2009 catalog. Philly-based UO have ditched their respectable advertising strategy and replaced it with American Apparel's. Which it to say, they're making porn now. The new catalog is full of side-boobs, side-bums and maybe even a little side-vagina. Yes, you read the last bit right. UO is so committed to emulating American Apparel that they've one-upped their rivals and invented a new way of showing someone's privates without, 'ya know, showing them completely. Also, all of the models look 15 years old, and their despondent expressions make them appear stoned — on H, not on weed.
This sucks, because I have to boycott you now, UO. I stopped walking into American Apparel because I felt like a perv, and now you've went and done the same thing. Good riddance, side boobs.
We've got some explaining to do. Last month, the Arts Agenda section vanished from the paper. It didn't even leave a note. At the same time, the listings for galleries, museums, readings/book signings and performing arts suddenly started appearing in the Agenda section.
So what gives? Arts Agenda and Agenda got married. (Actually, I guess you'd call it "eloping," since they did it slyly.) It makes sense if you think about it — before, it was unclear why there was both an Arts section and an Arts Agenda section. Now there's only one. And besides, they didn't even have to change last names when they got married.
But I'm done anthropomorphizing newspaper sections. The important point here is that there are often fewer listings in the print version of City Paper than before. Sometimes you may not see "Adults, etc." or "Volunteers" in print — but they will always, always be available online at citypaper.net/agenda_search. I thought that most people knew about our online listings, but then I got inundated with e-mails from people who thought we had flushed them down the toilet. We haven't, so please let your friends who aren't Internet heads know: They'll always be alive and well right here on the Web.
Don't know what to do tonight? Don't worry, we've got you covered.
Yes, this is the second literary Night Move this week. But c'mon, that's what depressingly cold winter nights are for — schlepping out of your house to read a book with strangers, even though you could do the exact same thing by yourself at home. (Don't worry, the social interaction is good for your SAD.) Tonight, author Azar Nafisi will be reading from her new book, "Things I've Been Silent About." Unlike her previous work, "Reading Lolita in Tehran," this one is personal. She talks about her troubled parents, family secrets and exploring her sexuality through literature. Hopefully the last bit will keep us warm enough to walk home afterwards.
Tue, Jan. 27, 7:30-9pm, free , Free Library, Central Branch, 1901 Vine St., 215-567-4341.
|Not dead yet!|
Don't know what to do tonight? Don't worry, we've got you covered.
Remember when Robin's Bookstore died? Well, like a way cooler Jesus, it's been resurrected. Experience denial, anger, depression and finally acceptance with fellow customers at the second night of Robin's transition party, which celebrates (and grieves) it moving to the second floor of its old store. Now called Moonstone Arts Center, it still holds literary events and sells bargain books. Tonight, Sam & Monica will present live music and spoken word, and Jan Beatty will read from her new book, "Red Sugar." Her poetry explores her fascinating past, which includes working as an abortion counselor, waitress, welfare caseworker, and in maximum-security prisons. And you thought your job was bad.
Mon., Jan. 26, 6 p.m., free, Moonstone Arts Center, robinsbookstore.com, 215-735-9600,
Another reason to hate Max: Doing this
I understand why Tucker Max hit it big on the Internet. That's where hateful, base speech like his flourishes — read any forum discussion, and you'll see a million Tucker Maxes talking about how stupid women are and how cool butt sex is. In that way, Tucker Max is the Joe Sixpack of the Internet. He's commonplace. Almost normative and boring, even.
But now Max has left the Internet and entered your local, cozy bookstore. He'll be reading from his book, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, at Wynewood's Borders (80 E. Wynnewood Road) at 6 p.m. tonight. You shouldn't go. Or better yet, you should go and heckle him. Let's review why:
He filmed himself having sex with a woman without telling her:
This was going to be my first time foraging in the ass forest, and I wanted to have a reminder of my trip, a memento I could carry with me the rest of my life...so I decided to film us.
I planned this beforehand, but I was afraid she would decline, so instead of being mature and discussing this with Jaime, I just made the executive decision to get it on camera...without telling her.
That alone is pretty bad. But instead of just setting up a hidden camera...I got my friend to hide in my closet and film it.
He preys on people who are emotionally damaged. And gets off on it:
So let's see...beautiful girl, been judged on her beauty all her life, depressed about being rejected from her life goal, completely lost her focus...does anyone else see where this is going?
He's written about more despicable things, but I don't want to dirty up the Clog with too much Tucker Max. Basically, he's the worst human alive. And he knows it:
My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole.
I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging dickhead.
Yep, he's an asshole's asshole. The kind that knows he's atrocious, and is proud of it. I hope that a rich helicopter Mom from Wynnewood overhears his reading in Borders and sues him for emotionally damaging her child. Or just vomits on him. I hear he's touchy about that.
|I'm totally straight for FotC!|
If you appreciate honesty over flattery — for example, being told that you're pretty enough to be a waitress (but definitely not the prettiest girl in the world) — then you'll dig relationship advice from the leading men of Flight of the Conchords.
Will Bret and Jemaine tell you that your boyfriend's ugly and you should dump him for a New Zealander? Most likely. When you ask them if you should wear that cute new sweater on your first date, will they say "No, 'cause you just look OK in it, girl?" Yep. But isn't that the raw, honest truth you've been looking for?
CNN, take heed: Kids make terrible interviewees. I don't have anything against them (OK, maybe I think they're a little lazy), but c'mon. Did you really have to talk to little Victor about how he gave Prez-elect Obama a fist jab at 30th Street Station? Did you expect him to say anything other than "It was fun?" I especially hate how Wolf Blitzer is all, "We have a very special guest today." Yes, he's special simply because he's 5 years old! Ugh. OK, wait. I just watched the part where he's talking about the fist jab again. It's kind of adorable that he's taking back that gesture. Damn cute liberal kids.
Every week, we have a staffer, freelancer or friend/enemy/frienemy of The Clog put their iTunes or iPod on shuffle and tell us about the first 10 songs that come up. The only rules: No skipping, no cheating and you don’t need to be all music critic-y about it. (If you’d like to submit a 10-Track Mind of your own, contact Drew Lazor at drew.lazor @ citypaper.net.) This week, listings editor Holly Otterbein stops working long enough to temporarily treat her ears nice.
1. Woody Guthrie – “New Found Land” (Columbia River Collection)
I have my snobby friends to thank for this one. I’d want to rock out to the jangly, metallic-y and unarguably brilliant Blonde on Blonde, and they’d hate on it. “Screw Bob Dylan,” they’d say. “He’s just a ripoff of Woody Guthrie.” It turns out this is only half-true, applying to a measly six of Dylan’s 32 studio albums. But I’m glad I got to know Guthrie because of it. He’s wholly American and makes for great roadtrip music.
2. Radiohead – “Kid A” (Kid A)
A friend of mine once said that this album captures our zeitgeist. And that’s all I’m going to say, because otherwise I’ll sound like a slobbering fangirl.
3. The Decemberists – “Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)” (The Crane Wife)
This album, The Crane Wife, is based off an an old, bittersweet Japanese tale. (Read about its fantastical plot here.) It’s epic and involves soldiers and lovers, just like every great Decemberists album. By the way, I never heard of the term “lit-rock” before The Decemberists came around. Did it exist before them? Surely another band must like the thesaurus as much as The Decemberists do.
4. Broken Social Scene – “Tremoloa Debut” (Broken Social Scene)
This one-minute ditty makes me think of the word “longing.”
5. Wilco – “When You Wake Up Feeling Old” (Summerteeth)
Damn, this 10-Track Mind makes me look pretty indie, huh? Well, whatever. My excuse is that I just started using iTunes. As for this Wilco song, it’s a little more cheerful than I like my Jeff Tweedy. I’m a bigger fan of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and all its depressing, neurotic melodies.
6. Joni Mitchell – “River” (Blue)
Joni’s schtick is insecurity — her lyrics, voice and stage prescense all reek of it — and this is especially true in “River.” In the line, “I’m so hard to handle/I’m selfish and I’m sad,” you can actually hear her pouting. (Listen for it in the words beginning with “s.”) But damn if it isn’t the most beautiful whining I’ve ever heard. Thank God for Joni’s failed love affairs. We wouldn’t have gems like these without ’em.
7. Neutral Milk Hotel – “Two-Headed Boy” (In the Aeroplane Over the Sea)
Where did Neutral Milk Hotel go? Why won’t they come back and write more wildy abstract, dramatic songs that make me want to roll in a field all day?
8. Notorious B.I.G. — “Warning" (Ready to Die)
Now here’s a song that speaks to who I really am, unlike all those indie songs. Kidding. But I do love Big Poppa.
9. The Fugees — “Family Business” (The Score)
A beautiful, complex rap about immortality and crime. Isn’t it cool that Prez-elect Obama said he digs this group?
10. Cat Power – “The Greatest” (The Greatest)
Chan Marshall is so damn wry. She names her album “The Greatest,” which makes it sound like an prideful recap of her 15-year ouvre, and then puts completely new songs on it! Songs about how she once wanted to be the greatest, but then realized that goal was futile! Well, at least her dilemmas make for bluesy, soulful jams. I can’t say the same about mine.
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