Voices | Feb. 14-20

Reactions, rants and other random musings from you, our readers

Has a cheesy pick up line led you to snagging the love or your life? If so, kudos and tell us which one worked via voices@philadelphiaweekly.com. | Image provided

The SHOUT out:

If you were a Transformer, you’d be Optimus Fine.

We’re not socks, but I think we’d make a great pair.

Is your name Google? Because you have everything I’ve been searching for.

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and in that spirit and as a public service, we’re offering really bad pickup lines. All of you lonely souls out there should feel free to use any or all.

Your turn: What’s your favorite/worst pickup line? We’d love to share it with the rest of the world. Send your thoughts to voices@philadelphiaweekly.com.

It shouldn’t pay to pollute

Simply taking a breath shouldn’t put your health at risk. Unfortunately, this is the case for many residents across the state of Pennsylvania. 

PennEnvironment’s recent report, “Trouble in the Air,” found that almost 30 cities in the state experienced unhealthy air days in 2018. Air pollution can cause detriments to our health in many ways, from increasing hospitalizations for respiratory issues to increase the likelihood of cancer. As a resident of this state, I shouldn’t have to worry that breathing the air could be putting my health and future at risk.

Those most responsible for this air pollution are fossil fuel-burning industries that release toxic pollutants and contribute both to our poor air quality and climate change. We know that climate change will only worsen the quality of our air, further putting ourselves and future generations at risk.

We already have the tools to combat this problem: reduce our reliance on fossil fuels while regulating existing polluters. That’s why I want to thank State Sen. Katie J. Muth for proposing Senate Bill 967 to hold these companies accountable. The bill would both increase fines to industry polluters as well as require them to create a public notification plan so communities are not left in the dark about their public health concerns. I call on my state senator, Art Haywood, to co-sponsor Muth’s bill because everyone deserves the right to clean air.

– Eve Lukens-Day | Philadelphia

Too many people, not enough land

America’s population is soaring. Our nation currently houses 330 million people. And each year, that number grows by 2 million. By 2065, more than 440 million people may call the United States home.

This explosive growth threatens everything Americans hold dear, including our open spaces, pristine air and water, and abundant wildlife. Much of the natural landscape around us is being subdivided and paved over. Farms are turning into shopping centers. Meadows are giving way to housing developments. 

Fortunately, two senators – Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Tom Udall (D-NM) – recently introduced a resolution that could help conserve the environment. Senate Resolution 32, otherwise known as the “30 by 30” resolution, urges the federal government to “establish a national goal of conserving at least 30 percent of the land and ocean of the United States by 2030.”

This resolution couldn’t have come at a better time. America loses 1.5 million acres of natural land per year. Development has destroyed half of our wetlands. More than 12,000 plant and animal species are currently at risk of extinction. Our oceans have seen dramatic reductions in coral reefs, mangroves, and fish. And nearly a third of North American birds have disappeared since 1970.   

Overdevelopment exacerbates the effects of climate change by pushing communities into floodplains and fire-prone areas. If we don’t act now, the adverse consequences of warming – including more frequent and intense wildfires, storms, and floods – will ravage the United States in the future.   

To combat this looming catastrophe, the resolution calls for a cooperative conservation effort between the federal government, states, local communities, Native American tribes, and private landowners. That’s the right approach – we are all in this together, and we all have to work together to address the challenge of overdevelopment.

Overall, the United States adds enough people to create a new Los Angeles County – about 10 million people – every few years. Pew Research predicts that America will add another 25 million people by 2030.   

In other words, many open spaces will transform into endless urban sprawl.

Combating overpopulation and overdevelopment is the single best way to protect the environment. Globally, the human population is predicted to increase from 7.7 billion currently to 8.6 billion by 2030 and 9.8 billion by 2050. Unless we act now, the resulting voracious demand for land and natural resources will likely result in a sixth mass extinction of plants and animals. 

Given the sheer political chaos we see in Washington, D.C., every single day, it’s not just refreshing, but inspiring, seeing a vision put forward like Senate Resolution 32. It’s time for all environmentalists to voice their support for the effort.

– Gary Wockner, PhD, | Colorado

The Feb. 6 cover of Philadelphia Weekly. | Illustration

We got Punk’d 

Last week’s cover entitled, “Think Your Punk” set off a rage in Philly’s rich punk community. The following is a sampling of the scores of reactions we received. To the ones not mentioned here, know that we’ve read them all, even if we didn’t give you the floor.

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I’m writing to urge you to take down your recent article “Think You’re Punk?” by G.D. Hoffman. It would be in your best interest to listen to, trust and respect the concerns of your readers. This article is extremely harmful to the individual mentioned who had their privacy invaded without consent. This kind of treatment is greatly unnecessary and ultimately “not very punk.”

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You gave money to support bullying. This article is juvenile and y’all should be ashamed of yourselves. Take it down.

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This article offended myself and many community members who are actually involved in this music community. It also put a black family’s livelihood at risk along with saying offensive remarks about a trans person in our community, misgendering them and saying embarrassing and incorrect things about them and their life. Take down the article immediately, please, and I would say fire your terrible writer. The article is not only offensive but it’s extremely poorly written.

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Retract his article, fire him for gross misconduct, make him apologize. 

Until then I will continue picking up every copy of your rag I see and throw it in the recycling. 

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Hello, I am writing in regards to an article recently published by Philadelphia Weekly. The article (or “opinion” piece) written by GD Hoffman is harassment of this man’s neighbor. I cannot understand why your magazine would condone this style of harassment, over (from my understanding) a letter being left by his neighbor asking him to respect the quiet hours of their apartment. I guess it must’ve been a slow news day. The article is extremely poorly written. 

Furthermore, Mr. Hoffman has put the livelihood of a local working-class Black-owned and run venue at stake. This family has lived and worked longer in the neighborhood than Mr. Hoffman (an LA transplant), and it baffles me why you would put a business run long term local residents at stake.

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Please REMOVE the opinion article “think you are punk?” Publishing very specific details about an underground diy venue is NOT OK. Publishing very specific details about a person that you clearly know nothing about is NOT OK!

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In regard to the opinion piece “think you’re punk,” I understand that the nature of an op-ed (or journal entry, in this case) is grounds for a lot of disagreement, so I will hold back on criticizing the piece in those terms. But where the author fails is more so in providing identifying information about both a DIY venue that could easily get found by the police, who will inevitably shut it down, and their neighbor. I realize that as of today, the article has been edited to remove the name of the venue and the hints at its location, but the writer says really judgemental and negative things about their neighbor and identifying information.

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This is exactly the type of perspective-less garbage that is killing print media in Philadelphia. You let that washed up LA dropout nightmare share his stupid fucking opinion, and I hope you reap the consequences of that. 

So much beautiful, powerful art is being created in Philly and you chose the most negative, inconsequential spoiled brat to write an op-ed about how dissatisfied he is with his own life? Run of the mill bullshit opinion, stir up some shit about nothing because that aging “punk” resents younger people for being more fun than he probably ever was. It seems like a flaccid attempt to grab your print media’s attention without actually engaging anyone. You should be more careful about trying to attract young readers (based on the articles you push that read like 2015 facebook ads, you have no young staff). 

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I’m writing to express the immense bad taste in my mouth left after reading your poorly written, vague, with no actual point cover article. Number one, the main issue is it discloses personal information about a person and a business that should not be given so casually to the public. Profiling and disclosing this information have jeopardized their safety and, in the case of the venue, jeopardizes the livelihood of a black local family. 

Additionally, this article is horribly written, states NOTHING, and in such an important political and social time, there were no other articles you could headline with? I demand this article be taken down, that your company pulls all the papers off stands, and that you literally get some sort of accountability and educational assistance for your staff if you all think this is the tier of journalism that is acceptable. 

This article is literally the least “punk” thing. 

Also the argument of what is punk is so fucking 2005. Act like adults and engage with the world in a way that brings people up, not profiles and endangers casual bystanders. Your publication was already bottom tier shit, and now it’s just a funnel that allows harassment, profiling, and thinks that kind of article is what was really needed in the state of our times. Poor journalism, no professionalism, how the hell did this get the green light? Guess YOU are SOOOOO PUNK. DISGUSTING. I demand a public apology for all those harassed and endangered by your publishing. 

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I understand that this is an opinion piece, so there is plenty of room for disagreement. However, the author’s descriptions of their neighbor are blatant harassment. The author also went on to identify spaces where POC and at-risk trans community members gather, this would allow people who wish to harm or target this community knowledge of these spaces. 

Philadelphia Weekly should work to protect the citizens of Philadelphia not publish something that makes fun of the artistic and alternative members of our community.

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While I recognize this does not reflect the opinion of Philadelphia Weekly, I do think that, as a member of a close-knit community that promotes inclusivity and cultivation of art that supersedes the guise of capital and exploitation, the publishing of this article is a ridiculous critique of a community your writer has no involvement with.