Philly artists should be fed to bears.
I've decided to join the ranks of those teeth-gnashing, big baggy white-shirt-rending, Byronic-lock-tugging busybodies in the self-perpetuating Philly art-ponce oligarchy who spend all their time pontificating about the future of the arts in Philadelphia.
Here's my report: The future of Philly arts can be summed up with one word: Dickensian.
By 2028 Philadelphia--or Sony/Smith and Wesson Free Enterprise Zone 274 (e) as it will then be known thanks to the enlightened libertarian policies introduced by President Ron Paul after his stunning write-in victory in the '08 election--will be changed beyond all recognition.
Instead of 450 murders a year, there'll be 450 a day, due mainly to the Second Amendment being the only bit of the Constitution left (minus the silly bit about the "well-regulated militia") after President Paul privatizes Congress and our new corporate rulers abolish all civil rights so that America doesn't have to fight its never-ending wars against terror, drugs, illegal immigration, organized labor and creeping socialism with one hand tied behind its back with red tape.
"Yes, yes, yes--but what about the arts?" ask the brittle-boned and exquisitely pale coterie of dandies, fops and boulevardiers.
In 2028 there'll be one arts venue in Philadelphia--the Uncle Joe Stalin Drinking, Punk Rock and Mixed Martial Arts Bar (or the Kick Your Fucking Head Inn as it will be colloquially known by the motley crew of space pirates, organ bandits, animal rapists, pedophiles, child murderers, middle managers and talk radio hosts who comprise its clientele).
There will be only one arbiter of artistic taste--me. Acting as Warden Nutter's Lord Chamberlain and dressed like Bill Sykes out of Oliver! (complete with snazzy neckerchief and battered top hat), I'll rule the fop-infested Philly arts scene with a rod of iron (literally) in the company of my ever faithful, cigar-smoking, quizzo-organizing, Winston Churchill-faced talking mutant English bulldog Johnny Shit Times. (Much as I do now, only more so.)
All artists will be forced to perform on a stage flanked by cages full of hungry bears. If an act fails to thrill my socks off after 20 seconds, I pull the lever and--click, whirr, "Aaargh! No! Help! Not my face! Please! Or my fingers! Oh my God! It's eating my fucking fingers!" Total win-win situation for the audience.
On feast days in Fairmount Park there'll be punk rock songs played by the 4,000-strong Sousa and the Banshees marching band, and live recreations of the TV show Deadwood performed by Shakespearian actors imported from England. Who will then be killed, cooked and eaten.
It will be. And it will be awesome.