The crochet-fascists are back.
You know what really annoys Philadelphians? Journalists who get neighborhood names wrong. Write that the corner of 23rd and Analretentive is in Whogivesafuck, and you'll get 100 letters and phone calls sneeringly pointing out that Analretentive stops just south of Getafuckinglife Avenue, which means the corner you're talking about is actually in Stupidyokelwithnothingbettertodo, "you fucking idiot" (no matter how politely they start the phone call, geographical pedants can never resist swearing right at the end.)
But giving these local-geography fascists a good run for their money in the hysterical overreaction stakes are Philadelphia's legions of extremely sensitive and appallingly badly dressed knit-Nazis. Boy do they get pissed if you write rude things about them.
I should stress here that knit-Nazis are in no way like real Nazis (apart from being really touchy and big fans of the films of Leni Riefenstahl). I use the term because it's an astute parody of the way the crafts most associated with brain-dead, soul-destroying pre-feminist housewifery--knitting, beading, stitching and crocheting--have been re-packaged and successfully sold to smugster sheep as radical, alternative and edgy.
I have two books on my desk right now, both pushing the strange idea that twiddling about with bits of wool is totally punk rock. And they're just the tip of a huge knitted iceberg. There are entire sections containing metric shit-tons of these knit-Nazi manuals in every book barn in America.
First up there's Alter Nation. There's a rad-lookin', crazy blue-haired rebel chick on the cover alongside a boast that it contains "25+ DIY fashion projects." Be still my punky heart.
Then there's Anticraft, subtitled "Knitting, beading and stitching for the slightly sinister." One can only assume they're using "slightly" here to mean "not at all." And that "anti" is a misspelling of "auntie."
Seriously, if you called housework antihousework, would that make it cool? If you anticleaned the kitchen after antichanging the kitty litter before antipicking your screaming brats up from school and antidropping them off at soccer practice before rushing home and nearly anti-overdosing on antidepressants so you can face clearing up the vomit your shit-faced alcoholic of an antihusband has puked all over the bathroom (while still finding time to knit an amusingly decadent antitoilet-roll cover) does that mean your lifestyle is somehow edgier and more interesting than that of your poor burnt-out-at-40, dead-by-50 great grandmother?
Put it this way, young goths: Vlad the Impaler didn't crotchet his own ear-flapped bobble hats. And neither should you. If you need a hobby, take up spitting.
Calendar: March 25-April 1
PW's 2015 Philly Spring Guide