Small moment: Right wing bloviators have one reaction: A conspiracy by the Obama Administration, which is littered with anti-white racists and New Black Panther sympathizers.
Big moment: CBS releases a report about Philadelphia’s “Give Respect, Get Respect” program, and how it will hand out tickets for residents walking and texting at the same time. The national media picks up the story, and the right wing goes fucking nuts. One Fox News commenter writes, “They cannot control the gangs and criminals, so again let’s go after something we can make money from … another liberal city ready to crash and burn.”
Small moment: CBS’s original story is complete bullshit. You can walk and text all you want, monsters.
Big moment: Promising legislation that would allow the use of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania is introduced in both the House and Senate in the spring.
Small moment: The bills are stalled in both House and Senate committees and ultimately die. Meanwhile, across the river, Gov. Chris Christie finally announces the implementation of NJ’s long-delayed medical marijuana law (perhaps the model for an eventual Pa. law), but ongoing legal issues threaten to stall the program indefinitely.
Big moment: In June, District Attorney Seth Williams announces that Philly’s Small Amounts of Marijuana (SAM) program—in effect for a year—saved the city $2 million in court costs and allowed more than 4,000 busted weed smokers to keep the charge off their records.
Small moment: In 2011, blacks in Philadelphia continued to suffer weed arrests disproportionately to whites; the racial disparity in pot possession arrests is 5 to 1.
Big moment: In October, a study commissioned by Gov. Tom Corbett to find the best way for Pennsylvania to slither out of the liquor sales biz recommended selling liquor licenses to the tune of up to $1.9 billion.
Small moment: The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board pours taxpayer money into advertisements that target women, saying basically, ladies, if you drink too much, you may just get what’s coming to you in the form of everyone raping you and your friend, too. So consider yourself warned! Also, it’ll make you cheat on your man and that’s just uncool. Someone actually taped one of these ads up in the bathroom of the Dive bar in South Philly.
Big moment: Philly boxing legend Joe Frazier dies in November at age 67 after a brief bout with liver cancer. One-time bitter adversary Muhammad Ali comes to the Mount Airy funeral to pay his respects.
Small moment: Following Frazier’s death, the New York Daily News points out that Philly has a Rocky statue but no Frazier statue in a column titled “Philadelphia’s lack of respect for Joe Frazier hits below the belt.”
Big moment: Darren Daulton—hero of the ’93 Phillies who’s clawed his way back from marginalized, astral-plane-dwelling weirdo to beloved and respected sportscaster—is inducted into the Phils’ Wall of Fame.
Small moment: Lenny Dykstra, another fan favorite from that ’93 Phillies squad, goes in the opposite direction, arrested on a litany of charges—including grand theft auto, drug possession and indecent exposure. “Nails” is facing some serious jail time when he’s sentenced in January.
Big moment: Once the NFL lockout ends, the Eagles make a huge splash in free agency, signing Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins and Vince Young (who infamously calls the Birds a “Dream Team”) and ownership says it’s going “all in” for a Super Bowl title.
Small moment: Vick sucks. Reid sucks. Castillo sucks. The Eagles suck. No playoffs, and the Andy Reid era may finally be over.
First Person Arts Podcast: Proud Mom