He was a mentor, a storyteller, a fire-breather. He was more passionate than anyone we’ll likely come across again. Of course, you know this already. Because if you read his stuff, you know the man. Everything in his writing is everything he was in real flesh-and-blood life.
Our friend and colleague Steven Wells died two years ago today of the cancer he had documented so well in two cover stories for Philadelphia Weekly. On June 14, he submitted this column.
Swells could be hurtful in what he wrote, but his contrarian stance was never mere posturing. It was underpinned with an unswerving belief that things could be better—culturally, politically and globally.
Swells was funny and opinionated and smart enough to realize his limitations and work within them. He did it for himself. He was from the fanzine world. He was a tastemaker critic, for sure. People took notice of his opinions, and acted upon them. He challenged people’s opinions, led them, changed them—most of this by default, by sheer force of his personality and peerless ability to entertain. If something was wrong, it was wrong. Didn’t matter what anyone else thought. Of course, Swells might then change his mind the next day.
Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, and to mark the occasion, members of the local Socialist Alternative group, along with the SEIU and Fight For 15, will descend upon 10th and Market Streets with a message: Philly’s workers deserve a working wage. Why? Because a large proportion of Philadelphia’s population not just work for the embarrassing [...]
Perhaps to appease the far-right of his base, when Gov. Tom Corbett introduced his Medicaid expansion alternative plan last fall, he added one weird trick: A job search requirement. On Thursday, he backed off that part of his so-called Healthy PA plan, giving the alt-health care program a better chance of federal approval. The Medicaid expansion program [...]