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.
Earlier this week, we shared a map put together by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, showing reported bicycle crashes in the city. The most crash-prone street is (not surprisingly) Broad, making for six of the top 12 spots in the city crashes occur. As noted by Keystone Politics, knowing which streets are crash-prone is what makes [...]
He represented Pennsylvania’s 8th District in Congress for four years, he was the first Iraq veteran in government, he ran for attorney general (and lost), and is largely responsible for ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Now, Pennsylvania Democrat Patrick Murphy is getting his own MSNBC show, because, like all good liberals whose other work hasn’t [...]