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.
As was reported on Monday, the Germantown Cab Company was shut down by the Philadelphia Parking Authority for allegedly failing to turn over proper documentation related to its drivers’ background checks. The 150 cabs the company uses are now out of service. “We want every member of the riding public to be able to enter a [...]
After the U.S. Senate rejected former NAACP Legal Defense Fund Head Deb Adegbile for the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division on Wednesday, pundits and writers everywhere began explaining the peculiar vote. After all, Adegbile was clearly qualified. Problem is, he had some degrees of separation with Philadelphia cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal, and that was enough [...]