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.
Those who’ve been following along probably already know: Local comedian and marijuana legalization activist N.A. Poe is running on the Libertarian Party ticket for the May 20 special election resulting from former Councilman-at-Large Bill Green vacating his seat to join the School Reform Commission. After a weird week in the news, which included some online tussles [...]
Have you heard? Today is Wawa’s 50th Birthday! And to honor the hoagie and drink factory that’s saved us from all sort of bouts (mostly with hunger), I’ve written a solemn letter to you, Wawa, because let’s be real: You’re worth it. First, you’re one of the few places in the city where we can (thanks [...]