The Historic Collapse of the Wissahickon

The Wissahickon Creek Valley, locally known as Valley Green or simply “the Crick”, has experienced a vast increase in local and tourist traffic over the years. The biking and hiking trails are kept clean and challenging to novices and experienced adventurers alike. The historic park features pristine views, ample wildlife, and a distinct lack of Flamin’ Hot Cheeto’s bags along its Northwestern Philadelphia trail. At least, it did.

As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Crick has seen an increase in visitors of close to a million, or a 1/3rd increase since the previous year. Of course, an increase of this magnitude to any location would result in a strain on resources and organization efforts, but something about this increase has been different.

The shockingly unreported–or purposefully avoided–elephant in the room is that massive tour buses and organized groups have been routing large amounts of poor and urban communities to the park. Philadelphia Inquirer has decided to blame the increase in hazardous waste on “climate change” and some strange 1950’s Archie Comics idea of punk teens leaving a mess by Devil’s Pool (a historic makeout point and teenage death trap swimming hole in the park).

This fact has been largely brushed off by the local Roxborough and Wissahickon community, including the so-called Friends of Wissahickon–the volunteer organization tasked with cleaning up the soiled diapers, old broken charcoal grills, and Takis bags that have mysteriously built up in the Valley Green area, replenishing just about every week during the Summer.

It’s worth mentioning that Wissahickon Creek Valley has several grilling and picnicking areas designated that have been enjoyed by families and other groups for decades with little-to-no evidence they’d ever been there at all. However, the new phenomenon of increased traffic and waste has been collecting primarily in park areas where this behavior is prohibited.

Some locals have even suggested that the issue of North Jersey bus companies bringing in massive groups from Brooklyn and other areas, leaving a tidal wave of trash in their wake, is a systemic problem, and the only way to combat the issue is to ban plastic packaging and other non-biodegradable materials. Of course this is just an absurd self-punishment and hand-wringing white guilt that makes up a majority of the transplant progressive influx in the blue collar Northwest Philadelphia area; a natural byproduct of those pretending to care about property destruction by implementing strategic and widespread self-flagellation.

The entry points into the park are scarce, and meant to be kept clear for visitors and emergency vehicles. It became clear when I personally visited the park through the narrow entry point on Wises Mill Road, that the police presence–which I had never before experienced in the park–was overwhelmed.

Vehicles parked up and down the narrow pathway were all receiving parking tickets by one or two officers, blocking off the road even further. As I continued down the path to the parking lot beside the famous Valley Green Inn restaurant, even more police were stationed around a large group of urban cookout attendees. Based on what I could tell, the cops served primarily as babysitters, unable to stop the attendees from having their fun, spreading trash, hanging plastic bags from trees and building charcoal fires precariously on the creek side.

According to the Inquirer, police have been largely unable to write violations for any wrongdoing aside from parking citations (over 250 in the beginning of Summer alone). They claim they prefer to “educate,” whatever that means. Police also seem to be unaware of the rules and regulations of the park regarding swimming, camping and grilling in the area; or, more likely, they are all but disabled by their superiors and the District Attorney’s office from performing their duties as required.

A sad, castrated white volunteer unintentionally creates the most apt parody of the current world.

With the influx of certain groups to the area, crime has gone up as well. Vehicle theft, equipment theft, property destruction and damage to the park have all increased by metrics never before seen in the community. And what’s even more concerning is that no one seems to care in any meaningful sense. Coordinators for the Friends of Wissahickon volunteer group admit that the scenes are common, but have all but washed their hands of any responsibility, content to simply bury their heads in the sand and pathetically shadow the perpetrators cleaning up their mess week after week.

Other members of the park volunteers have said they hope to “change the culture” of how certain individuals use the park. But the only response that seems to have been attempted has been tacking laminated signs to trees, hopelessly begging visitors to use the trash cans–an act reminiscent of officials in India pleading with residents to stop pooping in the streets.

All the while, the City of Philadelphia has been relying heavily on volunteers in middle class areas to police themselves and take impossible hours out of their schedules to clean and maintain public schools and parks where the government can’t be bothered. City government has no problem increasing your taxes to pay for their dwindling efforts, but then wind up spending it all on diversity awareness campaigns forcing those who pay a majority of the taxes to fend for themselves.

When the inevitable occurs and an uncontrollable fire breaks out in the Wissahickon Valley, the media and locals will surely continue to blame the disaster on climate change or some other such nonsense, rather than the evidentiary cause of all of these increasing widespread infernos: mass migration of individuals who have destroyed their own communities to areas they are even less likely to treat with dignity and respect, illegal cookouts, incompetent fire building, and wayward junkies.

In the end, if locals, law enforcement, and volunteers should ever hope to accomplish the Sisyphean task of completely reversing the baked-in cultures of third world communities that they seem so desperate to welcome into their neighborhoods, the very least they could do would be to present some intellectual honesty about the degradation that their stalwart patronizing ideology brings to the table.

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The Wizarding World of Wizard World Philadelphia

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Wizard World Recap

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Perhaps it’s because I’m getting older and more prone to daydream about being a father, or maybe my perception of the comic con crowd is actually legitimate, but it seems to me that the annual Wizard World Comic Con event in Philadelphia is becoming increasingly targeted toward children. As it should be.

The weekend-long events have always been largely family-friendly and adult Stans and fandom devotees never resisted the urge to drag their children along for the ride due to some fleeting hope that a switch may flip in Junior’s subconscious, causing him to suddenly be fascinated with low-budget sci-fi from the 1970s.

While it is difficult to tell whether there were really more children in attendance or if I was just noticing them more frequently, the stands, merchandise and set-ups featured ball pits, stuffies, children’s costumes, people talking in cartoony kindergarten voices, and more.

kSJPQPsrRPql4PoSo3BGfANow, I could be horribly wrong and the reality of the enigmatic landscape of Wizard World Comic Con could just be catering to the sophomoric desires of its giddiest attendees. But there was something about seeing loads of parents with their bright-eyed kids (with varying levels of excitement) actually able to enjoy and participate in the festivities without having to narrowly avoid being trampled by a stampede of 30-somethings desperate to get a picture with an adult man who portrayed a cartoon character in a movie.

The levels of exuberance amongst adults seem to be a bit subdued when the celebrity guests aren’t a tremendous draw, leveling out the attendees to those who simply want to bring their kids, hang out, buy some pop culture merchandise, and get some pictures of the bewildered.

Saturday, the busiest of the Con days, wasn’t even overloaded with large elaborate costumes. It seemed to be mostly young people and young children having a solidly good time. The moderate level of celebrity photo ops were engaging but not distracting. In fact, one of the longest lines I observed was in the food area where costumed grown-ups waited for hot chicken tendies.

When the crowds aren’t overwhelming and the booth operators and merchandisers are able to breathe while they converse with potential customers, everything seems a little bit more fun.

The only thing to which I can attribute this perceived new Comic Con dynamic is the lack of truly A-List celebrity guests. And in a world where the pop culture comic book fandom has become ubiquitous and over-praised, children are often alienated, or at least pushed to the sidelines.

kuv5m4e8RluNawp3eUiqLwThink about it. When you were a kid, it was far more exciting to play with toys, imagine yourself as a superhero or Jedi, and be able to share those moments with your parents than it was for you to meet the guy who played Chewbacca. I think that’s the key.

Can the comic book pop culture, toys, costumes, and imaginative play survive on its own merit once the deadpan seriousness with which it’s taken in the real world subsides?

Do we even remember what it’s like to see toys and games that require us to utilize our imaginations rather than be visually fleshed out in all its detailed cinematic glory?

While it doesn’t seem likely that these indulgent fantasy fandoms will deteriorate from the mainstream pop culture ether any time soon; but it was nice to see actual children being able to embrace it all without chaotic adults running the show.

You remember children; the audience all of this nonsense was always intended for.

Follow me @SailorTwiftClub

 

 

In a Dark Dark Web (and other stories)

Whether you’re too young to remember, or the hyper-speed news cycle has rendered your long-term memory functionally obsolete, you may find it difficult to recall the tumultuous 1990s discussions about broad multimedia censorship.

Image result for pewdiepieThere have been violent video games since the 1970s, but the 90s really drove home the visceral content both figuratively and literally. Video game creators were generating some of the most “realistic” gore-fests audience have seen, and games like¬†Mortal Kombat¬†and¬†Doom¬†were selling like hotcakes on home consoles and computers.

Shit really hit the fan in 1999 when Democrats found out that the Columbine school shooters played violent video games and listened to anti-social music. Turgid leaders from both the Democrat (Both Clintons, Lieberman, Gore, etc) and Republican (basically just Newt Gingrich) sides demanded action to investigate the impact of violent video games; and look into measures to ban media content deemed anti-social or “dangerous.”

In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled against California’s desire to place sales restrictions on certain video games. Conservative Justice Scalia argued in favor of studies that showed no correlation between video game violence and real world violence in any greater degree than any other media not being called into question, and that restrictions would be an affront to the First Amendment.

Thankfully, the federal government is notoriously incompetent, and the penultimate legislation we got from this time was a largely irrelevant rating system for TV shows, Records, and Video Games.

Democrats throughout the 2000s, in conjunction with their desire to decrease or eliminate the sale of firearms, still sought to investigate the responsibility video games had for real world violence. Seizing and opportunity to shield against a 2nd Amendment onslaught, the NRA and various Republicans began to raise concerns about the inundation of young people by violence in video games and various media.

President Obama and Joe Biden called for a complete investigation into video games and video game developers in hopes of getting broad-based support for their plan to ban firearms.

Activist groups called on video game developers to stop working with gun manufacturers to license real gun designs and brands in realistic wartime video game franchises.

Somehow, now that President Trump is discussing the content of violent video games, the media is calling it a right-wing distraction from the “real discussion” of banning firearms. Many on the Left now assert that there is absolutely no link between violent video games and real violence, completely ignoring their previous platitudes, because¬†now that argument has become a distraction from¬†their¬†anti-gun agenda.

Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting and textThe war against accountability is being waged on all fronts. But one thing is becoming increasingly clear: alienation and increasing rates of autism diagnoses (almost entirely amongst young males) are turning people (read: boys) inward, isolated, and creating a breeding ground for anti-social behavior.

While the average psychologically healthy male can play hours of video games, watch gory movies, and engage with internet pornography, it isn’t difficult to imagine the impact on all of these habitual behaviors constantly drilling into the consciousness of the unhealthy mind.

Young males have broadly been experiencing an increase in unhealthy desensitization toward violent and sexual behaviors. Does that mean it creates an increase in a normal male’s desire or conscious ability to commit violence? Of course not; however it undoubtedly exacerbates the likelihood of this behavior in the abnormal, anti-social male brain.

Our culture chooses to ignore the laissez-faire¬†attitudes we’ve created toward media, thus generating a complete lack of conversation and allowing real issues to fester while we pretend to rally against “bullying”, “systemic oppression”, and other scapegoat concepts.

Companies like Facebook and Twitter create algorithms to weed out bad words and offensive speech because they feel it is their moral obligation to control content on their platforms. Yet, somehow, they free themselves from all liability when a sociopath uses their platforms to live-stream a killing spree, rape, or torture.

Image may contain: 1 person, textMedia outlets across the globe, with a complete and total lack of self-awareness, focus in on the irreverent behavior of young people on Tik Tok, Twitch or YouTube who flock to entertaining characters like PewDiePie, flaunting objectionable language and politically incorrect memes, while lambasting and further alienating the very people who flood those platforms yearning to speak freely.

In all aspects of life, more freedom means less violence. More speech and open dialogue means fewer people being made to feel like their voices aren’t heard. When you marginalize voters, they stop being honest in polls. When you threaten the removal of religious freedoms, freedom of speech, or freedom to defend against tyranny, you create a cultural mindset of being hunted down.

Then, the media literally hunts you down, doxxes you, creates public demand to shut you down. In a free society, and probably in any society, a calculated attempt to make an entire population socially and politically voiceless will have serious psychological implications. When that “population” is the entirety of historic and modern western culture and civilization, those implications can be severe and unpredictable.

Image may contain: 1 person, textThe acts of violence that get the most international media attention are not as common as they seem; far less common than the acts of violence we see examined solely on local news. But we are made to feel we are in the midst of a great civil war, an ultimate Armageddon, and things are only getting worse. And maybe, mentally, we aren’t far off.

The simple truth is that there are easy and practical ways to combat aggression and anti-social behavior. And that’s through more speech. We need real conversations with those who spend a majority of their lives plugged in to forum sites and games; conversations that don’t end in their vilification or alienation. We need cultural discussions about the impact of certain attitudes and behaviors in music, movies and other media–and about how, while art often reflects life, we need to know how to mentally separate the two.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, text