Friday, August 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

It's Always Dirty in Philadelphia?

Philadelphia gets a music video close-up, warts and all.

It's Always Dirty in Philadelphia?

I rarely see music videos anymore, though regular readers know I'm age-inappropriately obsessed with MTV's Teen Mom. Last week's breezy VMAs reminded me that artists still make these mini-movies. And hey, wow, there's Philadelphia starring in a relatively new video by Passion Pit.

The WXPN-friendly song is oddly upbeat given the focus on economic malaise. Philebrity and Uwishunu get the nod for posting the video and identifying the images scrolling across the small screen. (Warning: This is one of those shot-like-you're-flying videos, so be warned if you, like me, are at all prone to motion sickness.) 

As excited as I am to see the city/region getting love from the only hipster chipmunks on my running mix, am I the only one tiring of the visual stereotype? (You remember Springsteen's video for "Streets of Philadelphia," don't you? The blight. Oh, the blight.)

The Passion Pit video begins in the sunny suburbs. (I guessed Montco or upper Bucks, judging by the cul-de-sacs.) The scene moves to Maple Acres Farm in Plymouth Meeting (good catch, Uwishunu) and then Fairmount Park, the first obvious local marker. Then, like clockwork, the money shot: the littered bleakness of Philadelphia proper.

As the camera pans on a paper-strewn rowhouse intersection, the song reaches a lyrical low point:

Honey, it's your son I think I borrowed just too much

We had taxes we had bills

We had a lifestyle to front  

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I know I shouldn't take these things personally, but why do I have an instant flashback of my least favorite episode of a series beloved by the Mini Kinneys, "The Wonder Pets?"

Normally, the furry friends drop in on exotic locales to rescue animals in trouble, such as baby pandas stranded in China. In Philly, I kid you not, they swoop down South Broad Street to use plucky charm and teamwork to save a dying tree on a trash-strewn vacant lot. Judging by the proximity to City Hall, I place them in Point Breeze.

That was a rough landing, laments one of the puzzled pets. Yes, says another, the city can be a hard place.

-- Monica Yant Kinney

About this blog
Blinq is a news commentary blog featuring contributions from Inquirer Metro columnists Karen Heller, Kevin Riordan and Daniel Rubin.

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