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April 21 (poorest county)

Philadelphia is the poorest county in Pennsylvania and the only major metro area aside from Baltimore (if we count Baltimore as such) to appear in this slide show of poorest counties in each state. Congratulations! In fact, our leadership in poverty does help maintain the reasonable pricing of rents and restaurants, at least compared to other cities.

Maybe along the lines of "the city that loves you back," we could have something like, "the poverty that sleeps on your park bench," or "poverty with a smile," or "Philadelphia: bringing poverty to the twenty-first century."

I'm hoping I have a few more liveable years before I slide back into our leading indicator. I'm hoping for a few more years of teeth, too, because there's nothing quite like poverty with a blue solution in a glass for the dentures while one's food is being mangled and made mushy by one's gums.

And then, reminded of my own slim margins, I chance upon this poor lost soul debating the merits of a BMW purchase and kitchen remodeling and felt all was right with the world.

All was right for all of us who aren't even close to Rex Pickett as far as fame and experience and luck and talent and connections and Hollywood credentials go. Okay. "Right" may be a strong word, but we were persisting. We were still alive. We were. Weren't we? Rex was wronged, though, and that seems to be one point of this article that indicates he's come to see big publishing as no more of an ally to literary fiction than Jeff Bezos. I hear your "duh," but still enjoyed reading his screed. And for Sideways, I certainly enjoyed both the film and the book.

Meanwhile, President Obama does what so many big media entities do as well. That's cater to the next generation of consumers, voters, etc. with a nifty election-year student-loan pitch (while to the best of my knowledge remaining mute on the question of what these colleges that students should go into debt for are paying the teachers that the students will meet on the inside). Hey, maybe Trident could have gotten Rex that nice book deal if he'd agreed to name it Sideways Youngbloods, and instead of beautiful scenes with middle-aged gripers and philanderers swishing and spitting merlot and cabernet he added a bunch of nine year olds dropping their weekly allowances on fruit-punch pouches at the local conveniencery?

And even as I'm writing this stuff, I'm thinking to myself that I should be writing.

Fight for Your Long Subsistence in a Lower Middle Quintile!

And have a good weekend.


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