Part wiseass and part history buff, Brendan Skwire isn’t the ordinary white-gentrifier-in-the-’hood that he might seem. Most nights after work the edgy 38-year-old bicycles home to his notoriously dangerous Southwest Philly neighborhood, dashes up the stairs of his rowhome, plants himself in a room full of books and then busies himself writing one angry missive after another on his provocative, take-no-prisoners blog Brendan Calling.
With the glare from the laptop illuminating his face, Skwire looks more like a man possessed than the creative urban professional he is.
That sounds about right. So does this:
The self-described loudmouth who “drinks a lot of beer” has no interest in the status quo, and is happy to use any means necessary—blog, email, cell phone—to harass local, state and even national elected officials into (to borrow from the master) delivering change we can believe in.
“I like making phone calls to people like Bob Casey and Arlen Specter to annoy them,” he boasts.
In a recent post, Skwire confesses to making so many harassing calls to elected officials over the years that it’s nothing for him to use up an entire month of cell phone minutes in just one week. Skwire even posts the conversations to his blog.
Score one for the good guys, Drinking Liberally, and the Philly blogosphere. Brendan has excellent advice for Sunoco:
As for the oil giant, Skwire insists the company “can probably make a deal with the city by saying, ‘Hey, drop the suit against us for the $1.8 million we owe. We’ll donate the money,’” Skwire says. “Give them naming rights. Let them put up a sign, ‘Sponsored by Sunoco,’ and it’ll be a huge PR blast for the company. They can be known as the company that saved the pools and ride on that for 20 years! The same goes for the libraries. We’ve done a lot for them. We need them as our partners.
Sunoco should follow that advice. I’m sure Mayor Nutter would be grateful to get Skwire off his pant-leg.