We’ve discussed this before: What the ever-buzzy frenzy over “crowdsourcing” ignores is that, often, and especially when it comes to matters of taste, the crowd is fucking stupid. And, over the last few years, nowhere is this more apparent than on Yelp, which has empowered thousands of Tracy Flicks nationwide to complain about how their steak was too rare and how they don’t like hipster waitstaff. At the risk of repeating ourselves here, the official Philebrity stance on Yelp is this: Die, motherfucker, die.
But you know how this goes: Just like there was resistance even within the Nazi party, one man on Yelp in Philly is waging a campaign against the self-aggrandizement and mealy-mouthed pissing and moaning that is the very definition of The Yelp Pose. His handle is “Bill D.,” and he’s wrecking Yelp from within. Here is one of his recent posts, which also happens to be the best thing ever published on Yelp in any city:
South Philly Slave Van
If you’ve ever driven the streets between Washington and Oregon Avenues before 5am or after 11pm, chances are you’ve been caught behind a large, nondescript, early model van which drifts in a vexingly unhurried manner. This is the fabled Slave Van of South Philly.
During the hours of darkest night, this ghostly vessel can be seen plowing the byways of South Philly, embarking or disembarking its human cargo of illegal or semi-legal immigrant laborers at various ports of call along the street including laundromats, bus stops, row-house tenements, or else jettisoned into the middle of the street itself. These phantasms drift off in all directions like so much flotsam, each to their own identical fate.
Those familiar with it have their hearts filled with woe when they see this white hulk in the distance over the bow, digorging its charge of human wrecks. Its impossibly slow pace will prevent you from getting where you want to go in any reasonable amount of time. It can sense your every move, and will take all the same turns you would to either get to your destination or to evade it. You will mostly likely be stuck behind it the whole way as it winds its tortuous path through the city’s dingiest haunts. But from whence, and to where, are still a mystery.
He then gave the South Philly Slave Van one star. Billy, you’re a hero. If — actually, when — this Yelp thing ever gets boring for you, give us a shout. You’re doing God’s work over there.