more stars than in the heavens

not in our stars, but in ourselves

mostly Boston midweek roundup

No need for a so-called “holiday” for the fools to come out in full force:

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1. All of a sudden, Bostonians’ reluctance to accept the 2024 Olympic bid has become a hot news item.  In fact, some are moaning that it could ruin the very U.S.O.C. – oh, no!

The USOC has spent the past five-plus years, since getting kicked in the pants in October, 2009, when Chicago was booted in voting for the 2016 Summer Games, tirelessly working to rebuild its brand, particularly internationally, working on person-to-person relationships and building goodwill. Now, in the space of not even three months, the whole thing is devolving perilously.

Since picking Boston for 2024, it has become abundantly plain to everyone behind the scenes that the Boston bid seemingly sold the USOC a bill of goods; that it has become all but impossible for the bid to recover from the hole in which it now finds itself; and that the only way out for the USOC, despite the pain, is to admit it made a mistake, dump Boston 2024 and assess its options.

Perish the thought!  The Boston Globe‘s own tone deaf business columnist, Shirley Leung, takes this international laughingstock/crisis situation very very seriously:

But this is more than just about Fish and his improbable dream. At stake is nothing less than Boston’s reputation. So far the world knows we’re great at taking people down, making sure nobody gets too big. Instead we should be showing how a city that pulled off the Democratic National Convention is now emerging as a life sciences capital and undergoing a wholesale makeover of its skyline.

With this Olympic civil war, we risk damaging our city on a rise, not so much with the possible decision to bid on the Games but in the way we go about it. We’re at an important moment here, bigger than any one person.

Okay, Shirl.  First of all, it’s not a civil war.  It’s a case of fat cats with lots of money, used to getting their own way, trying to bully their way into a place that has existed very happily without them and would like to continue to do so.  Think colonialism.  Second of all, our reputation is not at stake here.  How could “our” reputation be tarnished if we collectively tell the shadowy creeps running Boston 2024 – to say nothing of the despicable U.S.O.C. and I.O.C. – to go pound sand?  Boston 2024 won’t fix the T.  It can’t promise that it won’t leave taxpayers with a huge bill.  It proposes drastically reorganizing everything about this city for a few weeks of chaos, with no plans or suggestions for how those reorganizations will continue to be maintained after everyone leaves by the end of July (or whenever).  It’s trying to pretend it wants to go ahead with a referendum – that won’t be available for a vote until it’s too late to change anything about the course “we” find ourselves on.  The only people who need to worry about their reputations are the short-sighted collaborators (yes, I do mean that in the most Nazi-soaked connotation) supporting this thing now.

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2. As predictable as they’ve been tiresome, a number of windbags – Leung included – have commenced whining about how this all goes to show that Boston has some sort of identity crisis.  Too much chest-thumping belies secret insecurity, or some such bullshit.  I’d like to know who’s thumping whose chest, frankly, because my attitude – and that of everyone I know – is, and has always been, “If you don’t like it, cunt off.” No one here wants or needs you.  I’m personally delighted when the spoiled little college kids decide to move to New York or Chicago or wherever else Mummy and Daddy can afford to pay for them to live after graduation, because their out-of-town ways really fuck up my ability to get around. (Seriously, if I am every a crazy dictator, I will mandate classes in public transit etiquette, and public walking etiquette.  I will also ban cars.  You’re all lucky I’m not a crazy dictator.) Some blogger – er, writer – whose surname is really Shand-Tucci thinks Boston no longer has confidence, but it should, or something:

Just a little history is necessary here. After the Civil War four national American capitals emerged: Washington finally became the effective political capital of postbellum America; New York emerged as the country’s economic and media capital and Boston the nations’ intellectual capital. Later, in the early 20th century, Los Angeles would emerge as the national entertainment capital.

Because Americans are mostly a great deal more interested in politics, money, celebrity and entertainment than in the life of the mind, Boston is for most, of course, effectively the least important of these the Capitoline cites. On the other hand, the American intellectual capital emerged in Whitehill’s book as much more than that when he quoted British mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead to the effect that “in so far as the world of learning posses a capital city, Boston, with its neighboring institutions, approximates the position that Paris held in the Middle Ages.” Which reminds of another reason Boston, like Paris, is a center of civilization. Since the Reformation and the Renaissance the two driving forces in world history have been, respectively, the American and the French Revolutions, and the capitals in which the Tea was dumped and the Bastille stormed occupy now perhaps the first place upon serious reflection in the imagination of the world.

Okay?  Cool history lesson, bruh.  I would say that Boston’s superiority complex arises from its founding by Puritans, who were literally trying to get away from people they considered as less-holy-than-they, and from the actual historical fact that the American Revolution effectively began here, 240 years ago or so.  The cluster of world-renowned schools and hospitals is a nice bonus, one befitting our historical stature.  No need to invent some nonsensical comparison to Paris in the Middle Ages.  And yes, the other, more recent story of Irish immigrants has led to some tensions between the old Puritan stock and the newer, more usually blue-collar Irish variety – but as the post above does correctly point out, Irish-Americans have been in political power in Boston for decades.  I think we’re all plenty confident in ourselves.

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3. In case you missed it, soon New York will be run by Massholes.  Eat shit, Empire State.

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4. I watched Going Clear.  Not going to write a full review, but a capsule for you: Jesus Christ, what a terrifying scam.  We all know this, and the film isn’t as dynamic as it could be in presenting this information, but it’s all the more overwhelming when it’s as thoroughly documented as it is here.  My main takeaway was that the IRS really fucked up by relenting to Scientology pressure and allowing them to be a tax-exempt “religious” organization.  It’s understandable why they did – Scientologists began filing scads of law suits not just against the IRS, but against specific employees of the IRS, and wouldn’t stop until the IRS caved to their demands – but it would be worth revisiting that particular case, methinks.  And, I mean, honestly.  Why doesn’t “Big Government” (that most feared and reviled instrument of oppression, according to the knuckle-scrapers on the far right) bear down on Scientology with some more force?  It’s absolutely absurd that a literal money-making scheme, devised by some failure of a human, should have any power at all.  I’m not especially pro-religion in any case, but this isn’t even a religion.  This is brainwashing and bullying.  Scientology can count itself among ISIS and Boko Haram.  Congrats, dickholes.  Great company you keep.  Also, you are truly terrible at Twitter.

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One comment on “mostly Boston midweek roundup

  1. Pingback: slightly post-midweek roundup | more stars than in the heavens

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This entry was posted on April 1, 2015 by and tagged , , , .
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