10.28.2004

"The Boston Red Sox haven't won the World Series since 11:40 p.m. EDT last night."

Congratulations to the team, congratulations to us, the fans. Congraluations to all the behind the scenes employees and staff not named Henry, Lucchino, Werner and Epstein. Personally, I can't wait to get my ring. I hope I can get a little emerald encrusted elevator on each side.

I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with my nights now that I don't have to be in front of the TV for 5 hours at a time, but I'm hoping it will all be constructive. Now we just need to break the Curse of the Esposito for the Bruins.

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10.21.2004

First in the AL, Last in Peaceful Celebration

And so the Red Sox finally exorcised their Yankee demons of '49, '79, '99 and '03 last night and it was glorious. I admit that last year totally broke me and it wasn't until Johnny Damon's second home run last night that I became a believe again. However, today's blog isn't about faith, God, or Jesus Damon. Finally Red Sox fans around the world are able to walk around with their heads raised, able to say "Yankees suck" and mean it. While the Yankees may suck on the field this year, it's certainly the other way around for fans. Despite it being one of the defining sports moments of New England's entire existence, the result and damage done in the streets following the game is absolutely deplorable.

My only questions to everyone who got to be too rowdy a reveler is "Why? What does it accomplish? What does breaking into Fenway Park or destroying signs and lamp posts and setting fires and knocking down trees or flipping cars over have to do with winning?" Sometimes it's just sickening the lengths people will go just to get noticed in a crowd.

College students want a little respect and a little say in the decisions that their schools make. I know this because I'm a recent college grad and now I work in a college administration. It's natural for one group of subordinates to have a say about their environement, but exactly what kind of credibility can they maintain when 60,000 of them lay waste to a city? Mayor Menino is threatening to suspend liquor sales from bars and restaurants in the Fenway area during World Series games. This is obviously extreme and probably not likely, but the fact that he said it does mean it's a consideration -- how much more destruction will it take before all the fun is taken out of enjoying a baseball game?

There's nothing wrong with going out in the street, hooting and hollering and having a good time for a little bit, sharing in the jublitaion and comraderie of other Sox fans, but sooner or later worse things are going to happen -- both immediately during one of this riots and in the aftermath.

Oh yeah, GO SOX.

ADDENDUM:

Apparently worse things did happen. I wrote the above piece yesterday afternoon before the news of Victoria Snelgrove's death. It was an absolutely pointless death that further drives the point that a small group of maniacs can ruin a happy celebration for 60,000 people. No doubt the debate will rage for weeks over the fact that police used too much force this time around while they used too little force during February's Superbowl celebration that also resulted in a death. What doesn't need to be debated, again, is the fact that Boston cannot control itself, nor handle the spotlight. The blame cannot squarely go on the shoulders of the mayor, the police, the universities or the people.

How many people have died after a Yankees postseason series win? How about Chicago in the 90s? Despite being the bettor of New York in baseball this season, we've once again proved to be no more than New York City's younger, uglier, little brother.


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10.20.2004

Your Opinion Counts (Only if You're from the US)

Item!

Yesterday there was a news story about The Guardian (a U.K.-based newspaper) holding a writing campaign, dubbed "Operation Clark County", for its readers. The campaign -- write to residents of Clark County, Ohio about their opinions on the US presidential election. Though other news outlets have called this a pro-Kerry campaign, the Guardian website makes no mention of either candidate and support letters in favor of both Kerry and Bush. Its three published letters by some prominent Britons were a little more left-leaning.

Comments and responses from the US ranged from gracious to outright xenephobic rage. Here are a couple from either end of the spectrum:

Thank you for taking such an active interest in the elections here in America. I appreciate what the Guardian is doing. Your effort to reach out to "swing states" and make a difference is commendable. I hope that many of your readers will take your challenge to help make a change in Washington by contacting voters.
Clarke County, Georgia

Thank God above for you English! Just when I was beginning to despair at the thought of Bush being re-elected, you come along with a strategy to help us! Your invitation to your readership and rationale for offering it are provocative at the least, and laudable at best.
Springfield, Ohio


Keep your noses out of our business. As I recall we kicked your asses out of our country back in 1776. We do not require input from losers and idiots on who we vote for in our own country. Fuck off and die asshole!!!!!
Knoxville, Iowa

Have you not noticed that Americans don't give two shits what Europeans think of us? Each email someone gets from some arrogant Brit telling us why to NOT vote for George Bush is going to backfire, you stupid, yellow-toothed pansies ... I don't give a rat's ass if our election is going to have an effect on your worthless little life. I really don't. If you want to have a meaningful election in your crappy little island full of shitty food and yellow teeth, then maybe you should try not to sell your sovereignty out to Brussels and Berlin, dipshit. Oh, yeah - and brush your goddamned teeth, you filthy animals.
Wading River, NY

Gee, I wonder why everyone in the world hates us...

It is a bit snooty for non-U.S. citizens to stick their noses in "our business", but exactly where is the line drawn between "our business" and the rest of the world? U.S. policy (yes, even domestic) has an effect worldwide and most certainly would be of interest to other nations. Can 95% of Americans even name the prime minister of Canada or Mexico? Or who the last PM of Great Britan was?

This nose-sticking is simply their opinion and proof that this is probably the most important election in U.S. History. The Brits might need to calm down a little with their grassroots campaigning in which they have no ultimate choice, but U.S. citizens should also be a little more respectful for the rest of the world and not just wrapped up in themselves.

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Shoot the TV Shooters

Item!

Remember the line "shoot your TV"? I hate that line. I love TV and the people who say that line obviously are watching the wrong shows.

Today there's a news story about an electrical engineer who is selling a keychain-device that acts as a universal remote control, able to turn off any TV. This is useful for turning off televisions in public places that might be disturbing to the people around them -- they're also useful for turning your common electrical engineer into an asshole. He claims not to have watched TV since 1980.

I'm sure this device doesn't break any laws, but I'm sure it will eventually cause some noses to be broken when a joker with his key chain device gets a little too trigger happy. Yes, it would be nice to snuff out all cigarettes in bars, but rather than causing havoc, we clean breathers just move to another corner. Hey, here's an idea -- if the TV in a restaurant or bar or other public place is bothering you, DON'T GO NEAR IT.

Once again the PC enablers of this country make me want to stab my eyes.

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10/26/2004 11:53 PM
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10.14.2004

Dunkin' North End

In today's Daily Free Press there was an editorial about the move to establish a Dunkin Donuts on Hanover Street in the North End. It pretty much was against the move and said it would take away the North End's soul. I wrote a response and here it is:

Believe it or not, a Dunkin Donuts in the North End would not be the end of the world, or even the stamping out of the North End's "soul", which is being stamped out by much larger forces.

Exactly who are residents and business owners who oppose the establishment of a coffee and breakfast pastry shop in the North End? Are they the condo residents who have squeezed out the Italian-immigrant settlers of the neighborhod that came between the turn of the 20th century until the 1950's and 60's, or are they the non-resident owners of cafes and restaurants who fear a sub-three dollar cup of regular coffee will steal all their business?

It's understandable that any neighborhood would like to keep its identity (especially if it's positive and business friendly), however the North End is still a neighborhood with people living in it. According to the Weekly Dig ("Tempest in a Coffeepot") and Boston Globe ("Confection Contention" 10/9/04), North End seniors -- and presumably the longest serving residents -- welcome Dunkin' Donuts around the corner, rather than treking to Charlestown for their coffee and pastries.

While developers swoop in to replace old buildings (that would be listed as "charming" by a real estate agent in another neighborhood) with million-dollar condos for up-and-coming yuppies, a Dunkin Donuts should be welcome for its blue-collar connotation and the brand of local identity it brings.

The establishment of Dunkin Donuts in the North End would not be the first franchise or chain (CVS, White Hen Pantry, and 7-11 are all on Hanover Street), nor would it even be the first incarnation of a Dunkin Donuts in the North End (previous locations have included Commerical Street and Salem Street).

When immigrant Italian Americans came to Boston and settled in the North End, they didn't intend on staying there. The whole point of living in the North End was to get out of it. Now after a nearly a hundred years, the neighborhood has forged a unique identity and become a destination. Opposers to the Dunkin Donuts on Hannover Street should take a look beyond the dollar signs and focus their gaze towards something more introsepective. What makes the North End the "North End"?

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10.08.2004

No Parking My Ass

The City of Boston has done it again -- another boneheaded move for me to add to my list. Parking has been restricted on certain streets surround Fenway Park during the playoff games. I have nothing against parking restrictions in areas near such an event. However, there is an additional restriction over a mile and a half from the park, right around the corner from my apartment, where I have to park my car (sometimes in a driveway, sometimes on the street).

This is obviously a preventative effort to avoid the types of fan "celebration" that took place last year at this time and when the Patriots won the Superbowl. Rather than place this restriction on historical hotspots such as Kenmore Square (not on the list) and the Northeastern campus (no streets on the list), the insightful City of Boston decided to put a stranglehold on an area that has been relatively peaceful when it comes to big local team wins. Other bar areas such as Canal Street or Quincy Market area aren't listed either.

Maybe I'm just complaining because I hate looking for parking spaces, and this will cause a crush on all side streets, but I really feel this restriction is pointless and insulting to the residents and visitors to the Allston/Brighton neighborhood. Greater measures should be taken long before playoff series and the like by the City, police, and universities to curb this type of behavior and promote a fun and energetic, car-flipping-free atmosphere.

Streets unrelated to the Boston Marathon aren't blocked off, even though everyone starts drinking at 11am. People throw up green beer by 3pm on St. Patrick's day, but still, no parking restrictions in Brighton.

This Patriot Act mentality of preventing something before it only barely MIGHT happen that has been growing ever since Janet Jackson showed us her nipple is getting more and more disturbing as the year goes on.

I guess I can look forward to a police-state whenever there's a playoff game.

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