Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Pahk the Depahted in the Mystic Rivah
OF COURSE I wanted the Yankees to win the World Series, but I love New England, I love Bahston and Hahvahd, I love Fenway, and I don't even mind the Sawx when they're not beating the Yankees — but my recent trip to Fenway reminded me there are certain Sox fans I don't like. Those would be the young, male, white guys in the young, male, white guy Southie uniform (skin tight t-shirt and Red Sox hat with the identically rounded bill and cap) who chant "The Yankees Suck" at the drop of a hat.
A lifetime of never seeing the Sox win the World Series (while the Yankees won 27 times) made a lot of Yankee haters in New England, but that calmed down a lot after the Sox won in 2004, and will undoubtedly calm down more now (Congratulations New England). But as films like Good Will Hunting, The Departed, Mystic River and now Gone Baby Gone show, there has been a poor white class in Boston that's had a chip on its shoulder for a long time. Generational poverty and signs saying things like "No Irish Need Apply" can do that to you.
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Haven't seen Gone, Baby, Gone, nor read the book, though I have read others by Lehane, but I think his novels and the films made from them fall into the second tier of fiction and film about the city. Both as literature and as movie adaptations, Lehane ranks far below George Higgins, whose "Friends of Eddie Coyle" was a terrific book from which was made, to these eyes and ears, the best movie about working class Boston as seen from the vantage of cops and robbers. Notably, in the film, neither Robert Mitchum nor Peter Boyle attempted to mimic any of the several accents that can authentically be described as Boston, but instead captured the essence of their sound in the cadence they employed.
I also think you're wrong to assume that the louts you encountered at Fenway were necessarily from Southie. The yahoo element of Red Sox Nation is as likely to hail from the 'burbs and beyond as from Southie or Dorchester, and, as such, reflect less the struggles and suffering of pre-World War I Boston Irish than the swagger of the militant Counter-Reformation Catholicism of the Irish ascendancy in Massachusetts that came much later.
Posted by: Tony Hill at Nov 8, 2007 6:59:40 PM
On your recommendation, I will get the Friends of Eddie Coyle DVD.
Posted by: john at Nov 8, 2007 7:09:21 PM