I’m not from Boston. I’ve never lived there. I moved into the Boston suburbs in 1990, having been born in Texas, grew up in Pittsburgh and Tiny Town, NH, then went to college in upstate NY. I’m not “Bostonian.”
I tell you this out of respect for the tribal, territorial, overwhelmingly uncooperative local culture. Folks get angry over this sort of thing: how dare you!
People who claim they’re “from Boston” without the real credentials draw deep hostility and derision from the Real Bostonians.
I rarely say “whatever,” and this time may well be the first ever in print, but here goes:
I never saw the point in feeling so deeply proud about where you happened to pop out of the womb. It’s not like you has any say over where, right? Pride is for achievements, not for random chance.
This region has the most aggressive and obnoxious drivers I’ve ever seen: most of us would get pulled over and arrested soon enough, anywhere else in America. I’ve driven in NYC: they swear a lot, otherwise they’re easy prey. I took a u-turn once on the West Side Highway in a Corolla. People yelled: who cared? Not me. We Massachusetts drivers aren’t angry as much as we’re CRAZY: “Massholes.” Around here, it really takes work, ambition, and creativity to attract police attention. I’ve tried often enough! It’s hard to stand out around here: law breaking on the road is the norm. Yield sign: it is to laugh! Stop sign, red light… right. And so on.
It reflects our local culture. We won the right to the sole American Olympic Games bid for the next round, except “we” remain quite overwhelmingly confident it will be a huge disaster if we get it, all of us except a few boosters and “leaders” well on their way to disgrace for showing such unreasonable civic optimism. Except for those who staked their reputations on the bid, everyone around here knows full well it’s a catastrophe in the making. We’re still arguing about our first ever – FIRST EVER! – casino. No end in sight on that one, it seems. The Olympics crowd promises there will be no public costs, in a state where a few miles of tunnel cost $BILLIONS over budget, and when opened promptly started leaking water and costing more. Does anyone believe any ‘leader’ here? There might be a few out there… Massachusetts is supposedly liberal, but that seems a dated label to me. We don’t trust pols much, or other leaders, or each other. Tribal! Everyone looking for an angle…
We have lots of great people around here, don’t get me wrong. Yet the culture is a disaster. We don’t believe in big government; we believe in finding opportunities, in government or elsewhere: it’s all the same. Get a sweet gig, milk it for perks and connections, move on. We take care of ourselves. Very cynical: that’s become our way.
One party in power for generations: that’s bad. It hardly matters which party. Power without opposition corrupts.
The rest is details.