The Osama Swoosh

William Gibson has the first intelligent comment I’ve read on Osama’s address last week:

It gets harder, the more I think about it, to see [the address] causing many of the remaining pool of undecided US voters to go Bush. I think OBL needed a logo moment, though, in terms of the ongoing validity of his global brand, and look what he’s been able to pull off, with virtually no outlay: The world’s full attention, as both candidates drop everything to respond.

You know who would’ve completely gotten OBL? Andy Warhol.

Go Steelers!

While I have adopted the baseball team of my adopted city, I have no such feelings for their football team, so I was quite happy to see the Steelers just end the Patriot’s streak.

OK, no more sports posts until Spring Training! (Unless the Steelers win the Super Bowl).

Red Sox Parade


Helmecki came up from Connecticut Friday night, and he, Terri, and I went to the big Red Sox victory parade yesterday morning. Photo highlights are here. There were 17 duck boats full of players, coaches, former players, management, front-office employees, some kids from the Red Sox Foundation, and “Red Sox Partners”, which I assume are people who paid to be in the parade.

It was fun. We stood at the corner of Charles and Boylston, and were pretty close to the action. The boats went by pretty fast, though; there were lots of folks we didn’t manage to see because it happened so suddenly. After they went by, we walked up Charles St., through Beacon Hill, and on to the Longfellow Bridge. We hung out there until the boats went into the river, and we watched them go up one side from there. There were an amazing number of people along the Esplanade watching them go by. We went down to the Cambridge side, in the park between the Cambridge Parkway and the river, and caught them making the final leg on the North side of the river.

Massachusetts family values

This contrarian bit in today’s Globe Ideas section has some more pesky facts on Massachusetts liberals:

The state with the lowest divorce rate in the nation is Massachusetts. At latest count it had a divorce rate of 2.4 per 1,000 population, while the rate for Texas was 4.1. … The Associated Press, using data supplied by the US Census Bureau, found that the highest divorce rates are to be found in the Bible Belt. The AP report stated that “the divorce rates in these conservative states are roughly 50 percent above the national average of 4.2 per thousand people.”

The author credits this mainly to higher levels of education (paid for by higher taxes), and later marriage ages. The author also gives some credit for this to Catholicism; maybe unsurprising because he’s a professor emeritus at Catholic University, but it’s a little dubious, especially since it’s the one claim he makes without citing any facts.

Anyway, it’s all crap. “Liberal” and “Conservative” aren’t meaningful labels, and aren’t mutually exclusive. If, by “conservative” you mean that one’s behavior is governed by tradition, or that one is straight-laced, you might be surprised at how extremely conservative Massachusetts is.


In case you wonder what people are talking about when they’re talking about the noxiousness of the Boston sports media, here’s a little snotty streak from Bob Ryan. He starts off as if he’s going to put it in perspective. It’s just a game:

It’s about baseball.

This is not the Boston Symphony whipping the St. Louis Symphony. This is not about Mass. General taking out Barnes-Jewish. This is not about chowdah getting the measure of toasted ravioli.

This is about the Boston Red Sox having a better baseball team than the New York Yankees. This is about the Boston Red Sox having a better baseball team than the St. Louis Cardinals.

Now, Bob, come on, don’t we have any way to feel a sense of superiority?

While an entire nation has sold its soul to the violence and essential callousness of football, Boston has been a proud, stubborn holdout, preferring a more subtle, intricate sport appealing equally to the mind and the senses. If we are the only locale in America in which baseball is king, so be it. When you’re right, you’re right.

Ah, that’s the smugness I thought I could count on. Thanks Bob!