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Plus ça Papelbon… plus c’est la même Buckner

September 29th, 2011 · No Comments

No regrets here, as the news reaches me finally, mid-afternoon (because I’m now in another market—one with a team that clinched its division, has killer pitching, and an even better record than the Yankees… the pitcher business should tell you all, all by itself), and the NYTimes, which is my print news source (paper, the web, iPad, and the occasional Kindle view, depending on my mood, and whether I feel like spending another buck on my choice of gadget of the day) didn’t file its story on the Red Sox down-to-the-wire debacle until 4 in the morning. So it wasn’t in the newsprint paper they plop outside my door, usually about an hour late.

To me: Red Sox lose in clutch… no big deal, seems like a return to form. I was in Boston for over 48 years and for longer than that this heartbreaking team of losers (sorry, no other word for it… Ted Williams to the contrary, in effect, they couldn’t win with god on their side). And imbecilic as is sports mania in that town that passes for a city in general, the explanation that seemed to satisfy most of the inhabitants was that it was a curse that accrued because a greedy owner cashed in his meal ticket for a big profit. Where have we heard this before?

And still, we have crowds gathering in the Manhattan financial district, generally being rowdy and ineffectual, because they can’t even articulate their cause, something ineffable and inchoate about Wall Street, as if the villain were capitalism, and not simple greed, which has a legacy several millennia old. A curse makes more sense. The wicked witch of the East has cursed the downtrodden, especially in Boston, where the Red Sox blew another sure lead going into the Fall (on September 1st they were even in first place, ahead of the Yankees)… Where have we heard this before?

And of course, Bostonians, rabid boosters that they are, with the emphasis on rabid, will with their usual good grace boo their heroes for not coming through. They do it to every team in the city, no matter the previous record of achievement, no matter former triumphs, no matter illustrious and glorious history.

Ingrates. Like those crowds in Wall Street, who didn’t give a shit what evil, monstrous cupidity the Masters of the Universe cooked up, got sanctioned by Congress, and mandated by Ivy League PhD economists, as long as they had two cars and a truck (that’s what we all call the SUV; fair enough, it’s a truck, with 18 cup holders and flat screen monitors on the backs of the bucket seats) in the driveway, a flat screen in every room but the bathroom, and the mortgage got paid somehow (and no one asked why it was so easy to get that mortgage, when they knew, and the bank knew, and the bank examiners knew the borrowers couldn’t hold up their end of a loan on a tool shed in a hamlet in North Dakota).

I don’t think there’ll be demonstrations in Boston City Hall Plaza (and if so, they will have a PA system, or nobody will hear Mumbles Menino cautioning everybody to calm down and go home), not because the Red Sox blew another one, at the eleventh hour, the last day, the last game, the last inning.

Let’s hope we’re not in the same place, figuratively, with the economy (though we could be; who could tell? who would?… I’m going to hear about this one, and what a simple-minded ignorant twit I am for not understanding some basics of economics; only the economics I’m being tutored in will differ depending on whether my detractor is standing to my left or to my right). But we’ll find out, though not all at once. At least I won’t learn right away, because the NYTimes, being the cautious observers they are, and the over-edited, under-opinionated nelly of a news source that it is, won’t file the story until the towers of lower Manhattan are belching smoke from the fires the rabble have started in the lobbies by burning old stock options.

In case anyone is missing my misanthropic dispassionate point, what we have here is a case of, how do they say it in Boston, holding a cocked thumb and index finger in a digital “L” against their foreheads? “Losahs!”

Only thing is we’re all losahs. And we watch it all wash away, the losses, the good with the bad, the bath water and the baby, and even though it’s happening in slow motion, we don’t even try to do anything about it, except whine, and mill around urban financial districts, scouting them out for likely Hooverville locations, possibly, and blame the faceless, nameless 400 who we’re told have all the money. And indeed, until we put our heads in gear, and decide to act, as the system (which has been chugging away for far longer than the history of the American League) allows, and engage ourselves, we will be helpless. As helpless as Jonathan P. out there on the mound, trying to keep those freakin’ no good Orioles from scoring those two runs.

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