Tagboston

Parochial

The Boston sports world is a weird place. Intense, fanatical, whiny, hopeful — it’s the kind of place that can support two sports radio stations without any problem whatsoever. Very macho world, of course. Sports. So the cool thing of the morning is this: Steve Buckley, who’s one of the reasonably big names in Boston sports journalism, came out. He writes for the (conservative) Boston Herald, and he has a frequent guest spot on (fairly conservative) WEEI, so that makes his environment just a little bit more unwelcoming than if he wrote for the Globe. Big kudos to him.

The comment section of his article isn’t quite a cesspool, although there’s a lot of hostility. Lot of praise, too. Also a lot of deleted comments. I expected worse, all in all.

One event closer to equality.

The Given Day

I want to do a big thoughtful post on Dennis Lehane’s newest novel, The Given Day, because hey, Lehane. Mystic River remains one of my favorite books ever. But…

I liked The Given Day a lot. It’s an easy read, it’s interesting history, and Lehane’s love for Boston shines through every page. I don’t, however, think it’s quite as significant a book as Lehane seems to think. It has to carry both the weight of Lehane’s discussion of race and class, which is great as always, and of historical information, which I think weighs the book down overly.

The book jacket makes excited note of how Babe Ruth, Calvin Coolidge, and various other historical figures are characters. That was a bad sign. While Babe Ruth in particular was used really well as a framing viewpoint character, and I’d love to read Lehane’s Babe Ruth novel, I was not so interested in the game of admiring how Lehane worked the other historical figures into the narrative. Yay for gratuitous J. Edgar Hoover.

So that’s the summary. Good book, and I liked it as a historical, but as a tutorial on Boston history in 1919 it fell flat. I’d recommend in paperback rather than hardcover.

Upcoming Boston-Area Movie Festival Stuff

Noted:

The Zombie Marathon, at the Somerville Theate. Movies include Shaun of the Dead, Fido, I Walked With A Zombie, 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, Zombie, and Dead Alive. I suspect that’s the full list, since it’s a 12 hour marathon and that’s 7 movies. No Romero? Shocking, but perhaps Diary of the Dead will sneak onto the program or something.

Second, the Brattle Theater’s Boston Fantastic Film Festival is coming soon, like weekend after next. Announced movies: Trapped Ashes (review), The District (review), The Signal (review), Murder Party (review), The Devil Dared Me To (review, read down a bit), and yay Zebraman (review).

I really want to catch Zebraman; Miike’s kaiju work has been way cool in the past. The District also seems really intriguing, and perhaps The Signal. The others I could take or leave, excepting Trapped Ashes, which from all the reviews looks intolerable.

Can't You Say You Believe In Me

Some geeks build things. A few geeks build things really well. Once upon a time, there was a geek named Tom, an MIT graduate, who worked for Polaroid. He decided he wanted to build a rock and roll band.

So he built Boston, and say what you will, but it’s my opinion that he built the best stadium rock band ever. Boston had the biggest selling debut album and held that record for over ten years, which is not trivial. That doesn’t mean it was great music, but stadium rock isn’t great music. They knew what they were doing.

They: Barry Goudreau, Tom Scholz, and Brad Delp. Cause nah, it wasn’t just Scholz and his magical effects boxes. Goudreau played guitar and wrote songs, and Delp’s voice was pretty much integral to the whole thing. Not that he was a great singer, although he was good, but he had great range and a wonderful harmony and it wouldn’t have been Boston’s soaring overblown overwrought flights of musical excess without him.

All of which is preamble to this: Brad Delp died today, at age 55, in his home in New Hampshire. I am sorely saddened. May he rest in peace.

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