Yet, Hollywood seems instead to be falling in love with an ethnic group that has been here even longer than the Italians: the Irish. Working class white Boston, where killings, while rare, frequently remain unsolved, has been the setting for the recent Oscar-winners "The Departed" and "Mystic River."
Steve Sailer wrote the lines above. He may be right, now, but not too long ago, there were two Irish* gangs one (The Winter Hill Gang) that was attritted by government action and morphed into its successor run by a very cool customer, Whitey Bulger who, when the government was close, took off and is still at large. You can see his picture just below OBL's on the FBI's ten most wanted list.
Anyway, one of Bulger's minions, John Martorano (don't let the name fool you), is going to be on Sixty Minutes this Sunday. John confessed to around twenty murders. He was one of a number of prolific killers. Things may have calmed down and I've been away for a long time, but contrary to what Steve thinks, there is enough material for several novels and exposés, documentaries. You could get hundreds of movies and a few operas.
In the nineties, I had a business interaction with one of the gang members. Nothing sordid or illegal. Be assured, I limited this to the minimum possible. This was not a higher ranking guy, but he was scary.
The area is changing. East Boston, once heavily Italian has large swaths where MS 13 is big.
I live now in near as rural an area of the Bay State as you can find East of the Connecticut River. I go rarely to the Boston area. Last year I went to a family funeral. My extended family members are almost all college graduates and live away from Boston and its neighborhoods where less than a generation ago we all spent time. We have done what we could to, at least unconsciously, lose the "accent." As we were talking, someone brought up the movie, "The Departed" and everyone fell to discussing the stars and their attempts at mimicking the patois. As the conversation proceeded, I noticed that everyone had slipped back into the accent.
Below is a video of comedian Steve Sweeney. I think it is funny and worth watching to see how you do not want your kids to grow up talking.
Note, Sweeney mentions the number and the Herald. That paper is the direct descendant of the Record American that came out in several editions every day. On the sports page would be the US Treasury Balance. I always wondered why that was so. Before the state lottery started picking the number the last three digits of the treasury balance was it. Just putting that out there if anyone had so much time out to wonder about that.
*One could even say Italo-Irish as the gangs included some Italian footsoldiers, but, hey even the local Mafia chief was half Irish.
Posted Jun 21, 2006
Boston Comedian Steve Sweeney performs at the Marriott Hotel