Sacred Cods and Holy Mackerals

Reader comments, ed. 1
December 1, 2008, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Nothing like some Howie Carr bashing to draw some feedback. Anyway, I feel these two comments are worth responding to. They raise fair points, and call me out appropriately.

Is Howie Carr the cause behind Marzilli/Wilkerson/DiMasi/Turner/Rogers/the Big Dig/the toll hikes/etc? Clearly the answer is “No.”

Every town needs a Howie Carr-type: a columnist with a long institutional memory who isn’t afraid to name names. The problem with Howie is that he is well past his prime. Most days, his column reads like a Mad Libs column. “Insert politician A here. Insert accusation B here. Make insider reference to old politician C. Insert either ‘When the phone didn’t ring, it was Politician D’ or ‘Politician E left office due to illness: the voters got sick of him’ joke here.” Rinse, lather, repeat.

What I do blame him for is encouraging apathy. It’s one thing to rake the muck. It’s quite another to play into your readers/listeners chronic cynicism and apathy and make them feel like there’s nothing they can do about it. THAT is Howie’s biggest crime. When Jerry Williams got mad, his listeners would burn out the State House switchboard. When Howie’s listeners get mad, they make a snide joke to a buddy, and then forget to vote on Election Day. And what gets accomplished? Nothing.

In regards to the “Massachusetts is in a race with Louisiana for the bottom” comment, I simply don’t understand where this comes from. Do people really think that there is no worse place in the nation to live than Massachusetts and Louisiana? In my opinion, this statement gets made by people who clearly have not done much traveling around this country. Sure, this state has problems. Yes, there’s a long history of political gamesmanship. But to say that New Mexico or North Dakota are better places to live is simply absurd.

Massachusetts is either at or near the top when it comes to personal income, employment, education, literacy, personal safety, health, and life expectancy.

Godless, liberal Massachusetts also has the lowest divorce rate in the nation, and among the lowest rate of teenage pregnancy.

Even when it comes to taxes, Massachusetts ranks 26th when it comes to percentage of income paid in taxes.

Doesn’t sound like an awful place to live to me. Sure, the government may have some problems. But most do and most always will.

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