A couple of years ago, my sister invited me to go to Boston. I had always wanted to go there because of my unhealthy obsession with the Kennedys and also, because one of my favorite movies is Martin Scorsese's “The Departed”, a magnificent story about good vs. evil. Marty had to win the Oscar! I was tired of the whole situation with the Academy hating on him! That sweet man, whose mission in life is to make great movies and preserve them all–good or shitty–through his Film Foundation, deserved it more than, for example, Bob Fosse (WTF!). So when I started hearing the buzz about “The Departed”, I rushed to the theater and enjoyed every cruel minute of it.
I thought nothing could ever make me hate Matt Damon (although his romp with Minnie Driver came close); and I was pleasantly surprised by Sgt. Dignam's (Mark Wahlberg) way with words and efficiency to clean up shit. I am no movie critic, and out of respect to the beloved Roger Ebert, I will refrain from trying to pretend I know anything about “the movies”, but I will tell you that I loved the way Boston was portrayed as another character in the film. It showed Boston at its grittiest and darkest, but it also showed the dignity and the traditions that make Boston the great city it has always been. The bagpipes during the graduation scene sent chills down my spine.
Boston blew me away the moment I was able to figure out how to get out of the tunnels after landing at Logan. My sister's GPS–set to European Spanish–kept telling us to (roughly translated) "Eshtey on deh rrahyt en make ay rrahyt terrn en e lef terrn". My main objective was to run into a Kennedy, so we took one of those tourist double-deckers to get acquainted with Kennedy-territory. We stepped out at Old North Church thinking it was the perfect place to run into one, since they're America's most bible-thumping family, but no luck. I was rewarded in other amazing ways when I sat in Paul Revere’s pew. Paul-fuck***-Revere! The realization that I was surrounded by history started to seep in. We walked until we came upon a cemetery. Most of the gravestones were cracked and moldy, but it was obvious those markers had withstood hundreds of winters. At this point I had forgotten all about my Kennedy-quest (especially because 1 in 10 people in Boston are big-toothed gingers) and started "looking" at the city. Needless to say, I fell in love with it. I didn’t care that nobody knew my name at the Bull & Finch (the Cheers bar), or that I was probably the stupidest person to ever set foot on Harvard. I cherished every single moment I spent hyperventilating before a tombstone with a famous name engraved on it.
When I saw the news yesterday, a knot formed in my stomach and I immediately thought of the victim’s families and the ordeal they must’ve been going through. I saw the photos of the first responders, and of random people running towards the smoke –not away from it–and I realized that in the midst of a terrible tragedy there were infinitely more good guys than bad guys. Then I saw pictures of the Boston PD in action and I thought: If I were one of the bad guys, I’d rather have Israel’s Mossad after me than the Boston Police Department. The last image I saw was one of the city taken from the space station, and I thought: "Boston will endure, as it has done for almost four-hundred winters". Is it a coincidence that the perpetrators chose the "endurance event par excellence" to test the resilience of the people of Boston? I don't know. But if there is some meaning behind it, the perps should know they messed with the wrong city. And even if it looks like the bad guys are getting away with it, Boston, the world, is full of people –like Sgt. Dignam– whose job is to right wrongs.
My heart is with Boston, the victims, the injured, and their families.
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