Our resident scold opens the throttle

No, not Shank - he claims to be happy. We're referring, of course, to Shirley Leung, whose post-Olympics column is petulant, exasperated, cranky. We can almost picture her, head down on the bar as she orders up another shot and complains about those ungrateful wretches she's forced to share an area code with.



    Free tagging: 


    Keller begs to differ.

    By on

    And that is interesting in itself.

    Fish and Pagliuca were well-meaning, but also reminiscent of the parade of business leaders who extolled the virtues of the Big Dig, denounced its critics, and swore in commercials it would wipe out downtown traffic.

    None of the above seemed to see what’s in plain view to others – since the economic collapse of 2008, private-sector masters of the universe are viewed with suspicion, if not outright contempt, a strain of resentment and skepticism that extends far beyond the Occupy crowd. Corporate welfare is under attack from left, right and center. A risky multi-billion dollar investment in what the critics loved to call “a three-week party for the international elite” with ticket prices unaffordable to most was always going to be a tough sell in a community that may be on the economic rebound, but still struggled with antiquated infrastructure, struggling schools, unaffordable housing, lack of resources to treat drug abuse, etc.


    We see this when aspirational 1% critters show up here and try to sell their shtick. I noticed a certain persistent apologist just referred to Hillary as a potential convicted felon and Bernie Sanders as a 'communist'. And I remember his 'let em eat cake' horseshit during the Market Basket battle.

    It's as if they don't realize that their loathsome is showing.

    Good thing they are easy to out vote.

    You are confusing me with someone else

    By on

    Let's set the record straight

    1) I sided with the employees and have made it a point to shop at Market Basket since in support of people that put their principles ahead of money

    2) Snark button firmly in the "on" position about Bernie (mostly kidding about Hillary -for now - but there is mounting evidence she may be talking to more lawyers and judges than voters in the near future-TBD)

    Apologist? Really - you obviously aren't paying attention. But I expect partisans on both sides to paint things in their own light. My Fox News-loving friends are about to disown me because I told them I'll probably vote Democrat in the next election (as I did in the last). Except Bernie.

    Poor fresh princess

    We still put up a fierce fight when someone tries something novel to rip us off and lie about it.

    Why in the world do her editors still allow her to say "we" in reference to Boston? She doesn't live here, she isn't from here, and she hates the place.

    Pot, meet kettle...

    the "NJ born, PA raised writer" for a Philadelphia headquartered city magazine blasts Leung as a Shirley-come-lately who doesn't appreciate "his" city. Apparently the one thing required for a media job in Boston is a remarkable lack of self-awareness.

    John Henry should be ashamed

    By on

    The Walmart piece, too... Shirley Leung is criminally bad. How can we take the Globe seriously, with this going on?

    You cure cancer, Shirley

    By on

    You cure cancer, Shirley Leung? Don't think so. Pretty sure you get paid to write crap articles for the Globe.

    Her complaining makes me proud to be from Boston

    She actually criticizes Boston's demands to know all the details instead of getting caught in Olympic euphoria and simply assuming all will work out in the end.

    I'm proud to be from a city which cares about the details.

    I tried to get through this column

    By on

    But I could only stomach about a third of it . Leung is totally clueless about why the majority of Bostonians didn't want or were wary of the Olympics. Its simple. We were concerned about the cost and the disruption our lives. And we didn't trust our public and private leaders, together with the USOC. They were hiding the important details from us from us from the beginning.
    Shirley's alleged dissection of what we think and why we think has been completely and hilariously wrong since she started writing on this subject. She has embarrassed herself and continues to do so.

    it was olympics vs Harvard

    I think your cost and disruption point gets to the crux. Cities that want the olympics are bad enough that its a good deal for them. Harvard doesnt need olympic swimming and the rest if the proposed venues were not poor enough.

    I see this as rich institutions siding with the middle class ( in somerville for instance) against rich developers.

    The 1.0 bid was an experiment: put the olympics in a thriving city that doesnt need it. The 2.0 bid was more oldstyle, put the olympics in down and out areas that will take the disruption and use the misfit buildings afterward.

    Gotta give Shirley Leung credit: she remains

    an utterly oblivious cheerleader even after her team has been routed and the bus has left town without her.

    You see, per Leung, the problem was not that the local organizers were devious plutocrats who were obviously out to suck billions out of taxpayers' pockets at the expense of far worthier, more pressing public concerns. Never mind how blatantly they lied about the one issue that taxpayers worried about most: who'd be on the hook for the inevitable cost overruns. Ignore how the opacity and superciliousness of their public spokespeople just screamed, "We cannot be trusted", and the diligent work of activists exposed how right Bostonians' instincts were on that score.

    Never mind the inability of organizers to address a single public concern about the facilities, public transportation, and traffic issues the Games presented. Avert your eyes from the shocking betrayal of public trust that the Widett Circle giveaway represented.

    Nope, it wasn't that Bostonians still vividly remember the greed, corruption and incompetence of this same gang of thieves when they oversaw the Big Dig, that we noticed the same screaming red flags. Per Leung, the real issue is that we're timid NIMBYs who lack vision. Wave away the polling that clearly showed steadily waning support for the Games: the problem is that we didn't hear enough from Real Working People, whose voices were drowned out by shiftless social-media types with nothing better to do than Tweet all day.

    Per Leung, "We could have hosted the Games on our terms. We could have made them sustainable. We could have posed little risk to taxpayers. We could have showed the rest of the world how it could be done." Yes, and maybe in that alternate universe, Shirley, you're not some combination of hopeless naif and comically obvious bagman for billionaires, and you survive this debacle with a tiny shred of your credibility intact.

    Reminds me of bad salesmen

    By on

    "Look, just sign on the dotted line. Let's get this thing in the door for you and then we'll talk about how we setup to work the best for you and how all the guarantees and warranties work."

    If the initial bid had come earlier and been clearer about financing (and without "gaps"), then maybe we could have made it work on "our terms" (the biggest of which should have been obvious: this costs taxpayers little to nothing in cash and doesn't promise future tax revenue or any bullshit like that). Per Scratchie, "sustainable"? Do you even Olympics, Shirley? And if they wanted little risk to taxpayers, then they should have put that front and center...instead of putting beach volleyball front and center...on the Common...after destroying a bunch of really old trees.

    It's as if they planned the bid SOLELY around redevelopment plans for after the Olympics and then remembered they needed to actually hold the Games in order to get what they actually wanted done. Then they made a few corny videos to try and rally the troops, hid all the details that they knew nobody would like, and then their entire sales pitch actually went to the USOC instead of the community. It's like they'd never even heard of a grassroots campaign (or how to astroturf one into existence).

    Now that we've all agreed we

    By on

    Now that we've all agreed we can fix the problems that we've let fester for the last 2+ decades, how soon can I expect equal or better service to replace the Washington Street Elevated?


    Here are my regrets. We could have hosted the Games on our terms. We could have made them sustainable. We could have posed little risk to taxpayers. We could have showed the rest of the world how it could be done.

    Who the fuck is "we"?


    By on

    Shirley was offering to host the Olympics in her backyard, duh. Open up the fire hydrant for some boating. Beach volleyball on the roof deck is a bold move, amirite?

    She's right, you know

    Boston could have shown the world that the olympics can be hosted transparently and with no risk to the tax payer. But that's not what the Boston 2024 people were planning.


    Boston is too small and too congested and just too corrupt to have ever hosted an Olympics.

    Small? Congested? Corrupt?

    By on

    Small? Maybe, but Atlanta hosted the Olympics (it's about as big as Boston, just with much wider roads and more sprawl).

    Congested? Maybe, but plenty of other cities are as congested (just they have better transit systems to make up for it).

    Corrupt? I mean, yeah, we're corrupt, but we're sort of AAA corrupt, nowhere in the Beijing or Sochi range.

    Problem with corruption

    By on

    You can go 180 degrees around the wheel and actually be functional in your corruption. That's the corruption you get in Sochi or Beijing. Everyone's on the take but the government is actually getting things done because *it* can just buy its way to the solution. It's a mafia with the president/governor/mayor as the don and the companies are the made men.

    See, we have the inverse kind of corruption. Where the mafia dons are the company heads and the politicians are all the made men. That was the one thing Menino did really well for this city. He made himself the don. Walsh is just a made man.

    Cheer Up Shirley...

    By on

    there will always be the Olympics somewhere in the world (for you to attend) just not in Boston.

    So proud of my city!

    Civic Self-esteem

    By on

    She seems to have forgotten about the original Tea Party. Happened here. It was an original f' u to the 1%. Boston remembers.

    We didn't need the Olympics to bolster our self-esteem. Maybe our local 1% folks did.

    If you didn't tweet newsworthy events

    By on

    I'd probably stop following you. Your negativity and bias has gotten the best of you in recent days. The sad thing about your approach to this post, most people should agree with Shirley about her criticism of Boston2024's "Vault" like approach. And that Boston is stuck in old ways and old fears. The same political realities that prevented Boston2024 also prevent taller buildings, cheaper construction options, expanded transportation systems, and everything funky going to Somerville and Cambridge instead of Boston.

    Boston is an amazing city, with phenomenal people and innovators, unfortunately, it all stops at the edge of their yards as NIMBYism holds us back.


    By on

    Because Adam isn't being bought and sold by Boston2024 like the Globe has? Sorry, Shirley was a cheerleading paid lap dog for Boston2024, and everyone knows it.

    Really? Biased? Biased and NIMBYism? Are you for real? Why Because we won't be taken to the cleaners by some 1%ers who decided they wanted to have a tax payer expense'd event?

    I hate to break it to you, Boston is great without the Olympics. We still have innovators and phenomenal people. Those same people that will continue to come here and prosper without the Olympic games. We didn't need the Olympics to be this way, we are just this way naturally.

    Killing the Olympics showed that we're still a lively group of people who care about our community and won't be steam rolled into something we really didn't want or need. This is the core of the spirit of Massachusetts and our region. We're not dumb, don't play us like we are.

    You're right!

    Boston is stuck in old ways and fears!

    Like fear of elected officials so clearly in the pocket of labor unions and construction magnates that it caused people on both sides of the aisle to come together in opposition.

    Like the old ways of cronyism, graft and trying to pull another Big Dig on the taxpayers.

    Fear as in fear of a Mayor and a Chief of Public Policy that are nothing more than a neanderthal lunkhead and his groupie neighbor in charge of our city.

    Those old ways and fears?


    By on

    If that's what you call reasoned conclusion building once given all the facts, then you need to re-evaluate.

    In the meantime, Oslo, Stockholm, Lviv, St. Moritz, Munich, Boston. We're in happy company.

    Now, you know I'm not Shirley

    By on

    Even though you know Waquiot Jr. would fit in well with her brood (he's become obsessed with the John the Baptist statue in the lower church now), but he's got a point.

    Of all people caught up in this, Gov. Baker was the most grounded. He had nothing against the Olympics, but being one of those fiscal conservatives, he didn't want the Commonwealth being stuck with a big bill after all of this. That said, Leung's point is akin to the US going to the moon in the 1960s. Yes, it was expensive, but we proved that American ingenuity would triumph. If the same nay sayers had their way, the problems from the 1960s would have remained, minus the technological advances from the space race.

    In the end, Boston has trouble getting things done a lot of times. Bailing when the USOC is forcing us to sign up to fiscal guarantees when the whole fiscal picture isn't out there was a good mood, but a lot of people here wanted Boston to bail before we even started to have an idea of the fiscal picture.

    I have one prediction for 2024. Widett Circle will still be home to the "back of the house" industries like food and transportation.

    Did you post as "Frustrated"...

    ... if not, I wasn't aiming "Shirley" at you. ;-}

    The John the Baptist statue is friendlier looking than the St. Patrick one stored elsewhere (which makes an occasional appearance).

    I think Boston would have made a better headquarters for a Winter Olympics, using all the most appropriate New England venues for the most appropriate sports. But only once we sort out our winter transportation issues.

    I need to actually visit Widett Circle some day.

    I'm not Frustrated

    By on

    And stop calling me Surely. Still, I do have to note that some do agree with Leung's view about the inherent pessimism of residents.

    The Winter Olympics would be a great idea, and since they are having a hard time getting hosts, who knows.

    As for Jean Baptiste, it's the lamb that attracts him, though he calls it a sheep.

    If you drive downtown and get your car towed, the legend is that you will visit Widett Circle. That said, take the T instead.

    The NASA analogy might be more pertinent

    if it had promised to break the sound barrier for a mere $2B in the 50s but it had actually cost $20B. And if potential cost overruns in Boston could be justified with hundreds of billions of value in ancillary developments, like the spin-off technologies NASA developed in the process. And if there was an equivalent in Boston of advancing our geopolitical interests against our most serious foe. And so on and on.

    I'm all for undertaking audacious ventures, but I'd feel better about it coming from a team that didn't have a track record of egregiously fleecing us the last time they played to our starry-eyed dreams of a better Boston.

    Best Part

    By on

    The best part of her column is near the end, when she says...

    "To the world, Boston is still the same old, same old — a difficult place to get anything done, a place where we’re happy as we are."

    Damn us all to hell. We're happy as we are.


    gooble gobble

    Dear Shirls,

    Please strike the first person plural - that's "we" and "us" and "our," in case you weren't sure - from your writing. You're not one of us.


    I actually want to praise her for her restraint

    By on

    This column made zero mention of damning our children to hell because they now cannot see with their own eyes a best-in-the-world golly gee whiz sports hero achieve a goal born of dedication, hard work, perseverance, sacrifice blah blah blah.

    Oh the future lessons we have lost!!