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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Boston: If you read only one thing ...

Boston bombing victim
Boston bombing victim (Photo credit: Ninian Reid)
Something about American sports reporting seems to produce great political writers. I am struggling to think of a British equivalent.

This sprang to mind as I learned that a writer I really like, Charles P. Pierce, who never has bad copy, and who has three must-reads on the Boston bombing as of now, is a sports writer too.

This sweeping arc over the scene yesterday is rooted in his Bostonian longitude:
That is how the news spreads today, when two bombs go off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, and at least three people die and north of 100 are injured, some brutally. The shock is sudden but its ripples fade quickly as the knowledge of what happened goes out into the ether and then back through thousands of personal mobile devices. Horror has no shelf life anymore. Everybody knows already. Everybody's a newsman. Everybody's in showbiz.
First draft reporting at Leica level:
Back by the stone fountain, a woman in a silver blanket told a Providence TV station that she'd been unable to find a ladies' room after the race because all the restaurants and hotels had been locked down and she had to come all the way down to Park Square to find facilities that would deign to accommodate her. She was not happy at all, and she was telling greater Providence about it. "And I needed TO PEE!," she told some undoubtedly astounded Rhode Islanders.

There was something comfortingly mundane in how truly angry she was.
To the idiot parade -- e.g. 'Tingles' -- crowing 'but we know not if it was political!':
The cruel strife between brethren is waged daily by individuals, and by governments. We must recognize that we do not love in excess as easily as we hate in excess. In Boston, in Baghdad, in Mogadishu, all of this is political because we are all political. We are fated to be tied to each other in our politics. We are fated to kill each other for them or not to kill each other for them. It is entirely our choice, and always has been. We must decide not to slaughter each other. Or not. This is also a political choice we make.
For "the folks who dropped by from Glennbeckystanstan":
The sun came up this morning on a garrisoned city. Some people think one thing about that, and some people think another. But too many people think something completely insane, and that scares the hell out of me. In our politics, we must we must look the real monster in the eye, and not create phantoms because they are more easily killed. We have lost faith in that in which we cannot lose faith and survive. As investigators crawl over Copley Square, they might as well be looking for the democratic soul of a nation gone a bit mad.
I started reading Pierce (at Esquire of all places) during the election. Perhaps you can tell why.

Olbermann is an obvious companion great communicator to Pierce but, heck, even Bob Costas has better expressed political thoughts that any UK comparison crossing my mind. I wonder why that is?
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