Images by Dig Staff
As the hipster paper of record in this town, we couldn’t be any happier to say, “Uh, yeah, we told you so,” “We were first,” and “We despised that band before they even dropped their shitty debut single.”
At today’s press conference (about which the Dig was not notified) addressing his reluctance to sign the United States Olympic Committee’s host city agreement, Mayor Marty Walsh credited—or passive-aggressively hip-checked, depending on your view of things—a symbolic 10 detractors on Twitter for their opposition. This spurred some hilarious blastback, but we’re fine with it. As history will show, we’re excited to have helped fuel the now-notorious social media entourage that did almost as much damage to the bid as the assholes behind Boston 2024.
— Dan Kennedy (@dankennedy_nu) July 27, 2015
While some other outlets were still preoccupied with boosting, we were giving shine to Boston 2024 opposition …
On a much grander scale, of course, there’s another epidemic that rides tandem with costly and obnoxious sporting events–thinking you should be in the business of hosting future ones. Such ideas tend to come from business owners, elected officials, and others who would benefit from such developments. Take, for example, the five-ring blowjob in today’s Globe.
While this conversation should be laughed out of any room populated by people with no stake in bringing such quadrennial idiocy to Boston, the rational folks at No Boston Olympics–specifically, local politicos Liam Kerr, Chris Dempsey, and Conor Yunits–have nevertheless provided some formidable math showing just how costly such an extravagance could be … Nobody should be having this conversation. But if they must, use this ammunition to help murder the idea in its crib.
Like we proudly said, we were some of the original haters …
As chemicals and gas pepper the World Cup air in Brazil, and Sochi suffers from the avalanche that hit last winter, Bostonians can rest-assured that politicians and tycoons are angling to bring the 2024 Olympics to the Hub. Though the national committee has yet to decide if America will ultimately put in a bid, news broke last week that Boston made the short list of contenders next to Washington, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. In its role as the paper of record, the Boston Globe has so far done a somewhat admirable job of letting both Olympic fluffers and their adversaries pitch rhetoric. Still, considering how seismically absurd the whole idea is in the first place, we can’t help but finger a few lines from their coverage that, in or out of context, can only be interpreted as blind naïve boosterism.
Emily Hopkins pounced on organizers more than a few times, nailing the real questions people needed to be asking from the very beginning …
Before we get too engulfed in fuzzy, ultra-nationalist feelings, we should ask ourselves: Who are the Olympics for? Because no matter how many by-the-bootstraps stories about athletes NBC stuffs down your throat, the Olympics are for Visa, MasterCard, McDonald’s, and the international elite. While there may be job and housing opportunities for some lower class Boston residents, any improvements would probably be marginal compared to resources wasted on unrelated infrastructure. Worse, police would be armed to the fangs in case of possible unrest.
Weeks before the Globe sent someone to Atlanta to see how great the Summer Games were for that city, we had longtime Jamaica Plain Gazette editor and Georgia transplant John Ruch investigate the truth about white elephants down south …
Bostonians should take a hard look at my current home city, Atlanta, host of the last U.S. Summer Olympics in 1996. Twenty years later, the only clear winners are real estate tycoons. The clear losers are blue-collar neighborhoods of color, as the Games were sold on broken promises to the working class and wound up spurring a war on the poor.
Forget the fuzzy Olympics math and airy musings of newspaper columnists. I’m talking about problems that remain: How the city’s worst ghetto still sits directly across the street from a major stadium. How cops conducted illegal mass roundups of homeless people to hide poverty, and how the city is still losing shelters. How public transit expanded to rich suburbs but was cut back in working-class minority-majority areas. How the Olympics kicked off the infamous demolition of Atlanta’s whole public housing stock.
In case you forgot what it was like to have the feeling that Olympic planners were attempting to gaslight the entire city …
Planners addressed the arrogance of Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish, the Boston 2024 ringleader, as well as the ridiculous plan to bring, among other things, horse-dancing to Franklin Park. Their beef: people in that area and other places that would be impacted by construction (i.e.: everyone, everywhere) haven’t been consulted.
There don’t appear to be municipal plans to solicit much future input either, at least not before the US Olympic Committee picks their winner in two months. After a devastating Boston Globe column by Eric Wilbur last week titled, “Behind Closed Doors, Boston Has Nearly Secured a US Olympic Bid Whether You Like It Or Not,” Jim Braude and Margery Eagan grilled Mayor Walsh on their WGBH radio show, only to learn that Bostonians may soon be notified about developments, but not necessarily engaged or consulted.
Here’s us ripping one of the innumerable entitled jackasses who took to op-ed pages trying to convince Olympic opponents to calm down …
Take David D’Alessandro. Unlike the nonprofits that regularly pitch the Boston Globe editorial board with little luck, or any of the other powerless pedestrians among us, the former John Hancock Financial Services CEO has the ability to publish an op-ed in the paper of record, and last week used that platform to broadcast a view of affairs so shamelessly cosmopolitan, so utterly removed from Boston’s on-ground reality, that one can only assume D’Alessandro recited it to an assistant while flipping off poor people through the rare mahogany window of a Gulfstream. His rant is actually titled “Why we [ed.: he means “YOU”] should relax about Boston’s Olympic bid.”
Can you believe the brass on Montgomery Burns over here? Did D’Alessandro bet the guys in his Saturday foursome that he could write a screed obnoxious enough to incite mass revolts? The public’s tolerance for being screwed in plain sight around here is extraordinary; nevertheless, there’s definitely energy fomenting in the opposite direction as well, and so in preparation for Monday’s Boston Globe discussion at the ICA and the preceding #NOBOSTON2024 protest, here’s an abridged history of things to scream about when expressing outrage toward the elite cadre of megalomaniacs behind Boston 2024, as told through the five points of D’Alessandro’s Friday missive …
This is where we broke the news that millions of dollars were already being poured into a hyper-surveillance state that would only be bolstered by the promise of a Summer Games. Please note: while this should have been the biggest concern about the Olympics coming to Boston, the topic remained virtually untouched by major media outlets.
Olympic planners in Boston have stressed that public funds will not be used if the Hub is selected by the USOC sometime between tomorrow and January (the final IOC decision won’t come until 2017). Development expenses aside though, the cost just to shield previous games has run in the billions. Supporters—including Mayor Marty Walsh, who has given Boston 2024 his blessing and at the time of this writing is en route to present their proposal to the USOC in-person—have stressed that the legacy of an Olympics will be long, with resources built to last. For civil liberties advocates and those concerned about an added blanket of excessive scrutiny, the idea that infrastructure will be left behind may be the biggest threat.
Some of our competitors (and as a result, a whole lot of people in Boston) didn’t seem to understand the difference between the various anti-Olympic factions, and so we provided them with a guide …
This is a city prone to demonstrating, and it’s no surprise that there’s a multi-prong approach in motion. On that note, in anticipation of tonight’s organizing meeting at The First Church in Boston, we sent the same five questions to representatives from #NoBoston2024 and #NoBostonOlympics, the idea being that their answers might shine light on their similarities and unique tactics as well. Full disclosure: We support both prongs, and wouldn’t mind seeing a few more groups join the uphill battle to derail this disaster.
DB: What is the difference between No Boston Olympics and No Boston 2024?
NoBostonOlympics: We are separate but allied organizations. We’ve got the same goals, but are independent. Variations on a theme—that many in Boston and across the state are frustrated by the lack of transparency in Boston2024’s process and are concerned about the negative impacts of hosting an Olympic Games.
NoBoston2024: We support NBO and consider them allies. Our skill set is very different from that of No Boston Olympics. We are all skilled and experienced in direct action. Draw your own conclusions here.
The pressers were especially brutal. The New York Times quoted us on this one …
I’ll cut to the chase: At the press conference in South Boston today where Mayor Marty Walsh and his Boston 2024 pals formally announced the selection of their bid by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), I felt like I was sitting at a funeral. Specifically it reminded me of my grandfather’s wake, and how I wanted to throw rocks at the priest for pretending it was a positive moment. I expected this to be a bitter pill to swallow if the day ever came, but in all my years as a reporter I have never felt so damn defeated.
To hell with any bullshit that Olympic planners have said about how their process is “just getting started,” or about how “people have seen some of the plans,” as Walsh suggested this morning. Those are lies and quarter-truths, and should be reported as such for the next decade if need be. The fact is Boston 2024 has been organizing for more than a year; their having conceded this and praised their own hard work repeatedly while also insisting otherwise seems right out of the playbook of comedian Steven Wright, who claims to only drink five cups of coffee a day, but doesn’t start tallying until his third cup.
If one positive thing came out of this, it’s that we all now know who the biggest hack in the entire Boston media is. Hint: It’s no longer Howie Carr …
All things considered, we feel that it only makes sense to raise $100 million dollars to construct a state-of-the-art skyscraper in Boston Globe writer Leung’s backyard (final cost estimates are still in the works). It will be called “Olympic Tower,” and it will house college students and artists who will operate the mixed-use development’s 24-7 pot dispensary and heavy metal venue. It won’t be easy, but considering how many executive salads Leung has rhetorically tossed over the years, there may even be a shot of finishing this project without having to use taxpayer money. Please send all donations to the Shirley Leung fan club of your choice.
Here’s when even many of the people who at one point wanted the Olympics likely started to believe that Fish and company were full of fizz …
Earlier this month, Boston attorney Joel Fleming released a trove of emails he obtained from UMass Boston through the Freedom of Information Act. Along with the group No Boston 2024, Fleming trumpeted his discovery of the inside correspondence, which details seemingly insidious discussions between city officials, UMass researchers, Olympic organizers, and The Boston Foundation. The latter is New England’s towering philanthropic behemoth, with board members ranging from partners at the city’s leading law firms, to private equity and banking executives, to nonprofit, media, and university honchos. But even though the foundation is guided by influential business interests, the media barely reacted to the Fleming documents, many of which outlined the nauseatingly sleazy process by which TBF manufactured the production and dissemination of a laughably boosterish Boston 2024 study and press release.
Oh, and we found out that, despite reports to the contrary running for more than a year in every last media outlet, the Boston Redevelopment Authority actually owns part of the area where planners hoped to put their “temporary” stadium …
Community watchdog Shirley Kressel has been trying to sound an alarm about the land within Widett, a public road encircling more than 15 of the roughly 80 acres that Olympic planners are eyeing in this industrial valley. An epicenter for seafood and meat wholesalers, the New Boston Food Market located inside of Widett was relatively unknown to outsiders until last year, when the Boston Globe reported that New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft had an interest in a neighboring parcel, and the Dorchester Reporter broke news that Boston 2024 was sweet on the encompassing lotted area. (The City of Boston as well as the Commonwealth, Amtrak, and a private company own the other land comprising what Olympic planners have ambitiously dubbed “Midtown.”)
But even with all of the articles that have dropped on the topic in the time since, one apparently critical point has been left out. To quote Kressel: “People are not understanding the importance of one fact: The Boston Redevelopment Authority owns a piece of Widett Circle land—the piece right in the middle of where the stadium would sit.”