In last Friday’s Boston Globe, on page one no less, business columnist Shirley Leung embarrassingly begged the United States Olympic Committee not to run away from the loud and consistent opposition to hosting the 2024 Summer Games in the Hub. All this complaining, she says, looks normal to us. It’s simply the Bostonian way of life.
It’s true that we’re a vocal bunch, but said behavior isn’t rooted in some cute cultural stereotype. It’s not a Will Hunting impression. Leung points out that residents whined about the Big Dig, a project that, now that it has been completed, we can’t imagine living without. She doesn’t, however, mention that the reason for laments is rooted in dramatic cost overruns and long delays. Leung acknowledges the plummeting in polls for Olympic support, but chalks it up to “PTSD” resulting from the brutal winter.
Ask actual Bostonians, though, and they have myriad reasons for rejecting the Games. Ones that Leung never mentions, like the prospect of welcoming untold security and surveillance, for example. Bostonians complain because there is a lot to complain about. This is one of the top metropolitan areas in America for income inequality; while private developers flip houses, raise rents, and evict tenants, venture capital pours in unchecked. Meanwhile, our public transit system is in disrepair because of mismanagement and bureaucratic ineptitude, and we’re being told to believe that many of the same culprits behind our MBTA nightmare will solve that problem with a massive sporting event. Sure they will.
To Leung, Olympic opposition sounds like an infant throwing tantrums. Hilarious that she sounds like a kid having a meltdown since her dreams are decreasingly likely to come true.