When I got my first car — a 1985 grey, Volvo 240DL station wagon from my parents — I immediately adorned it with two bumper stickers. One said "Save Fenway Park!" and the other: "Yankees Suck!" The entire time I grew up, the Red Sox just were not good. There were occasional flashes of brilliance, great players I remember (Pedro, Clemens, and as a kid I loved Mo Vaughn!), but I just assumed we would never be a winning team like the Yankees. I almost didn't care; part of our identity was to be the shitty hometown team that played in an old ballpark and had a lot of attitude.
I was in high school when "Yankees Suck!" t-shirts started popping up everywhere. It was awesome. "Let's go Red Sox" was such a boring chant. But all of Fenway chanting in unison "Yankees Suck!" when we're down five runs? It felt defiant.
The culture around the Red Sox has done a 180 during my lifetime. When I go home to Boston and visit Fenway, it feels as saccharine as every other ballpark: full of people in pink hats singing "Sweet Caroline" when we're down three runs, or doing the wave when we've got a batter up and a chance to score. All of these feelings, positive and otherwise, came back to me reading this delightful feature in Grantland:
The punk history of Yankees Suck!
The whole story of how the Yankees Suck! t-shirt business started is just great, and so uniquely Boston. It's so perfectly scripted for a stereotypical Boston movie: a bunch of young punk Red Sox fans make t-shirts to buy drugs, beat up other guys to protect turf, pay off cops, and give absolutely zero fucks all the way until they're finally busted.
Growing up in dangerous Wilmington
Wilmington, DE is one of those uber-dangerous American cities that fly under the radar. We hear all about places like Camden or parts of LA, but Wilmington's size, location (Delaware!), and general lack of notoriety keep it out of the headlines. I had a friend who did her Teach for America in Wilmington, so prior to reading this article I was passively aware of the challenges in that community. It was arresting to read about the challenges faced by those who contend with violent crime as part of their daily lives. I don't see how we'll ever break the cycle of poverty in parts of this country if we can't at least guarantee folks safety to step on their front porch any time they'd like.
Columba Bush as a political asset
Two of the GOP candidates for President speak Spanish fluently, yet thanks to another candidate, any opportunity to position the party as progressive, inclusive, or supportive of the American dream for all have been derailed. I've been surprised at Jeb's hesitancy to more aggressively pitch his connection to the Latino community; this article may give some color as to why. Jeb's Mexican wife, Columba, does not embrace the political spotlight or campaign trail like some other political wives. I'd imagine (since Jeb himself is not Latino) it's hard for him to position himself as an advocate for that community without her public support and involvement.
Is celebration ruining the Appalachian Trail?
Somehow I missed the hubbub over a trail runner who marathoner who sprinted his way through the entire AT. At its conclusion, he popped champagne on top of Mt. Katahdin. This event, along with a general increase in traffic to the park, has some advocating for moving the end of the AT off Mt. Katahdin. I read both this article and a number of other pieces linked off from it regarding the original trail running incident and the response. I'm fully in support of the need to preserve public spaces, but I think the official response comes off as lacking here. There's ways to accommodate increased traffic to the park, preserve it as a wilderness area, and keep the path of the AT intact without resorting to a heavy-handed response.
Donald Trump: born rich and staying that way
Enthusiasm for the Trump candidacy is incredible concerning. Donald Trump is a bigoted, hateful man who spews vitriol bad for America and bad for the party. He's tapped into a scared part of the American consciousness, and I fear given legitimacy to opinions that will hurt the GOP long after he's gone. I'm glad Vox has assembled information on one misunderstood Trump fact in a single place: he's not a brilliant businessman. Trump often portrays himself as a genius moneymaker. In fact, he was born rich, inherited his business, and his major contribution has been compensating for that insecurity by plastering everything he owns with his last name. He's a clown, and should be treated that way.