After a spirited discussion with Boston this weekend, I was inspired to start a nonfiction piece about New England politicians, and I’ll post a bit of it here. It’s very early on, so feel free to judge harshly, just not too harshly.
It’s no wonder people fear and distrust these North Eastern boys of privilege.
In The Cider House Rules, John Irving’s tale about an orphanage in Maine, Dr. Wilbur Larch (a wonderfully New England-ish name, isn’t it?) salutes the orphan boys with these words each night at lights out: “Goodnight, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England”. I always really liked that part when Michael Caine said it in the movie.
I’m not an American. New England is the only part of the United States that I know well and have extensively traveled.
My friend Matt, raised in Salem, educated at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, a Massachusetts boy through and through, put it like this: “I’d vote for a retarded monkey if his last name was Kennedy.”
To which I responded, “But what if he was a Republican?”
“It’d never happen, but if it did I’d hold my nose and do it.”
It’s obviously well documented how the Kennedys became American royalty. But why? Why the reverence? Why the deification? So they’re an extremely ambitious, fairly good looking and Catholic bunch, but what’s the big deal? Now, I’m not really looking to discover the basis of the Kennedy mystique, although I would place a wager that it’s very nearly worn off.
Unless, apparently, you’re from Massachusetts.
Oh, glorious New England. Ivy-League-ish. Smells like money. The colonial mansions are nice. Prep schools are everywhere. (What are they being prepped for? Oh, right: money).
Conspiracy theories, stereotypes and blind envy abound.
I can’t be bothered going into the whole Skull and Bones society conspiracy either, but it sure does help stoke the fires of opposition: what a bunch of elite assholes…
A particularly astute move on Karl Rove’s part was the full scale duping of the entire country – that Bush2 had nothing to do with New England, that he wasn’t actually born there, that he didn’t actually go to an elite prep school, Yale, Harvard and (gasp) get inducted into the Skull and Bones society. Well done, Karl. John Kerry went to Yale, what an effete intellectual, faggy elitist bastard. Of course, Bush went to Yale, went to Yale at the same time as John Kerry was there.
But it’s all ok now in 2009, Bush2 isn’t really our problem anymore, and hey, Yale probably doesn’t really want to be associated with him either, unless there’s a rather large donation involved.