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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Green eggs and ham

The jokes are as warmed over as the scrambled eggs and as stale as day-old Irish soda bread. If it weren't for Deval Patrick's ill-timed overseas trip everyone would have emulated Scott Brown with year-old jokes about his 2010 victory.

Once upon a time, the annual St. Patrick's Day breakfast was a must-event on the state's political tour. Elected officials worked hard at their routines, often hiring joke writers to polish their routines.

Maybe the luster was lost when the event moved from a hot and overcrowded Southie hall accessible by fire escape into the cavernous Boston Convention and Exposition Center on The South Boston Waterfront. Or maybe they were hard-pressed to keep up with the naturally wicked humor of former Senate President Billy Bulger.

I admit I passed on most of yesterday's time. I tuned in as Patrick raced through his own flat monologue to reach a decent finale -- a poke at House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Therese Murray, Lt. Gov. Tim Murray and himself -- all to the tune of Scotland's Danny Boy.

Thankfully I missed Brown's stale routine about John Kerry's yacht and the people's library and all the Mayor-for-Life cracks directed at the Mayor-for-Life. I didn't miss Kerry himself or the phone call from Barack Obama, no-shows because events around the world are hardly funny at the moment.

What once even was a rollicking good time of self-deprecating humor, recent events have taken on a harder edge, as has the parade that follows. You know the one that had to be split into two because organizers had a problem with people described themselves as veterans for peace.

South Boston has changed along with the rest of the city -- and the political tone. The notes at yesterday's breakfast sound awful flat the day after. Maybe it's time to recall another Scottish classic and raise a cup of kindness to auld lang syne.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess my sense of humor is unsophisticated. This was the best one in several years, although a grade of C+ rather than F is not exactly spectacular. The reason it's not as good as 10 years ago is the lack of good storytellers. Politics have changed as well as South Boston.

March 21, 2011 4:24 PM  

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