Just Because I’m Not Your Friend Doesn’t Mean I’m Not From Southie

I woke up at 10am on Sunday and found this post on the Southie Boy Facebook Page

“the southie movies are getting fuckign annoying man go back to hollywood. all you fools dont realise thsese camrbidge yuppies are making money off of your stories. stop supporting south boston movies unless then done by SOUTH BOSTON PEOPLE not faggots from cambridge and california”

My response went something like this,

“EJ – Thank you for your support.  My family has lived in South Boston for 170 years.  I’ve lived on 8th Street, Peters Street, Loring Street, behind Osco’s, and shopped at Flanagan’s at every stop.  Just because I’m not your friend doesn’t mean I’m not from Southie.

PS: You’re a true credit to the neighborhood.  Really fixing that reputation.”

He took his post down rather quickly after that…Then came Monday night…

Before I continue, I want to make my two points very quickly:

1.  The following are a specific type of people that transcend any culture, class, or neighborhood.  I’ve worked in a diverse number of communities, and have seen them in  each one.

2.  Although they are from South Boston.  These people are not an accurate representation of its majority.  (And certainly not a representation of anything I stand for.)

Monday night came and I found myself having a conversation with my 13 year old cousin.  She wanted to upload her first video to Youtube and asked me for some advice.  I told her, “I just want you to know that there are people out there that will post nasty comments just because they want to upset you.”  I told her that she had to ask herself if she was ready for that.

When I started making this film, I asked myself that very question. However even though I know that there will be some tough – and nasty – feedback, I’m never quite ready when it happens.  I hope the following conversation serves as a snapshot of my frustration.

PS: Facebook names have been altered to protect the ignorant.

[INT – PADRIAC’S APARTMENT – NIGHT]

Padriac comes home from work, checks the score of the Patriot’s game and gets a facebook notification…

Sean-O What Family ?

Sean-O Im a little confused is Padriac from Southie .where did he hang out. considering we are talking 3 generations I would expect to know the family name.

Billy Maybe Virginia?

(*Hey, it’s me, Padriac.  Parenthesis + Asterisk = My Commentary)

Southie Boy Funny. I didn’t know [Your Family’s] name until one of them called me a faggot yesterday. Family names: Farma, McEwen, McSolla, Lee. Attended Gate of Heaven 1987-1993. Worked at Condon Pool 1998, South Boston Boys and Girls Club 1998-2001. South Boston Little League Champs – Metro Energy 1995. Just because I’m not your friend doesn’t mean I’m not from Southie.

(*I reluctantly explained myself to him.  Rule #1 in this scenario is to respond positively.  I did not.)

Sean-O what ever sells books .where did you hang point projects .what corner

Sean-O I dont call people I dont know fags,so wasnt me .growing up in an Irish neighborhood with a mixture of Italians you recognize all the big families

Sean-O Lee I recognize now we are getting some where

Southie Boy I’m not writing a book, Sean. And I don’t care what names you recognize. Your seal of approval doesn’t legitimize if I’m from Southie or not. I don’t know you. Are you from Southie?

(Rule #2: Don’t let them know they’re aggravating you.  I definitely let him know he was aggravating me…)

Sean-O ask around

Southie Boy Same to you, buddy

Sean-O I grew up in OC [*Old Colony Housing Projects] where you from

Sean-O just curious buddy dont get all angry, Ill by you a slice of pizza from the rink

(I did not see this comment.  Sean-O, I apologize that things may have escalated because I overlooked your offer of skating rink pizza.)

Southie Boy 4 blocks west on Loring Street. Now I live in the point. How about I write a book about you? I’ll call it “The Real Patterson Way” I’ll give you 1% of the profits.

(Rule #3.  Don’t get too cute.  “4 blocks west on Loring Street?” Who am I? Magellan the Navigator?)

Sean-O sure meet me on patterson and we will divvy it up .

Southie Boy They’re tearing it down. We’ll have to meet at your new apartment in Quincy.

(*Zing!)

Sean-O im still around 🙂

(At this point I took Sean-O’s smiley face as a peaceful gesture.  He questioned my background based on his authority as some random Southie dude I’ve never heard of, and I jabbed back with  a Southie wisecrack about him living in Quincy.  I thought this was a fresh start for me and Sean-O)

Billy Cell warrior here,huh

(*Billy who asked you?  Everybody, this is Billy.  He echos the last sentences of his pack leader.)

Sean-O you are amusing pal .hows your 4000 dollar a month condo treating you

(*This is the first of references to my wealth.  Sean-O, if I was able to afford a $4,000/month condo, I would be hanging out in my sensory deprivation tank instead of arguing with you on Facebook.)

Sean-O Billy thats your neighborhood arent you 4 block due south of the condon lol

Billy The west wing crosses south

(*Yeah, I’m an ass for saying “4 blocks west.”  I think this was my biggest regret of the night.)

Kimberly Sean, is this a joke? And just because they are tearing the buildings down, doesn’t change where we come from. Patterson Way is still there.

(*Everybody, this is Kimberly.  Kimberly, this is my audience…)

Sean-O I was just wondering who southie boy was, hes talking about busing .we got bused .did farma take your bus.I dont mean it in a bad way just curious when I seen page

(*Notice I stopped talking at this point.  The Pats were hammering the Texans…However I should tell Spielberg, Ken Burns, and Southie’s Favorite, Michael Moore that we’re only allowed to make films about our direct experiences, like I failed to do in my…personal…documentary…)

Kimberly Now, I’m curious who he is. I glanced at his little trailer, CLUELESS!!! And who says “4 blocks west” of anything? If I’m up the Island and I’m going to 9th street, I’m “around the corner”

(*Ouch, Kimberly picked up on the “4 blocks west” thing too.  I really shouldn’t have reached there.  However, Kimberly…I have lived in Southie for 30 years, and I have never heard anyone say “I’m up the Island.” I understand it was a thing at one point, but do you still go into McGoo’s and order a spuckie? You’re on Facebook, we know you have the ability to get with the times.)

(**Also…a CLUELESS trailer?  The basic gist of the trailer was…Busing come…Busing Bad…Southie Get Bad Rap…Let us tell you…  Did you have a different perspective, Kimberly? Do you want to talk about your thoughts on busing’s virtues?)

Sean-O Padriac john farma .does anyone have mutual friends .it is a small world and even smaller town after all !

(*This is where Billy drops out because we actually do have mutual friends.)

Kimberly Nope. He only has like 2 Lee’s on his friends list. Who does this person know? And he’s covering three generations of busing? Maybe we can write a screenplay about it. We have the before, during and after generations that actually lived through ur. Not just read about it.

Sean-O they could never understand how it was to live in the best town on earth ,not drink at the playwright on tuesdays and write scripts .hes just mad he cant march in the parade .I didnt make those rules, he should be happy he got to fly his dove in the second parade

(*This means that I am gay, and that I am upset because I was not allowed to march in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade…you know, because I’m gay.  Also, dude…this is a documentary…there are no scripts.  Stop using buzz words you heard on Project Greenlight.)

Georgy If he’s claiming southie does that mean I can too? I got a no trespass in old colony once….that counts, right?

(*Everyone, this is Georgy, he stands to the left of Billy, equi-distant from Sean-O)

Sean-O Georgy if you were walking through OC and carrying a PS coffee when you were arrested that as legit as it gets

Kimberly Well, apparently he’s not very creative anyhow. He has not responded to anything we have said in the past hour. Regardless of whatever Parade he may wish to participate, doesn’t mean he has a legitimate argument over here.

(*This may not be creative, but it is cathartic.  And the argument I make in my film is that some people in Southie made it intolerable for others…which clearly has no relevance here…)

Georgy Hmm….no coffee, but I used to cater lunch for a bunch of Southie’s finest hooligans.. Figure I musta bought my way into residency. I’ll dedicate the first chapter of the memoir I write about growing up there to you and Bobby

Sean-O It never seems to amaze me ,you ask some one a simple question and they wanna get crazy .Imagine he wants to toss some lame insults ,Im just playing he could never hang, better yet he might just go back in his closet and hang himself but he obviously gave up so its back to my book .War not written by a southieboy

(*Lame insult= a joke about someone hanging himself when teen suicides were rampant in Southie during the 90’s.  And maybe I did over-react, Sean-O, maybe I did.)

Sean-0 @georgy ,the best lunches even though a person that will remain nameless took 9 pizzas to go every time .you must be happy they closed shop on their illegal practices
.

Kimberly Well, the prick just got my attention for the whole 3rd quarter. Let’s just wish him a Happy Kwanzaa and call it a night.

(*And what a 3rd quarter it was!! And I don’t get the Kwanzaa reference at all…but if that’s what they’re about then light a candle for me!)

Why don’t these people know me?  Because they’re more than 20 years older than me.  Why else?  Because the only time I was in Old Colony was to help my Little League coach bring the equipment back to his apartment.  There is a logic here that is a separate truth from my own, and hopefully I can find peace with that.

This incident does give me an opportunity to say one thing:  My relationship with Southie is not a threat to your relationship with Southie.  Nor does your relationship with Southie diminish mine.

Continue the conversation at facebook.com/southieboy

And Sean-O.  I was a little aggressive.  How about that skating rink pizza?

Signed,

A Southie Boy

For Better or Worse.

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One Comment

  1. Michael
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    You might mention that your great grandmothers family owned the Playwrite before it was Haps, Molly Darcy’s, or the Playwrite and owned a farm that stretched for second street to the reserve channel and contracted to build most of the foundations in Citypoint including Gate of Heaven Church

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