Jason is the network director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism and writes the columns Apparent Horizon and Townie. He is also the executive editor and associate publisher of DigBoston. Before that, he founded the nonprofit Open Media Boston and other grassroots publications. Jason is a longtime labor-community organizer with an MFA in visual arts and is the institutional memory of our gang.
It would have been appropriate for Bostonians from all walks of life to call an even larger rally this week than last year’s to take up an old slogan, “Never Again,” in memory of the honored dead of Pittsburgh.
No more manual labor for me, though. That was over, given my damaged vertebrae. This time any temp assignments I took had to make use of my writing, editing, and research skills—which I had developed over the previous few years, despite not having a college degree.
The magnitude of the disaster is just starting to sink in. About 8,500 homes were affected, and its occupants are being told that it will take months to replace the cast iron gas pipes under city streets and restore service.
I was first injured directly after leaving the last shift of a job in late March 1989. But it was not an actual job. It had neither security, nor benefits, nor decent wages. It was certainly labor, though.
The received political wisdom is that the major parties have set up so many structural roadblocks over their many decades in power that it’s impossible for any of the smaller so-called third parties to achieve major party status. And from my experience that received wisdom has been correct. So far.
It was vexing to watch Bird fans that clearly hadn’t even bothered to read the article in question—let alone my broad and deep back catalog—attack me as some kind of car-loving anti-environmental reactionary in the service of flogging their hipster transportation fetish du jour.