Friday, June 30, 2006

Boom! Goes the Metro Section

(Sorry, don't know how to do links, go over to boston.com and judge the offending essay for yourself)

Buying a newspaper during a major holiday weekend is very much like ordering fish in a restaurant on a Monday. It MIGHT be fresh. Then again...

The desire to be in Mattapoisett by dinnertime must'be got the better of Globe Metro columnist Brian McGrory. The nicest adjective one can give his column in today's paper would be "schizophrenic."

The 4th of July, of course, means fireworks. The "fireworks are dangerous" story is as routine a part of newspapering as "Mayor serves turkey dinner to down-and-outers" is at Thanksgiving. McGrory's effort in this timeless non-news story category, however, is downright weird.

Half of McGrory's article was a routine denunciation of fireworks as dangerous items Massachusetts is right to ban for public consumption, along with snide remarks about New Hampshire's decision to keep fireworks legal. To your true Globie, New Hampshire is Mississippi with snow.

The other half, and there's no other conclusion to be drawn, was an advertisement for the New Hampshire Fireworks Merchants Association, making it clear to all residents of no-fun Massachusetts that the delightfully lethal explosives needed to commemorate Independence Day are for sale right across the border. McGrory included PRICES!! There was no mention of senior citizen discounts, but that must've been an oversight.

Thanks to McGrory, Globe readers now know just how many illegal, immoral, dangerous fireworks will fit into their holiday budget and where to get 'em. The essence of journalism is service.

Most days, McGrory is a pretty good columnist. This reader went over today's piece three times, because the possibility exists that McGrory meant to be snarkily dismissive of the Bay State's fuddy-duddy refusal to let its citizens blow stuff (and themselves) up. Before the proper amount of coffee, subtlety is lost on me.

As I said up top, you be the judge. My verdict: If McGrory was aiming for subtlety, he succeeded far too well. If not, well, the NHFMA owes him big time. Maybe they'll send him a few Roman candles.

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