It’s been one of those brutally hot weeks here in Boston. Everything slows down to Southern City speed. The electricity has been more or less consistent, but we’re still losing seniors at an alarming rate. Paul has taken to knocking on neighbors’ doors during the longer outages, dragging some of the limp looking older folks into our one air conditioned room at the condo.
The bike generator obviously can’t keep up with A/C demands so we’re using diesel. We’ve all pooled our money to keep a supply on hand.
In the early part of the heat wave — Sunday and Monday — we kept hearing sirens and ruckus, but at a great distance. High tensions and high temperatures don’t mix well so we figured it was just the Allston Boys shooting off their mouths. Or even little skirmishes between the BackWater Thugs and the Colonel’s boys. But nothing made the news so we thought maybe it was just accidents. Not that anyone is driving a whole lot.
Then suddenly we started seeing “1290 AM” written in chalk all over the square. And people started talking about “Radio Free Boston.”
Of course we came home and turned on the (hand-crank) radio to that station and… hey! The Children of Liberty have set up a radio station.
I guess the broadsides were getting too dangerous to distribute.
Turns out that the ruckus we’ve been hearing has indeed been scuffles between The Colonel’s men and the BackWater Thugs. And the Children of Liberty and the BackWater Thugs. Why haven’t we heard about this? Well, it seems that the government has threatened the journalists with “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization” if they talk about it. And have hauled away some reporters for violating the “security ban.” Those reporters haven’t been heard from again.
Why do I believe what could just be so much propaganda? ‘Cause I recognize the folks doing the reporting. I used to work for a very big, important, one might even say GLOBAL paper in the area. (Forgive my subtle attempts to thwart the Carnivore program.) And I used to listen to WBUR every day before they got shut down “for security reasons.” I know those voices, even if they are using some singularly silly noms de guerre. (Though I have to admit that I think Joe Cronin would be proud to have his name being used.)
Apparently, the MIT lads and lasses have gotten involved and we can expect regular broadcasts from Radio Free Boston on the “real truth.” Just scan through your AM dial to find them. They keep moving.
Turns out that some of the ruckus has been some pretty pitched skirmishes. (Can you have a pitched skirmish? Or does it necessarily become a battle? Am I just reluctant to use the word ‘battle’ in conjunction with my city? Is fire-fight better?) Mostly they’ve kept it to places where the civilians aren’t. (“Civilian” — there’s another tricky word with unpleasant implications if you think about it.)
Some of the biggest fights have been on the MIT campus — mostly shut down for the summer. Apparently some of the handful of “authorized” students working on the classified projects objects to the way they were being treated and one thing lead to another.
I imagine, now that you know about the news, you can go online and find a more comprehensive source. I don’t have enough battery power to repeat all the stories. But there are few points about the station that I find really interesting.
First, someone did their homework. With the power wonky, I wasn’t surprised when I started seeing those hand-crank radios more often. But suddenly I’ve been seeing them everywhere! I mentioned it to a friend and she said, quite casually, “Oh, yeah, there’s some guy with dreads been giving them away in the T stations every morning.” Clearly, the Children of Liberty have their act together.
Second, it’s terribly depressing that I have had to explain to three different people where the name came from. Apparently, if you’re under 30 and don’t read LeCarre, you’ve never heard of Radio Free Europe.
Finally, I think we’ve turned some kind of a corner. Everyone is listening to the Radio Free Boston. Everyone is talking about the news that’s showing up. The BackWater Thugs get sneers and jeers and cold shoulders and people just flat out leaving when they show up to an area. The entire staff of the local Starbucks just walked out the door when two off-duty but in-uniform Thugs walked into the front door.
Maybe it’s just the unbearable heat dripping down the back of my neck, but I feel like a storm is coming.