DATELINE: Trolls in the Park
Perhaps you belong to that quaint community that used to recall when signage at Fenway Park said things like: “No Smoking.” Or the ever useful “restroom” with the corresponding arrow.
Today if you go to Fenway Park, someone will unfurl a banner that reads: “Racism is as American as baseball.”
We would rush to advise the holders of the banner that they left out mom and apple pie.
Yes, indeed, baseball has a racist history. You probably can find racism and associated with any topic. Human nature being what it is.
The modern slogan is symptomatic of the new Puritans, following in the footsteps of their witch- hunting ancestors from Salem who always enjoyed finger-pointing on the way to kangaroo courts.
The new Puritans of today are likely wolves in sheepskin. They are college educated and know better than you whether you should wear a seat-belt or smoke a cigarette. And they are not shy to find any pulpit on which to share their slogan. In this case, it happens to be Fenway Park on live television. Bingo, they have bingo.
When you are among the enlightened, you have carte blanche to do whatever you want whenever you want. Next you know, they may start crying fire in a crowded theater.
What the New Puritans are really against is being forgotten, or seen as unimportant, a mere cog in social media. For them there is nothing worse than being a number in a computer program.
We don’t see much difference between those hapless fools who want to wave and cavort whenever television cameras turn on around them, and the new pure Puritan.
It’s a great American tradition to ask for liberty or death, or to live free or die.
We recall the days when a Fenway sign was something like, “Wade, we’re not wearing any underwear,” which always inspired Wade Boggs to get another hit.