I write today to praise a Boston fake, and no, I'm not talking about the CBS July 4 fireworks telecast. It's the @James_W_Bulger Twitter feed, written as far as I know anonymously. It's often as funny and sharp as any comic writing around today, and by the nature of Twitter highly topical and time-sensitive.
Before anyone gets outraged, let's acknowledge that finding humor in anything Bulger is a twisted exercise. The circus atmosphere around his capture should not be allowed to obscure the corruption and horror that Bulger inflicted on Boston. Read Kevin Cullen or Peter Gelzinis to be reminded, or just this powerful Op Ed by Michael Patrick MacDonald. The people peddling FREE WHITEY t-shirts online are greedy, thoughtless idiots. I don't expect those touched by his Southie reign of terror to easily see the humor in tweets from @James_W_Bulger. Probably a lot of other people won't, either.
But someone was going to do this, of course, perhaps inspired when the FBI announced his capture via Twitter. What's surprising is how well @James_W_Bulger is done. The writer channels Bulger's flip arrogance and brutality in a way that satirizes the very infotainment culture that has sprung up around his capture (including, of course, the idea that he's on Twitter).
This Whitey is surprisingly tech-savvy. @James_W_Bulger: If anyone has the Twitter names for Zip, Stevie, Kevin, and John Morris, lemme know. Im wanna try this Google Hangouts with them.
And he's not afraid to tweak that other Bulger brother: @James_W_Bulger: Can someone help me post a Craigslist Ad? Here's the title: " WANTED: Non Chicken-s*** Attorney" & here's the body: "Contact Billy Bulger"
He even has a few things to say about the Red Sox vs. Orioles dustup. @James_W_Bulger: After watching last night's Red Sox game, I would like to extend an offer to Kevin Gregg to come work for me.
It's the best anonymous riff since Joe Klein was revealed as the author of "Primary Colors." I suspect the writer behind @James_W_Bulger is in the media too. In addition to a predictable hatred for Howie Carr, he has a very special feeling for a certain Fox 25 anchor. @James_W_Bulger: Doesnt matter what happens in court today bc @mariastephanos is now following me on Twitter. My day is complete.
This will lose its luster if the author is ID'd, of course. And soon it will start getting old. Probably best for him to fade away...at least until the trial. Less is more. But for the moment it's dark comedy gold. And one final irony. When I search his profile for tweets to use with this post, Twitter suggested some "similar" feeds I might want to follow. Yikes.
The author is solely responsible for the content.