Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mumbled Messages

Remember Mumbles from Dick Tracy?

Mumbles was a Dick Tracy Character from the iconic Dick Tracy Cartoon who first debuted in the 40's. Quick bio: Mumbles was a gangster who was part of a quartet of musicians who committed crimes. Dick Tracy and the cops chased Mumbles and his gang for years. Mumbles did not have a speech impediment, but earned his nick name from using "sloppy speech".

Mumbles is also the nick name of the beloved Mayor of my fair City of Boston. Mayor Tom Menino has held his desk at city hall for 20 years. During that time, Mayor Menino would mix up and mash together certain names, words and constantly fumble minor facts into a bit of a jumble. The press would always have a field day, and they would play the video sound bites of his gaffe's on the radio and the TV news. Even the print papers would publish Mumbles "more infamous" blunders.

Flash forward to today:  So I'm reading my Boston Herald this morning and my favorite old Herald scribe hit me right between the eyes, as he has so many times before. His message powerful and sent clearly and articulately. I decided it was too good not to share here today. Quick Bio: Joe Fitzerald used to write sports, back in the day when Candy was a young and bright eyed journalism  undergraduate working at TV38. I read him every day. He has a knack for spinning a story and making you feel like you are having a conversation with him at the local diner counter over morning coffee. Joe was moved to the middle of the paper doing human interest stories about 5- 10 years ago. Joe recently lost his beloved wife of may years to Alzhimers at the age of 65 last October. He poignantly wrote about their life together.

The old Joe reared his head this morning with his message. You see, Joe is everybody's newspaper man, and even though Mayor Menino made embarrassing bumble and jumbles when talking, that's only a small part of the story of the man; the Mayor. Joe tells the story to not us, the Herald readership, but to his "pal Johnny", a sixth grader here in Boston.

I won't tell you everything, but I will share with you the words Joe printed of our imparting Mayor of Boston's wife, Angela Menino,

“Tommy’s always telling me, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ Even though he doesn’t show it, I know it has to hurt.
“When we were kids we all had something that other kids could pick on, remember? Maybe we had an accent, or wore glasses, or were fat. There was always someone eager to make fun of it. Me? I wore braces.
“I can still remember one bully who loved making fun of me. I tried to be a good sport and laugh along with everyone else, but I also remember how much it hurt inside. And that’s what I think of when I see what they do to Tommy.”

I encourage you to take a moment and click the link HERE to read Joe's column, because it's a great lesson in humility and compassion. Isn't it the responsibility of the press to tell a good story? One that has relevance and is inspiring? Mr Fitzgerald has a real knack for that. All good newspaper men do.

As for Mumbles? Don't worry about him. His record speaks ever so clearly for itself. He knows what's really important. It makes me think we all should.


the walking man said...

Not knowing anything about the politics of the mayor of Boston or his style of management I won't go there. That though was not the point anyway but a letter from a mentor to a student about learning to disregard the personal flaws and quirks of each individual, to not use those quirks as ammunition to attack another.

Then I read the comments which always come after the article and found out of the 20 or so that were there 9/10ths were attacks on the mayor's mayoralty.

I suppose that my wish is that Johnlee will at least learn to focus and concentrate on what was written and comment appropriately. For an article that warns against bullying, near ever comment was made by a bully.

But I can see where you would like this Newspaper Columnist, he does seem to write from the heart. Try some Mitch Albom articles that are not about sports (usually Sunday's at last week he wrote about a homeless decorated in Viet Nam veteran who died and was laying in the morgue with no known family to claim the body and bury him.

It eventually got resolved with a full military funeral in a national cemetery but the comments in the hundreds about 1/2 so full of hate and disregard for the man's life and story were disgusting.

Maybe this letter to Johnlee will help things change but personally I doubt it. We all it seems, need to have someone whether it be a homeless, dead, drunk, decorated veteran or a mayor who speaks faster than his brain forms the words causing malapropisms.

*sigh* Life continues on as it has since Cain killed Abel.

MarkD60 said...

reminds mo of the movie, The Kings Speech, about the king who stuttered.