Keohane: A New Casino Plan
All this talk of new casinos, of cash falling from the sky in sacks, of bringing all the glitz and glamour of Atlantic City, NJ, to frumpy Massachusetts, has activated my white male persecution complex and given me an idea.
Bear with me here. Much has been made of Boston becoming a minority-majority city, where whites comprise less than 50 percent of the total population. This is a departure for a city closely identified with images of white people in scally caps stabbing black people with American flags, a city where in 1980, nearly 70 percent of the population was white (the gilded age of shamrock tattoos).
Many see this infusion of pigment a positive development, and indeed I agree. The more diverse a place, the less likely it is that people there will concoct insane-o boogeyman conspiracy stories about entire groups of people (ever met a homophobe who actually knew any gays?), and then use said delusions as cudgels to persecute them in hysterical witch-hunt scenarios.
However, I’ve been watching Fox lately, and according to the prevailing mentality therein, if a group’s dominion over a place slips below 90 percent, that means they are victims. And as the Irish hold on this town attenuates, giving way to the likes of Sam Yoon and Andrea Cabral, I can’t help but feel waves of unbearable self-pity for my woebegotten people.
So what I am proposing is this: an Irish reservation within city limits. I don’t care where. Maybe on the Greenway, or the site of UMass Boston, once that moldering structure finally tips over and falls into the harbor. Naturally, once the ancestral grounds are handed over to us, we will immediately call Mohegan Sun’s Sol Kerzner and Len Wolman, and get to work on a casino of our own: Mickhegan Sunburn.
Hoping to match the quiet dignity that characterizes Mohegan, the décor of our casino will include many symbols and images dear to Irish Bostonians. There will be lots of green, to recall the auld sod and beer with food coloring in it (which, btw, will be served by pasty though nonetheless scorchingly hot men and women in leprechaun costumes, sans pants and midriffs). Poker chips will be adorned with clovers. Roulette wheels will be white and green, poems and prayers will be projected onto the walls and fiddlers will be all a’roamin’. There will actually be a special Irish Blessing Hibernian Hall where the floor—or “road”—actually rises to meet you, as the wind graces your back and several dirty cops and priests appear to shake you down and molest you.
As a centerpiece, in the center of the Great Auld Hall, there will be an enormous statue of James Michael Curley, stripped to the waist and absolutely jacked, throwing a lightning bolt at those bloodless Protestant pricks on Beacon Hill.
In exchange for the right to build this testament to our great, noble, fading culture, we’re willing to offer the city $7 million a year to the City of Boston to offset the costs of the sudden spike in traffic, problem drinking, prostitution and compulsive gambling. It’s a win-win for all of us, and more importantly, given the circumstances, it’s only fair.