(Weekly Dig) My Last Column


This is my last regular column for the Dig, and I'm gonna miss it.

I remember when I first fell in love with this paper. I was reading Media Farm, that merciless and unnecessarily rough takedown of all non-Dig media outlets. The paper had done another heinously ruthless attack on the Boston Globe's weekend section. It was mean, but its cruelty was easily surpassed by its hilarity. "These are my people," I thought. "I want to write for them."

The first piece of mine that ran was a 2006 year in review of racism. Since this is my 25th and last regular submission, I thought it would be appropriate to end on a 2007 year in review of this very column.

They haven't all been gems -- that's nearly impossible -- but I'm proud of some of the moments we've shared.

In the beginning there was the MBTA bus driver who repeatedly threatened to kick my "fucking ass" and beat me with a wooden block in front of 20 or so passengers. Despite having lived in Boston for 11 and a half years before this encounter, I didn't really feel like a local until this happened. Thank you, anonymous psycho driver, for teaching me that the best way to make someone feel truly welcome in Boston is to make them feel as unwelcome as possible.

For most unlikely situation to end well, nothing beat the 12 hour overnight JetBlue meltdown at JFK. It started with food shortages, dogs pooping on diapers and passengers threatening gate agents. It ended with me getting a free voucher, a good story and a great friend.

In politics, I was generally annoyed at everyone, from the people challenging Obama's blackness to the misplaced anger at Imus's wackness. Helping me keep cool was that nice stroll we took together from D&D to shining D&D along the streets of Somerville.

On the personal side, I got to share memories of my incredible mother, including the not-so-well-thought-out plan to disperse her ashes in the violent waters of the Atlantic. She didn't live long enough to read my column, but her spirit and memory were strong enough to help write a few.

If there's one column I would like to have had the most impact, it's the one about our looming energy supply crisis and peak oil. My once-hysterical panic has been reduced to a controlled alarmism, and I've since taken steps to lower my energy profile, reuse more goods and get to know my neighbors. I hope you'll do the same.

In the end, the column returned to its origins in the form of another traumatic T experience, this time not mine but that of the man named Bill who helped liberate so many from a stranded train. This time I wasn't threatened but rather rudely rebutted in the pages of this paper by Joe Pesaturo. It was an honor to do battle with you, sir, especially because your weapons were merely words and not the standard-issue wooden block.


Thank you Dig and Dig readers. It's been an honor to share this space with you.

BARATUNDE THURSTON WAS A BIWEEKLY COLUMNIST FOR THE DIG THROUGHOUT 2007. HE'S GONNA MISS YOU GUYS.