A Fenwickian’s delight

It’s not actually warm, but I have here December’s hot-off-the-presses issue of my neighborhood paper, the Fenway News, which I am privileged to serve as bookkeeper. This number contains something ordinary and extraordinary: Stephen Brophy’s editorial on the recent disturbance within the Fenway Garden Society.

It’s ordinary because, unfortunately, small nonprofit organizations often suffer these detours into the painful and bizarre. (You can read up on the craziness here.) And it’s extraordinary because Stephen, a longtime community activist and a very longtime resident of the Fenway who is also a great writer, has reached into this hornet’s nest of history, personality, umbrage and good intentions and come out with a small gem of journalistic good sense that makes me feel newspapers still matter.

Both candidates were invited to present a campaign statement to The Fenway News, but [one] was so intemperate that we have decided not to print it. We believe that when [this candidate] becomes more objective about the situation he would be embarrassed by having the words he offered in the heat of the moment in permanent print. Because of this, we are also not printing [the other statement].

The Fenway News does not endorse candidates for public office, and we don’t propose to advise Garden Society members on how to vote. But we do call on both candidates to consider what impacts their campaign strategies and tactics will have on the organization after all of this is over. Beyond that, we ask that they consider themselves, and ask themselves is it worth the damage to their reputations to indulge in personal attacks. If they can rise above the level that the race has descended to, they can both be winners, even if only one can be president.

Be honest, don’t you feel like you just stepped out of season 5 of “The Wire”? That part where Gus Haynes says the Baltimore Sun still has a style manual and, by God, he for one is going to follow it?

Also: this.