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He’s no angel

By Alex Beam
Globe Staff / October 9, 2009

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‘A man of many parts’’ would certainly describe Mat Gleason, the bomb-throwing, Los Angeles-based art critic and founder of Coagula magazine, called “cruel, insensitive, unfair, and thoroughly readable from cover to cover’’ by collector David Bowie. Gleason is also the author of the seminal overview of contemporary art “Most Art [Stinks]’’ and once described the state-financed Mass MoCA museum in North Adams as “safe for art tourists . . . almost content-free.’’

Gleason has an alter ego as “Rev. Halofan,’’ founder of the successful Halos Heaven blog devoted to the Los Angeles Angels. As you can imagine, the good reverend practically foams at the mouth with anti-Red Sox fervor at this time of year, as his beloved Angels prepare, yet again, to fold their wings in the face of insurmountable opposition from the Carmine Hose.

Earlier in the week, Gleason started the anti-Sox raving by posting a philippic singeing the umpires chosen to officiate the ALDS, specifically crew chief Joe West, “this sorry excuse for American umpiring.’’ “In case you forgot, West is the same bag of doughnuts who ejected [Torii] Hunter, [Mickey] Hatcher, and [Justin] Speier after [Josh] Beckett acted like a [deleted] during a Bobby Abreu at bat that ended with benches clearing,’’ according to www.halosheaven.com.

That was just getting started. Closer to game time, Mat posted his “Top Ten Reasons to Hate the Red Sox,’’ with much predictable yawping about Ben Affleck, Theo Epstein, bandwagon fanboy-ism, and so on. The unkindest cut: “The more the Red Sox have won this decade, the more the team and their fans have morphed into a mimicry of Yankees fans - arrogant, spoiled by success, oblivious to 28 other teams in the league, and self-assured they are ‘baseball-educated’ when they don’t even know the history of Pumpsie Green breaking Mister Yawkey’s apartheid.’’ Ouch!

He’s not finished: “Red Sox Nation has become the A-Rod of baseball fans: Chumps who assume that they are to be adored by all, when in reality they are blinded by the arrogance of lucking into a good run.’’

I have been pressing Gleason, who claims to have predicted the Angels’ 97-win season, to use his psychic abilities - he once worked for a psychic hot line; did I mention that? - to tell us the outcome of the series. So far, no response.

Overlooked?
I was off on some wild reporting tangent - don’t ask - when I stumbled across this tidbit: Did you know you can get a tax rebate for gasoline used on the Massachusetts Turnpike? The theory is, that by paying the 23.5-cent state excise tax on gasoline and the toll, you have paid for the road’s upkeep twice.

The rebate is so simple. All you have to do is keep all of your gas receipts, log all the miles you travel on the Pike, then file the state’s easy-to-understand Form GT-9T. “Fuel must be purchased on day of use or within three preceding days of turnpike use,’’ the form explains. “Applicants having storage facilities must transfer fuel into vehicle tank on day of use or within three preceding days of turnpike use.’’

“It is not easy to use,’’ said Department of Revenue spokesman Bob Bliss, who told me that in the most recent reporting year, 112 taxpayers filed for the refund. (At least 100,000 drivers use the Pike each weekday.) But that’s not all. If you ask for the refund, then you have to pay the 6.25 percent sales tax on every gallon of gasoline that you bought. Because, fine, you beat the excise tax, but now the sales tax kicks in.

The bottom line is the state refunded $55,000 in gas excise taxes last year, then collected $30,000 in sales tax from those filers. “When gas cost four dollars last summer, paying the sales tax pretty much wiped out any incentive to file for the excise rebate,’’ Bliss said. They don’t call it Taxachusetts for nothing.

Yes, there is a federal excise tax on gas and, no, it’s not refundable, even if you pay to use a federal highway.

Alex Beam is a Globe columnist. His e-dress is beam@globe.com.

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