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A tale of two Bulgers

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff  June 27, 2011 12:13 PM

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I know this is the Sports Department, but some of the reporting and commentary concerning the leading domestic news story of the day had brought me to the famed Popeye mental state of frustration; i.e. "That's all I can stands; I can't stands no more!"

SUBJECT: The Bulger Brothers

Whitey is bad.

Billy is worse.

Whitey clearly emerged from the womb as an inherent force of evil, a thoroughy amoral and improperly wired facsimile of a human being. He is, by an extraordinary amount of anecdotal evidence, reputed to be a killer. He remains unrepentant. Consider him mocking the reporters in California as they took notes, or smart-alecky telling the judge he could indeed afford an attorney of they would only return the confiscated money obtained from the raid on his Santa Monica apartment. Oh, yeah, it's all a big joke.

Billy is the presumed scholar, the Man of Letters. He can quote Cicero and Homer, and I don't mean Simpson. A Triple Eagle. A Towering Intellect. A Man of Accomplishment. A Public Servant. May we not deduce that he knows right from wrong?

Now I must confess to be handicapped in this discussion because I am an only child. I have no brother or sister to love and/or protect. But I have had enough discussions with some of the 99.9 percent of the population that do have siblings to know that it is entirely possible for someone to be objective about one's sibs. Evil is evil, no matter what blood you share. One good friend of mine despises his brother, for very good reason.

Billy Bulger's lifelong public indifference toward his evil brother's life of crime does not stand up to intellectual scrutiny. Has Billy no compassion for the victims' families when he tells the authorities he has no obligation to help them apprehend his brother? Does he not understand the hurt and frustration he produces when he acknowledges his evil brother with a wry grin when seeing him in the South Boston courtroom?

I'm sorry. Billy Bulger's actions are indefensible and shameful. He is supposed to be the respectable one of the two. Well, Whitey has never hidden his intentions. He enjoys being on the wrong side of the law and the wrong side of accepted morality. Billy professes to be intelligent and aware, yet he refuses to acknowledge the simple truth that his brother has ruined countless lives and is beyond redemption. There is no good reason to protect him.

Whitey is comfortably evil, and will die in that state of mind. Billy is selectively indifferent to the damage his briother has done in, and to, society. He is supposed to know better.

Nope, Whitey we can understand. Billy, we can't. Of the two, Whitey has more personal honor.

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About bob ryan's blog Opinions, observations and anecdotes from Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan.
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Bob is an award-winning columnist for the Globe and the host of "Globe 10.0" on Boston.com.

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