Say what you like about Whitey and Catherine, but they went in the right
direction, to southern California. And in the end they made a handsome
couple in that excellent and iconic courtroom drawing, their final
portrait together; Whitey Bulger with that distinguished beard, like a
South Boston white-trash Lawrence Ferlinghetti, his handsome mistress
framed slightly behind and to his creative left side. The west is the
best, and the best final destination for those of us who, like Whitey’s
family and mine and Tip O’Neill’s and five generation of Kennedys, lived
virtually on the same block since we arrived from Ireland these last
Whitey’s epic journey might well be the last for the Southie Irish and all of Europe’s “huddled masses” who made the Atlantic crossing. It might even mark the end of Europe, as long-term economic forecasters have been suggesting; the final death cough of life as we learned it in Europe: 500 years, described by Jacques Barzun from “Dawn to Decadence,” with Whitey and Catherine at the very end sunning in Santa Monica.
Because as the Pacific rises all the energy and karma shifts to the west. It is the dark side of Mike Mansfield’s “Pacific Century” — dark for Europe; so far from the action and passion in Singapore and Hong Kong and Mumbai; Europe, surrounded and infiltrated now with enemies of a thousand years, but good of course for Singapore, Hong Kong and Mumbai. And very good for America as well, because America is a Pacific country too.
The European transit may only have been prelude, and the real awakening and action just ahead. Those like Whitey and Catherine who made it west have made two great journeys; one from Europe to Boston, another from the Northeast to California. In each, interfering ancient memory recedes by a quantum beat and the ability to awaken to new thinking flowers.
When the Irish families came to Southie, they came for a purpose, to work in the factories of southern Massachusetts and a new world marked by naked capitalism and unbounded enthusiasm. They were free from their ancient bonds and boundaries and able, if they had the guts, to follow Horace Greeley’s command in 1865, “Go west, young man.”
But today another slogan marks the day: the phrase Apple entrepreneur Steve Jobs used to describe his new building in Cupertino, CA: “The spaceship has landed.”
There is thinking subtle and perhaps sublime in this statement, reflecting back even to Walt Whitman’s 1869 commentary on American vision soaring across the continents, “to Sirius and Jupiter,” then returning. And at the return “the true Son of God shall come singing his songs” to begin a new era.
The building is a monolith, a symbol which should mark the rising age. It is a perfect circle, flat on the ground, which reminded one southern California scientist of Stonehenge and suggested “Anthropos”; the “first Human Being” — the awakening of an era of original consciousness. Our American generations will begin again here and Jobs’s magic mirrors like iPad and iCloud will be their talismans.
To watch this century rise Google “Jessica Mah Meets World,” website for Jessica Mah, founder and CEO at inDinero.com, “the fastest growing way for businesses to track their money online.” She is 20 years old. The unbound and uninhibited enthusiasm and creativity of Jessica and friends — she has been lining up classmates to be on her boards of directors for varying enterprises since fourth grade — brings to mind the first days of the American passage, the first days of every awakening, days when it is suddenly possible to see more clearly ahead than to see behind.