The Caste System of Massachusetts

April 16, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Posted in Ramblings | 3 Comments
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So, is it my imagination, or are my posts disappearing? It must be the steroids.

Sorry my bleeding-heart blogerals. I suppose it’s because I haven’t had anything fascinating to say. I mean I suppose I could blog about things in my life, but my life is so boring. Besides, I’m sure the people in my life wouldn’t want to be blogged about. Although I could give them all nicknames. Yes! That’s it! I can give them all nicknames.

I have nicknames for most people in my mind. Most of them aren’t insulting. Or at least they aren’t intended to be. Yeah, that will work!

So, the other week, I had a wee argument with a friend of mine I shall name Voldemort. That’s a good a name as any for this kid. He’s a buddy of mine, but as buddies often do, we didn’t see eye to eye. As you may have gathered from my previous posts, I have spent a good deal of time in the biggest little state in the union: Rhode Island, and areas surrounding it. It’s a good state with some monumental flaws. But it’s better than being a bad state with monumental flaws. Anyhoo, Voldemort was hating on RI, even though he lived there for 4 years. He’s a Masshole, you see, and like most Massholes, they get their degree of worth from how close they are in proximity to the mothership of Boston.

There’s a system of radii in Massachusetts; there’s actual physical radii if you look at the concentric spheres made by Rt. 95, and then the wider Rt. 495, and then Rts. 395 and 195. My hypothesis is based on the caste system in India, for the ease of use, and not intended to offend anyone (I look forward to your letters):

If you’re in the Boston region, which is inside the highway loop of Rt. 95, you’re a Brahmin. This includes Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville, and the like. You are a proper Bostonian, and you shove in the faces of those who are not. Congratulations on being better than everyone else.

If you’re in the outlying areas, within which people still consider themselves ‘Bostonians’, you’re a Kshatriya. This includes Waltham, Framingham, etc. It’s still pretty good to anyone on the outside of that caste, but to the Brahmins, you’re second-class.

If you’re further out, in areas as far away as Foxborough and Brockton, you’re a Vaishya. Basically the middle class. People outside Massachusetts wouldn’t know any better if you say ‘I live right outside Boston’, but those within Mass know better. They sneer at you when you say it. Yeah, they judge you.

If you’re in the concentric circle of Worcester to Attleboro, you’re still just within the area to be considered a Sudra. People outside of Massachusetts become suspicious of you because they can see the lie plastered on your face.

Outside of this circle, and this includes Cape Cod and anything west of Worcester within Massachusetts, you are an ‘Untouchable’. A dalit, or a buraku. Bostonians don’t even consider you in the same state as them. Didn’t you break away in the Civil War? Don’t even bother suggesting you’re near enough to them. If you can’t take the T up there from where you live, you are an Untouchable.

Voldemort is a Vaishya, but almost a Kshatriya. But he’s not a Brahmin. He loves Boston, sings its praises and believe Christ was crucified in Fenway and Gautama sat under the Bodhi tree in the Common and Muhammad was carried up to heaven from Quincy Market (don’t bomb me, please: see South Park).

Granted, Rhode Island itself is a cult, and no one leaves the cult without harassment from other members. It’s like Scientology without the lawsuits. No one wants to leave because everything you need is within 40 minutes: that’s what happens when you have a state smaller than the city of Los Angeles. But no one part of Rhode Island hates on another. Unless you live in Central Falls. Then you’re fair game.

So I suppose what I’m saying is: don’t worry about the splinter in your friend’s eye, worry about the log in your own. Or something equally as biblically poignant.



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  1. Haha! Hilarious. And geographically informative. Keep it comin’!

  2. You are so nice to share these with us.

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