Manchester-by-the-Free

In honor of the current hit film in the “Boston Working Class Ennui” genre going to its streaming service, Amazon just announced they are giving everyone in the eponymous town free Amazon Prime. That’s swell of them, eh?

Whatever. Also: fuck you Amazon.

You see, if you don’t know, the film is not about Manchester-by-the-Sea. MBTS or just “Manchester” as we used to call it before they changed their name as not to be confused with the working-class New Hampshire city of the same name. The film is about Gloucester. My town. It was shot in Gloucester, the vibe is Gloucester and all the issues depicted are straight-up Gloucester.

“I’m sorry sir but town ordinances plainly state lobster traps are only to be used as decorative coffee table bases and must be made of wood.”

in Manchester, our neighbor, you’re going to find less of the “picking fights with cops” sort of thing there and more of the, “people suing each other because someone’s gardener cut the branch of an historic apple tree that was leaning over into their yard”- type conflicts. It’s a wealthy town. Wealthy-as-balls, actually, 8th highest income in one of the richest states in the country.

But, you know, they get free Amazon Prime because of the name. Amazon- who are automating warehouses and killing local retail, is giving free shit to rich people who didn’t even ask for it.

That’s your late-stage capitalism, right there.

I’m not sure why this bothers me so much, but it fucking does. Here in Gloucester this week an abandoned fish pier collapsed into the harbor, which tells you everything you need to know about our core industry in the post-cod era. We’re burying a beloved veteran/cop who left behind four kids. We’re struggling to keep fire stations open, fund schools, care for the elderly and manage our opiate addiction problem. We do this with a lot of heart, tears, fighting, too much pride and never enough money.

But we do it. We do it all. We make it work.

We do it to make sure fewer people end up like the characters depicted in fucking Manchester-by-the-Sea, yet another film made so some studio can make yet another buck on the whole “Bawston” thing, with our constrained social hierarchy and our comical accents. What do you suppose, there are another 30 films in the can depicting a young, troubled, too-smart-for-his-own-good Bay State resident for whom the grip of his past is choking off his ability to live and love in the present? Maybe 40?

Why is it liberals are losing the working class again? I forget.

You know what, never mind. You can keep Prime, Amazon. And Casey Affleck’s SNL “vanilla nut tap” jokes and all that “Uncle Sullying” we locals do. Go give hot stone massages in the bistros to Man-BTSers or whatever the fuck you want to do. I’m glad for the jobs the film industry here provides, I’m thankful that unlike a lot of towns hit hard by the realities of the 21st century, we’ve got economic opportunities due to our proximity to Boston/Cambridge others don’t. I’m even glad for the town of Manchester-by-the-Sea which contains many fine people and provides tons of work for Gloucester contractors adding yoga rooms and wine cellars to houses built by puritans in the 17th century.

But once, for the love of “Gawd”, can you fuckers just go make a movie about Connecticut?

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16 Comments

  1. I think your sweeping generalization of MBTS’ population is unfair and it reads as whiny and, frankly, jealous. I was born and raised in MBTS and both of my parents worked very hard to provide me with a wonderful upbringing. Cape Ann should be inclusive. Just because you opine that MBTS may be a little less “gritty” than Gloucester doesn’t afford you the right to belittle the town, and coincidentally some of your loyal readers, by painting them all as bistro-going, yoga-centric, and vapid.

    • Amen, Lindsey. I’ve worked in MBTS for years, also have friends there and have never encountered any bias against Gloucester. None. EVER. But, for some reason, it has always been ok for Gloucester folks to accuse MBTS of being elitist + snotty.

      The MBTS folks I know /work with are hard working, kind, friendly people – just like my Gloucester friends are.

      • Wasn’t there a parade with boys dressed like pregnant teens mocking the Gloucester pregnancy pact? Oh never use the word never.

        • Beverly farms, not Manchester. Nice try though Stacey. I know it’s all the same to you once you leave “the island”.

    • Bingo.

      It just shows a desire for handouts.

  2. Chris Langathianos

    First, you know this movie isn’t about Manchester, Gloucester, or anyplace else, right? This is fiction.

    Second, you know it wasn’t only filmed in Gloucester. Much of it was filmed in Manchester, and much of it was filmed in Beverly and some of it was filmed in Marblehead.

    Third, you know Amazon doesn’t care about MBTS, Gloucester or anywhere else, right? This is a cut-and-dry PR play. A “fun” story. Amazon’s high-paid PR firm sat around a table coming up with ways to keep the movie in the news. Giving free Prime to all of the regulars at Pratty’s, while it would be fun, wouldn’t accomplish the same thing from a PR perspective.

    Fourth, your depiction of MBTS, like may other people’s, is patently incorrect. There are a lot of Manchester people who work in Gloucester, as well. Yes, property values are high, but most of the town is made up of working stiffs, just like everywhere else. In fact, many of them probably spread themselves a little too thin to live there in order to send their kids to what is considered a very good school system.

    Although negative, your piece was good read with some solid points, but attacking Manchester was a little off-point. Manchester didn’t do anything.

    Maybe the area should just be thankful for the revenue brought to the area by film production, regardless of the film title. It’s not a competition.

    • This is 2017, and tone-deaf PR moves are rampant (cc:Pepsi). This is just another misstep. Giving a rich city free shit it didn’t ask for while the actual place that it was based off gets the shaft.

      Manchester isnt bad, but it does need to realize what it is and what it has that other nearby places dont.

      • Chris Langathianos

        The attitude that people in Manchester have things handed to them is where you, and many others, seem get it wrong. I grew up in Lowell. It makes Gloucester look like Monaco.

        And this is nothing like the Pepsi “misstep.”

        Lastly, this was an original screenplay. Fiction. It wasn’t based on Gloucester or anywhere else, and I’ll give you 7 dollars if you can show me anything published from anyone other than a Gloucester person that says it is. 8 dollars. Final offer.

  3. Jeez, one apple tree joke, a couple of yoga/wine ribs and you guys are all up in arms.

    Don’t worry, we make fun of Gloucester a lot more than you guys. And you have the sweet nectar of free Prime to balm your wounds.

  4. My dad grew up in Manchester. My grandfather was a chauffeur and ran a trucking company. My dad and his 8 siblings grew up in a two bedroom apartment until he came back from ww2 and used the GI bill to buy his parents a house. All my uncles worked in grocery stores and served in the military. My aunts are retired teachers, Secretaries and house cleaners. Can’t get much more blue collar. Yeah there’s rich people on the point and houses are not cheap there, but they don’t all have spas and yoga rooms. This day and age no one should stereotype.

  5. More like Manchester By The Salt

  6. This comment thread just goes to show what a whiney bunch of assfaces MBTS people really are.

  7. The Ozone Layer

    I don’t want to generalize, stereotype or anything like that because that would be just plain wrong.

    Just the facts ma’am, just the facts……

    Gloucester, median household income: $60,959. (Higher than I thought, they must have left off the homeless)

    Manchester by the Sea, median household income: $97,510. (Lower than I thought, they must have included au pairs, live in servants, stable boys, etc)

    Gloucester, median house or condo value: $385,958

    Manchester by the Sea, median house or condo value: $758,214

    Definition of pretentious
    * 1
:  characterized by pretension: such as
a :  making usually unjustified or excessive claims (as of value or standing) the pretentious fraud who assumes a love of culture that is alien to him — Richard Watts

b :  expressive of affected, unwarranted, or exaggerated importance, worth, or stature pretentious language pretentious houses
    * 

    Definition of douchebag
    * 1
usually douche bag :  a bag used for giving douches a rubber douche bag

    * 2
chiefly US slang :  an obnoxious, offensive, or disgusting person In America even scummy douchebags like you should be able to catch a cold. — Stephen King

    Definition of douchebaggery:

    Manchester by the Sea:

    1. Name

    To prevent confusion with the nearby and much larger city of Manchester, New Hampshire, the name of the town was officially changed in 1989 following a close town meeting vote that year and an act of the state legislature passed on September 25, 1989.[2]
    The name change was driven by Edward Corley, a longtime resident of Manchester.[3] All town documents, and the town seal, now use the name “Manchester-by-the-Sea”, and as a result of some minor resident activism, so do the majority of public and private lists of Massachusetts cities and towns, including that of the state government.

    From Wikipedia ( I love the internet )

  8. This is all hilarious….both sides.

    FFS

    • The Gloucester Clam is satire, people – and it offers equal opportunity satire. Me thinks the MBTS folks doth protest too much.

  9. I felt that Amazon used this measure because if you don’t TELL them to cancel Prime, it renews automatically. They probably figure half the people won’t notice this and gain a bunch of paid customers next year!!! business and a write off!! priceless!!

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