brynndragon: (The Pru)
[personal profile] brynndragon
So, I've heard that people who don't know Boston from a hole in the ground think they declared martial law and are all scared about the loss of freedom. While it might be the case that if this shit had gone down in their city they would have something to be afraid of, that's not at all what happened here.

To understand what happened here, you need to know that the weather in Boston is extremely variable. It's perfectly possible to go from a 65-degree sunny day to a blizzard with over a foot of snow in less than 24 hours, particularly in the spring. And while forecasting has gotten good enough that French Toast Alert System is pretty solid, no one quite trusts Mother Nature to not suddenly and inexplicably trap us in our homes for a day or so every once in a while.

This time it was two guys instead of two feet of snow. So what, the principle is exactly the same: you wait until the streets are cleared and the T starts running again. Well, OK, you mostly wait - some people always leave their home for Reasons. I could see from my home in Cambridge a trickle of cars going down a local thoroughfare all day and I could hear kids playing outside. People trust each other to know when they should not be out and about (and offer to help you dig out your car if you need to leave for Reasons), and that includes the cruisers that didn't stop any of those cars and the neighbors who were content to let those kids give off some steam.

So those pictures of the empty streets of Boston? Were only strange in that there wasn't a thick layer of snow on everything. We know exactly how this works, from the Governor's polite requests down to the locals making situation-specific jokes on social media. Because another thing about Bostonians is we are incredibly resistant to change (look at all the blue laws we've still got!), and two guys with pressure cookers are not going to make us give up our way of life - including hunkering down until the storm passes and not a second longer.

Date: 2013-04-21 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
this was my thoughts as well. It's like a winter storm swept in over night. Ya close the door, sit, have a drink, watch social media/TV, wait til things calm down. No need to get panicy and cower under your bed with an AR-15. ;)

Date: 2013-04-22 02:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is not how the friends I've talked with experienced it. You're making it out like it was no big deal, while most of my friends in the metro Boston area were really shaken up by the lockdown.

Date: 2013-04-22 01:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I haven't compared a lot of notes, but so far the only person I know who was worried was worried after the fact -- she was walking past Main & Vassar in Cambridge either shortly before or shortly after they killed the MIT officer. Myself, I live in the north end of Waltham, and though officially locked down, I didn't even know about it until my brother (in Iowa) called (he'd heard about it on the radio). OTOH, I'm a long way from Watertown so there was about zero personal risk. Then again, most of the people I know are techies and have a good intuitive understanding of risk.

Date: 2013-04-22 04:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We were all very concerned, and a couple of friends of mine within the 20-block search zone felt very stressed out (somewhat alleviated by the 8 SWAT officers with rifles politely requesting permission to search their home and then doing so with practiced efficiency; as they left, one of them pointed at the portal gun plushie they had on the mantle and said, "My kid loves that game!" which was pretty much the perfect thing to say at that point in time). It wasn't fun, by any stretch of the imagination.

But we were not terrified, not paralyzed, not hiding out of fear. We were staying out of the way so people could do their job. Maybe your friends are different, but me and my local friends are pretty solid on this point.

Date: 2013-04-22 11:16 pm (UTC)
cos: (frff-profile)
From: [personal profile] cos
I know a few people here who were freaked out, and many more who weren't.

Date: 2013-04-22 11:42 am (UTC)
ext_267559: (The Future)
From: [identity profile]
Yes. I was making more-or-less the same point in conversation yesterday. It was even better because there wasn't the a measurable risk of losing power.

(This does require taking a step back and remembering that it was just two guys with a handful of bombs not, say, a swarm of the risen dead.)


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