He has a new lease on life. Dan Shaughnessy, the Boston Globe writer known for his mean-spirited cheap-shot-riddled columns on the Red Sox (and everything else) painfully acknowledged yesterday that without the ridiculous “Curse of the Bambino” to hurl at the team and its fans, he has had little else to do or say. “I realized that my entire journalistic career was based on cruelty, unfairness, and reveling in the humiliation of others,” Shaughnessy recently told Call of the Green Monster. Then, one day, a moment of true enlightenment. “I looked in the mirror and realized—the negativity must stop.” A smile came over his face, much like when the Grinch heard the singing Whos of Whoville on Christmas morn. “I will be positive,” he said, as his heart, once the size of a crumb, grew three sizes (to the size of a dime).
He enrolled in a thirty-day program called “Positive Possibilities,” recommended by people who loosely describe themselves as friends of Shaughnessy. Located in the pristine secluded mountains near Lake Sunshine in Vermont, it is designed especially for people who find joy in rubbing salt in the wounds of the misfortunate. “During the program I learned that it is possible to write a column without taking a cheap shot at someone,” said a smiling Shaughnessy. “I’ve discovered that you can even be somewhat critical, without taking it one step further and completely humiliating a person and his family. It’s been a revelation!”
With his graduation certificate mounted proudly upon his wall—and a plaque featuring “Columns that Destroyed Careers” taken down—Shaughnessy is on a slow but steady road toward positivity. “I will fight the urges to be negative for the rest of my life,” he said straightforwardly, as he pulled the wings off a fly to relieve some momentary tension. “But I am vowing to stay the course.”
As he put the finishing touches on a column intended to be a glowing tribute of Sox manager Terry Francona, he recoiled in horror to find that he had described the manager as a “clueless, cue-ball nitwit.” Deleting the line immediately, he shook his head and wiped the tears from his eyes. “As I said, it will be a battle,” he admitted. “It just feels so good to hurt people.”