Black Mass Question #3 - Billy AND Whitey

by Dick Lehr & Gerard O'Neill

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Black Mass Question #3 - Billy AND Whitey

Unread postby Liz » Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:09 pm

How did two brothers take such different paths?

And why does Billy have an Irish accent?

Watch the video below.



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Re: Black Mass Question #3 - Billy AND Whitey

Unread postby shadowydog » Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:41 pm

Hmm that is a difficult one. But I will try based on what I know of Catholic families. My father was raised in a strict Catholic family and there was a strong push for one of the males to enter the priesthood. They were thus raised strictly and led on the path to the Church. My uncle became a priest. The Bulger family might have been closer to the European model where the first born son was raised to take over the family business and the second born was raised to enter the priesthood. I would guess that Billy was raised in a stricter manner which didn't lead him into the priesthood but did lead him into public service....as in politics. He was better educated; while Whitey went to prison as a teenager. Don't know if this explains anything; but I tried. :blush:
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Re: Black Mass Question #3 - Billy AND Whitey

Unread postby Liz » Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:14 pm

Wow, Shadowydog, that's really insightful. I never would have considered that. But that's why these discussions are so great.....because we all come here with different backgrounds, attitudes, histories, education, you name it.....and bring lots of insight to the discussion.

Theresa, seems you've posted that video for me. Thanks. Let me know how you did it later.
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Re: Black Mass Question #3 - Billy AND Whitey

Unread postby fireflydances » Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:33 pm

Big families with many children do seem to end up with a greater diversity than smaller families for some reason. Perhaps, statistically speaking, there's just a greater opportunity for the outlier, the markedly different from the others finding. We like to assume that all the children from two parents will be basically identical, but that's not the case, and the greater the number of children, the more differences one sees. It's sort of a lottery in terms of genes. Some gene combinations are perfect; others problematical. So the fact that Whitey took one route from the earliest age, and Billy another isn't that unusual.

In terms of the accent, I think that's pure political necessity. The way a person speaks helps to identify his roots, and Boston politics is strongly driven around where you grew up, who your family is, etc.
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Re: Black Mass Question #3 - Billy AND Whitey

Unread postby nebraska » Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:47 am

We are born with some of our personality implanted in our genes. Much of that can be channeled and managed if it leads to inappropriate behavior, but I agree with firefly that children from the same parents can be very different. However, as the video suggests, the two might have been more alike than it appears on the surface. In many ways, I find Billy the more intriguing of the two because he did maintain an image of respectability.

As to the accent, Billy stayed very close to Boston and his roots while Whitey was in the military and then spent several years in prisons at various locations with a differing population. It would be natural for him to lose some of his accent with these experiences.

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Re: Black Mass Question #3 - Billy AND Whitey

Unread postby fireflydances » Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:37 pm

nebraska wrote:As to the accent, Billy stayed very close to Boston and his roots while Whitey was in the military and then spent several years in prisons at various locations with a differing population. It would be natural for him to lose some of his accent with these experiences.


I hadn't thought of that, nebraska, and I definitely agree.
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Re: Black Mass Question #3 - Billy AND Whitey

Unread postby Liz » Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:14 pm

So, I'm wondering.....do many Southies have an Irish accent? It just never occurred to me.
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Re: Black Mass Question #3 - Billy AND Whitey

Unread postby Theresa » Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:28 pm

Liz wrote:So, I'm wondering.....do many Southies have an Irish accent? It just never occurred to me.

I've never been to Southie so I'm just guessing...since it was a traditionally Irish neighborhood, I would guess that there's a lot of Irish accents from the older folks. Probably diluted with each successive generation, but some words and inflections most likely still have a bit of the Irish tone.

And...Billy was a politician and in the public eye. Don't you think he might have worked to get rid of a lot of the local Southie working-class accent (like 'youse') and played up the Irish lilt that Americans just love?

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Re: Black Mass Question #3 - Billy AND Whitey

Unread postby Liz » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:35 pm

So tonight I asked a friend of mine who lives in Connecticut, but has a friend in Boston, if she’d ask her friend in Boston if Southies have an Irish accent. She said definitely not - just a typical Boston accent (as presented in Firefly’s tidbit). But my friend in Connecticut has noticed when she has been to Boston (many times) that she doesn't hear any accents. And she made note of that, because she was surprised. But she’s never been to South Boston. So this is the insider and outsider’s observations.
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Re: Black Mass Question #3 - Billy AND Whitey

Unread postby Liz » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:36 pm

Theresa wrote:And...Billy was a politician and in the public eye. Don't you think he might have worked to get rid of a lot of the local Southie working-class accent (like 'youse') and played up the Irish lilt that Americans just love?

And possibly distinguish himself from the Kennedys.
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Re: Black Mass Question #3 - Billy AND Whitey

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:48 pm

I think maybe he was playing up an Irish accent in that clip because it was a St. Patrick's Day doing. He doesn't sound at all Irish in this one:


As for two brothers on completely different paths, well, I've seen it in my own family. I think it just happens sometimes. Even my own two kids, while both "good kids", have radically different personalities. We're each unique!

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Re: Black Mass Question #3 - Billy AND Whitey

Unread postby Liz » Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:13 am

Thanks for that clip, RR. I hear just a touch of Irish in him, but not like the other tape. Seems his accent is the typical Boston accent, with just a very slight Irish twinge to it. But that may not be an affectation but something he may have picked up from his dad and other Irish immigrants he was exposed to while young.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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