Friday, January 25, 2008

An article written about us in Pakistan by our friend Fasi

Carvillian Moto-Madness
18th January, 2008

A week ago I published an obituary of sorts for Benazir Bhutto, and like is common with my political columns, I awaited the for the hate mail to come. I got the usual tirades, they were quite vehement since the readers saw me mellowing out on someone who I had been very critical of. Look the woman is dead, she died unnecessarily and let’s not kick up dirt in the immediate aftermath.

But one email was interesting. It was from a man called Kevin Mccrea who said he was riding his motorcycle around the world. He read the piece which had been a mix of lament over her record and the promise we all saw in BB once. After having driven from India into Lahore we met when he came down to Islamabad. He went on to Peshawar and when he was in transit through Islamabad to Lahore to make his way to India I met Kevin and Clara one last time.

His story was incredibly interesting. He was a successful business owner in Boston with a deep interest in politics (he ran for councilor but lost). Kevin has a lifelong love affair with motorcycles, and in between he became a professional racer and participated in the Daytona 200. Next year he will be running for the position of Mayor of Boston.

They are an interesting couple. Clara is Columbian by origin and comes from several generations of Columbian presidents. Kevin worked his way up in life and became a successful businessman who dealt extensively with the local government in Boston, and after being disillusioned by the lack of transparency in politics there, he decided to take the plunge. On our first meeting, what was supposed to be coffee, lasted for several hours. Kevin is an anti corruption crusader, and is given to speaking, with forthrightness and has a disdain for the slick empty non specific promises that America seems to engender post Reagan.

Odd as it was, I was struck by how my gut reaction was that it was Kevin who was making the mistake. By sticking to honest do gooder principles, the people weren’t buying the more genial messages of other candidates. When I met him for the second time, he asked me to become his political strategist when he runs next year as a Mayoral candidate in Boston. I wasn’t sure he was serious, but it was actually from Clara I realized he meant it.

Mayor of Boston (2009 ?)

So it looks like I will be in Boston next year for three months to work on the campaign. Actually I feel somewhat excited about it because I believe in his message, when he made housing as part of a contract from his company, he issued 20% of the units to low income people. It’s a small opportunity for me to become James Carville for three months.


I had Kevin on my radio show on FM91, and the surprise to me was his gift for comedy. He connected with everyone immediately because he is a biker, and all the kids just lapped up his commentary on the best bikes out there.

Inevitably, some really great reactionary material came in. Someone asked Kevin, “Why do you Amercians tease us Muslim countries so much?”, and Kevin said “Give us your oil and we won’t bother you.”

Recently someone I knew (a vendor to our firm) told me that he burnt part of the Pindi hospital the day Benazir died. He doesn’t even support Benazir, but he just became a willful part of the destruction because, well, I presume it was fun. What’s worse, is he was there to get treatment for his daughter at the hospital at the time.

So for the next couple of days I will be organizing a lynch mob of friends to burn his motorcycle.

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