Thursday, March 17, 2011

Beannacht Lá Fhéile Pádraig.

Yes, I know. Saint Patrick's Day as it is celebrated is wholly an American invention, along with begorrah, leprechauns and all the rest of the stage-Irish stupidites that true taigs quietly go along with. The American way of observing what was not long ago a quiet feast day in the Irish liturgical calendar has reached even unto Dubliners, who now celebrate it in the American style, and this is not to say Dubliners are thick townie jackeens unlike us culchies who know better.

Yes, it sanctions binge drinking and debauching. It is a come-all-ye to donnybrook. It is all tura-bloody-luras and bedads and hooliganism. It is the low means by which the Boston Irish established themselves as white people and emerged from the slums to take the very presidency of Amerikay in the person of JFK (peace be upon him). It is a panoply of vaguely racist stereotype and caricature. It is an orgy of shamroguery and paddywhackery. It is the one day of the year when the Americans who claim to be Irish actually outnumber the Americans who claim to be Cherokees. It is as embarrassing as Bono, Michael Flatley, and the apparitions at Knock.

It is an absolute shenanigan, but for all that it is cause for celebration. To be an auld miseryguts about it is to deny people a bit of enjoyment and indulge in the bitter vice of taking ourselves too damn seriously. "I don't think there's any point in being Irish if you don't know that the world is going to break your heart eventually," said Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and maybe so. But there is also the craic of it. So let's lighten up. Nevermind the bollocks.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day.


Blogger vildechaye said...

Happy St. Paddy's Terry. Enjoy the moment!

12:58 PM  
Blogger kurt said...

God bless the Irish

6:45 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

I am suffering a hangunder.

10:10 AM  
Blogger Dom said...

What in the world is the meaning of that graphic?

7:09 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Dom: You mean the "RTE Two" up in the corner? Radio-Telefis Eireann 2. Like, erm, BBC2.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Dom said...

I meant the black and Irish chimps sitting on a scale.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

It's a racist cartoon the denigrates the Irish at the expense of Blacks - or the other way around if you like. The Irish "monkey" was a stock in trade of lurid racist caricature in the 19th century. A good book: "How The Irish Became White," by Noel Ignatiev.

10:35 AM  

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