Saturday, March 17, 2007

Patrick Day, 2007

It's St. Patricks day once again, and I have nothing new to say this year... or rather, the same things I've said the last two years I'm just going to repeat here.

Oh, and todays meal? Guiness pork stew, and fresh homemade soda bread. Guiness may be shite to drink over here, but it still makes a good stew.


Thursday, March 17, 2005

St. Patricks Day

I love my country and my country
my states and my counties
of purple mountains and four green fields
of pigskin and patriot games
of Stars and stripes and green and white
of micks and taigs
of my mother and my father
One world, and another.

I am a genuine Irish American. Not some guy who's grandmother on my mothers fathers side stopped in limerick on the way over from france.

I’m born to an Irish father and American mother, lived in Ireland for years, and moved there permanently after I got out of the AF. I only came back to the U.S. a couple years ago because my mom was sick (still is, but she's stable).

While in theory Ireland’s most important holiday is St. Patricks day, other than the UNGODLY HORDES OF AMERICAN TOURISTS, it’s not really that big a partying day to the general public...

...Unless of course you’re uber catholic; in which case, the day sucks for you anyway, especially if you have bad knees.

Everybody gets off of work and school, and it's a big family day for a lot of folks, maybe the best comparison would be to American Thanksgiving, but that's not really right either... maybe like thanksgiving combined with memorial day and independence day.

A couple of things about the Irish though:

1.We don't punch people for not wearing green, but wearing orange today IS profoundly offensive to about 5 million people (and only half of them live in Ireland); though most of them don't make a big deal about it... Unless you live in Boston, or in the Shankill road and Falls Road (Belfast), in which case you deserve the beating you are going to receive for being such a muppet.

2. Between a quarter and half of those people don't drink anything but sacramental wine.

3. Potatoes ARE still a big part of the Irish diet, a part of most every meal, but most of the potatoes arent actually grown in Ireland

4. We don't eat corned beef and cabbage. Thats a welsh thing that became associated with the Irish in America, because corned beef lasted longer before going off, and was cheaper than high quality beef. The Irish in America (and in Ireland) were historically pretty poor, they ate whatever they could.

5. We do eat boiled bacon or boiled pork shoulder and cabbage; also potatoes and parsnips or turnips. Or at least the Irish as a whole do, I hate cabbage, and I hate turnips.

6. Yes, in general Irish food sucks. The Irish have this amazing ability to take wonderful fresh meat, cheese, and produce bland, mushy, greasy, flavorless crap. Irish breads and baked good on the other hand, are fucking incredible.

7. Ireland is a VERY small country. It's about the same size as Indiana, and of the 4 million or so people living there, more than half live within 30 miles of Dublin. Guess what though; Half of all Irish born live outside of Ireland. We are as much a diaspora as jews.

8. Yes, just about everyone in Ireland say "fuck" just about all the time. Little grannies say fuck, 9 year olds say fuck, priests say fuck (hell it was the central joke of "Father Ted"). Fuck is like fucking punctuation. Also fucking popular are shite and arse.

9. Guinness sucks everywhere but Ireland. The further away you get from Dublin, the worse it is. Guinness doesn't travel well. Everywhere else in the world Guinness is pasteurized, has preservatives added, and is nitrogen boosted. It's just not on.

10. Brilliant!

My basic thought on Paddys day goes something like this…

St Patricks day: When everyones an Irishman, and EVERY Irishman gets pissed.

Oh, and speaking thereof, Ireland is great for the various euphemisms for drunkenness. My favorites? Arsed, Knackered, and Langered.

Now in honor of all the phony Irish assholes, and real Irish scumbags singing "The Men Behind the Wire" and "The boys of the old Brigade" in bars all over Ireland, Boston, New York, and Chicago...


The Patriot Game

Written by Dominic Behan following the death of 16-year-old Fergan O'Hanlon
during an IRA attack on Dungannon barracks in 1957

Come all you young rebels, and list while I sing,
For the love of one's country is a terrible thing.
It banishes fear with the speed of a flame,
And it makes us all part of the patriot game.

My name is O'Hanlon, and I'm just gone sixteen.
My home is in Monaghan, where I was weaned.,
I learned all my life cruel England to blame,
And so I'm a part of the patriot game.

It's barely two years since I wandered away
With the local battalion of the bold IRA,
I'd read of our heroes, and I wanted the same
To play out my part in the patriot game.

This island of ours has for long been half free.
Six counties are under John Bull's tyranny.
So I gave up my Bible, to drill and to train
To play my own part in the patriot game.

And now as I lie here, my body all holes
I think of those traitors who bargained and sold.
I wish that my rifle had given the same
To those quislings who sold out the patriot game.


Friday, March 17, 2006

Patrick Day

In Ireland, the only people "celebrating" Patrick day (it's usually not called St. Patricks day) with wild partying, are the tourists (well... and the college students, but they'll celebrate a Simpsons episode they haven't seen with wild partying so...). Everyone else is home relaxing for the day off; or if they're still pious, off in church.

To Americans, it's a drunkards day, but to the Irish.. or at least to those who still give a damn about Ireland, and what it means to be Irish, it's significance is something like independence day, memorial day, and thanksgiving combined. It's a religious holiday AND a national holiday, and one of the strongest worldwide symbols of Ireland there is.

For a long time it was illegal to celebrate Patrick day; and the conspicuous display of green on this day could see one arrested. It was considered raising rebellion against the crown... something my family has a long history of really (look it up, fascinating stuff).

The celebration of this day is a very strong reminder to those who care about being Irish, what that means today, and what it has meant for the past 600 years.

Lest anyone think by these statements that I'm a supporter of the IRA, let me just say ohh ah FUCK THE RAH. It isn't 1921 anymore, and those bastards have done more damage in the last 30 years than I can describe.

What most don't realize, or even even hear of is that the IRA, and Sinn Fein (the peaceful political component) are a Marxist organization. Yes they want a united Ireland; but they want it to be a socialist workers paradise like Cuba.

Yeah I think you all know how I feel about that.

Of course the other thing most don't know is, that since the late '80s most of the violence has been initiated on the protestant side.

The so called loyalists, and "protective associations" and other pathetic excuses for extortion gangs look at sectarianism as an ideal cover for their real goal; the control of the criminal underground of Northern Ireland.

If you want to know what someones opinion of it is, you don't need ask; just listen to what they call it.

If its "The Cause", then they'll be singing "Boys of the Old Brigade" tonight. "The Struggle" is for those who march in orange down the Shankill road. The rest of us just call it "the troubles", and wish the lot of them to hell where they belong.

The worst part? At this point, The Irish don't want the north, and neither do the British. It's a gigantic welfare drag, with 20% or more unemployment, and massive dole roles, plus infrastructure costs that can't reasonably be borne... overall just a giant mess.

If you held a vote in all of Ireland today whether to unify the country, maybe half of the northerners would say yes, and probably three quarters of those in the republic would say HELL NO WE DON'T WANT YA.

Which is a damn shame; because the Irish SHOULD be one nation, and one people; even the English seem to accept that now; they just can't figure out how to extricate themselves from the situation while still doing right by her majesties subjects in the north counties AND saving face for the last 87 years of cockups.

So I think you can see why on this day, I find the singing of "rebel" songs to be a bit angering. My standard response is The Patriot Game (as above).


Being Irish (in America)

These are generally true for me, though I'm 6'2", I DO sing very well, my sisters are 10 years younger than me (two step sisters, Patricia and Kirsten), and I don't play golf, good OR bad (but the rest of my family does).

I've highlighted those especially relevant ones in red
Being Irish means...
  • you will never play professional basketball
  • you swear very well
  • at least one of your cousins holds political office
  • you think you sing very well
  • you have no idea how to make a long story short
  • you are very good at playing a lot of very bad golf
  • there isn't a huge difference between losing your temper and killing someone
  • much of your food was boiled
  • you have never hit your head on the ceiling
  • you spent a good portion of your childhood kneeling
  • you're strangely poetic after a few beers
  • you're poetic a lot
  • you will be punched for no good reason...a lot
  • some punches directed at you are legacies from past generations
  • your sister will punch you because your brother punched her
  • many of your sisters are Catherine, Elizabeth or Mary...and one is Mary Catherine Elizabeth (no but all of those are my cousins)
  • someone in your family is incredibly cheap
  • it is more than likely you
  • you don't know the words but that doesn't stop you from singing
  • you can't wait for the other guy to stop talking so you can start talking
  • "Irish Stew" is the euphemism for "boiled leftovers from the fridge"
  • you're not nearly as funny as you think you are, but what you lack in talent, you make up for in frequency
  • there wasn't a huge difference between your last wake and your last kegger party
  • you are, or know someone, named "Murph"
  • if you don't know Murph, then you know "Mac" (both)
  • if you don't know Murph or Mac, then you know "Sully" (all three)
  • you'll probably also know Sully McMurphy (yup)
  • you are genetically incapable of keeping a secret
  • your parents were on a first name basis with everyone at the local emergency room
The town I grew up in is according to the census bureau the most Irish and most catholic town in America. I just went to my high school reunion, and yeah Rory, Sully, Murph, Mick, Maureen, Maeve... Connoly, Flannagan, Flaherty, Doherty, Murphy, Sullivan, Colleary, Hannigan, Gallagher...

My family? Forget about it. Hell I have aunts Mary, Catherine, Alice, Maureen, Susan, Allison, and Helen, and uncles Robert, Patrick, John, Brian, Thomas and David.

Yes, every last one of them is named after a saint (including myself, and my father who I am named after, and his father who we are both named after), if you count the ones only the Irish count.

Hell, I have more than 10 cousins and an uncle named Patrick (and lord knows how many great uncles).