Monday, March 17, 2008

The Irish in America

A couple of things about the Irish, in America and out:
  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!

Being Irish (in America)

(reprinted from an email) 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 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 (counting first and second) and an uncle named Patrick (and lord knows how many great uncles).