Feckin' Pikeys

Who doesn't love St. Patrick's day? Not only is it j's birthday -- but it's one of America's two adopted drinking holidays where something born in a quasi-religious sense has been turned into an all-day boozefest in the name of a nationality that only so many people actually can claim as theirs.
Not that it ever stops anyone.
Even though I love a good St Paddy's throwdown just as much as the next guy, the one part I've always found annoying is the way all the a-holes at the bar suddenly turns Irish. As in, "Oh yeah, my family's roots trace all the way back." or the ever-popular,
"Are ye callin me a liar, boyo? Faith and Begorrah -- as soon as I finish eating this potato me
and the rest of the Chi Alphas going to kick your bloody arse for insulting me beloved heritage!"
Seriously, we don't do this for any other holiday. It's not like honkies across the country show up in moccasins and feathered headdresses every Thanksgiving, or insist that they're Mexican on the fifth of May. There's even a widely disputed movement happening where people are more sensitive to the fact that everyone who gathers with friends and family to exchange gifts around a ceremonial tree every December isn't necessarily doing so in celebration of the birth of the Christian Jesus, and that greetings like "Merry Christmas" might even contain prejudiced overtones that are potentially offensive to those people who may not choose to worship that particular religion.

Sticks and stones perhaps -- but when you think about the way Christmas songs are "generic-ed up" for plays at kids schools these days (The Holiday show at my son's elementary was so full of songs about penguins exchanging gifts and world cultures that it seemed almost annoyingly pagan) it's almost kind of funny to consider just how flippant our PC attitudes towards the Irish turn every March 17th as we honor the rich history of Ireland the same way we imagine they do, by getting completely fucked up and puking in the streets.
Suggesting that the Christmas holiday might have something to do with Jesus Christ? -- Offensive.
Celebrating the fact that all Micks are belligerent angry boozehounds? -- Fuckin' A, Broseph!
Look -- I'm all for a good time, and I've certainly done my share of drinking and singing songs about who the fuck Alice is, but I don't go around talking like a leprechaun while claiming that my family goes back three generations to the Cliffs of Dover.
And while I'm at it, what the hell is this!?
kelly green
I'm a Denver Broncos fan. What's this fucking shamrock doing on my shirt? Seriously, what kind of bullshit is this? I'm no native, but if I went to Madison Square Garden wearing a Kelly green shirt supporting the Knicks, I'd get my ass kicked for being a Celtics fan. It's one goddamn day out the year -- is this really necessary?
I tell you this right now -- I'd run through in downtown Dublin screaming at the top of my lungs that the IRA are a bunch of Pussies before I put on anything that might lead people to believe that I'm any kind of fan of Notre Dame.
The other tremendously annoying thing that white people do on this Holiday is randomly mix their West European stereotypes into a grand sort of shepherds pie of contradicting influences -- most frequently ending up with people assuming that the entire Nation of Scotland is somehow located in the middle of Bono's living room.

Attention, frat boys. The Highlander is not Irish. The Boondock Saints is not acceptable quote material at a caber toss. They're two different cultures. Granted, they both have their share of famous drunks -- but that doesn't mean you can just throw one blanket over the whole bunch and pretend that your fake accent is impressing anyone.

Besides, this isn't really that difficult.
Scottish:


Irish
If you train your ears, you'll start to notice slight phonetical differences in the accents, particularly when repeating the F-word a hundred times in a row.
Try to keep this in mind tonight when you're adopting a culture outside your own.
And for heaven's sake -- be careful out there. Just because it's a celebration doesn't mean you should act irresponsibly or make choices that you might end up regretting later.
Because we all know what that leads to..

[Listening To:  Murphy's Law"Fun" ]

Comments

Monster said…
So many many moons ago, FSU played a baseball game on St. Patrick's Day, and had green hats, with the gold FS on the front, and little four-leaf clovers on the side. This was before you could buy a hat that looked like ANYTHING with a team logo on it, and they were super-cool. So when Notre Dame visited FSU for football the next year, a bunch of the baseball players loaned the football team the hats, in effect saying "We get to claim the luck of the Irish, too." Florida State fans thought their players were wearing ND hats on the sidelines, and nearly rioted.

So you ain't the only one.

I left the house wearing green on my tshirt today, but a bright orange cap, fully expecting some smack-talk. I guess it goes to show how disingenuous the whole claiming-Irish-heritage thing actually is if you don't even get riled up at statements meant to offend actual Irish people. Well, actual Irish Catholics, anyway.
Alexis said…
Not to nit-pick, but Lough Lomond is in Scotland. ;-)
whatigotsofar said…
St. Patrick's Day is the one day a year little people can get really shitfaced, dress up in funny green clothes, dance around like morons, pick fights with random people and get paid for the pleasure to do all those things.
Adam said…
Two things:

1) I would think maybe you'd be better off getting a Denver Broncos shirt with a four leaf clover on it. You guys could use all the help you can get. Come to think of it, the so-called 'luck of the Irish' certainly couldn't hurt. (As a lifelong Dolphins fan, I am conveniently ONLY remembering last season)

2) Loch Lomond is Scottish!
Werdna said…
I'm just loving St. Patricks day. And I'm probably 1/100th or less Irish.

Wops + Scots + a holiday with drinking... wooo!!


And I have a green Padres hat, but it ain't got no clover on it. I just like having a green hat.
The Kaiser said…
For many years now I have wanted a shirt or button or something that says "I'm English. Pinch me and I'll starve your family to death."

To add to the geographical nitpicking, the Cliffs of Dover are English.
Hex said…
Monster -- Have your fun and get all drunk, but leave my sports teams alone: That's all I'm saying.

Alexis -- You know what kills me, is that I had originally had something else in that spot, and thought to myself -- "actually, maybe I shouldn't go for another f-bomb here. What are some other songs that my favorite Irish Pub band plays all the time?"

It's been changed back to the original thought.

At the same time, this is my greatest fear as a writer -- that someday I will write the great American novel that would change everyone's perspective and thought, but I'll give it a title like "Mickey Moose" or "The Best Thing to Happen to Ireland Since Lough Lomond"

WIGSF -- You're talking about this guy, right?

Adam -- To tell the truth, I'm dissapointed in Jay Cutler. Sure it wasn't a nice thing for the coach to do, but this is football. Hissy fits are not allowed.

That's two calls on the Lomond mistake. I need an editor.

Werdna -- Perhaps the Padres aren't ripe yet?

Kaiser -- That's classic. I'll take one of those two.

As to your other astute point -- I guess the conclusion that can be reached here is that even if I was the kinda guy who wanted to pretend to be something else on a given holiday, it wouldn't matter -- because when it comes to European geography, it's pretty clear I don't know shite from shinola.
Werdna said…
At least you answered the bell even when it was no fun.

That makes you part irish...
Connemara cliffs ... sure that's in Ireland ... White cliffs of Dover are in Dover, England, UK. They are quite lovely really. But hey you knew the terrain of the Atlantic coast of Ireland was cliffs. FYI also a huge rocky area called the Burren. Also a very lovely sight.

Further FYI we are repatriating in June! Headed for Philly!

Hope you are well.