After a long history of invasions, repressions, starvation and servitude, getting our asses kicked by the Romans, the Vikings and the British, the only thing a modern person of Irish decent can look forward to is skipping a day of work to get plastered on St Paddy's Day and publicly making fools of themselves? It even has it's own parade.
This is what our ancestors, often with only with the clothes on their backs and leaving everything they ever had back in the old country, risked their necks to come to America for? And once here they endured 10 hour days 6 days a week as fodder for the vast and giant, smokey brickwork mills of the industrial revolution, living crowded together in substandard housing and inhabiting the low end of the social scale until they established themselves in a new world. Nobody handed them anything, it was all earned by the sweat of their brow, the strength of their backs and the desire and resolve in their hearts.
Many died in the famine, many died in the Atlantic crossing and many died in the factories and crowded slums.
All so that in modern times we can perpetuate the image that we're a bunch of drunks.
Good thing their dead 'cause this would kill 'em!
Just like the Italian's lack of humor when it comes to references to "The Mafia" or the Great American South to those "Duke's of Hazard" style hillbillies, I shudder each year at the prospect of this "Special" day and all the morons that come out for it.
But people can and should do what they want just as long as they only do it to themselves. It's just all done in such poor taste. And what a low class affair to pay $25- $35 to go into a pub you normally walk in free the rest of the year. But that's the way it is with the Irish I suppose, falling into their stereotypes for all to see. From Brendan Behan to Shane McGowan. It's a shame we haven't smartened up.
So drinking til one vomits it is for St. Patrick's Day. On this side of the pond anyway. Don't know how it's done in Ireland but I suppose somebody over there at least knows why they're doing it. For me I just find it insulting that this Irish Amature Night is not much better than Cinco de Mayo in the annals of marketing and manufactured ignorance.
And while we're at it, if the Fighting Irish symbol of Notre Dame University depicted a person of any other color or of any other race, there would be a such a hue and cry that everybody associated with it would have to resign in disgrace. But it's an Irishman, isn't it?
And nobody cares if they offend an Irishman.
I was watching a PBS special on the Civil Rights Movement the other night when the commentator said they "took Martin Luther King Jr. away in a Paddy Wagon.". I thought that statement summed it all up nicely.
So go ahead, drink up Boyos, and stumble down a flight of stairs for "Old Saint Paddy" for all I care. Sing your sad love songs and happy fighting songs while you're all in your cups.
I'll be home on my couch with a blanket pulled up over my head waiting for it all to be over.