Thursday, March 17, 2005

One sober Irishman

Well, it's St. Patrick's day again, another excuse for everyone to get totally and completely blasted. As if they needed one. St. Patrick's day is the total aggregation of everything that is crass, crude, and base in American society, thinly covered with a green shamrock.

Speaking as an Irishman, which I am somewhat though it is a title I rarely lay claim to, I find little to recommend in the holiday. I'm not Catholic, and even among the papists little is known about him outside of Ireland. Irish nationalism, too, seems a dubious cause. Ireland has no doubt suffered many indignities and even brutalities at the hands of the English, and they would have many legitimate grievences had they not turned to a kind of terrorism as reprehensible as any employed by al-Qaeda.

There are many ways in which St. Patrick's day could be meaningful. It could be an affirmation of Irish contributions to society. It could be a day of rememberence, of learning what it is to be Irish. Instead, it's just another excuse for people to drink and fight. However Irish these things may be, and I'm sure they are not completely unknown on the Shamrock Isle, they are hardly worthy of celebration or veneration.

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