My brother asked me what I was doing on this St. Patricks Day and I think he was taken aback by my violent repugnance of the day.
It is coming up to that time of year again – everyone goes green and guzzles gallons of Guinness. Time for my all new tirade against celebrating this sham of a day. Are you ready? Here goes…
Saint Patrick – what does he represent?
Celebrating this Christian day implies a belief that underneath it all, there is a kind of God that protects Ireland and that it was a good thing that a Welsh monk came over the water 1600 years ago and began proclaiming the world of Christianity.
But what does it mean to celebrate this day then? Surely you can just be a proud Irish person and enjoy celebrating what makes us uniquely ourselves? Well, drill down a little and see what is inherent in celebrating this day.
Whether you like it or not, you are rejoicing the patronage and protection of the biggest business in the world – the Roman Catholic Church. Implicit in your acknowledgement of St. Patrick’s achievements is a reverence for the Pope and the gaggle of paedophiles he protected until he “retired” a few weeks ago. The next one will be equally as fucking ignorant of the reality of real people.
Whether you like it or not, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day means more than going to your favourite bar and dancing jigs, slurping Jameson and singing rebel songs that you only know the words to the verse of – but it doesn’t matter coz you are so locked and hyper happy drunk.
Whether you like it or not, St. Patricks Day is a Catholic celebration which means that being gay is a sin, that you have no rights as a woman to chose an abortion, that Jesus is the physical entity who was born of a virgin and existed as the son of God and that the church, who still rule Ireland, are a good institution who are to be revered and honoured in your own way.
Whether you like it or not.
Whether you like it or not, the majority of Irish will get drunk on Paddy’s day, conforming to type, conforming to the institutionalised melodrama that has beset our nation over the last two hundred years.
Paddy’s all over the planet will congregate and get blissfully intoxicated and recall the old days, dream with misty eyes of the ancients who paved the way for their freedoms and spoils which they enjoy on this day.
Glass after glass will be raised in honourful “slaintes” to the heroes of today and yesterday.
Now, whether you like it or not, this will happen.
And when the multitudes awaken on the morning after, with sore heads and scrambled brains and empty pockets, what will have changed?
Who will have addressed the state of our once proud nation? Who will call attention to the incredible onslaught our former sovereign state faces against the bankers and the European controlled elitist government? Who will have the stomach for that kind of thing?
The answer is a small few hundred who are doing it anyway.
Whether you like it or not, getting blind drunk and whiling away the days is a form of control which we administer to ourselves. Whether you like it or not, our country is being robbed from our very people and the majority vacillate from pub to job, to off-licence, to home, to dole queue hoping that someone else will figure things out.
The drink culture in Ireland is used so we ignore the pain and the truths about reality. There is nothing rebellious or crazy about it.
Whether you like it or not, being Irish is not about drink. Whether you like it or not, celebrating St. Patricks day does not mean you are more Irish than the next person.
So when you are screaming the last verse of “Sean South of Garryowen”, with a pint splashing around one hand and whiskey in the other, some diddle di dee music thumping through your ears, spare a thought for the bitter, sober souls sitting at home wishing they had a “kiss me I’m Irish” girl under their oxter.
Whether you like it or not, you are just conforming to type.
13 thoughts on “St. Patricks Day me arse!”
I agree with you John. I have lived a good portion of my life abroad. For me being Irish is an feeling of belonging. Not to the drinking hoards who will descend on drinking establishments the world over on Sunday but belonging to a once proud nation that was formerly known as the Island of Saints And Scholars, of heroes like Michael Collins, Padraig Pearse and the heroes of 1916 who spilled blood for our nation. Of poets and playwrights like Yeats and Kavanagh. I am about to be sworn in as an American Citizen, but every part of me is Irish and I am going to make sure my kids know of their Irish heritage. My mothers family can be traced back to a regional king at the time of the High Kings of Ireland. His name was Daithi O’Douda. I am proud that my blood line stretches back to ancient times. I am proud that we have our own language (although not much spoken) Our own culture in Gaelic Sports, Irish dancing that are unique. What ever hapoened the nation of Brian Boru and Fionn Mac Cumhaill. My heart swells with pride whenever I watch the international football or rugby team. Thats whst being Irish is about. Thank God I don’t live at home anymore, our ancestors are rolling in their graves at the lack of passion and fight that was once an Irish trait. Our once proud nation is going down the toilet and everyone is going to play their part on Sunday by increasing the volume going down the toilet bowl on Sunday.
The blood lines of the High Kings of Ireland being sworn into the American nation! Amazing that you can trace your family back that far and would love to do it myself some day – although I might find out some bad news about the purity of me irishness! I feel the same about the way our country has gone. Our people are lacking in leaders who stand for anything other than legislation and more rules to benefit bigger government – they justify their own existence with pomp and bollix which even the drunken drugged up hoards are beginning to realise.
I spent many years drunk as a monkey so I know what I’m talking about. It is escapism and denial and as a group national force it is more powerful than any people really give credence to. It is a collective conscious way we Irish BELIEVE we are meant to play our part in. But it doesn’t have to be like that. There is a serious lacking in our culture at the moment and the drinking only amplifies that for me, and quietens it for others.
Hi Sober Paddy,
Enjoy reading what you have to say, not that I always agree with what you have to say.
Sure the Irish love to drink and I can’t say that I have a direct problem with that. My view is that the majority of people who drink to access are able to deal with that type of behaviour. Its the impact of the behaviour of the majority that impacts on the behaviour of the minority who can’t handle their drink, is where I believe the real problem exists. I know there are many different areas that we could discuss to point the finger of blame, but I just believe that it is a collective problem and that the majority of those who drink to access and can handle it, still owe a duty to those who are vulnerable to the harms of alcohol.
Paddies day to me is the summation of my point. A nation collectively part takes in disgraceful drinking impacting directly on those who are vulnerable to alcohol. Its not rocket science.
Thankfully though there is a more responsible attitude being taken by many younger people, but unfortunately these will always be argued to be uncool by other enthusiastic drinkers and so the cycle will look to continue for many a year to come.
Personally, I feel this is a problem that needs to be tackled hard by the Irish Government. Unfortunately I haven’t seen any firm Government policy on the issue. I’m talking of a policy which is implemented at every Ministerial position in Government. Was particularly disgusted over two relatively recent occasions. The first was the amount of Guinness consumed and glorified on Obama’s visit. The second when the Queen visited.
When the Queen visited, it was plain to see that a decision was made to publicise Ireland as a country that was open to tourists. It was also plain to see that a trade off was made between the benefit of using a pint of Guinness to entice tourists to visit, against the negative impact this publicity had on our own problem with harmful drinking.
If the Government had a firm policy with regard to alcohol consumption amongst its own citizens then, I believe, the pint would not have been stage centre during the Queens visit. ( I will admit that Prince Philip played his part very well).
Its not just Paddies day where the Irish typify themselves with alcohol, but on any other occasion where we can get the rest of the worlds attention we we pull out the kegs and start the sing songs….Go on ya* good thing (gobshits)
Thoughtful comment Leebie.
I was overseas so I missed most of the Queen’s visit to Ireland. I was appaled by the amount of tax $$$ which went to fund it though. The hijacking of the occassion by Diageo and Guinness comes at no surprise. They employ some of the best minds in the world to figure out how people respond to marketing. Icons like Obama and Royalty slurping the black stuff is priceless in terms of how people see the drink and the almost religious esteem which the pint of Guinness is held.
I dont believe in many rules in life, but I do believe there should be laws protecting people from harm. That is the one top priority which should never be overlooked or ignored. The fact is that there are vulnerable people who cannot drink at a level which does not destroy their lives, either slowly or quickly. This idea you talk about – protecting the vulnerable – is the pinnacle of this kind of philosophy.
Governments, corporations and mass media are not inclined to care about the individual, or the minorities. As a democratic republic you would imagine that the protction of individuals and minorities would be top of the list of priorities. But that is never the case. There are too many vested interests and popularity contests to win. And this will never change.
So where does this end? With you as an individual, with slow eductaion of the youth and with better lifestyle choices made and popularised over time. You have the power to affect the opinion of your group of friends and so and and so forth, and this is the best way to make changes. Spread the word and keep challenging tohse around you to consider their own choices.
I appreciate your comments and am happy that you don’t always agree – not everyone is perfect!!
great writing again lenny. I am definitely inclined to agree with you that paddys day is an overrated excuse for a bender. I am also sick of all the auld ‘wrap the green flag’ patriotism . I actually think the patriotism thing is massively overplayed as well. The corrupt idiots who have ruined Ireland would I am sure call themselves proud irishmen, as would the equally corrupt idiots in spain, greece, italy etc. the concept that because you are the same nationality as someone means you share a set of common values and goals is incorrect. You are as likely to get fckd over by an Irish man as you are by a Brit/German etc In my opinion we should treat our fellow people properly, regardless of background. Patriotism is good for sports- soccer, rugby etc, after that, load of bollix!!
Hope you are keeping well
Good to hear form you man. Refreshing to hear this idea from someone who comes from such a traditional household.
I have to agree with you on the idea that corruption cares not for identity, race nor nationality. When I read Orwell’s Animal Farm many years ago, I learnt that whomever rises to the top is very likely to be as bad as those they replace.
Our own country has fallen into the hands of self serving politicians of under whelming mediocrity – the kind of gobshites who wanted to get eleceted onto the student bodies in Universtity are now running the country. This scares me and makes me realise that our country has a long way to go before even coming close to turing any corners.
Like you say, the Trapps army or the Rugby lads get going there is nothing more enjoyable than cheering along, but as for the rest…tis a sham of a scam.
Hope you’re keeping well yourself mo chara.
Jay fuckin Zuss I think you all need a pint and Sober Paddy I think you might need to stop because now its just negative. We had a great day again this year with friends and family, singing songs and revelling in our culture.yes we drank to excess and woke up sore but had a great time doing it. Don’t join in if its not your thing but don’t put the boot into those who do. Boxer
I might need to stop what Boxer? I am more than entitled to express myself here and if it’s not your thing then fair enough. You wont find anyone who revels more in our culture than meself. I just think the whole day is a drink fest (which it is) and an subconscious honouring of the church (which it is). All just my humble opinion. Glad you had a good one and I’m sure I would have had some craic with you either way on this day.
Its a forum for your thoughts on how you stay off alcohol.Its about you as an Irishman dealing with that. I feel it has become a negative process and your not really talking about Paddys day or lads who idle their time away in pubs but rather a vehicle to rant about other issues which bother you-
Fair enough man – I suppose these days what I see as being Irish I feel disapointed with – The banks and the government ruining the country and people not responding to the new opressors. These are the thoughts which occupty me now and maybe I need a new website for it!
And I did ask you to spare a thought for us bitter sober souls sitting at home wishing we were out there with yis!
We raised many a glass to you my friend and tried unsuccessfully to prank call you.
A cohort of ours smashed a table full of drinks singing a rebel song by slamming his fist down too hard on a table during the crescendo, He dry humped a music star and got locked in a closet.
Ah be jingoes it sounded like a good one – I had the bould Outlaw up Irish dancing like Micheal Flatley on ketamine. Twas a sight for sore eyes.