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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Blarney Stoned

After scrapping the hairs off me tongue and waiting to return to me natural color, I was entertained by Sir Dayvd of Oxfordshire's observations about Guinness, St. Patrick's Day and Potatoes:

Sir Hook I note with interest that Guinness are arguing that St Patty's Day should be made a national holiday. (That'll encourage responsible drinking and much hurling of chunks in gutters. )
The makers of the primeval, straight-from-the-earth's-crust brew are sponsoring a drive through their Web site to make "Proposition 3-17" a law. They plan to hustle up a million or more signatures by midnight and deliver the petition to Congress today, although if it only took one million signatures to pass legislation, Montana would have been renamed Hannah Montana a long time ago.

Although yesterday was a day when bagpipers marched proudly up Fifth Avenue, girls named Maureen painted green shamrocks on their faces and "The Quiet Man" played on TV. The cozy Irish pub then turned from a friendly place for conversation to a rugby match of rookie drinkers who desecrated the holy pint of plain by guzzling it like water (or Budweiser). Their buttons saying, "Kiss Me, I'm Irish," but their driver's licenses saying, "Arrest me, I'm 19." Also: "My name is Antonio DiCenzo."
And consider this, ye sons of Hibernia: Guinness may be the finest liquid known to man but it's about as Irish as Shaquille O'Neal or John Kerry. It's owned by the British firm Diageo, which makes the brew in Dublin, just as Honda makes cars in Ohio. So when you bewail British oppression, please note that with each pint you are funding perfidious Albion, which is probably hoping to use the profits to steal all your potatoes again the next time you take your eye off them.

"Danny Boy" isn't Irish either - it was written by an English lawyer who never set foot in Ireland. Nor is corned beef and cabbage, nor indeed, was St. Patrick himself, a citizen of Roman Britain who was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave.

Let's review : a holiday named after a Brit inspires people to drink British beer while singing a British song. It's almost enough to make you want to plunge into the more desolate parts of "Moondance" or "Astral Weeks." Except - zing! - Van Morrison is British too.
So what exactly is the point of St. Patrick's Day? Though March 17 has about the same chance of being dubbed a national holiday as Eliot Spitzer does of getting a "World's Greatest Dad" T-shirt for Father's Day, formalizing it would would completely miss the point. What would be the fun in cutting school or blowing off work?

St. Patrick's Day is about slipping the leash of authority and running madly through the streets with your tongue hanging out. It's fine with me if everyone has a little Irish in them. Just keep it inside you instead of letting it out. It makes my shoes stick to the sidewalk.

Sir D

Aye! Sir H

1 comment:

  1. And let's not forget that the first St. Patrick's Day Parade was help in the (now) U.S. in the 1760s.

    Oh, but a great lesson in marketing and "Tipping Points."

    Sir Bowie of Greenbriar