Planning on celebrating St. Patty’s day this year? Before you head out to get plastered, it might be worth taking a peek at this essay from the good folks at the eXile. Writing under the nome de plume Paddy O’ Fenian, the purportedly Irish author of the piece says that the country we’re all planning on toasting this evening is in shambles — and we Californians are partly to blame.
In the past decade, the influence of shows like “The O.C.” has rendered Irish culture a poor similacrum of Southern California, and the country’s public coffers have been stripped bare by Reaganomics-inspired corruption.
Most people of my generation sneer at the mention of organised religion — or at the very least are fairly flippant about the whole thing. But if history has taught us nothing it is that one superstition will inevitably be replaced by another. China got Maoism; we got consumerism.
A strange sort of consumerism it was too. The Irish writer Brendan Behan once said “Other people have a nationality. The Irish and the Jews have a psychosis”. How right he was. When both these peoples tried to forge their own national identities they were horrified to find a big, dark void where their nationality was supposed to be. The Zionists went mental — existential threat this and holocaust that. The Irish weren’t quite so unfortunate. They hung onto the whole Catholic thing for a while; but ditched that whole miserable affair at the first chance they got. When the imported American cultural goods started to arrive by the shipload, the shopping malls began to fill up — Dawn of the Dead style.
Then something weird started happening — young people started mimicking the characters they saw on inane MTV-style shows like “The OC” and “One Tree Hill.” Why is this weird? Well, it’s a matter of geography, really. You see, we’re not L.A. — we-re REALLY not L.A. Ireland has shit weather — really, really shit weather (the Irish burn significant amounts of carbohydrates just complaining about it). So when you see the guys (yes, we say “guys” now) wearing beach shorts in the pouring rain, or the girls doing the oompa-loompa through the application of fake tan, it’s just that — a little weird. …
So when you’re out drinkin’, singin’ and reminiscin’ remember that the ol’ Emerald Isles aren’t the paradise many purport them to be. There ain’t no rainbow folks. No pot of gold either. Just a rather backward country that failed to modernise its institutions properly; that is now being run by an almost nihilistic group of cynics who know they can get away with almost anything — and which is now paying the price, big time. …
To end on a more positive note: [raises glass] Here’s to the death of neo-liberalism, Reaganism, Thatcherism and monetarism!!! [swigs].