Friday, March 17, 2006
Erin go Bragh!
Well, here we are again. Once more the Feast of Saint Patrick lands on us, and once more I do my bit to balyhoo the patron Saint of Ireland.
Now, many of you have guessed that there is not a scrap of Irish in me, yet I've feted this tiny Holiday to such an extent, that very often I'll receive calls from friends and family, who consider it MY holiday as much as anything else. Add to that, my longstanding support of Irish Republicanism, (Mick Collins Style, not Eamon Devalerra), and i'm sure the puzzlement grows.
Why would I adopt all this nonsense? Why is St. patrick's day and Ireland so important?
Many of you know, I am a bit of an Anglophile. TV, Film, Literature, Government, History, i love it all. Stiff upper lip, tally-ho, pip-pip, old-bean, etc. etc. I am as familiar with many aspects of British culture as I am American, and yet I will forever fault England in its treatment of the Irish.
In the Irish struggle, I have been forced to second guess Blighty, and all that I love about her. For all the civility England has displayed throughout its history, the treatment of the Irish, and in particular the belittlement of Catholics by the English for the last 800 years, serves as a constant reminder to me that even those things that I hold dear must be constantly reexamined. It brings me comfort to stand in solidarity, with my Catholic Brothers and Sisters, and go arm in arm with a people who were for a long time, very brutally oppressed.
I will forever love England, but I cherish the reminder, that even a great, progressive "civil" power, can be corrupt and unfair. In times like these, I think it's a lesson well remembered.
God Save Ireland, and Happy Saint Patrick's day to all!