The king doth wake to-night and takes his rouse,
The king doth wake to-night and takes his rouse,
- Edward, Earl of Oxford writing as Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
The following blog post originally appeared over on my LiveJournal blog back in 2008; the St. Patrick's Day parade in Southie happened on Palm Sunday. It did NOT impact liquor sales. I am not a fan of the day--like Denis Leary, it's the one day of the year I refuse to drink. I got a hoot out of his appearance on the Daily Show and hearing him say what I've been saying for years--it's the drinking day for amateurs. So tomorrow, I will NOT be drinking, at all. (Not that it's a sacrifice for me--it's anomalous for me to drink, most days.) I also WON'T be wearing ANY green--also some anomalous for me, as I wear a little bit of green every day and always wear a claddagh (I will have that on; I'm not THAT ridiculous). I may forego the black armband--I call tomorrow the Irish-American Day of Shame and Mourning.
If you ARE drinking tomorrow, please, play it safe--don't drive, don't do something stupid, wear a condom. I hate the Godsdamned things, too, but better safe than sorry.
Happy %$^&*()_ St. Patrick's Day.
Can I just say that it completely PISSES me off every time someone wishes me a "happy St. Patrick's Day!" Assuming that, because I'm Irish, I celebrate this travesty. Well, (as you've probably surmised from my surly heading), I don't.
St. Patrick's Day, as it's celebrated here in the U.S. is revolting. End of story. It's supposed to be a saint's feast day--a solemn occasion, or at least a decorous one. There's nothing in the fragments of his history that is extant that indicates that the jackass who infected Ireland with Xtianity was a sodden drunken jerkoff, so why is it that those who choose to "honor" him have to be?
I don't get it.
As someone from a typical Irish-American family--typical in that, like so many other Irish & Irish-American families, we have been afflicted with members lost to The Thirst--I hate the fact that the weakness (because, sorry, kids, alcoholism isn't a disease--it's a weakness and a choice. You CHOOSE to take that drink, you CHOOSE to deal with your problems by drowning them in alcohol rather than therapy and/or medication--bipolar disorder IS a medical condition; anxiety disorder is a medical condition; alcoholism is denial) is considered a mandatory part of the celebration of Irish pride--you have to get drunk and act stupid.
Where is the pride in getting falling down drunk? It just revolts me. One of the organizers of the South Boston parade, an elderly boyo with the auspicious nickname of "Whacko," expressed the hope that, because the parade was happening on Palm Sunday, people would behave more decorously--that it would be more of a "family day like it used to be."
Yeah, right. Quite possibly the single biggest sales day for the Southie pubs, and he thinks people care that it's Palm Sunday? Please. Very few remember that Lenten observation is more than just not eating meat on Fridays--it's supposed to include abstension from sex and alcohol (hence, the bacchanalia of Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday). I've also been told that sweets were also a part of Lenten no-nos at one time (there's a reason for the chocolate orgy of Easter and the birthrate spike in November/December). There's no special dispensation from Emperor Popatine for the Boston Irish and the once-a-year-Irishmen for St. Patrick's Day.
And what is this "everybody's a little Irish on St. Patrick's Day" bullshit? WHY? Everybody isn't "a little Italian" on Columbus Day, or "a little black" on Martin Luther King Day. I'm Irish every day, 365/24/7, whether I like it or not. Some parts of the heritage I'm proud of, some of it I'm ashamed of, but, either way, it's mine. Don't co-opt my culture & ethnicity and celebrate the worst of it, and I'll do you the same courtesy.
Let's get back to the parade. I boycott the South Boston parade because, for me, it's a symbol of the worst of the Boston Irish--a celebration of our bigotry and ignorance--exemplified by the exclusion of gay & lesbian groups from marching. I guess it's not OK to be gay, out and Irish, or at least to admit it. It just pisses me off. Back in my UMass days, I had a few gay friends (you can't be in theatre and NOT)--all of them from working/middle class Catholic families, either Irish or Italian, all of them either disinherited or definitely unwelcome at home. These were good men--decent human beings who would give you the shirt off their back (as we say in the neighborhood) and share their last meal with you. In short, no matter what their religious affiliation, they were true Christians in that they followed the One Commandment of Jesus Christ--"do unto others as you would have done unto you." Too bad the "good Catholics" who organize the !@#$%^&*()_ parade have forgotten how to be good Christians. Makes me ANGRY.
And let's get to the final reason why St. Patrick can kiss my royal Irish ass--why, why, OH WHY would a witch so far out of the broom closet I've forgotten where the Godsdamned door is, celebrate the bastard who ruined her forebears' culture by shackling it with the horrors, the bigotry, the chauvanism, of Xti-insan-ity? Why would I celebrate the destruction of the shamanic traditions, the bardic traditions, a society where women were respected and played an equal part? Why would I celebrate the castration and co-opting of the Old Gods and their rich and full stories into sanitized, chaste saints? Roman Catholicism is the WORST thing that ever happened to Ireland, worse than any strife the British brought.
Gimme that Old Time Religion--bring back the Old Gods and keep your stupid saints.
Today's photo comes from the Northern Sun catalog, http://www.northernsun.com/. I NEED one.