17 March 2006


It's St. Patrick's Day.


The day when the popular image of a proud, noble and ancient culture is reduced to the drunken ramblings of Irish-wannabe wankers (including the legions of ex-pats) who take a break from the green pilsner only long enough to torture everyone within earshot with another round of Danny Boy that sounds more like someone beating a cat in a bag with a shillelagh.

It's the day when everyone thinks it's fine to be a paddy.

To put this into terms the locals might appreciate, consider having a day in which every knob on the planet feels obliged to adopt an appalling accent, trace their dubious ancestry to the same couple of first cousins who once settled in Hibb's Hole, and who slobber over all who will listen about the joys of being...a newfie.

Now I am neither Irish nor a wannabe, but it always struck me that, if I were Irish, I would fervently hope that St. Patrick's Day might be something that eventually people might grow tired of.

But they don't.

And perhaps the Irish still in Ireland are smart enough to use St. Patrick's Day as a clever way to lure the rest of the world into the orbit of the Great Celtic Global Conspiracy.

And so to that extent, good on 'em.

For those who want to experience Ireland - the real one - here's a link to the Irish tourism outfit (tourismireland.com), along with samples of their awesome television spots aimed at North Americans.

Forget the green pilsner or lager; try the elixir of life, Guinness.

Tackle a little James Joyce.

Heck, find out about the edgy comedy of the late Dermot Morgan and wonder why Newfoundland and Labrador never produced that kind of in-your-face political satire Dermot cranked out on Scrap Saturday. It's not like we don't have enough fodder right in front of our faces to replicate the CJ/PJ thing.

In other words, celebrate everything genuinely Irish on this, St. Patrick's Day.