I was working on a long post about Irish folklore for Saint Patrick’s Day, but then like my computer decided it didn’t want to be able to access the internet for a few hours and now I’m pretty over the idea of writing out an enormous write-up on Finn MacCool tonight.
So here’s a screengrab of The Leprechauns’ Christmas Gold to tide you over until tomorrow when I can hopefully work up the gumption to write up both Finn and maybe even the Shee an Gannon. I hope you’re not totally over the Irish as a concept by tomorrow.
All you people all over the world outside the United States, which is almost everybody to the tune of about 96% of the world population, ya gotta excuse our odd obsession and deliberate distortion of St Patrick’s Day. The actual Irish already roll their eyes and sigh at our antics, but we have sort of a half ass reason.
See, America has no real solid ethnic identity. We are an amalgamated conglomeration of assimilated and repurposed cultures and traditions. We have a national identity, but it’s too broad and not specific enough. Something like St Paddy’s Day is an excuse to glom onto a bit of preexisting culture. Everybody can be “a little Irish for the day”. Which means corn beef hash, green beer and getting shit faced. Ireland, we salute you!
My favorite bit of irony is the fact that 40+million Americans call themselves Irish or Irish-American while there’s probably no more than a million people who can rightfully call themselves that.
Let me explain.
My last name is O'Neil. I am not Irish. I am not Irish-American. I am American (another mis-appelation since everybody on the continents of North and South America are Americans. I guess ‘Staters’ or “ Units” never took). I have Irish heritage. Heritage because I have to go clear back to a great grandfather for a relative born in Ireland. Calling myself Irish is laying claim to being a citizen of a country my ancestors left for good 133 years ago. And the thing is, most Americans are mutts. A mix of three, four, five or more nationalities. And 99% of people know their mix. For example my heritage is Irish, German, French Canadian and Ojibwa (1/16th. Of course I know that)
See, people of everywhere else, our culture is fairly diverse, diluted, malleable and prone to change. Plus our history is pretty brief. So we’ve got a bit of “ethnicity envy”.
We’re insecure about our ill defined culture, and jealous of people who have a solid foundation for their personal identity without even wondering. You all aren’t really helping by paying so much attention to our antics. It makes a lot of Americans think that everyone wants to be like us, even as we ourselves can’t figure out just what that means. China with its 140+ ethnicities still doesn’t really mirror us, because those ethnic groups have historic relatively local ties. In America we identity ourselves by what state we’re from, almost like an ethnic group, but we’re so prone to emigration that even that gets diluted.
So excuse our occasional foolishness for the poorly veiled jealousy and insecurity that it is. We’re not so much trying to appropriate other cultures as trying to create one we like.
Im trying vigerously to find that ask-spiderpool update where Peter had just kinda confessed his feelings to Wade while drunk for St. Patricks day, and then all Wade can think to say to him the next morning is:
Jack kinda loves St. Patrick’s Day. It’s an excuse to be extremely out there - which, to be honest, he doesn’t really need an excuse for, but he’s only just gotten back to being himself. He has his paddy cap on, and his entire outfit is green. He’s got a clover drawn on his cheek too, and a flask in his back pocket. He resolves to spend the entire day in public, partying it up and maybe spending time with his friends. His videos are already finished for the day and set to upload, so he heads out, taking a bag shaped like a pot o’ gold with him.
Maybe he’s a bit too into St. Patrick’s Day.
He takes a blanket with a bunch of clovers out when he reaches the middle of the quad, laying it down picnic style - an open invitation for anyone to join him for lunch.