Come on Ireland – wake up. — 25 Comments

  1. No. It is “I am sooooooo not wrong” [or the other one that I cannot understand – “I am soooooo wrong. Not.”]

  2. Thanks for a very entertaining — and poignant — entry! Interesting too that the Irish people who are into America-bashing are usually the very ones who drive SUVs, watch endless reruns of Sex in the City, drink Diet Coke by the gallon and end all their statements with the intonation of, like, questions?

  3. Thank you, Michael.
    I’ve done my fair bit of America bashing in the past [27 posts under the category ‘America’?] but I have also done my fair bit of SUV bashing too [not literally – they’d ruin my wee car]. I have never watched Sex in the City [I just don’t understand American ‘comedy’]. I hate Diet Coke and have never yet ended a sentence with ‘like’. Woops, I just have.
    Seriously though, people don’t realise the depth to which American ‘culture’ has embedded itself here. It’s in the way we speak, the way we act, the way we eat and drink, and as you say, even in the way we buy cars. I have recently driven in The North and in France and SUVs are a rarity in both places. Here, every second house seems to have one.

  4. Those aspects of American culture that you mention were actually embedded here, by us, the Irish.

    Very stupid indeed.

    TV media, cheap bought in TV media to be specific, is the greatest culprit (TV3). I disposed of my television some 2.5 years ago, but when I did possess one (or rather, I was possessed by one) many of the ‘shows’ were cheap teenage American crap that focused on making every tiny aspect of life a drama of colossal proportion. Of course, normal people (you know, someone with a couple of spots or less than perfect teeth) were never represented in this world of spoilt children and beautiful adults – unless the ‘show’ was teaching us a lesson about not judging a book by its cover (under that circumstance they’d have an actor wear glasses, maybe have a few split-ends).

    I’ve never watched Sex in the City but feel that I have seen every episode anyway. The sad Irish fans of this show are easily spotted. Their sexy, liberal, I’m an ’empowered women’ conversations would straighten the curls on your head, and else where, if you were to overhear them.

    Poor sad slaves…

  5. Oh! How I agree. Yes, television is, of course the culprit. The only other source of ‘infection’ is literature, but of course American writers don’t use slang [not the ones I read anyway].
    And TV3 is an abomination, not only with its endless American cheap programming, but with its presenters who are also going ‘The American Way’.
    RTE isn’t entirely blameless either. As I said, even Pat “The Plank” Kenny is using Americanisms. He is a well educated person, so the only reason for his speech is to try to appeal to the masses.
    I have a strong theory that the demise of modern culture is almost solely down to television.
    [feels blog post coming on ………]

  6. hey, buddy, (sorry, just trying to sound american here), will it make you feel better to know that in my city (st. paul, minnesota, which is pretty darn irish) i see lots of cars with little IRE stickers on them and the irish flag? there’s a house near mine that regularly flies the irish flag, too.

    i think people think it’s cool and maybe cosmopolitan to display flags and other symbols of other countries.

    in my view, though, america has popular culture, while older countries have culture. i’m not sure why pop culture is so appealing–i’ve never seen “sex in the city,” either, but i guess those pretty women in their skimpy dresses and teetering high heels are somehow more appealing to youth than mummers in straw hats, or the wrenboys… go figure.

  7. Hi Laurie,
    I have nothing against people with little flags on their cars except that I would make the point that Americans who fly the Irish flag are of Irish ancestry, so there is a reason. The van I saw [being one example of many] was highly unlikely to have been driven by an American, or a descendent.
    You would understand my irritation, if 90% of Americans suddenly went about shouting “Begorrah” and “Be Jayzus” every second word, putting on fake Irish accents, insisting on everyone eating pigs trotters and drinking Guinness [though there’d be nothing wrong with that!], and every satellite channel showing endless reruns of “Fair City”, “Glenroe”, “Ballykissangel” and the “Late Late Show”.
    Think about it. No. On second thoughts – don’t. You would NOT like it.

  8. there was a guy my husband used to work with who had the most charming, lilting irish accent, and it only got stronger the more guinness he drank. we went out as a group several times and the guy was funny, irish, witty, a great teller-of-tales.

    eventually my husband told me the guy’s story: he was from north dakota. don’t look on your map of ireland; it’s in the middle west of the USA. he’d been to ireland once, and had been so charmed by it, he became, i guess you’d say, more oirish than the oirish.

    so yes, i agree, it would be annoying as hell. it *was* annoying as hell. the guy no longer seemed like a charming irish lad; he seemed like a pathetic fake.

  9. Thank you for reiterating a point I made earlier. Our culture is slowly turning into a clone of America’s. While I don’t agree with DeV’s Philosophy of comely (ginger) maidens dancing at the crossroads, we shouldn’t wholesale abandon our culture to embrace obesity, mindlessness, and lower intelligence, among other things the less gifted Americans exhibit.

    Because that would be, like, you know, such a bummer.

  10. Man. You goddit ride on there Good Buddy.
    Fancy goin’ for a bidda prime steak and a Bud after?

  11. Can we grab a brew and some nachos too? Then we’ll take my chevy to the ball park and watch some of our national pasttime …

    Give it a couple more years and we will have baseball here. American football isn’t so bad, but baseball? By God, it’s like cricket – a waking coma …

  12. oh man i love baseball. all of life is reflected in every baseball game. each one is a narrative, with problems to be solved and heroes and villains and mistakes and heroics and fascinating characters with distinctive personalities.

    but whatever weird muddy scrum it was that i saw on TV in dublin a few years back, with guys in shorts kind of piling on top of each other and whaling away with sticks… now that was unintelligible sport.

  13. Grandad,

    If only you knew how much Americans love Ireland and anything Irish.

    Next month you will see the Jewish Mayor of New York
    marching up 5th Avenue wearing a green tie and sash,and the Black mayor of Philadelphia leading about 5,000 people up Broad Street while wearing a button that says”Kiss me, I’m Irish.”

    Most Americans who grew up on the East Coast (Boston,New York,
    Philadelphia,Baltimore) were influenced by the Irish clergy who
    formed our parishes and directed our lives from Baptism to Extreme Unction.We were taught in the Catholic schools by the nuns of The
    Immaculate Heart of Mary. They taught us to read and write and
    sing the multiplication tables until we knew them by heart. To this
    day I do not need a calculator to figure out a 15% discount on a
    $29.95 item. It’s all in there, just as Sister taught me, 60 years ago.

    I agree with you about the awful television programs we produce
    here and,unfortunately,send over to you. Do what we do. Don’t watch.
    Read a book. Every street corner in the States has a book shop on it and they do a terrific business. I would also like to mention that we have many top notch programs on the Discovery and History Channels, so it’s not all junk we produce.

    I’m happy that you don’t think we are ALL stupid,Grandad, because
    we don’t think most of you are either.

  14. To Nancy, I have to admit, you do export a lot of crap. But your nation has also produced many upstanding people who should be revered around the world for their achievements.

    Unlike the Middle East. Can anyone name one thing it produces other than wars?

  15. Grandad ,

    You are quite correct about the OIL,
    which would still be deep in the ground
    over there if British Petroleum hadn’t
    come into MESS O PO TAMIA and used
    their technology to get it out.

    Dario, thanks for your kind words
    about America.

  16. Oy!!! What about my kind words, Nancy? I have apologised. I have climbed down. I am saying it’s the Irish are stupid. And Dario gets the credit?? Want me to change my mind again? 😉

  17. Grandad,

    I apologize! Wait! Apologise. See how I’m humoring ,sorry, humouring you? I feel I should send you a check,er, cheque. Oh,Grandad, I will have the vapors (vapours) if you don’t forgive me .

  18. Dude you need a chill pill like.

    I blame the gobshites from Ireland who spend two weeks in Florida and come back thinking they are playing a lead role in Dallas.

    My guess is that you cringe at the sight of line dancing. 🙂

    Word Gramps!

  19. Line dancing and sad people who go to Cavan or wherever so they can play at being cowboys!
    Nancy – you’re forgiven 🙂

  20. Grandad,

    WHEW! I thought we might be on the “outs” because of my gaffe in thanking Dario and not yourself for the kind words about Americans. Now you go and spoil it all by saying we do not have a highly developed sense of humor. Grandad, how could you?

  21. I take that back too. I mean, any country that has a vice-president who shoots a friend instead of a quail has to have a sense of humour. Unless of course Dick Cheney was aiming at Dan Quayle?. No. Poor taste. Of course Americans have a sense of humour [Well, some of them]

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