The Lung Brothers

Hanging out at the extreme end of the long tail ...

Monday, April 03, 2006

Fear of a Green Planet

Thank Christ Saint Patrick’s Day is over and at a safe distance. Being Irish and living abroad, the festival of our honoured patron saint makes me want to shrivel up like a well salted slug. Curiously, almost every other Irish ex-pat that I have ever known feels the same way.

I don’t know why, but every time I think that there is someone in Kansas, Melbourne or fucking Budapest who is at some point of time on the 17th of March dressed as an oversized Leprechaun and a couple of hours away from spewing green gastric juices onto a sticky overcrowded pub floor, it makes me want to cringe into a ball of embarrassment and roll under my bed.

How to explain this sensation? If you can imagine how American feels when he sees Rambo dubbed into Spanish or watches a report about bible belt TV evangelism while in a foreign hotel. An Englishman when he sees football hooligans destroying a stadium abroad or realises how much the world loves Benny Hill. The Italian watching a Hollywood mafia movie. The Frenchman, seeing a film where a shot of the Eiffel Tower and some tacky accordion music indicate that the location has moved to Paris. The Australian every time Fosters puts out an ad showing a sheep shearer with corks hanging from his hat.

These things just make you want to go out and grab the world by the lapels, put a bullhorn into its face and shout:

‘Look, just to set the record straight. This is NOT us. It is a corny, kitsch, stereotyped image that either represents a tiny part of our culture or doesn’t exist at all. It has been hijacked by the media, the advertising and marketing industries and now we’re stuck with it. It is mostly used to sell beer, breakfast cereals and sucker tourists into coming here. If you visit our country you are unlikely to see any of it and will probably end up very disappointed. Not to say that there aren’t some cool things about our country, but this ain’t them. Got it?’

If you are Irish and live abroad, you basically do one of three things on St. Patrick’s Day:

1. Stay at home with a rented DVD and a delivered pizza.
2. Get drunk enough to overcome your embarrassment.
3. Try and get laid on the novelty of being a real, home-grown Mick.

Over the years, I have attempted all three with varying degrees of success and humiliation.

Anyway, according to the history books he was a Frog, wasn’t he?


Anonymous It's Me... Maven said...

Not sure... I thought he came from Rome!

5:40 pm  

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