Ooh, I guess I should have been more of a topical blogger yesterday. Thing is… St. Patrick’s Day just isn’t celebrated the same way in the UK as in America. In America, a nation of immigrants (who ultimately assimilate and hate newer immigrants), there are hundreds of thousands of proud Irish descendants who make the day fun and green-themed and with an emphasis on drinking. I really like that. A lot.
But here it just doesn’t feel celebratory. I don’t know if it’s the brutal and blood-soaked history between the English and Irish struggling over religion and nation-hood…I just don’t know. But I wore black and grey to the office yesterday and nobody pinched me. Sigh.
In thinking about who I know that is most proud of his Irish heritage, all roads came back to my college ex-boyfriend with his shamrock ankle tattoo and something he said once which foreshadowed the inevitable desire, years in the making, for me to break up with him. He once heatedly argued that the Irish Potato Famine of 1840 was to the Irish what the Holocaust was to the Jews of Eastern Europe. Now, I don’t want to be in the business of comparing death tolls (1 million vs. 6 million, take that) nor do I want to minimize a terrible time in history for the Irish, leading to mass emigration and a forever changed political and cultural landscape in their homeland. But there’s a little something that us lawyers get shoved down our throats in law school and it’s called INTENT. And it’s often necessary to prove a crime was committed. So Matt, if you’re reading this, you’re still wrong. The Phytophthora infestans late blight spores of the water mold on the potatoes didn’t mean any harm. They never turned in their neighbors.