day after st. patrick’s day

patty_14

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.

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5 Comments

Filed under holidays

5 responses to “day after st. patrick’s day

  1. Hmmm, from an evolutionary biology perspective I would think that diseases did intend to kill their prey, but merely that they weren’t conscious of it, being little bugs without brains. What would the lawyers say about that in terms of intent???

  2. The famine was caused by nature, the Holocaust was caused by people. That is a HUGE difference that, yes, makes Yael right. If he said that both events led to a similar diaspora, that I’d have to agree with.

  3. Paddymac

    Nobody really celebrates St Patrick’s day like they do in the US. When I left Ireland in th 80’s it wasn’t a big deal at all, in fact when I was a kid the pubs were all closed on St Patricks day as it was regarded as a religious holiday. These days of course nobody is going o miss a good market opportunity

  4. I think I remember hearing that one of the reasons the potato famine was so significant and killed so many was that the English landlords imposed a potato monoculture on the Irish farmers. Had they been growing a variety of crops, the potato blight would not have been so disastrous. Of course, you still can’t argue intent on the part of the English – just stupidity! Ironic, given all the English jokes about thick Irishmen!

  5. natty

    hahaaaaaaaaaaaaa! i love the burns on the ex! uhm, if you had ever told me he said that i would have secretly thought you were an idiot for dating someone so culturally insensitive. i know this doesn’t hurt your feelings bc i’ve given you plenty of ex boyfriends to think i was an idiot for dating for a multitude of reasons. hmm.

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