My not so Irish soul
My departed and now-sainted mum used to say that we were Scots-Irish, whatever that was. She hated bagpipe music with a passion, and I think she secretly wanted to be Italian. So did I, for that matter. Anything but Scottish. I mean, what did the Scots invent, aside from whisky, golf and predatory capitalism?
So here it is another St. Patrick’s Day, and everybody’s Irish. They’ll soon be jamming the so-called Irish restaurants, knocking back pints of Guinness and shots of Jameson’s, with maybe a foundation of whatever measly and overpriced portion of corned beef and cabbage the bars are serving up, a tradition that I’m told harkens back to Jewish saloonkeepers in Manhattan serving a variation on hot pastrami to the working-class Micks who performed the hard labor. It might be more appropriate if Guinness and bacon were served up on March 17, but alcohol and nitrite poisoning might not be any kind of laughing matter, and the ensuing flatulence might be some kind of toxic health hazard, too.
I won’t begrudge anyone a drunken good time, though, because Jack Lord knows I’ve enjoyed plenty of them over the years. These days, however, I’ll choose not to equate Ireland with drunkenness; perhaps a trip to the library and some time spent reading James Joyce would be a better way of honoring the contributions of the Emerald Isle than getting fucked up and dancing some California-dude approximation of a drunken jig.
And, besides, did I tell you that I’m not all that enamored with Celtic music? There, I’ve said it. Actually, I can listen to it if it’s played and sung well, with soul, but this tidee-didee-didee crap, well, it’s up there on my hit parade of hell with smooth jazz, “new” country, math rock and Orange County ska. Come to think of it, that particular combo of Celtic jigs, reels and hornpipes and ska or chain-wallet punk music, well, I’m not sure if it makes me homicidal or suicidal, but please don’t force me to listen to any of it so we won’t have to find out, okay?
So go drink your green beer and eat your corned beef and cabbage and dance your little leprechaun dances, people. I’m all right with that. I’d prefer a nice cup of coffee and a playlist of Dean Martin hits, but I’m kinda peculiar that way. —Jackson Griffith