Bow to Me; I’m English!Blog, Featured — By BWC on March 17, 2010 at 8:00 am
(This is a rerun of a post we ran on the Burnside Blog last year.)
Wandering the wastelands of Facebook today, I stumbled across the status update of Michael Radcliffe, a contributor to Burnside on occasion:
“Kiss me; I’m British-German and lack the scrappy, drunken and witty insecurity that comes from living in fear of the imperial tyrants instead of being one.”
Which caused me to chuckle for a number of reasons. The main one being, to be honest, I’m sick of the Irish.
Not the people themselves, but their incessant need to remind you they’re Irish, and how everyone mentions how they’re part Irish. At this point in American history, if you’re any more than one generation removed from the Old Country (any of them, frankly), you’re probably part Irish. It’s not that big a deal anymore.
And why is being Irish so awesome anyway? My ancestry is primarily English and German. That means that while the Irish couldn’t even grow potatoes in their own land, my people had an empire that the sun never set on. They ran India, Canada, Australia, South Africa…they even owned the US before it existed! And they ran the world from a tiny, cold, rainy island! But do you see me getting a Union Jack tattoo and eating meat pies all the time?
The other side, the Germans…well, they’ve got their dark moments. But they do make great automobiles, beer and sausage.
As Stuff White People Like pointed out, colonialism might be one of the reasons people like identifying with the Irish, and that’s understandable to some extent. But imperialism was the game back then…that’s how things worked. If, in the future, basketball becomes barbaric and evil, would we blame the Chicago Bulls of the early ’90s for kicking ass? Of course not! And when it comes down to it, Great Britain is the Michael Jordan of nationalities.
Let’s do a side-by-side comparison for a moment. Oh, you have Guinness? Well, we invented stouts, along with IPAs and pale ales. And Guinness is overrated, anyway. I’ll see your James Joyce and raise you William Shakespeare.
Oh, you have U2? We have The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Oh, and Radiohead. Oh, and THE FRIGGING BEATLES.
Now, my wife is Irish (half), so I’m having a little fun here. But I know all you o’bastards are getting a bit riled right now reading this, what with your raging tempers. I can understand that…it’s irritating hearing someone brag about how awesome their nationality is, isn’t it?
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Even I’ll admit, he was a pretty awesome dude.