The Blanket

Amen, Brother.

Páid Óg Ó Foghladha


In response to Dáithí Mac Bhurrais' letter "Blind and Happy Irish Americans," I would like to say, 'Can I get an AMEN from the congregation?' Though, this letter is misplaced in that it is preaching to the converted. I don't believe there would be a single Blind and Happy Irish American reading THE BLANKET if it was printed on green parchment and sprinkled with shamrock glitter. Thus, it is our job (and I am assuming either Mr. Mac Bhurrais is a fellow American, or at least definitely knows what he's talking about) to make statements such as these in the public arena, promote genuine Irish culture, not the fabled, fuzzy, stereotypical kind. (Which some may question the location of this response, but hey)


Ironically, the only person I've seen drinking green beer, which was on Lá le Pádraig last, was a man from Bangor. Now, I am not of legal U.S. drinking age, but have frequented the pub scene plenty through music performances, etc., and this man is a good friend and one in a million, but that can really show you how someone can come from any environment, such as his birthplace that he'd left but eight years ago, and be consumed by this abomination of what I see as unconscious self-slagging-that is, people of claimed Irish descent unknowingly and uncaringly degrading themselves and Éireannaí alike. In my locality this seems to be a great problem. Allegedly, there are loads of Irish-Americans in my city, but I have to travel over an hour to attend class with the Gaelic League, see live GAA matches on the TV (3 hrs for an in-person match), play in any seisiúin, or just to distance myself from the Blind and Happy Irish Americans, not that they don't seem to be everywhere.


So here is definitely a problem that can easily be combated with common sense and eagerness, and, definitely, patience. If the numbers in fact tell the truth, that there are some 40 million or so Americans to claim Irish descent, then think of the influence there could be in U.S. government if these people were made aware and got organized. We would be concentrating on the occupied six, rather than the "axis of evil," or the War on Terrorism. If all these people eventually opened their eyes, then maybe we wouldn't be on the verge of going to war at the moment. It makes it scary to be 19 years old with the looming talk of reinstating the military draft and such. And if I were to die in a war as the result of that, therefore not seeing a united Ireland in my lifetime, I would feel ultimately betrayed, blaming, accordingly, the Blind and Happy Irish Americans who had their say but didn't make any use of it.






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