Happy St. Patrick’s Day, one and all.
The Irish are one of the few peoples left on earth who don’t really care about being stereotyped. After centuries of serving as England’s ashtray I suppose being portrayed as pugnacious drunks doesn’t seem like that big a deal.
Half of the Jeff Macke family tree runs straight through Dublin. Some 100-plus years ago my Great Grandfather O’Farrell presumably said something snarky, boarded a boat and wept all the way to America. The snark and the weeping and fighting are all part of being Irish. I’m half Irish, half German. My German side is smarter but the O’Farrell side could take it in a brawl.
Great grandpa probably didn’t get a warm welcome when he landed in the States. As recently as 1923 the NY Times was still publishing help wanted ads explicitly telling the Irish they need not apply.
Shortly after that last Times ad Joe Kennedy put an end to the stereotypes by building a bootlegging empire, siring countless children and buying a Presidency for his second favorite son, Jack.
Yet the Irish are still second-class citizens everywhere except Boston, which obviously doesn’t count. Well not anymore. Today, March 17 2016, a combination of March Madness, beer and joyous fist-fighting will drive the S&P 500 back to positive for the year. Today Bears will be sealed in a full keg of Guinness, chugged and thrown-up on the Streets of Wrigleyville. By tomorrow the correction of 2016 will be nothing more than a fuzzy memory.
(Half) my people have spent centuries derided as animals, shot on the orders of Winston Churchill himself and made into Catholic school mascots. Today, at last the Irish will be celebrated for serving as the rheumy-eyed connective tissue of this nation.
You’re welcome, America. Now give us a kiss…
Facts and levels of note: