Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Proud to Be Irish? Or at Least 3/8? Taking Cultural Stock this Christmas Season

Good article here from 2007 about The Departed and how the Irish like to deflect serious emotions off themselves.

Being 3/8 Irish, I get it. When things get slightly rough, I am happy to blow. When things get medium rough, I am more measured. When things get really rough, I want to do anything on earth to deflect the pain and misery of it all.

Of course, the other 5/8 of me plays into it, too...and can get the job done of expressing--

But the Irish thing is pretty strong. It is ultimately a romantic/lyrical culture and insists upon transcendence. I know I insist upon it. In fact, I am furious that the earth isn't a more musical, wordy, funny place. I crave these things like seals crave mackerel.

The 1/8 German side of me is sort of swallowed up.
The 1/2 Italian (with some French thrown in, way back) is so strangely pragmatic, it controls my list-driven life. Also, some of my Italian ancestors were Huguenots, refugees from France. So they have that sane, Protestant thing going on, making their earthbound practicality as non-other-worldly as possible.

This combination makes---a certain fatalism. And that fatalism is not joyous and optimistic. It is sort of sad and very aware of mortality. But thank goodness, the strong Irish blood says, "Stop it now. No more need to be maudlin. Forget all that. Go on up to the ring of cottages near the peat bog where they are having a good dance and a good laugh and sing yourself a song."

I think when you are built a certain way, that's what you have to do.

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