Sunday, November 19, 2006

Irish 'Till We Die

Chris --

Did you read that book "All Souls: Growing Up Southie" by Michael Patrick MacDonald book I left at Mom's? If you haven't, pick that book up. Along with the recently released sequel "Easter Rising." I know your reading tastes venture more towards technical stuff about improv theater, odd ghost stories and Star Wars novels, but I still think you'd love these books.

The first book is about a kid whose grandparents are from Ireland who grew up in a fucked up family in an even more fucked up neighborhood in Southie Boston. The second book is about how the narrator escaped his upbringing by finding an escape in punk rock until he reconciles his past by making a trip to his grandmom's birthplace.

Naturally, a lot of this book is relatable, being that we're second generation micks who didn't fit the template of jock asshole in our Irish-Catholic dickweed neighborhood who ended up going to local punk shows and owning a lot of Ramones albums between the two of us.

I don't know how you are at all about this, so I pose the question: how has being Irish-Catholic shaped you, your personality, your sense of humor, your resentment issues, etc.

Thinking about things... I carry our family's mockery of the Rah Rah Notre Dame Shelleliegh Club Irish a lot. I've always associated "pride in Irish heritage" with those kinds of folks, and I've always considered those folks to largely be a bunch of drunk racist retards.

I mean, I know a lot about Northern Ireland, but it's in the "master's degree in International Studies" sense and not in the "knowing what county your grandmother was born in" sense. And Irishness has certainly shaped me in some way-- I like filthy jokes and Guinness, I at least make an attempt to go to Mass more than three times a year and I generally like The Pogues. But I've distanced and disassociated myself from Irish-Americanness to a point where it's the thing I feel guiltiest about in my guilt-ridden life.

So, what I'm saying is, wanna go to the St. Patrick's Day Parade?

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