The poem about Nan's home county is awesome and inspiring and I can see where you get your sense of eternal "Free Mumia And Tibet Both At The Same Time" style revolution from . And I, too, loved the fucking fact she carried the ENGLAND GET OUT OF IRELAND NOW banner every year in the West Orange St. Patty's Day Parade, considering how soft-spoken and quiet Nan was. (Did you ever wonder what would have happened if Prince Charles or John Major somehow stumbled across TV3 -- the North Jersey forerunner to CN8 before Comcast bought out every cable system in America -- and saw our saintly grandmother holding that banner up? I mean, what if they saw it and were convinced and pulled all the Ulster police out?)
That poem is awesome. But here's the thing that makes me queazy about Rah Rah Johnny Irish: I'm sure the tar-lunged barfly at Quigley's is quoting that poem when he's putting change in the "Relief Support" can which then eventually makes its way into the hands of some IRA chapter type thing. The same IRA who kill Catholics who stumble across a bar brawl. And that makes me really squeamish.
I mean, I don't like all the shit that happens in Northern Ireland, but I don't like it the same way I don't like what happens in Lebanon or Palestine or Syria or North Korea. Even though my grandfather probably got the shit kicked out of him by some asshole English officer when he was a kid. I also hate St. Patrick's Day, as much as I love the St. Paddy's Day Parade.
I just wish I could feel my pride in my heritage on a different note than the folks who use their ancestral homeland as an excuse to drink, get rowdy and say dumb shit about a very complicated political situation they don't know a whole lot about. And plus, I rather like the English. Every Brit I've ever hung out with has been insanely good company. And I listen to way too much of The Who, The Clash and those 90's Britpop bands to get up in arms.
I think what makes me routinely question my views on being Irish-American is that I still have no idea what to get from dad's side of the family.