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You need no ticket to make a place for yourself here where humor, black and otherwise, comes to you from the stage where the human comedy itself is being played, its performance trumping the things dark and tragic and found in the world of literature.
Monday, March 09, 2009
The Old Fight

My boss here in Cape May thinks we Irish are a funny lot, still finding ourselves in a tizzy over things that happened 300 years ago. With all the beauty of the land, him and a big part of the world still believes we’re populated by bomb-mad crazies and that our highest goal is to get on the dole. I tell him, “Is Jersey a state-sized pollution spewing engine inhabited by mostly welfare mothers and factory workers pinning their life’s hopes on winning the state lottery?”

He chooses not to get the point: “Why can’t you people forgive, forget and get on with it? Six years after our civil war – and more blood was spilled there in a few years than has dampened your old sod in a hundred -- we were working side by side again to make things right.”

See, he doesn’t know how deep things go, how our sad history is of a people forever led up to the Golden Cup, only to have it snatched away before our lips can taste the wine of freedom. But still, he puts ideas in my head about our leaders.

Were they the ones who put us on that unending line from the past, that's lead the poorly informed to consider many of us just another terrorist, who’d as soon throw bricks, bottles and, at worst, bombs, as raise a pint to his mate’s health?

This anachronistic religious war is pretty much self contained, but it wears on one. Sure, many of my mates are on the dole. And many’s the time I’ve felt I should fall in line with them. Then again, I look at the new age travelers. That’s the media term for young tinkers, who are pretty much semi-organized homeless people. It’s a right laugh isn’t it? They haven’t found a way out of anything, just into more misery and poverty. No proper homes, excerpt for the lucky few crowded into their little trailers, going here and there with no goal, your da’s life floatin’ away on cheap poteen, your mum doing the unspeakable just to stay alive and feed the babies she shouldn’t be havin’ anyway. A right load of shite.

A lot of us like to escape into America’s old west. Run a John Wayne movie at the local flicker and we’ll be out in droves watchin’ men like him stride and ride across the country like giants; the only borders in the whole fargin’ country an occasional line of barbed wire to keep the soddin’ cows in and the rustlers out. Patrols or guarda, nonexistent. Eat, sleep, fuck where they want; do away with little impediments like indians they swat like flies; takin’ shite from no one.

They got what they wanted without bombing innocent people, didn’t they? But they could have. They were free and could do anything they wanted. Irish school books say that they got freedom from throwin’ some tea into Boston Harbor. I guess our problem is we never really had anything to throw away. But I think that maybe if we had dumped a few of our leaders in the Liffey years ago we’d be better off.

My boss says that if Michael Eisner woulda bought this country, we’d all be happy extras on Main Street Eire, sellin’ little Blarney Stones on chains to the tourists that they'd kiss when the going gets tough, us livin’ in magic castles with leprechauns that are really just my dwarf mates.

Shite, I say, kiss my ass. That's no way to win.

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