You know, there have been a thousand posts in my brain for the last week or two. There have been arguments in my head about how to write sensitively and objectively about things that are too close to my heart and in many cases, multiple things have been thrown at various screens. There are so many political nightmares both here in the US and in the North of Ireland that as soon as I start on one, it becomes obsolete and the next gets worse and worse…. so I surrender. It is my birthday weekend and instead of banging on the keyboard for another minute, I am heading into the sunshine with a well-worn copy of Ulysses, having a pint or two at my favorite local, and celebrating Bloomsday. I’m making silly Joyce-themed memes out of my photos and stepping away from the upcoming quagmires of doom. It’s time to clear my head for a minute and drop into frivolity for just one second…before parade season really starts and we see just how screwed everyone on both sides of the puddle is this summer.
So happy birthday to me and happy Bloomsday to you. Remember, “Every life is in many days, day after day. We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love, but always meeting ourselves.”
This has been a banner week for the Trump campaign, if by banner you mean “holy crap, look at all the new levels of unimaginable disrespect and unbridled hate.” The guy insulted a Gold Star family because of their faith and then accepted a Purple Heart from another veteran with a flippant comment before sticking it in his pocket. He threw a baby out of his rally. A video of racist, horrible things that his supporters say and shout at his rallies was just released and rumor has it that his campaign staff is near suicidal. In my opinion, this implosion couldn’t happen to a better man. When the Irish and the Irish Americans started jumping into the fray, I jumped for joy and pretty much haven’t stopped laughing since.
Well, you learn something new every day. Yesterday I attended a Bernie Sanders rally in Oakland, CA which was the very last place I thought I’d learn a new tidbit of Irish history but I was mistaken. One of the speakers had just returned from the North of Ireland. He butchered the pronunciation of Sinn Fein but he told the crowd that Bernie Sanders was one of the only politicians in the United States (and the world) who had taken the time to write an angry message directly to Margaret Thatcher in 1981.
I usually stay away from religious holidays in general, but today is too good to pass up. Today is the feast day of St. Disbode – a 7th century Irish missionary. He was a bit of a hermit when he was not spreading his faith, but he traveled on a mission to Germany to convert the population. Legend has it that while in Germany, wine suddenly began flowing from his pilgrim’s staff and this convinced the Germans not necessarily to convert, but to create a thriving wine industry.
That’s a better reason than many for turning someone into a saint. Eat, drink, and be merry today – especially if you can find yourself some German wine…and if you’re a fan of Hildegard Von Bingen, throw some of her music in there too. She wrote a vita in his honor.
First, well done Ireland. You have done what no other country has been able to do and truly showed that all love is equal – by popular vote. Now I know some are still incredibly unhappy with that, but the majority of voters have truly given the rest of the world a little more hope.
Here in America, the “land of the free” (asshole quotes intended), we have no such track record. In fact, some states have written the exact opposite sentiments into their laws – which is utterly heartbreaking – and we give a lot of media attention to our worst, rather than our best. A good example of that is the Westboro Baptist Church, a truly horrifying organization that loves to grab the attention of the press. We eat up their hate-filled propaganda like it’s a bag of McDonald’s french fries which is equally disgusting. I try not to pay attention to them or anyone like them at all.
However, today the headline made me laugh out loud and giggle with glee, so as much as I don’t like to spread their filth, this was just too funny to pass up. The hateful group decided they were going to take up their signs and protest Ireland, due to the referendum results, but apparently no one decided to make sure they got the flags right before printing all of their detestable signs. So according to them, God hates Ireland, but their misprinted signs hate the Ivory Coast….because they got the flags mixed up.
They tried to save face when it was pointed out to them on Twitter, by saying “Well, now that you mention it, God hates the Ivory Coast too” (for some reason they’re sure to invent) but the joke’s on them this time. Their spectacular failure to spread their hatred accurately is worth the fifteen minutes of glee that it gives to the rest of us who believe that all love is equal and that the WBC should be dismantled.
So congratulations again Ireland – for saying no to hate, and for allowing the haters to make bigger fools of themselves than ever before. Well done!
Over on the Facebook site, Wednesdays are all about whisk(e)y. It began with this wonderful article and has taken on a life of its own.
Join me for a fun mix of facts, infusions, recipes, and history to celebrate the Water of Life in all its forms. Head over to Choosing the Green on Wednesdays for your digital cocktails and mouthwatering recipes….
One year ago today I returned to the U.S. from a trip to Ireland. When we went there, we had no itinerary, no lodging lined up, and no plan at all. We had our luggage and a rental car and we just went wherever whimsy sent us…and that was mostly the west, Dublin, and the coast. It was a scary and amazing way to travel and we found many things we would have missed if we had scheduled things or tried to plan. Because it was December, I had a heavy coat. I also had a simple raincoat, with down lining and a hood. It came in very handy on the top of the Cliffs of Moher and when we decided to go to Achill in winter. (Here’s a tip: nothing is open in winter on Achill. Seriously.)
Here in the US, I don’t really use a heavy raincoat because I live in Oakland, CA. While it is not entirely the sunshine state, most of the time I can get away with a regular coat and an umbrella. I kept the raincoat as a reminder of my trip and whenever I saw it hanging in the closet it made me smile with nostalgia and long for another visit.