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I had to clean saliva off the screen a couple of times when reading the comments on this New York Times article on the tragedy of credit crunch Ireland.

The article conforms to a stereotype that has bemused and occasionally annoyed the Irish for a long time.

Peter Never go past a bar with your name on it McCarthy, author of McCarthy’s Bar, was the last author to amuse on the subject of the emerald isle, though Tony Hawks’s Round Ireland with a Fridge had it’s moments. Suddenly that all seems a long time ago and, indeed, McCarthy hasn’t been with us for years.

Dr.Johnson opined that the Irish are a fair people, they never speak well of one another.

Irish Americans hadn’t been invented at the time, never mind gone “home” in plaid trousers to trace their roots.

There’s something curiously symmetrical about the Irish American affection for a land of leprechauns and shamrocks and the reciprocal Irish mockery of the green tinted visions of their cousins. It’s like one of those

Boy: You know you want me. Girl: Get your hands off me!

scenes replayed endlessly.

The comments sections on British newspaper web sites are so full of “green ink” that it’s often a treat to read The New York Times, where commenters seem less inclined to rabid fulminations on the slightest pretext.

I’d score this one a drubbing for Mr.Egan though I enjoyed one particularly spirited American riposte to Irish hypocrisy. Irish American riposte that is.

Of course, if he were elected President… there would be nothing to forgive.

After all, President O’bama is Irish.

3 Responses to “When New York Times Eyes Are Smiling”

  1. Irish in America says:

    Oh bejaysus I read this article — what a piece o’ shite — I can’t believe yer callin’ attention to it.

    Fer shure, when I’m in the auld sod meself I often go sit in the stone ‘beehive houses’ of an afternoon and think to meself, I do, “What in God’s name were they thinkin’?” I think.

    It couldn’t o’ been “Well let’s have a nice cuppa tea,” since they didn’t HAVE tea then… and without tea… well I think they weren’t thinkin’ at’all since I don’t think thinkin’s POSSIBLE without tea (or at least a jar o’ stout and maybe they did have some sort o’ that to comfort themselves with there on the cold western slopes of the benighted isle while they were waitin’ for someone to import the damn tea). But really without tea to spark their thinkin’ there they’d be, great lumps of God’s clay, shure they were, just sittin’ there and waitin’ for the potato famine to come along so they’d have an excuse mind you to get on the boat which left, every grey miserable mornin’, for New York. Or was gonna leave… as soon as some Irishman floated on over there, discovered the continent and built the town for ‘em.

    Respectfully,
    An Irish American (oh yeah so what it was 8 generations ago we’re all green over here don’tcha know).

  2. Irish in America - again says:

    Oh my god — well I didn’t notice it was a Timothy Egan article… what a gobshite he is, what can you expect.

    I’ll tell you Timothy Egan stories someday… he’s practically my neighbor. And a great humiliation it is to share the same time zone with him.

  3. I did mean, apropos of saliva on the screen, that I laughed.

    Update: here’s a useful comment

    And this is good too –Malcolm Gladwell on the demographics of the Celtic Tiger.

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