Saturday, May 21: Celtic Festival and Highland Games
America's Favorite Drinking Holiday
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Today is the day we celebrate St. Patrick, who did not actually drive out any snakes from Ireland, also he wasn't even Irish, but I digress. Let's be real, today is the day we drink, a day where we are all Irish. Coming from an Irish Catholic family, there are two things I learned growing up: the Irish like to drink and they have kids like it's a competition.
St. Patrick is not the patron saint of green beer, so why is his day of celebration so synonymous with drinking? In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is a religious holiday, and they have treated it as such. It used to be a day of going to church and culminated in a feast for dinner. However, in the early 1900's in America, Irish immigration was rising and amid a lot of discrimination, Irish Americans wanted to celebrate their heritage and also acknowledge their new home in America. To parade down the streets was an act of public pride and celebration.
Celebrating St. Patrick's Day in America also meant that you could have a day off from Lent, hence the drinking. Ireland didn't allow their bars to even be open on this religious holiday until the 1960s, but seeing how much fun we were having over here, they relented. And so the holiday evolved, and with it the traditions. St. Patrick's Day has gotten so big, that it is widely recognized around the world with parties and parades.
So raise a glass and drop your keys (seriously you are an asshole if you drink and drive) to the Irish in us all!
And if you want to learn more about the Irish, check out Weekly Alibi's podcast this week.
Flash in the Pan
A Terrible State of Chaos
Laughter lands admidst tragedy at the Southwest Irish Theater Festival
Dark Irish comedy finds humor in murder, drugs, blackmail and hookers
The term “black comedy” has become a bit shopworn of late, covering a wide variety of films from mildly edgy dramedies to movies with a truly morbid sense of humor. So let’s try and expand the designation a bit and call The Guard a dark gray comedy. It’s a fitting label, as the film takes place in the dingy, cloud-covered environs of coastal Ireland. And you couldn’t mistake its sense of humor for the lighthearted, good-natured laughs of a Tom Hanks comedy. Put it on a shelf next to other self-mocking, hardscrabble Irish comedies like Neil Jordan’s movie The Butcher Boy or Martin McDonagh’s stage play The Lieutenant of Inishmore, however, and you’ll find a fitting kinship.
Putting the “Fun” in Dysfunction
"Shameless" on Showtime
Adding to the area's lore are the Gallaghers—the foul-mouthed, hard-drinking clan on Showtime's "Shameless," possibly the most functionally dysfunctional family ever to grace prime-time TV.
Adobe Theater’s The Playboy of the Western World
People get famous for all kinds of stupid reasons. Look no further than Snooki and Kim Kardashian for bewildering proof. It’s human nature, perhaps, to be fascinated by extremes, whether they come in the form of money, personality, emotion or action. This is the concept that fuels John Millington Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World.
The Luck of the Irish
Mother Road’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane
Ireland is a country of heartbreaking contrasts. Romanticized for its physical beauty and the humor of its people, it’s also marked by centuries of colonization and desperate poverty. In much of Irish literature, this seeming incongruity is expressed through characters who are both fiercely loyal to their home and who dream endlessly about leaving it.
DayBird - March 17th
180 – Marcus Aurelius dies leaving Commodus as the sole emperor of the Roman Empire. Just like in the movie.
461(?) – According to tradition, St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, died in Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland. (b.387)
Born in Great Britain, to a well-to-do Christian family of Roman citizenship, Patrick was captured and enslaved at age 16 by Irish marauders. Wait, he wasn’t Irish? Wait, he was British? Hahhaha. Awesome.
According to the Confessio (which he wrote), back in his homeland- Britain, Patrick had dream, in which an some guy gave him a letter, entitled "The Voice of the Irish." As he read, Patrick seemed to hear the voices of Irishmen pleading him to return to their country. So, he went to the priesthood, and was ordained a Bishop, and set off for Ireland in 433. He began converting lots and lots of Irish and building churches. After 40 years of living in poverty, teaching, traveling and converting, Patrick died, 461 in Saul, where he had built his first church.
Do the Irish know their patron saint is British?
1756 – Saint Patrick's Day is celebrated in New York City for the first time (at the Crown and Thistle Tavern).
1845 – The rubber band is patented.
1969 – Golda Meir becomes the first female Prime Minister of Israel.
1973 - St Patrick Day marchers carry 14 coffins commemorating Bloody Sunday.
1985 – Serial killer Richard Ramirez, the "Night Stalker," commits his first two murders in his California murder spree. I didn’t know he was from El Paso, TX.