SpartansWire pays a St. Patrick’s Day tribute to just some of the Irish icons who Schmoot might not know much about…
A year or two ago, I found myself in an email exchange with some friends when – as I recall it, somewhat apropos of nothing – one of the fellas took a curious change in course direction by trying to explain why it was strange and borderline fraudulent for Irish Americans to think that their heritage was cause for pride.
It struck me as a bit unusual but I was willing to read along.
The friend – here, we’ll refer to him as Dick Schmoot – used his father as his main point of reference since his father “has read a lot of books.”
Dick Schmoot said – paraphrasing here – that, according to the discussions he’d had with his father who had “read a lot of books,” the Irish have contributed “nothing” to the world.
No real “thinkers.”
Other than, of course, a skill for guzzling booze.
And, as Schmoot went on, he lamented the way in which Irish Americans are always so obnoxiously touting their heritage’s greatness.
I won’t quibble with the notion of the supposedly fraudulent pride being “obnoxious.”
But I digress.
The writing – or, more to Schmoot’s point, the lack thereof – seemed to be a focal point.
Since Schmoot’s father had “read a lot of books,” the perspective was rooted in the idea that there really haven’t ever been any meaningful literary legacies left by Irish scribes.
My initial reaction was, “Hmm. That’s a strange perspective. It’s mostly strange since it’s completely wrong and ignorant and stupid.”
I wonder, has Schmoot’s father ever heard of any of these people?
George Bernard Shaw.
John Millington Synge.
Should I go on?
Each of these writers is considered by anyone within the a hundred miles of the literary community as iconic giants who’s legacies will live forever.
Musical contributions to the world?
I recognize that Schmoot’s father spends most of his time “reading books” and that he’s of a demographic that might not necessarily consider some of these folks “iconic” since their contributions came after 1850. Still, some people out there think that these artists have given the world a song or two to hum along to:
The Irish Rovers.
Stiff Little Fingers. Go ahead and laugh. Your loss.
I realize that not everyone can paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – but there are some people out there who didn’t paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel who have used a paint brush or some other instrumental tool designed for expression through art and some of them were Irish.
Willam Leech – A Convent Garden:
Frank O’Meara – Reverie:
Daniel Maclise – The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife:
James Barry – King Lear Weeping Over The Body of Cordelia:
John Hogan – Drunken Faun (undoubtedly, one that Schmoot would find appropriate)
William Orpen – The Holy Well:
I could go on.
Each one of these pieces of work is recognized by anyone within a hundred miles of the “art” community as substantial pieces of work that people enjoy looking at while guzzling pints of Guinness.
The infrastructure of SpartansWire might not allow for more media to be integrated into this tribute – so I’ll leave it you, our loyal readership, to do your own further research to discover the countless Irish contributors who have made our world a happier place. You’ll need to allocate more time than it takes to read James Joyce’s early-works compendium.
Most out there make the understandable assumption that the Irish are great at one thing – the guzzling of booze.
They’d be right about that, of course.
This writer is a proudly retired guzzler after a long and storied Hall of Fame career.
But guzzling isn’t the only talent that comes with Irish DNA.
However, I’ll be happy to consider that it might be the best and most important.
Hopefully, though, you might see this as a glimpse into the prolific traditions and contributions made by The Guzzlers.
To all of you out there who are guzzling green beer all day and all night tonight – best wishes for a terrific St. Patrick’s Day full of fun and tomfoolery.
And to the Schmoots – I’d suspect you’re somewhere guzzling plenty of green beer, too. Enjoy whatever versions of “Whiskey In The Jar” that you join along in singing throughout the day and night….