Biography

RWP was born in Manchester, in the north of England, in the late 1950s, so he is very old. He really liked the north of England, which by 1965 was hip and had three TV channels, and where he went to a coed school. His parents, for reasons best known to themselves, then yanked him away, to Belfast and then Dublin, which had one TV channel that started up at 6 pm with the Angelus (Catholic call to prayer). He also had to go to an all boys school, where he realized he really missed girls. This probably let him focus on schoolwork, though, and at age 19, after he had finished college, he set off for America, where he still resides. He has a bachelors degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. from Harvard in biophysics, and has lived also in Mainz, Germany, Setauket NY, and Richland WA. He currently divides his time between Nebraska, Rosslyn VA, and Florida.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Announcing the 2015 St. Patrick's Day whinefest

It's just a fact of American life that every ethnic, racial and other identity group whines incessantly, even about stuff that is entirely unoffensive and well-intentioned. For example, African Americans at Wright State just got all bent out of shape by a Black History Month menu that featured fried chicken, collard greens, cornbread and mashed potatoes. Meanwhile, a black frat at UNL just put on a similar menu. The hypersensitivity is such there is no way of predicting whether any well-intentioned action will cause delight or offense.

And in this case we won't be discussing well-intentioned actions. St. Patrick's Day in the US paints the Irish as a bunch of drunken, crud-eating aggressive louts. It's an excuse for binge-drinking foul fluorescent-green-colored American faux-beer, Budweiser or worse, while singing cretinous Irish American ditties like Toora-loora-loora, consuming stinking overcooked corned beef and cabbage, assuming fake 'brogues' (the word means 'shoe', morons) and generally associating my fair native land of mists with the most brutish of behavior.

On my first St. Patrick's Day in America, I naively travelled to South Boston, the Irish area of the city, with a pal from Ireland and a Yank hanger-on, in the expectation that when they heard we hailed from the old sod (or ⅔ of us did), we wouldn't have to buy a beer for ourselves the whole night. So we all ordered pints and settled down at what looked like one of the cleaner bars. About halfway through the first round, the bartender sidled over to us and asked where we were from.

"I'm from Dublin, John's from Wicklow, and this guy's from some place called Vermont." I said beaming, expecting the next phrase would be "Drinks on the house lads!"

"Well, I hate to do this, but I think it would be better if you would leave. It's St Paddy's Day (grrrrr) and there's a bunch of local guys who'll be down here later on, and they won't want anyone who isn't Irish at the bar"

"But we are Irish. We're from Ireland"

"No, you're not Irish. You're not from South Boston."

So I was thrown out of a bar in the most Irish precinct in America, on St. Patrick's Day, for being Irish. So fuck the Yanks and drink their wives, I say.

On this blog, for the next three weeks or so, I will be collecting miscellaneous offense, grievance and obnoxiousness associated with the locals' befouling of St. Patrick's Day, which after all, is a religious holiday and holy day of obligation in Ireland. You sacriligious bastards.

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