I spent some time in Northern Ireland recently and it wasn’t the experience I had expected. The people of NI have a cultural problem in that they can’t decide if they’re Irish or if they’re British. There, amid the Mountains of Mourne, is set the legendary Ulster cycle, the Táin Bó Cúalnge. The people of Northern Ireland are proud of this this ancient Celtic epic and want to tell you all about it at every opportunity. I’m good with that; everyone loves a good story. Yet some of these people who are so quick to embrace this epic myth are the same people that don their orange sashes every year and march down the street to intimidate the Catholic minority. Until they decide which culture to embrace, they’ll never make much progress.
Regular Singular Points
by Valence Band Productions
As an American in Ireland I’ve noticed something funny about the Irish culture. I made the mistake of having a beer with my lunch and got the funniest looks from my adopted Irish family. It took me awhile to figure out what the problem was, but, simply put, it was this: when they start drinking, they don’t stop until bedtime. You have to really respect this kind of dedication, but it can be really annoying to the casual drinker. I’ve noticed that they are beginning to temper themselves somewhat, like forcing themselves to only start having drinks later in the evening.