What the Manolo Is…

By Manolo the Shoeblogger

Manolo says, it is Tuesday, time to see what the Manolo is…



Listening to…

It is nearly St. Patrick’s Day, with all that means for people who like to drink too much green beer, listen to diddly-diddly fiddle music, fist fight with the authorities, and pretend to weep about the “auld sod”. In short, it is time to drink and think romantically about the Irish.

And yet, strangely, attempts to anti-romanticize the Irish experience are even more compellingly romantic than the old-fashioned Emerald Isle blather. Shane MacGowan, Martin McDonagh, and even those insufferable frauds, the McCourt brothers, describe the Irish condition in horrific and unpleasant terms. And yet we lap it all up and continue to schedule our Dublin vacations. Very curious, no?

Of the course, the Manolo, although not the least bit Irish, is as guilty as the rest, and completely enjoys the Pogues and the McDonagh plays and all of that (although he would happily push the entire McCourt tribe into the ocean), even as he wonders about what it all means.

What is one to do when saddled with the contradictory desires for authenticity and entertainment?

P.S. If Darby O’Gill = Uncle Remus for Irish People, then the Pogues = N.W.A. for Irish People. Discuss amongst yourselves.


5 Responses to “What the Manolo Is…”

  1. Marie Says:

    The Manolo, as usual, is the most brilliant of cultural analysts. For those in such a quandary, I recommend the work of Roddy Doyle (The Commitments, The Snapper, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha), who doles out equal measures of Irish romanticism and anti-romanticism.

  2. raincoaster Says:

    I’m Irish Catholic on one side and Irish Protestant on the other, and I say you got it absolutely right.

    But maybe the funniest and bravest man to come out of Ireland was the firmly atheist Dave Allen.


  3. MaryD Says:

    I’m at least a quarter Irish, though not devout. Why am I supposed to renounce the McCourt brothers? Self pity? Capitalizing on self pity? Falsehoods?

    Like seemingly everyone in Ireland, they are trotting out their prose (or poetry, watercolors or oils.)

    I don’t pretend to know better. What is the complaint, Manoolo? I want to understand better.

    And by the way, I am influenced often by the Tuesday post.

  4. Miss Janey Says:

    Miss J spent much of her day singing lyrics from a famous Irish song… Goes a little something like this:

    “Pink hearts, yellow moons, and green clovers. Frosted Lucky Charms
    They’re magically delicious.”

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