What the Manolo Is…

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

Watching…

Reading…

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.

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