St. Patrick’s Day & Liberal Culture

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7 Responses

  1. Will says:

    Good post. As I said, I think it’s undeniable that assimilation has diluted Irish-American culture. I think the trade-off is worth it in this particular context, but it’s worth acknowledging that we’ve lost something in the process. This old post from TAS is also worth reading:

  2. Scott says:


    I think you got the reaction you did b/c you made such sweeping generalizations without knowing what you were talking about.Report

    • Matthew Schmitz in reply to Scott says:

      How’s that, Scott? Care to enlighten us?Report

      • Scott in reply to Matthew Schmitz says:

        “But I think it is weird that one of the reasons the holiday exists is to give the privileged a chance to dress up in the drag of historical oppression.”

        That statement alone is enough to deserve all the mockery. You sound like you are writing for you PhD. thesis at Berkley. You should have included something about the phallocracy as well. Not to mention your interpretation of Gone With the Wind. Sometimes a book is just a book and is not meant to be a “narrative of white suffering and triumph.” I guess that is until over-educated people start reading things into it.Report

        • Matthew Schmitz in reply to Scott says:

          Scott, I don’t blame you for being provoked by a post I meant to be provocative. But I do think you’re wrong.

          In the post above I try, ever so gently, to suggest why you missed my point. We don’t have to self consciously think about every significance of an act for those significances to be real and remarkable. Any one phenomenon can have lots of meanings and social functions. It really is remarkable that a broad majority plunges into an ethnic holiday, all the more so because none of the revelers realize that this is what they’re doing. I don’t think a guy getting a beer needs to think about its socio-political implications. Far from it! (See my sketchy definition of ritual above.) I also don’t think that people interested in thinking about culture are just beings spoil sports.

          I agree that a book is a book, but fiction is a representational art. It has content, and the story of Gone With the Wind is filled with items of obvious political import and cultural interest. I’m not trying to politicize Winnie the Pooh here. It’s a bestseller about the War of Northern Aggression.Report

  3. Sam M says:

    I agree that Matthew made some sweeping generalizations, but would argue that he DID know what he was talking about, which is what made the post so ripe for response. That is, he adressed an issue that had a lot of opportunity for different analytical takes, and actually took a position. Some people disagreed with that position and said so.

    I think that’s how it’s supposed to work when you use sweeping generalizations to good effect. So, well done.

    In the meantime, the football analogies are interesting and probably say tsomething really important. Not sure what. But I am trying to think what would happen if I caught this punt to the other side of the wall, returned it for a touchdown and did a dance in the endzone. I am guessing it would make me an Italian-German with a Scottish last name.Report