Common Misconceptions

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10/28/11
Norton

Commonly thought of as belligerently walking the streets late at night, or at any time in fact, the Irish culture is inaccurately perceived as the drinking type, at any point of the day on any day of the week, though usually all of the above. Americans drink, French people do too, as well as our friends from Great Britain, but for some reason people always accuse those Irish people of being too drunk too often. It just so happens to be that I am Irish, and American, though I am not drunk at this time of writing this paper. I may just be the exception, as many people believe or have believed at some time that they are just heavy drinkers. There are the stories we are told, how the potato famine in Ireland was a result of the Irish being too drunk to realize something’s wrong with their potatoes, and possibly continue to believe nothing is wrong. Then they came over to America and brought their drinking problems and potato famine ignorance with them and the rest is history that they will soon forget. With them jumping seas, it gave us Americans an excuse for our own belligerent ways; we could use those drunken Irish as a scapegoat! Now, if we are caught by our friends in a bush after a long night, we may say “It’s alright, I’m Irish, I’m just respecting my ancestry” or we have an excuse to celebrate the holiday St. Patrick’s day, which is more of a reason to drink than celebrate the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. If this myth helps All-Americans get out of sticky situations through deception, than it sure is doing its job, just be sure to say “I’m Irish” and wear that green clover hat every once in a while. Some could find it offensive, such as the Irish who didn’t jump ship because they paid good attention to their potatoes. So instead of reading the myth as “those drunken Irish are always drunk”, it should read “those drunken Irish who forgot about their potatoes are always drunk”. Now, where’s my shot glass?...
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