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BS: Plastic Paddy slur

Related threads:
BS: Are You a Real Paddy or a Plastic Paddy? (43) (closed)
Lyr/Tune Req: Plastic Paddy (Eric Bogle) (1)


GUEST,Peter Laban 21 Jun 09 - 01:42 PM
robomatic 21 Jun 09 - 01:53 PM
Maryrrf 21 Jun 09 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,mg 21 Jun 09 - 01:56 PM
meself 21 Jun 09 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,mg 21 Jun 09 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 21 Jun 09 - 02:31 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 21 Jun 09 - 04:13 PM
GUEST,mg 21 Jun 09 - 05:04 PM
Spleen Cringe 21 Jun 09 - 05:15 PM
Tug the Cox 21 Jun 09 - 06:33 PM
Joybell 21 Jun 09 - 07:23 PM
GUEST,lox 22 Jun 09 - 05:06 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 22 Jun 09 - 05:25 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 22 Jun 09 - 05:49 AM
GUEST,lox 22 Jun 09 - 06:35 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 22 Jun 09 - 07:32 AM
GUEST,lox 22 Jun 09 - 07:51 AM
Greg F. 22 Jun 09 - 10:10 AM
Backwoodsman 22 Jun 09 - 11:11 AM
Rifleman (inactive) 22 Jun 09 - 11:12 AM
meself 22 Jun 09 - 11:16 AM
Backwoodsman 22 Jun 09 - 11:20 AM
Rifleman (inactive) 22 Jun 09 - 11:29 AM
Backwoodsman 22 Jun 09 - 11:39 AM
The Villan 22 Jun 09 - 11:55 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 22 Jun 09 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,mg 22 Jun 09 - 12:34 PM
goatfell 22 Jun 09 - 01:00 PM
Ruth Archer 22 Jun 09 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,Peter Laban 22 Jun 09 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,mg 22 Jun 09 - 01:59 PM
Ruth Archer 22 Jun 09 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,mg 22 Jun 09 - 02:44 PM
Richard Bridge 22 Jun 09 - 04:50 PM
GUEST,lox 22 Jun 09 - 05:27 PM
GUEST,lox 22 Jun 09 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,mg 22 Jun 09 - 05:54 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 22 Jun 09 - 06:27 PM
Little Hawk 23 Jun 09 - 09:58 AM
Richard Bridge 23 Jun 09 - 10:19 AM
theleveller 23 Jun 09 - 10:46 AM
meself 23 Jun 09 - 11:51 AM
Rifleman (inactive) 23 Jun 09 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,lox 23 Jun 09 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,mg 23 Jun 09 - 06:06 PM
Richard Bridge 23 Jun 09 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,mg 23 Jun 09 - 07:50 PM
GUEST,Russ 23 Jun 09 - 10:42 PM
meself 23 Jun 09 - 10:53 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 01:42 PM

A few years ago I had a fiend visiting. He wanted to see the area and, although I didn't really fancy it, liked to see O'Connor's in Doolin.
Not a bother, I descended into Doolin (I take the road from Liscannor over Doonagore bog and down by Doonagore castle) and had a walk around the amenities of Fisherstreet.

Eventually we stuck out head in the door of O'Connnor's, it was around three in the afternoon and inside was a tour-bus group of aging Americans being entertained by an accordeon player singing 'The Forty Shades of Green'.

We didn't go in.


Anyhow, I figure Bogle's song is about that sort of experience of traditional culture.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: robomatic
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 01:53 PM

Hell, man, Disney's done it for the world. This is how we make the world safe for McDonald's, (so I guess the celts win after all after a fashion).


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Maryrrf
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 01:54 PM

I don't like the "Moggy" song but although I sing regularly in pubs and perform most of the songs Eric mentions, the "Plastic Paddy" song doesn't particularly bother me. I don't mind being spoofed and as opposed to the Moggy song there's nothing tragic that is made fun of (unless "murdering" Carrickfergus counts).

What's wrong with entertaining people by performing songs they want to hear? Some I like and enjoy singing, others I don't care for much. But if the audience enjoys themselves that's a reward in itself. I'm not a fan of "Galway Bay", but if it makes somebody's day to hear it then that's a good thing. I'd prefer to do an evening of Child Ballads but there isn't much of a market for that.   So we'll do some fun Clancy Brothers/Dubliners type stuff with guitar and banjo and maybe a fiddle, and everybody has a good time. I've even played at a pub called "The Blarney Stone".


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 01:56 PM

It is fine that you didn't go in and it fine that the aging Americans found some innocent pleasure. It is fine that the accordeon player got a bit of money and the bar owner had 40 people spending money in his bar. Worked out for everyone. Hopefully the market would support something you would prefer, but we always have the option of singing privately with friends etc. Bar owners who have to make a living don't have to do it in a way that suits any of us. We are also free to set up a competing bar and see where the aging Americans prefer to go and/or the general populace and/or people who might come from afar to hear the specific kinds of music. And I will tell you something..probably unless they live in CHicago or Boston these aging Americans have never heard much in the way of live music. The only live music I heard growing up was in church or the local German oompah band.   Not even Scandinavian music in a place with a heavy Scandinavian population.   So don't begrudge them that small little bit of pleasure..not that it seems that you were...mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: meself
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 01:56 PM

When a fiend visits, it's always best to humour him ... !


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 02:09 PM

I think what is saddest about this is that it is basically cousin against cousin, family against family. Regardless of what has gone on culturally, some of these people have the exact same DNA as anyone in Killarney. So it is people turning on their own, which is a disgrace. And if it non-Irish calling out these names, then it is too stupid for words. It is none of their business. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 02:31 PM

All I can say is that I was brought up with a healthy suspicion against all forms of that 'Blut und Boden' malarkey. It has a history of bad experience.

If you like: at the end of the day we're all cousins and second cousins in one way or another and it should be far from anyone to tell another 'it's none of their business' for spurious reasons.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 04:13 PM

Mg: "I think what is saddest about this is that it is basically cousin against cousin, family against family."

Must say I find this melodramatic tawddle. You don't *seriously* consider yourself "cousin" with people that you shared a common ancestor with of several generations ago...? 'Family' isn't a few shared chromosomes, it's the people you are close to and share love and arguments with.

Say someone from Australia tracked me down after my great great Uncle emigrated in 1918, I'd think it jolly interesting. But only that - I sure wouldn't feel any kinship based on the fact that we shared a great great great granny that neither of us ever knew. And there wouldn't be any tearful reunion with lost "cousins" ten times removed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 05:04 PM

Contraire. I have met up with some second cousins, having no cousins at all on my father's side and this was just in the last couple of years. One was in Ireland, by marriage. I missed meeting her husband. Yes, I do consider myself cousins with the Flynns in Chicago and Spelmans in Wisconsin and Deverys I hope to meet in the Portland area and DOnovans in California (who will be having a big family reunion in Spokane next year and I have been invited to it)and the Fitzgeralds in Ireland. Today I hope to maybe find a couple of Rex's in the Seattle area that might be second cousins. I am blessed with being related to Yusinovichs in Seattle and Williams and Cornwalls and Deckers in other parts of the US. And actually someone in Australia did track me down and provided me with information on the Devery Hotel near Ayres Rock and how respected they were by the traveling men there. I have talked to some second cousins in South Dakota and hope to someday make it to the Milwauke Irish fest where some cousins ten times removed yearly attend. Families became very fractured due to wars and poverty and diseases and why would anyone begrudge trying to build a few bridges to reunite them?    mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 05:15 PM

This may help: Spray


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 06:33 PM

I met again today an archetypal Plastic Paddy. has a good irish accent, which he keeps fresh. Learned most of his irish songs sice moving to England because it makes a very good second living.

   Parodies himself.   His Tee shirt reads 'Sham-Rock'. Full points.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Joybell
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 07:23 PM

Well that's swell. I could get myself some of those points. Where do I apply. I'm quite good at SELF parody.

However SELF parody is not what this song is about.

That's a whole different kettle of fish, a horse of a different colour, a red herring, a different ball game, a different end of a different stick.

Isn't it fun how far we ramble.
Cheers, Joy not-easily-outraged-and-not-outraged-now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 05:06 AM

On the subject of the Irish and football ...

... How many Irish Man U, Liverpool, Arsenal ... and these days Aston Villa fans are there.

Wearin' of the red ... singin' the songs ... remembering busby's babes ...

I look forward to explanations as to how this is utterly different.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 05:25 AM

"... How many Irish Man U, Liverpool, Arsenal ... and these days Aston Villa fans are there.
Wearin' of the red ... singin' the songs ... remembering busby's babes ..."

I wouldn't know tbh Lox. - I don't partake of it or witness it except on news flash scenes. But I guess like the collectively understood conventions one might find in Panto, it's further examples of circus-style norms adopted by football fans within the sphere of
football culture.

Having no interest in either football or panto myself - I'm not inclined to paint my face and chant "you're shit, you're shit, you'reeee SHIT!" or cry "He's behind you!" in the supermarket, library, office, or when out having lunch with friends - or doing any of the other stuff in my everyday life that has likewise nothing to do with football culture, or panto.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 05:49 AM

Nothing of relevance here really other than to say football isn't at all big among my Irish family, it's always been the Horses... :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 06:35 AM

CS,

Generally, just so you know, Irish footie fans behave rather differently to English fans and as a result internatonal fixtures generally have something of a carnival atmosphere.

The point above is really just an indication of how the Irish have adopted stereotyped and cliche'd aspects of British culture with as much zeal as some brits have adopted Irish culture.

Just as have many Asians, Africans etc.

There are probably more "committed" Man U fans in India than in the rest of the world put together.

And the humourous pickings and parallels for the critical observer are plenty.

As for your comments regarding football and panto, there is no point me saying well you obviously know nothing about it because you have stated that yourself.

The question is, how can you judge with such scorn something that you admit you know nothing about - your impressions of footie culture confirming that fact.

I had earlier considered the possibility that the scorn poured on "plastic paddies" derives from a similar type of apparent class snobbery.

Footbal is a significant part of British and Irish culture, particularly at working class level, but also beyond that.

The reality is that I have endless numbers of Irish relatives aged 40 upwards who love danny boy etc and loads of all ages who love to sing along to Ride on etc and who don't see any need to refer to Plastic Paddies. They just enjoy having a good time to some old songs and they enjoy the singers. The more conservative ones like the johnny logan versions, and the others will happily get into a night of paddy mcginty's goat etc.

The youth go to football and rugby matches dressed in shamrocks, leprechaun beards and guinness hats. Afterwards they drink copious amoiunts of Guinness and sing Ole Ole Ole and the fields of Athenry.

All classic Plastic Paddy behaviour according to those with the required "insight" to tell the difference.

They get drunk, they live the cliches and they have a damn good time and they don't give a monkeys about terms like "plastic paddy" which have been imported.

The thing that attracts me to the Americans over the "plastic paddy" critics is there lack of judgementalism.

I'll bet those ageing Americans were like many of the Ageing Americans here.

I'll bet they aren't shallow or easily pigeonholed once you get to know them.

I'll bet they each had interesting experiences and perspectives on life that run much deeeper and resonate more powerfully than any cheap term like Plastic paddy ever could.

Folks on here are free to like or dislike the bawdy side of Irish culture, and they are free to like or dislike a song by Eric bogle.

But all this value judgement, pigeon holing and definition of terms on the subject of a nation of free individuals is quite frankly a load of bollox.

And as with all stereotypes and caricatures, it is a fabrication and represents noone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 07:32 AM

"how can you judge with such scorn something that you admit you know nothing about"

No scorn Lox, you're seeing stuff that isn't there IMO - though my tongue might be in my cheek - and I recognise that doesn't carry on internet.
I do see football being somewhat like panto though. And though I don't have any interest in either, both are valid cultural expressions, that possess their own unique conventions.

I did go to a football match once about fifteen years ago - so though essentially I know nothing about football bar what gets flashed up on the news - I can remember that the chants of "You're Shit" were full on. Can't remember much about the match at all apart from that though, 'cos some bloke in a big red affro was standing in front of me...

Otherwise, as I mentioned uplist - as an English born person with Irish parentage (N.I. Catholic) I've been lately considering learning some Irish rebel songs myself - in memory of those I loved for whom such songs meant something to their personal experience - experiences (which meant I was born in England as a consequence of their emigration to escape the privations resultant from the troubles.)
So I don't think it's as cut and dried as you appear to think, I think it is.

I'm just loathe to lay full claim to a culture that I have *some* direct connections to. And I'm wary of indulging in cheapening things that might be worthy of respect. I'd never think "Well THEY do it, so why can't I?" - because, I'm not one of *them*. I'm not Irish, I'm English with Irish heritage. I see a difference, it's not *my* culture to treat as trashily I want to, simply because I have some 'green' chromosomes.

My feelings about my own immediate Irish family, people that were troubled, poetic, alcoholic, storytellers, gamblers, sometimes violent, extremely charming and very, very talkative - complicated 3D people with a history (much of it profound and tragic in equal measure), would make me feel uncomfortable about trivialising them by indulging in shallow and commercial Disneyesque stereotyping.

Other people with Irish connections may feel differently, but I find it very unappetising.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 07:51 AM

"it's not *my* culture to treat as trashily I want to, simply because I have some 'green' chromosomes."

I get your point, but it is based on a premiss that the leprechaun beards etc represent trashy treatment of Irish culture.

In fact they are a perfectly valid part of Irish culture, that those who do enjoy would probably love you to participate in.

Of course there is a time and place for everything, and Irish culture is made up of a myriad of other ingredients.

However, if your rationale is right - and as an outsider you are not qualified to make statements of Irishness that include wearing silly hats, beards and hamming up well known Irish songs - then by the same token, neither are you qualified to make value judgements regarding the authenticity of aspects of Irish culture that you see represented in your local O'Neills.

Which leaves you in a kind of self imposed stalemate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Greg F.
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 10:10 AM

For God's sake people, Bogle is lampooning pretension, presumption and smarmy artificiality- not Irish 'Heritage'- as my grandparents and great-grandparents from Kilkenny and Cork would readily see.

RE" the current plague of "Heritage" that seems to be sweeping the globe, David Lowenthal's Possessed By The Past: The Heritage Crusade and the Spoils of History Free Press, 1996, is informative & instructive.

Best,

Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 11:11 AM

Correct Greg. I said as much, way back in the thread, at least twice. But those who delight in being 'offended' seem determined to squeeze the last drop of 'offence' out of this (which is why I lost it a few posts ago!).

Kendall's quite right, this is indeed a place for free and open exchange of opinions. Mine is that it's an absolute, 110%, solid titanium, diamond-encrusted Non-Issue. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 11:12 AM

"For God's sake people, Bogle is lampooning pretension, presumption and smarmy artificiality- not Irish 'Heritage'"

EXACTLY Greg,
I do wonder, sometimes, as to where some people were hiding when the senses of humour (that's humor to our American friends, the ridiculous and irony were handed out.

I've always felt that one should learn from the past, but don't dwell there, that way only leads to madness.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: meself
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 11:16 AM

And then there are those who delight in being offended by those who delight in being offended ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 11:20 AM

And also those who have nothing worthwhile to say, so they just poke sharp sticks in the eyes of those who have, eh, meself?

Nicely put, Rifleman.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 11:29 AM

And then there are those who delight in being offended by those who delight in being offended by those who feel offended ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 11:39 AM

LOL!


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: The Villan
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 11:55 AM

I like this one that has just been wrritten by Big Al Whittle.

The Bakelite Brummie Song

Nice one Al, and I am a true Brummie. Love it, keep the humour going.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 12:25 PM

I think the Bogle song, is a related, but tangential issue to the core thread.

One of the things that has me somewhat intrigued however is that some posters maintain the right to behave in the fashion described by the Bogle song on Paddy's day in particular (with green beer, plastic shamrocks and all the rest of the Disneyesque lampooning) *without* engaging in any further depth in more serious or diverse elements of Irish culture - but then object to that intentional and restricted form of cliched Oirish err 'homage' say, being termed "plastic".

Maybe a particular section of the Irish community in Ireland do enjoy lampooning classic Irish cultural cliche's themselves when out having a drink, but I imagine they possibly do other stuff too. Or even if they don't, this narrow 'ironic' self-lampooning of Irish culture, is not descriptive of "Ireland", "Irish people" or "Irish culture" any more broadly than that. It'd be like everyone who maintained a belief that they are an Anglophile, thinking that dressing up in beefeater costumes and eating whelks on St. Georges day was an expression of their love for Merrie Ye Old Englande or something - Ahhh that's a different thread - I think the BNP have that one covered already.... ;-)

It's the foreign reduction of another culture, to such a specific and narrow stereotyping - affectionate or otherwise - which I don't really dig. It descends too far into ShamMockery for me. And the Irish have been badly represented in a variety of negative stereotypes over the centuries.

Maybe I'd do a ridiculous Plastic Paddy night if it were amongst Irish people? I'm not exactly uptight - perhaps I'll give it a go sometime to find out and have fun. But I rather doubt I'd enjoy it with a bunch of Essex lads and lasses at O' Neils, who have no other interest in Ireland or Irish culture than getting pissed up on Guinness at an Oirish theme pub on Paddy day.

Otherwise, I'm happy to differ with anyone who disagrees. I've run my course of interest in this subject I think...


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 12:34 PM

Well, first of all I personally call it St. Patrick's Day and would never call it Paddy day or Paddy's day or whatever. Secondly, you need to have a better understanding of the Irish American experience. This has all been going on way before Disney. It is real for what it is, and that is a battered and sometimes broken people getting together in defiance and for fun and for many reasons. For many the extent of their cultural heritage was back-breaking work as serfs. I don't know how much of the culture they had in those days...some to be sure..stuff was passed down. Many were illiterate and of course there was a strong oral culture.

Anyway, it is still not nice to put them down. Some of what you see is quite real, the desire for shamrocks everywhere etc...painting a green stripe etc. These Irish Americans were not very sophisticated, very well educated, knew next to nothing about the heritage. They did what they could. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: goatfell
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 01:00 PM

it's only a song for god sake


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 01:38 PM

I am Irish-American (or half of me is). This is not about the people who went before, mg, this is about the people indulging in certain cultural behaviours now. I've seen the argument from several perspectives: as someone who grew up in America - and whose father worked in a Plastic Paddy pub when I was growing up; as someone who lived and worked with Irish immigrants in New Jersey and got an insight into what they felt about the "Oirification" of their culture in America; and as someone who lived and worked amongst the London Irish when I first came to England.

Firstly, there is a cheapness about the Irish stereotypes which abound in both Britain and the US. Part of their cheapness is borne of commercialism, it's true. But at the end of the day, there is a vast difference between being OF a culture, and having that culture as part of your (distant) heritage. There is a huge disconnect between indigenous cultures, which develop and evolve and constantly change, and their sentimental, tourguide depictions which are fixed in aspic. Probably there are few cultures which suffer from this more than the Irish. This is partly due to the vast numbers of people who claim Irish ancestry in America, but in my experience very few of those people have any direct or significant experience of Ireland or Irish people. In searching for some sort of cultural identity they have assimilated something which is in itself a completely false amalgam of stage Irish, Tin Pan Alley, Bing Crosby movies and troubles songs.

mg, if you are offended by the term "Plastic Paddy", you shouldn't be defending these stereotypes - you should be digging a little deeper to find out what Irish culture is really about. If you don't want to, that's fine - but don't expect anyone to take this false construct of American songs and green beer as a serious attempt at cultural engagement.

What I'm going to say now may offend some of the people on this thread - but my experiences as the descendant of an immigrant family, who became an immigrant myself, whose daughter is now the child of an immigrant family, has led me over the years to certain observations. Being Irish American - or Italian-American, or Greek-American, or whatever - is simply not the same as being Irish, or Italian or Greek. When I visit Ireland or southern Italy (the other half of my heritage), there are definitely things I recognise, which have a familiarity for me, and which resonate. But equally, being in those places underlines the fact that I am not of those people, do not belong to those cultures. To try to pretend that they belong to me in the same way that they belong to people who have spent their lives in those places, to assume an understanding and kinship because of some notional concept surrounding the blood running through my veins, is delusional at best and dishonest at worst.

I have lived around half my life in America, the other half in England. These are the two cultures I know, and understand, and which I feel belong to me, because I have lived them. It is nothing to do with the colour of the blood running through my veins (which is definitely not green) nor the colour of the beer I drink (though I did once have a green English beer that was brewed with nettles).

One point I would make is that the worst excesses of the sentimentalising (is that a word?) of very real suffering that accompanies the "Plastic Paddy" culture is what happened in America in the 80s, where gullible Americans in shamrock bars in Boston and New York and Los Angeles would thump their bodhrans and belt out Fields of Athenry and The Men Behind the Wire before chucking their money into the IRA collecting tins. That's what comes of over-romanticising a culture that you don't really understand.

"For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the region in which they are born, the city apartment or farm in which they learnt to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poets they read, and the God they believed in. It is all these things that have made them what they are, and these are the things that you can't come to know by hearsay, you can only know them if you have lived them. You can only know them if you are them."

- Somerset Maugham


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 01:59 PM

Well said Ruth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 01:59 PM

Of course. And most of us do not confuse being Irish American with being native Irish. it is different. Do we expect French Canadians to be like the French? No, we do not. Do we expect second or third generation Japanese to be like the ??Nissei? No, we do not. Do I tell a Japanese American how to behave especially on an important holiday to her? No, I do not. Should people in Japan tell them how to celebrate in America? Probably not but it is not for me to say. Would I call the French Canadian Fake Francoise because he celebrated differently, perhaps in a very unsophisticated manner, than people who remained in France and had very different lives? No, I would not. I would think (a) again it was none of my damn business how Francois celebrates, dresses, sings, parties, and (b) I would think it would be a very rude and cruel thing to do. He has a new heritage and he has a right to sing whatever he wants and assemble peacefully etc. to do it. Would I call someone Artificial Akiko because she has her unique and perhaps unsophisticated third or fourth generation Japanese-American celebrations, forged by various furnaces of relocation camps and discrimination etc. etc.? No, I would not. It would be absolutely none of my business how she goes about hers.

And what if Fake Francoise and Artifical Akiko wanted to come to my St. Patrick's Day parade and wear green shamrocks and funny hats? Would I try to kick them out and tell them how foolish they looked? No, I wouldn't, but I bet some of you would. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 02:29 PM

and as I said, mg: "if you are offended by the term "Plastic Paddy", you shouldn't be defending these stereotypes - you should be digging a little deeper to find out what Irish culture is really about. If you don't want to, that's fine - but don't expect anyone to take this false construct of American songs and green beer as a serious attempt at cultural engagement."

I'm sorry, but I am speaking as an Irish-American myself. And I find it all rather embarrassing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 02:44 PM

I do not take it as an attempt at cultural engagement at all. I see it as a harmless but actually very historical and very important celebration that was put together by our ancestors and I personally respect it. And we are basically not talking about Irish culture, at least I am not, but Irish American culture, which is quite different. Also people are talking what goes on on one day of the year usually and confusing it with normal behavior. This happened to be the one day of the year we were allowed to really have fun and to not to go school and to not have to obey the laws of Lent. One day a year. We were not to get too happy around Christmas or Easter because Christ had to die on the cross..even at Christmas..he was going to sooner or later. We had one day a year to have fun and sing You're welcome as the flowers in May to Dear Old Donegal and eat ice cream with shamrocks in them and drink green Kool-Aid... How is that for sophisticated or uncultural? Some of us are those stereotypes and so were our ancestors and like all people we deserve to live and celebrate in peace and respect. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 04:50 PM

The expression denigrates fakery. Not a lot more to say.


Interesting however that St Patrick was not Irish and St George was not English.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 05:27 PM

In the absence of any actual engagement with any of the actual points I've made I shall have to assume that people either agree with them or that they are unable to find fault with them..

Something to bear in mind about the Essex boys and girls and the Irish boys and girls who dress up in silly cliche'd clothes etc, whether its on St Patricks Night or after a footie or a rugby match, is that as they get drunk and become boisterous, and the same chemicals affect the same synapses, they are all doing exactly the same thing - having fun.

Having fun is a piece of Irish culture that we are proud of at home, that we export abroad and that I am glad to see other people enjoying in our name.

And while the Irish and English revellers enjoy themselves, you can be sure that both groups are equally unconcerned about the significance of Joyce or Flann O'Brien etc ...

Talking of Flann O'Brien, I am reminded of the matter of the poor mouth ... you know ... the truly gaelic gaelic ... as spoken by the truly gaelic gaels ...

This Topic has been subject to ruthless parody since long before the term "plastic paddy" appeared, or its implied antithesis; the "authentic Irishman".

And both sides of this "argument" are equally guilty of reliving the whole absurd farce.

Imposed definitions mean bugger all.


Those who keep saying "It's just a song, please pay attention to the fact that this thread isn't about a song, it is about a descriptive term.

It just so happens that a song was posted which illustrates the meaning of this term.

But while we are on the subject I will say this.

Eric Bogle has great strengths, and "the gift of years" is in the top five of my repertoire.

However, check this out.

In this chorus he is satirizing modern language and its deviation from English as he used to know it.


"Ah look what you've done to the old mother tongue
It's a crime the way we've misused it
It's been totally tis woggled crumb and blonged and golly woggled
and we've stranged mangled frangled and abused it"


As with all of us, he has his moments when he hits the nail squarely on the head and at other times he is as cringeworthy as the plastic paddy he describes.

But that's freedom for you - and I wouldn't have it any other way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 05:32 PM

"It's the foreign reduction of another culture, to such a specific and narrow stereotyping - affectionate or otherwise - which I don't really dig."

You have fallen into the same paradox as last time, as a term such as "plastic paddy" is nothing if a reduction of Irish culture into something that could not possibly include the plastic paraphernalia.

And wwhen the Irish go out and enjoy themselves in this fashion, after rugby and football matches, they are not being Ironic. They are having a good time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 05:54 PM

Some years ago I went to Carnival? in Quebec City. I enjoyed myself, but I didn't think, oh this is the essence of French culture (not even French Canadian) --- These people dressed like onions and people with their canes filled with booze are expressing the highest form of their culture. I thought, what fun. I think I will join in the merriment, perhaps not dressing like an onion, but more power to them if that is what they like to do. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 06:27 PM

If somebody wants to enjoy an evening, a day, a weekend , or whatever, by dressing up and getting rat-arsed, singing songs remembered from his/her childhood, and generally celebrating his/her/somebody else's culture and/or heritage, that's fine by me.

IT'S FOR THE CRAIC!

Don't analyse it, it's not susceptible of logical explanation. Just bloody enjoy it, and have a good supply of paracetamol handy for the morrow.
That's what we Folkies do best.

Simples.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 09:58 AM

"As with all of us, he (Eric Bogle) has his moments when he hits the nail squarely on the head and at other times he is as cringeworthy as the plastic paddy he describes."

Right on, Lox. ;-) Even the finest songwriters occasionally lapse into a trite or awkward bit of verse. Even the best write the odd song that's a real turkey. You can't be all good all the time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 10:19 AM

By and large I am not in favour of people pretending to be what they are not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: theleveller
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 10:46 AM

"But that's freedom for you - and I wouldn't have it any other way."

I think that hits the nail on the head, Lox. I can see why people might be offended by the term but, quite frankly, many of us have been called a lot worse on this board. LOL! What is needed is a sense of proportion. In his book 'Liberty in the Age of Terror', A C Grayling echoes John Stuart Mills when he says: "Sometimes the price of free speech is offence, but "feeling offended" can never justify censorship…..one of the main sources of danger to liberty comes from controversies that turn on "feeling offended"." Although, he then adds Mills' words: "No one pretends that actions should be as free as opinion."


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: meself
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 11:51 AM

Nobody on this thread has called for censorship of anything.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 12:05 PM

I've been called much, much worse (being a non-white type person *LOL*), this so-called 'slur' is amusing by comparison.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 05:15 PM

Rifleman,

I would suggest that the term "plastic paddy" compares with the term "coconut" in terms of potential offense caused.

They do not run in perfect parallel, but the thing they have in common is that they are both based on a false premisse i.e. that if someone of a particular background conforms to the wrong stereotype then they are not authentic.

The problem is that in order to differentiate autentic from non authentic one must assume that there is a right stereotype.

In fact, all stereotypes are inaccurate.

And on this basis it follows that your understanding is not that dissimilar to mine or anyone elses whose identity has become subject to the generalizations of judgemental observers.

It is important not to trivialise the experiences of others, whether by comparing them to your own experiences or by saying something about them "having a chip on their shoulder".

Remember that one?


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 06:06 PM

I think there are many larger issues here, and one is how some groups in America essentially disowned their parents and grandparents because they were ashamed of the way they spoke, dressed, ate, etc. It is a great American tragedy..so many family tragedies based on teen-age shame of a mother in a babushka or cooking everything with garlic. America, especially in the days of much immigration, was not by and large populated by very sophisticated (in our minds) people. I think that was especially a problem for Mediterranean and Eastern European immigrants, but we don't want to back to those days, do we? I don't think it was an especially Irish problem, more with other groups, but I heard my ggmother wore red flannel petticoats and smoked a clay pipe and only spoke Irish, greatly embarassing her daughters...so for some of us at least we can't make fun of these stereotypes without making fun or or insulting our ancestors. I can't. Mine were hardly sophisticated..it is a wonder how I got to be. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 07:22 PM

Lox, that is nonsense.

A plastic Paddy is someone who is not Irish whose pretence is the adoption of the caricature extreme stereotypes of Irish behaviour - the English Etonian who insists on starting sentences with "Top of the morning to you, begorrah!" It speaks of the non-Irish.

A coconut is a person whose skin is black but who has adopted the treachery of Babylon. It speaks of the black. NB "Black" used in the English sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 07:50 PM

It is such a useful term, although nasty, that it seems to have varous meanings depending on country etc. And we just hate giving up perfectly descriptive terms, whether they are nasty or not. Once we have a word that perfectly describes a phenomenon, we don't want to get rid of it. And just like Oreo seemed to spread to Apple and Banana, I am sure that something like "PP" has spread to other cultures. And they are all words that sneer at others. Probably the worse of that ilk is "wannabe." I don't think a person could use it in a respectful manner, because it is a disrespectful word. All of them suggest that a person is not OK the way she or he is..like saying Obama was not Black enough. Someone is not Hawaian enough, or Native American enough or really truly Irish enough or being Irish-American is not good enough and has silly rituals and costumes associated with it. Like we should get together on St. Patrick's day and read the Book of Kells or something and only drink the purest of meade. Oh well, not for me.   mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 10:42 PM

Late and confused (as usual)

A request for clarification.

I am too cheap to subscribe to the OED online, but this is what askOxford.Com has to say about "Paddy":

"Since the 19th century it has come to function in English as a generic nickname for an Irishman."
and
"informal, chiefly offensive an Irishman."

My question:
If "Plastic Paddy" is now a pejorative term, does that mean that "Paddy" itself is not longer a pejorative term?

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: meself
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 10:53 PM

To further muddy the waters: in Borstal Boy, Brendan Behan says that he doesn't mind it when an Englishman addresses him as Paddy, but he can't stand it when a fellow Irishman does (as one does in the narrative).


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