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CELTIC-L  June 2000

CELTIC-L June 2000

Subject:

Re: Fw: Re: Celtic people?

From:

Bratronos <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Bratronos <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 27 Jun 2000 12:14:16 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (136 lines)

> > > Economic prosperity leading to a sense that Ireland and everything is
> > really
> > > great after all?
> >
>  I doubt a sense of economic prosperity has much to do with it.

I miswrote my original comment. It should have read '...and everything Irish
is really great after all'. Nonetheless, I think you read it as I had
intended. Economic prosperity is just a part of a general change in Ireland,
though, isn't it? It probably seems like nothing, but I think they got a big
psychological boost from the success of Riverdance, and their arrival in the
World Cup, and the image of Dublin as super-trendy and so on and on. Don't
you think that the cumulative effect of all this can change the view a
people has of themselves and of their capability to be among the best?
Perhaps a part of that change in self-image is a feeling that whatever makes
the Irish distinctive is 'good' because Irish things generally are 'good'.
So, the language is 'good', or at least it is not something to throw off as
an encumberance. The thought process maybe is something like: "Look, we've
become prosperous and trendy. No need to throw aside our Irishness. People
actually like that. Hey, I like it too. I'll keep it." There's nothing 'bad'
about that. Just a freedom to just be whatever comes naturally.

> The sense of
> Ireland and her native tongue being worth preserving live on regardless of
> economic prosperity, not because of it, though I'm sure there are many who
> would disagree. But come on....must everything come down to economics?

Not at all. It does help make people really feel more positive about their
nation and themselves to see prosperity, though, yes?

> > Or a sense that, as Ireland becomes more and more a (small)
> > > segment of an (ever growing) monolithic EU she is losing her
identity...
>
>  yes I do think that concern exists, and I happen to share it.

That I agree with. Couple this with the idea above and you get motive and
means all mixed up together. Like, "hey, we can be ourselves and still be
successful, and even being sucked into the Federal States of Europe can't
stop that. No way we're going to be just another region of Europe. We've got
so much that's unique and special, and we can succeed with or without it.
And we don't want to be without it, so let's show the world what Ireland
is". Sorry to put words into the mouths and minds of the Irish twice in one
email. It just seemed the easiest way to say it. If I'm off the mark no
doubt I'll be told so. Sorry if I have misrepresented anyone.

> > > quick let's grab what we can and treasure our Irishness.
> >
> sometimes your sarcasm is so subtle I let it go,

I think sometimes you see sarcasm where it is not. And perhaps vice versa
also.

> and endeavor to remain
> civil with you.Yet your tone here suggests a sense of sarcasm which adds
> insult to the injury done to Irish culture by others who couldn't care
less
> whether it fades away or not.

How so? I'm perplexed. Sorry if I offended you. That was not my purpose.

> but you might want to work on your tact.

Perhaps you might want to work on your paranoia. Did you like me saying
that? I didn't like you saying what you said either. My intention is not to
be sacrastic. If you read it so always, you are misreading me. I am
interested in exploring the possibilities. Let's take a look at my comment:
"quick let's grab what we can and treasure our Irishness." To me, that seems
a fine thing to do. It is the thought, is it not, of someone realising they
almost lost something precious and determining to sieze every scrap and
treasure them and foster their development. Do you not agree? Sorry you
thought I was being sarcastic. I was entirely serious.

> that statement conjures up an image of a large group of frightened people,
> pitifully scrapping for anything they can to "treasure our Irishness".

That certainly is one way of interpreting it. I venture to suggest that your
take on this implies an underlying insecurity in the idea of Irishness. No,
I don't mean to offend you by that comment. I think that insecurity is
there, and it is there for a reason, as among many people who have been
hurt. In ages past, the Irish were punished by their rulers at a time when
news from outside that island was not so easy to get as today. In the depths
of misery and degradation, looking out at some fat landowner in a fine new
coat and topper riding past with his friends on their healthy, sleek-coated
horses, what does a person see? Here is a person who has little part in
'real' Irish tradition, language, music, idiom, dance, suffering. He and his
assembly speak and act English, they play, dance and work in ways associated
with England. That slight curl of the lip that accompanied the glance thrown
to you from horseback says "wild Irish". That cuts deep in the psyche. Top
it off with the terror of starvation from 150 years ago, constant
emigration, rebellion, revival of the language and culture, the tales and
traditions of Ireland by people who quickly get tied into the Irish
Nationalist bag, some of whom die for Ireland's freedom. And then what?
Economic isolation, more emigration, low standards of living. Joining the
EEC as one of the countries that need to be given lots of aid rather than
giving it like France or Germany.

So, how does that make people feel? Unsure of the good sense of their
freedom? Worry that maybe Irishness is hampering prosperity after all? Fear
of admitting such things to themselves? Anger at being held back by
small-minded, miserable politics? You still need to leave home and live in
Merrie England or cross the ocean to The Land of the Free to make it.
Sometimes it is neccessary to compromise a little for the sake of comfort,
or prosperity, or freedom or happiness. And maybe compromise a little more,
but it will be worth it. Just a little more. Just a little more.

And then, the skies seem to open and sunlight shines on the road before you.
Jobs and success in sport and arts. Famous politicians. A chance of peace in
Northern Ireland at last. A trendy image. More jobs and prosperity. You want
to dance and you dance the dance that comes freely from your soul, the dance
your ancestors danced to drive away their pain. But you dance it in
celebration of real freedom at last. And the people around you dance too,
and laugh a carefree laugh at last. And you gather the treasures of what
makes you and your country into your arms like children forgotten. The
misery and sorrow make the joy. Is that not beautiful? No sarcasm. No need
for sarcasm anymore.

> It's a brave and powerful heart that chooses to stand for what it holds
> dear, even in the face of the danger of it being lost. I hope you can
admit
> your statement was disrespectful.

No I cannot. I hope you can admit that I truly have no ill feeling or
disrespect for you and your people. Your comment on the brave and powerful
heart is wholly true. I would not dare disagree. Well said.

> > Nothing like the
> > > threat of loss (real or imagined) to make what you have more precious.
>
>  Indeed. If you could have simply put it this way without the childish
> sarcasm, you would have come across better.

No sarcasm except in your mind, really.

B.

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