A Pessimist’s Review of St. Patrick’s Day

This may just ruin my blog future. As I write this I worry mobs are forming outside my door to hurl me off the nearest cliff and purge this post Farenheit 451 style.  But last time I checked this was America (Stan Marsh voice), and we are still free to vomit our opinions into the atmosphere, no matter how unpopular or unfounded they may be, (see Donald Trump).

I don’t like St. Patrick’s Day. Call me a wet blanket, call me an elitist, call me what you wish, but I think I know how Charlie Brown felt leading up to Christmas.  The commercialism is really starting to get to me.  Maybe this is why I’m also starting to get a little salty that the Fourth of July is quickly becoming little more than another reason for flagrant perversion of the American flag and elevated BACs before 10am.

I feel like the lone lamb that has just realized where the conveyor belt is leading.  We’re all just pawns folks. Sheep in the alcohol industry’s grand scheme to make their Christmas vacations more extravagant.  Now call me prideful, but I don’t like being played, and I feel like that’s exactly what St. Patrick’s Day has devolved into.  A day of debauchery comprised of binge drinking for a reason no one knows simply because all our local bars and that one Irish bar in town told us so.  The friendly neighborhood College Station Irish bar has a St. Patrick’s countdown clock on the wall behind their taps, ticking away exactly how long we have to wait to pay exorbitant prices for food colored dyed domestic drafts.  Normally, I wouldn’t care. Another day to get rowdy and drink past socially acceptable levels is right up my alley, but not when I know it’s a day that I’m being pushed to do so simply because someone told me to. Something about that really strikes my rebellious nerve.

This is going to come off wildly hypocritical, but I’m also slightly racially offended that Irish heritage can be annually culminated into shamrock beads and a foam beer hat.  Perhaps it’s the history aficionado that is more offended than the Irishman in me, because I can tell you right now my family has never once spoke Celtic, or regaled me with stories of great great great granddaddy crying as he saw the Statue of Liberty from the deck of an immigrant ship.  But, I find it in poor taste that the arguably, (arguably because I know as much about Irish history as I know about nuclear engineering) biggest holiday a country possesses is best celebrated through drinking until blackout.  Furthermore, I would venture to say that outside of Cinco De Mayo, no holiday is as commercially offensive as St. Patrick’s Day.  Company after company indulging themselves in our ignorance of the day’s origins, slowly convincing us that yes today was created for green pint cans and festive bar decor, rather than a nearly three hundred year old celebration of the patron saint of an entire nation.  What’s worse, we allow ourselves to be fooled.  We willingly walk into bar after bar, convinced that the point of tonight is about downing your obligatory “pint o’Guinness”.  All because someone told you so.  Forgive me, but I prefer to do my drinking on my own terms, not en mass when I’m given permission by the corporate elites.  Also, how many of you that went out last night can tell me you genuinely enjoy Guinness?  Because I can tell you how many times I do, it’s about four to six times a year, if that.  I enjoy Guinness, but it’s rare, and it’s certainly not ever so much that I want to get hammered off just Guinness.  Getting drunk off just Guinness is good for two things.  Being full by the time you’re three beers deep, and being hungover before you even make it to your bed that night.  How else am I to get St. Paddy’s Day wasted though? Irish Car Bombs?  Sure, let’s repeatedly take a cream based liqueur chugger shot that costs on average $5-9.  Maybe I’m just becoming a lot more uppity, a lot more WASPy, but the whole affair feels way too vapid for my liking.  On a similar notion, I have a serious problem with the St. Patrick’s Day elitists that think just because their green tee shirt is more faded than those around them, or because they have one album from the “Irish” rock band playing at the “Irish” bar in town, that somehow they’re walking St. Patrick’s Day royalty.  I don’t care how nappy your beard is, or how pierced your girlfriend’s nose and nipples are, just because you latched onto this holiday harder than Game of Thrones or World of Warcraft, don’t look down your nose at me when I walk up to the bar and order a Shiner or a Saint Arnold on St. Patrick’s Day.  For that matter, don’t look at me period.  I don’t come to a bar to play dress up, or get into a who’s a more authentic drinker competition.  I come to a bar because the booze at my house isn’t what I want to drink tonight, not to watch you assert yourself around the place with your chain wallet.  I don’t care that, “you prefer your Guinness room temperature,” or that, “Jameson really isn’t a mixing whiskey.”  I actually wouldn’t mind if the PC police shamed everyone into toning down the St. Patrick’s Day shenanigans because they thought it might be too butt hurtful to the Irish.

You want to drink 15 room temperature Guinness-es while listening to the Irish version of Megadeth?  Go right ahead.  You want to grow a mustache that could obtain its own voter registration card?  Be my guest.  You want to dress up like the Lucky Charms Leprechaun?  Hey, sky’s the limit buddy.  But don’t exalt yourself to a position of superiority simply because the date on the calendar is different than it is the other 364 days.  Don’t ask me where my festive spirit is when I roll out of bed on that same day wearing zero shades of green, and don’t look me in the face and charge me double for a drink I would have ordered anyway because I actually enjoy drinking it, not because I’m indulging in playing pretend Irish for a day.  But hey, don’t let me get you down, toss back another pint, it’s what Saint Paddy would want.

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