Posted on Friday, April 24, 2009
in Philosophy, Something to think about
My neighbour passed by the window so fast she may as well have been a Banshee. The doorbell rang and I hoped the sleeping taxi-dude didn’t notice but he probably did… he surfaced soon after (which is nice because there was drilling to do and I hate drilling through council-house walls, they put metal girders where they really can’t be predicted. Nevertheless, I’ve got to do something about that doorbell!).
What followed was a rant of epic proportions. I like rants. I like being the rantee, for while I’m useless and lazy about finding solutions to the strange problems of other people, I love the fact that I can be used as a buffer to cushion the emotions of the sufferer. It’s all good by me, especially when there’s vodka involved, which in this case there was.
The rant in this case involved racism, at least I think it did. I can say with at least three months experience behind me that my neighbour is a pretty decent woman, that I’ve gleaned a lot of spiritual and agricultural information out of her, that she’s one of those salt-of-the-earth types, but she has one problem…
…she has a very strong American accent, and in Ireland, that don’t go down too well because for the most part, we’re a bunch of shallow, narrow-minded, racist amnesiac scumbags.
The neighbour in question was hired to be a chef’s apprentice. Being a woman of flushing age, she wanted a new challenge, something to add to her C.V., something she had a passion for. This job was perfect. The job in reality involved her cleaning toilets, taking on the responsibility of five people (four of which were Irish and decided to go home early) in the cleaning up of a dinner mess of sixty-five people… and the endurance of back-stabbing rumours made about her, whispering pointings and accusatory allegations, but she stuck with it for the sake of her daughter and her credit ratings until today, when she snapped.
She’s a single mother born in Ireland, returned after a long spell to find her feet, still burdened with an American accent so she’s screwed. How’s that fair!??
A mass exodus of Irishmen to the U.S. decades ago led to a struggle for identification and pride. That was years ago – past history… we got over it. Just as the Polish are now, they struggled through. Now the Irish are revered in the United States. Got an Irish accent? You get laid over there straight away!!! But…
If you want to come back home? You’re bunched.
American voices are met with scorn in Ireland. Loud, brash, opinionated… these are the buzzwords I hear. Therein lies my dichotomy. I loaned my Dad’s book to this neighbour a while back and warned her of its content. I’m the daughter of a USaphobe and while I admire my father’s gumption, I feel the need to stress that apples often roll far from the tree and that this fiction is merely ironic… a piss-take of Irish opinion.
The book still hasn’t been returned. I’m wondering if she hasn’t burned it in an empowerment ritual to be honest.
Why am I defending my people to my people? She’s Irish, she’s American, she’s just like my friend from Idaho that married an Irish bloke and tried to settle here with the same response… complete and total isolation.
That’s not fair.
I couldn’t think of anything else to say apart from…
“Dude, we should so join the revolution. Another shot??”