Protect and Defend

Welcome to my blog, Protect and Defend. You don’t have to understand me. You only have to agree with me. I can live with losing the good fight, but I can not live with not fighting that good fight at all. - Publius

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Daily Rant

When did it become acceptable to make fun of the Irish and Irish people? Now, this is not a new phenomenon, if you look back through history it is easy to find the “No Irish” and “No Irish Need Apply” signs that were hung in shop and business windows in the late 1800s and early 1900s, even major city newspapers would depict the Irish as drunks, apes, subhuman, and low-class fighters who paid an unwanted allegiance to an Italian Pope. Now perhaps this blatant discrimination and degrading treatment has subsided but it still exits in the media today. In the movie Blazing Saddles the townspeople became willing to accept the Asians and Blacks (not the terms used in the move) but not the Irish until convinced otherwise. And in an episode of the television show Friends, Joey tells Monica to get back on his Italian mother’s good side to tell her she hates the Post Office and the Irish. The television show Who’s Line Is It Anyway, would often bring out a bit called the Irish drinking song, where the comedians would sing a song in the style of an “Irish-melody” while pretending to hold up pints of beer. There is no ethnic group that gets attacked in such a manner and regularly in television by actors and comedians than the Irish. Even the once predominately Irish-Catholic school, Notre Dame, uses a leprechaun-like mascot posed in a position with his fists back as if ready to fight in a bare-knuckles boxing match. There is no problem when someone like Conan O’Brien makes fun of his Irish heritage and red hair, self-deprecating humor is one of the foundations of stand-up, but what gives other so-called comedians the right to do the same? Imagine the uproar if an Irish comic were to joke about Puerto Ricans or Muslims, they would be booed off the stage or the television show would be bombarded with angry phone calls. To prove this point, an episode of Seinfeld was removed from syndication when it showed Kramer accidentally lighting a Puerto Rican flag on fire at a Puerto Rican day parade and then stepping on the flag to put out the fire, after NBC received complaints. What if Kramer had lit an Irish flag on fire at the St. Patrick’s Day parade? I am sure nothing would have happened. Remember it was the “comic genius” of radio DJs Opie and Anthony who broadcast two individuals having sex in St Patrick’s cathedral in NYC. Granted they were eventually taken off the air, but were brought back not long after on XM Radio.
Perhaps I am overreacting, or perhaps I am correct. But, for all you comedians out there, next time you make fun of the Irish, make sure there isn’t some big Irishman in the audience, or you might find out why the Irish are known for fighting.


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