17 Mar 2019

It Wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day Without Some Shane MacGowan

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Sid Vicious plus William Butler Yeats equals Shane MacGowan.


Matthew Hennessey
, meanwhile, in the City Journal notes that you couldn’t kill Shane MacGowan with a stick.

They say God takes care of fools and drunks. If so, he’s been working overtime the last few decades taking care of Shane MacGowan. As the frontman and principal songwriter of the Irish rock band the Pogues, MacGowan is as famous for his lyrics and whiskey-timbered voice as for his unlikely longevity, despite a Homeric appetite for intoxicating substances, especially, but not limited to, alcohol. Though he cuts a shambolic figure, MacGowan is still upright at 56, a feat many view as a minor miracle. His rheumy eyes and distinctive throat-clearing cackle suggest not genius, necessarily, but late-stage dipsomania; there is nary a tooth left in his head. God or something like God must be taking care of MacGowan. He’s not been doing the job himself.

Hat tip to the News Junkie.

17 Mar 2019

Irish Joke

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Brenda O’Malley is home making dinner, as usual, when Tim Finnegan arrives at her door.

“Brenda, may I come in?” he asks. “I’ve somethin’ to tell ya”.

“Of course you can come in, you’re always welcome, Tim. But where’s my husband?”

“That’s what I’m here to be telling ya, Brenda. There was an accident down at the Guinness brewery”

“Oh, God no!” cries Brenda. “Please don’t tell me.”

“I must, Brenda. Your husband Shamus is dead and gone. I’m sorry.”

Finally, she looked up at Tim. “How did it happen, Tim?”

“It was terrible, Brenda. He fell into a vat of Guinness Stout, and drowned.”

“Oh my dear Jesus! But you must tell me true, Tim, did he at least go quickly?”

“Well, Brenda, no. In fact, he got out three times to pee.”

17 Mar 2019

Are We Irish?

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AreWeIrish

17 Mar 2019

Everybody Wants to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day

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Including these cute Thai kids.

17 Mar 2019

St. Patrick’s Day

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From Robert Chambers, The Book of Days, 1869:

LEGENDARY HISTORY OF ST. PATRICK

Almost as many countries arrogate the honour of having been the natal soil of St. Patrick, as made a similar claim with respect to Homer. Scotland, England, France, and Wales, each furnish their respective pretensions: but, whatever doubts may obscure his birthplace, all agree in stating that, as his name implies, he was of a patrician family. He was born about the year 372, and when only sixteen years of age, was carried off by pirates, who sold him into slavery in Ireland; where his master employed him as a swineherd on the well-known mountain of Sleamish, in the county of Antrim. Here he passed seven years, during which time he acquired a knowledge of the Irish language, and made himself acquainted with the manners, habits, and customs of the people. Escaping from captivity, and, after many adventures, reaching the Continent, he was successively ordained deacon, priest, and bishop: and then once more, with the authority of Pope Celestine, he returned to Ireland to preach the Gospel to its then heathen inhabitants.

The principal enemies that St. Patrick found to the introduction of Christianity into Ireland, were the Druidical priests of the more ancient faith, who, as might naturally be supposed, were exceedingly adverse to any innovation. These Druids, being great magicians, would have been formidable antagonists to any one of less miraculous and saintly powers than Patrick. Their obstinate antagonism was so great, that, in spite of his benevolent disposition, he was compelled to curse their fertile lands, so that they became dreary bogs: to curse their rivers, so that they produced no fish: to curse their very kettles, so that with no amount of fire and patience could they ever be made to boil; and, as a last resort, to curse the Druids themselves, so that the earth opened and swallowed them up. …

The greatest of St. Patrick’s miracles was that of driving the venomous reptiles out of Ireland, and rendering the Irish soil, for ever after, so obnoxious to the serpent race, that they instantaneously die on touching it. Colgan seriously relates that St. Patrick accomplished this feat by beating a drum, which he struck with such fervour that he knocked a hole in it, thereby endangering the success of the miracle. But an angel appearing mended the drum: and the patched instrument was long exhibited as a holy relic. …

When baptizing an Irish chieftain, the venerable saint leaned heavily on his crozier, the steel-spiked point of which he had unwittingly placed on the great toe of the converted heathen. The pious chief, in his ignorance of Christian rites, believing this to be an essential part of the ceremony, bore the pain without flinching or murmur; though the blood flowed so freely from the wound, that the Irish named the place St. fhuil (stream of blood), now pronounced Struill, the name of a well-known place near Downpatrick. And here we are reminded of a very remarkable fact in connection with geographical appellations, that the footsteps of St. Patrick can be traced, almost from his cradle to his grave, by the names of places called after him.

Thus, assuming his Scottish origin, he was born at Kilpatrick (the cell or church of Patrick), in Dumbartonshire. He resided for some time at Dalpatrick (the district or division of Patrick), in Lanarkshire; and visited Crag-phadrig (the rock of Patrick), near Inverness. He founded two churches, Kirkpatrick at Irongray, in Kireudbright; and Kirkpatrick at Fleming, in Dumfries: and ultimately sailed from Portpatrick, leaving behind him such an odour of sanctity, that among the most distinguished families of the Scottish aristocracy, Patrick has been a favourite name down to the present day.

Arriving in England, he preached in Patterdale (Patrick’s dale), in Westmoreland: and founded the church of Kirkpatrick, in Durham. Visiting Wales, he walked over Sarn-badrig (Patrick’s causeway), which, now covered by the sea, forms a dangerous shoal in Carnarvon Bay: and departing for the Continent, sailed from Llan-badrig (the church of Patrick), in the island of Anglesea. Undertaking his mission to convert the Irish, he first landed at Innis-patrick (the island of Patrick), and next at Holmpatrick, on the opposite shore of the mainland, in the county of Dublin. Sailing northwards, he touched at the Isle of Man, sometimes since, also, called. Innis-patrick, where he founded another church of Kirkpatrick, near the town of Peel. Again landing on the coast of Ireland, in the county of Down, he converted and baptized the chieftain Dichu, on his own threshing-floor. The name of the parish of Saul, derived from Sabbal-patrick (the barn of Patrick), perpetuates the event. He then proceeded to Temple-patrick, in Antrim, and from thence to a lofty mountain in Mayo, ever since called Croagh-patrick.

He founded an abbey in East Meath, called Domnach-Padraig (the house of Patrick), and built a church in Dublin on the spot where St. Patrick’s Cathedral now stands. In an island of Lough Deng, in the county of Donegal, there is St. Patrick’s Purgatory: in Leinster, St. Patrick’s Wood; at Cashel, St. Patrick’s Rock; the St. Patrick’s Wells, at which the holy man is said to have quenched his thirst, may be counted by dozens. He is commonly stated to have died at Saul on the 17th of March 493, in the one hundred and twenty-first year of his age. …

The shamrock, or small white clover (trifolium repens of botanists), is almost universally worn in the hat over all Ireland, on St. Patrick’s day. The popular notion is, that when St. Patrick was preaching the doctrine of the Trinity to the pagan Irish, he used this plant, bearing three leaves upon one stem, as a symbol or illustration of the great mystery. To suppose, as some absurdly hold, that he used it as an argument, would be derogatory to the saint’s high reputation for orthodoxy and good sense: but it is certainly a curious coincidence, if nothing more, that the trefoil in Arabic is called skamrakh, and was held sacred in Iran as emblematical of the Persian Triads. Pliny, too, in his Natural History, says that serpents are never seen upon trefoil, and it prevails against the stings of snakes and scorpions. This, considering St. Patrick’s connexion with snakes, is really remarkable, and we may reasonably imagine that, previous to his arrival, the Irish had ascribed mystical virtues to the trefoil or shamrock, and on hearing of the Trinity for the first time, they fancied some peculiar fitness in their already sacred plant to shadow forth the newly revealed and mysterious doctrine. …

In the Galtee or Gaultie Mountains, situated between the counties of Cork and Tipperary, there are seven lakes, in one of which, called Lough Dilveen, it is said Saint Patrick, when banishing the snakes and toads from Ireland, chained a monster serpent, telling him to remain there till Monday.

The serpent every Monday morning calls out in Irish, ‘It is a long Monday, Patrick.’

That St Patrick chained the serpent in Lough Dilveen, and that the serpent calls out to him every Monday morning, is firmly believed by the lower orders who live in the neighbourhood of the Lough.

16 Mar 2019

Napoleon’s Pocket Pistol

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Napoleon’s three-barreled pocket pistol, with trophy references to the Battle of Marengo, 14 June 1800, by the renowned London gun-maker Durs Egg.

16 Mar 2019

What She’s Like

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15 Mar 2019

Ides of March

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In my high school, the better students, in the two Academic class sections, received instruction in Latin in 9th and 10th grade. Our Latin teacher had a curious personal custom. He sacrificed annually, in honor of Great Caesar, on the Ides of March, the male student in each class who had offended him by doing the least work and/or being the most disruptive. He sacrificed additionally one female student from each class whose selection, I fear, was based only upon his own capricious whim and covert sexual attraction.

The sacrifice consisted of the victim being bent over a desk and receiving three strokes of a paddle, delivered by a six foot+, 250 lb.+ Latin teacher laying on the strokes with a will and putting his weight behind them. (I won’t name him.) Mr. X’s paddle was a four foot long piece of 1 1/2″ thick pine, produced in our high school’s wood shop by General Curriculum students, who did not take Latin, but admired Mr. X. The paddle was roughly in the form of a Roman gladius, and its surface was scored by a series of regular lines, because it was generally believed that a blow from an uneven surface was more painful.

Mr. X had a fixed policy of assigning the duty of construing the day’s Latin assignment on the blackboard in strict and completely predictable order, going up and down the aisles of desks. Two or three of the smart kids would always actually do the Latin, (I was one of them) and it was our recognized duty to supply the translations in advance to the person who would be going to the blackboard.

Readiness to translate correctly was really vital, because Mr. X would apply his dreaded paddle to anyone who failed to write out the day’s assignment correctly on the blackboard. It was rare, but every once in a while some truly feckless idiot would neglect to seek out Kenny Hollenbach, Jack Rigrotsky, or yours truly, and would arrive at the blackboard, chalk in hand, unprepared.

Mr. X typically broke the current paddle over the defaulter’s posterior, and the mental defectives in shop class would gleefully commence the fabrication of a new, yet more elaborate, edition of the famous paddle.

Every March 15th, two 9th and 10th grade Academic Curriculum sections would look on with the same sadistic interest of Roman spectators at the gladitorial games, as Mr. X conducted his sacrifices. I can recall that he struck the pretty strawberry blonde with the well-developed embonpoint so hard that he raised dust from her skirt. We were a bit puzzled that girls actually submitted to being beaten with a paddle for no reason, but all this went on undoubtedly because the legend of Mr. X the fierce disciplinarian had enormous appeal in our local community. The whole thing was fascinating, and it all made such a good story that everyone, student and adult, in his heart of hearts, enthusiastically approved.

Mr. X would never be allowed to get away with that kind of thing today. Alas! In Hades, poor Caesar must do without his sacrifice. And it is my impression that Latin instruction has rather overwhelmingly also become a thing of the past. Kids today learn Spanish. Modern languages are easier and are thought more relevant.

Teachers
My high school Latin teacher is the large chap wearing glasses. He also coached one of our sports teams.

————————–

An annual post in memory of my Latin teacher.

15 Mar 2019

That Sword of Gabriel’s Wouldn’t Have Done Him a Lot of Good, If Adam & Eve Were Packing Iron

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Michelangelo, Expulsion from Eden, Sistine Chapel, 1508-1512.

The Onion:

Religious Conservatives Argue Adam And Eve Would Never Have Been Banished From Eden If They’d Had Guns

HOUSTON—In what they described as scriptural evidence of the right to bear arms, leading figures among the religious right gathered Wednesday to issue a statement arguing that Adam and Eve would never have been banished from the Garden of Eden if they had owned guns. “Just imagine: If Adam and Eve had carried firearms and stood their ground against God, they would have been able to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge in peace, and He could never have forced them to leave paradise,” said Pastor Hugh Peters of Houston’s Second Baptist Church, explaining how the entire course of human history would have been altered for the better if the first man and woman had taken the simple precaution of keeping a semiautomatic weapon at the ready for use during emergencies. “God was trespassing on their property, pure and simple. He had absolutely no right to force them from their home. Had Eve been able to open-carry a handgun, maybe tying it to her hip with a vine or something, God would have known to back off. This is one of the Bible’s most important lessons.”

God didn’t make men equal, after all. That was Samuel Colt.

HT: Stephen Frankel.

15 Mar 2019

“Every Time Democrats Talk, I Want To Vote For Trump Twice”

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George S. Bardmesser speaks for a lot of normal Americans.

It’s a damn shame I have to wait another 20 months to vote for President Trump. I wish I could do it now. Twice. Or better yet, in as many jurisdictions as I can. Preferably in every swing district and every swing state.

Yeah, yeah, I know — sadly, I can’t. It’s been a hell of a ride these past couple of years, and I sure hope it doesn’t end next November.

I am a middle-of-the-road Republican who voted for Trump with the utmost reluctance in 2016. He sure wasn’t perfect. He was no Cicero, either––though he can give a decent speech when the chips are down. He had a few extra skeletons rattling in his closet, especially compared to colorless non-entities like Jeb. So yeah, I was queasy about voting for an ex-registered-Democrat-from-New-York-and-possible-liberal-now-turned-Republican.

Was I worried? Hell, yeah! Was I depressed? You bet. But, really, what options were there? Hillary? Jill Stein? Seriously? Trump wasn’t my first choice or my second choice or my third choice, but by the time November 2016 rolled around, Trump was the only choice on the menu. So I swallowed hard, took a leap of faith, and pulled the lever for the Donald.

And let me tell ya, every time one of these newly minted Democratic “stars” opens their mouth, the same thought goes through my mind: Thank God for Trump. Trump is my last line of defense. Trump is the only thing that stands between me and these hallucinogenic socialist nut jobs. Trump is what’s keeping chaos and left-wing insanity at bay. …

The Donkey Party has a new leader: someone called Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Every time her bright red lips form a sentence, I hear a clarion call: Must Vote For Trump! Unlike AOC, I actually know firsthand what socialism is. I don’t need to imagine the future that AOC is trying to shove down my throat––I lived in that future and I pray I’ll never have to live in that future again.

Every time AOC proposes to build trains to Europe, or wants butt plugs for cows to control their flatulence, or wants to spend $93 trillion on fairyland, I really, really want to vote for Trump. So make Ocasio-Cortez more visible! Make Ocasio-Cortez speaker of the House! Make her the keynote speaker at the convention!

All the CNN talking heads agree that Trump is an idiot? Maybe, but at least he isn’t planning to ban my car. Trump lies? Maybe, but with Trump, we’ll still have airplanes (and my 401(k) plan has been doing great since his election).

This gets us to the next installment of “Friday the 13th,” a.k.a. the Democratic presidential candidates. Kamala Harris, you say? You seriously want me to vote for Kamala Harris? And you say that Cory “Spartacus” Booker is just like Kamala, only better and balder? Are you kidding me? Pete Buttigieg? Ask me again when I stop laughing.

Bernie? Really? This grumpy near-octogenarian “public service” millionaire with three mansions is running for the presidency of the wrong country. All his best ideas have already been put into practice––in Venezuela.

This is a guy who pseudo-honeymooned in the USSR (two years before it collapsed!), and didn’t notice that people were waiting in mile-long lines for literally everything. This is a guy who has never met a paleo-Stalinist dictator he couldn’t be best pals with. Bernie doesn’t need to pretend he is a complete crank; he is a complete crank.

I will personally call every one of my friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, and beg them to vote for Trump. I will even offer to come and wash their cars while in the nude, if only they’d vote for Trump.

Did someone say Warren? Warren, the first Cherokee candidate — that Warren? Doesn’t she now want reparations not just for African-Americans, but also for Native Americans? Where, oh where, is that lever to pull for Trump?

Biden? The creepy old guy who likes to massage women and 13-year-old girls in public? That guy? I have a 19-year-old daughter, and I sure hope he never goes anywhere near her. But I do hope he runs. It feels like he’s been running for president in every election since Eisenhower. Can he lurch far enough to the left this time, to satisfy the woke police? I doubt it, but it will be fun to watch him try.

Ilhan Omar? Maybe she should run for president too. Nancy suggests that Omar is a good person who is simply too ignorant to understand what her words mean. I disagree. Omar is only saying what all the other Democrats are thinking. Yes, she is an anti-Semite. Yes, she is totally mainstream within the Democratic Party.

Throw that toxic Tlaib person into the mix, and we’ve got the triumvirate that truly runs the Democratic Party now––Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, and Tlaib. I see this nutterfest, and let me tell you, dear Democrats: I am motivated as hell. If ever given a choice (in this election or in other ones) between Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, Pelosi, Warren, Harris, Booker, Biden, Sanders, or Trump, I will take Trump any day of the week.

I am a highly motivated Trump voter because the Democrats have motivated me up to my eyeballs. I have never been more motivated in my life, because the Democrats are terrifying me. I am locked, cocked, and ready to rock in that voting booth. I just wish I didn’t have to wait 20 months.

RTWT

14 Mar 2019

Fair Haven, Vermont Elects Goat for Mayor

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The Burlington Free Press reports:

[O]n Tuesday night, March 12, just before 7 p.m., the small Vermont town officially swore in a goat as mayor.

The vote had been a close one.

Town Manager Joe Gunter came up with the idea as a way to raise money for a school play ground. Kids throughout the town were allowed, for a modest $5 fee, to nominate an animal of their choice for the position of Mayor. All told, more than a dozen made the run for office, even a dog named Stella who liked to suck a baby pacifier.

Some in town are not convinced that voters made the right choice.

“It’s been baaaaad so far,” joked one municipal employee, who refused to be identified for fear of retaliation — of butting heads — with the new administration.

But on Town Meeting Day, Lincoln the goat was the clear winner, beating out the pack (… or herd?) with 13 votes.

And although the swearing in was a success, within minutes of assuming office, the police chief was already dealing with the Mayor’s first mess; he grabbed a broom and dust pan after her Goatness couldn’t wait for a bathroom.

“Note the crap,” joked Mark Gutel, owner of local coffee shop Kinder Way Cafe. “It’s just like any other meeting.”

RTWT

A step up from Bernie Sanders, in my humble opinion.

13 Mar 2019

Puritan Checklist

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Augustus Saint-Gaudens, The Puritan, Springfield, Massachusetts.

Rank historical figures by Puritan points:

HT: Tim of Angle.

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