Anyone who knows me can vouch for the fact that I love being Irish. I hold a great deal of pride in the culture, a feeling ingrained in me by my father since a very young age. We also know, of course, that I do enjoy drinking (as if the homebrewing section of my website weren’t enough of an indicator). That being said, St. Paddy’s Day (and that’s “Paddy” for Pádraig, mind you. “Patty” is a girl’s name, or what you might call a hamburger) inspires some conflicting feelings within me. I love the celebration of my heritage, and the recognition that it brings to such a unique and fascinating culture. But I find myself being constantly aggravated at the Plastic Paddies and rampant racism that accompanies the holiday. Sure, I plan on heading over to the pub on the 17th to enjoy a few pints, but that’s not all there is. I plan on taking in a few Irish seisiuns, enjoying the music and the culture of Ireland, in addition to the drink. Too many people are happy to diminish the accomplishments of the Irish people and reduce us to alcoholic slobs. And while a great many of us do take to the drink — as well as there are many who actually suffer from alcoholism, which is far from humorous — there’s much more about the Irish to celebrate. Unfortunately, most complaints about the depiction of Irish stereotypes in American culture are quickly brushed aside as essentially “white people problems.” Despite the fact the Irish are generally an accepted — and celebrated — culture in modern day America (especially in Boston!), many seem to forget the years of struggle that our ancestors went through. Sure, it hasn’t much affected me directly — no one’s ever called me a “white nigger,” or pointed to a sign saying “No Irish Need Apply” — but it affected my family, and thus, it’s had affect on how I grew up and who I am today.
This week’s post on Five By Five Hundred is brought to you by Brian Boru, Flann O’Brien, James Joyce, Fionn MacCumhaill, Brendan Behan, Samuel Beckett, Cuchulain, Maewyn Succa, and all of the other bright and brilliant faces of Irish culture that have had a positive impact worldwide.
(also, while you’re at it, I suggest you check out The Shore, the newest Oscar-winning short film by Terry George)
Posted in other, Writing
Tagged brendan behan, brian boru, erie, five by five hundred, fivebyfivehundred.com, flann o'brien, ireland, irish, irish heritage month, irish pride, james joyce, Lá Fhéile Pádraig, no irish need apply, poetry, racism, shane macgowan, st. patrick's day, the pogues
So apparently there are some people out there who are absolutely disgusted by the sight of attached earlobes. (I assume that these are the same people that experience actual physical revulsion at the sound of the word “moist”) (you know who you are) Still, it got me thinking a bit about bigotry, and the features that people are born with that lead to discrimination.
Thus, instead of stooping to making fun of Jeph Loeb again, I decided to write a short fiction piece about a world in which those with attached earlobes suffer from the same kind of humiliation, discrimination, and hate as some of the more persecuted minority groups today. I guess what I’m trying to say is, attached earlobes is the new Black. I mean, not that — I don’t mean like — I’m not a racist, but — oh, forget it.
Posted in Writing
Tagged attached earlobes, college, discrimination, ear, ear lobes, fiction, five by five hundred, fivebyfivehundred.com, genetics, hate crime, hearing, jeph loeb, prose, racism, writing
I’ve been pretty busy writing and re-writing the script for my play True Believers, but we finally start rehearsals today, so I’m pretty excited.
Despite the gazillion pages I’ve written/re-written in the past week, I knew I still had a post due for Five By Five Hundred. I ended up scouring the YouTube comments on my Glenn Beck/J. Jonah Jameson mash-up video and found one particularly vocal YouTube commenter, whose breathtaking (really, the only word for it) diatribe I mined to create the “Found Poem” that makes up this week’s entry. It does go a little past the 500 word mark — but it was all too priceless to pass up.
Oh, and also, please note: I did no copyediting of any kind. I simply add line breaks for emphasis. The text appears entirely [sic].
I’d like to take a moment to thank the Internet for providing ignorance with a voice, and providing the rest of us with a constant stream of entertainment and funny pictures of animals.
Posted in Writing
Tagged brian michael bendis, five by five hundred, found poetry, glenn beck, homophobia, ignorance, j. jonah jameson, miles morales, peter parker, poem, poetry, racism, spider-man, the internet, ultimate spider-man, writing, youtube, youtube comments
Did you hear? Spider-Man’s black! Well, technically, he’s half-Hispanic, half-African-American. He is not, despite Glenn Beck’s mad raving, also gay. Nor is it Michelle Obama’s fault.
But here’s some hilarious footage of J. Jonah Jameson that I dubbed with Glenn Beck’s ridiculous rant about a (Oh Em Gee!) black Spider-Man:
Update: AOL’s ComicsAlliance.com has also picked up the video as part of an article on the same topic.
Comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis, who is not only responsible for the creation of the new Spider-Man but is also the one who joked about the idea of the mash-up video in the first place (I can’t take full credit!), has also been tweeting it pretty heavily.
Posted in other, video
Tagged brian michael bendis, glenn beck, half-black, half-hispanic, mash-up, michelle obama, miles morales, parody, peter parker, racism, racist, rant, spider-man, ultimate fallout, ultimate spider-man, video
In light of this whole big Huck Finn controversy, I couldn’t help but recall my own experience with the book back in my Junior year of high school, which now seems frighteningly poignant and topical. Read the story over at … Continue reading