Paging Barry Fitzgerald


Just to get it out of the way: a Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all from the obvious Hibernians on the Reason staff: the Cavanaughs, the Dohertys, the Gillespies, etc. And since everybody's Irish on St. Paddy's Day (relax, it's only one day a year), from the rest of the masthead, too. We'll be indulging our private Victor McLaglens and secretly admitting that Sean Connery made a damn fine mick in Darby O'Gill and the Little People; we'll be cursing the damn bees at the Lake Isle of Innisfree, praying that the roads rise up to meet us, and indulging every other Irish cliche we can remember between virtual tours of Bushmill's Distillery and quaffing green beer while listening to Van Morrison.

And, because we appreciate the sad, bitter ironies of history, we'll be rereading Michael Valdez Moses' fascinating review essay about the most surprising event in recent Irish history: the inflow of migrants (and not just Vikings or British soldiers) into Ireland. To be Irish American is to know one thing: You were indebted to whatever ancestor left the old sod behind for the tuneless shores of America. But in the days of the Celtic Tiger, we're left asking if we were indeed the lucky ones?

NEXT: Bad News for Bush?

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  1. “I used to be Irish Catholic. Now I’m an American. Your values change.”

    -George Carlin

    Hear, hear.

    (Screw that Barry Fitzgerald pop crap. I’m gonna go reread “Finnegan’s Wake”…

  2. Why aren’t there any black people on your staff?

  3. One watches The Quiet Man out of nostalgia for how much one enjoyed it when one first watched it. In my case, that may have been when I was about 8-years old, and had not yet developed the studied revulsion for Stayge Oirishness that we historically hip, trad-music-purist, bodhran-banging, Gaeilge-studying, Joyce-reading, mass-skipping, Black `47 listening, hurley-playing, step or set-dancing, IRA-disdaining, modern Irish-Americans cultivate.

    I also watch it because Maureen O’Hara was so damn beautiful.

    Now, “let’s have some of those black beers.”


  4. To papraphrase Martin Sheen on what it means to be a lapsed Irish Catholic: you don’t believe that Jesus is God, but sure you are that Mary was his mother.


  5. On a St. Patrick’s day related note…

    Last year on St. Patrick’s Day, my wife insisted that we watch John Wayne’s The Quiet Man. She wanted to make this an annual tradition. After sitting through the movie, I decided that if she wanted to watch this every years, she’d do so by herself. I like John Wayne movies, but this was too long and too boring.

    Anyone have any idea why this film is considered such a cult classic?

  6. Anyone have any idea why this film is considered such a cult classic?

    I sure don’t. Aside from a couple of good sequences, I was surprised at how dull it was when I finally saw it a few months ago. Ford’s American movies are almost always better than his films about his Celtic roots.

  7. Today’s a good day to start reading “Trinity” by Leon Uris.

  8. Actually, “The Quiet Man” isn’t too bad after a few pints – never watch it sober. And can someone here tell me when exactly Bushmills decided to put its 10-year-old malt in bourbon barrels? I swear the stuff tastes different now than it did five years ago.

  9. “Anyone have any idea why this film is considered such a cult classic?”

    “Here’s a good stick to hit the lovely lady with”

  10. Ah, sure that is a classic line.

  11. Since we’re on Internet time and all, this speeds things up quite a bit: jigger of rum, bottom of beer glass, pour Guinness on top. If you’re at a bar, ask for a black and rum, and hand somebody your car keys.


  12. Warren,
    I’ll concede the movie had a few brief moments, but overall, a real snoozer.

  13. Ryan’s Daughter anyone? Robert Mitchum as cuckold has to be worth something.

  14. Anyone have any idea why this film is considered such a cult classic?

    “Ah, yes…. I knew your people, Sean. Your grandfather; he died in Australia, in a penal colony. And your father, he was a good man too.”

  15. “Well, it’s a nice soft night so I think I’ll go and join me comrades and talk a little treason.”

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