Happy St. Patrick's Day, You Nihilists

Now drink up.


Here's Adam Kotsko with some merry thoughts about St. Patrick's Day:


St. Patrick's Day expresses the fundamental nihilism at the heart of American life. The sole purpose of the holiday is drunkenness—indeed, it is a celebration of drunkenness for its own sake. The completely phoned-in requirement of green clothing makes even the abomination of adult Halloween look like a rich and meaningful tradition. The reference to Irish culture—consisting of excessive drinking and the color green—is not so much a parody of Ireland as a parody of the very idea of a cultural heritage as such.

You may now proceed to the comment thread to debate whether Kotsko has identified a bug or a feature. Alternately, you can read the rest of his rant about the holiday here. If it gets you depressed, don't worry: Today it's OK to start drinking early.

NEXT: Obama Administration Continues to Stick Its Info Where the Sun Doesn't Shine

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  1. no comments? Screw this I am going to start drinking.

  2. It’s turning into Gay Apartheid day, which is a damn shame. A couple more years of this and wearing green will make you a homophobe.

  3. Adam Kotsko seems a lot like Holden Caulfield.

    1. Nah, Caulfield would use the word “phony” around 50 times.

      1. Damn near sprayed my coffee. Nice.

      2. well played

  4. guy wrings hands over nothing to get attention. Just another day in Pundit America.

    1. He wrote a book about ?i?ek. His whole career is about wringing his hands over nothing.

      1. Ugh, Zizek is like Marx merged with Freud with extra bullshit thrown in for good measure.

  5. There’s something to it being the secular bookend to Labor Day.

    You celebrate when Summer’s over, just to hold you over, and then you’ve got some religiously themed holidays to mark the time through autumn and winter. Then you need another secular holiday to celebrate when the summer starts, again!

    Cinco de Maio serves something like that purpose in the Southwest, but neither Cino de Maio or St. Patrick’s Day are as big in the West as they are back east. And I don’t think it’s as much about the concentration of Irish.

    I think it’s because the seasons don’t change as much in the Southwest.

    P.S. Has Walker already done a post about mainstream conspiracy theories and Flight 370?

    1. Let me introduce you to the concept of “Memorial Day”.

      1. You may wear your white shoes now, ladies…

    2. Has Walker already done a post about mainstream conspiracy theories and Flight 370?

      ARE YOU SAYING I’M PREDICTABLE? I mean: No, not yet.

      1. I heard they flew to the Crimea where they were forced to vote for Russian control.

      2. Don’t worry Jesse, a few more drinks later and you’ll be telling us all about how the flight was hijacked by PETA and flown into an Indonesian animal testing facility. Right?

        1. …”…the trush is, I’m only half irish… and that fucker! gilleshpie, he says hes italianirish which is BULLSHIT!! Everybody’s always sayin’, the reason writers all ar kinda irish, but its like, who the fuck isn’t, right buddy!? (hugs stranger) its a fucking joke man, its a fucking, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU LOOKING AT! WHAT?…anyway, yeah, Doherty is always hitting on me….”

          1. Haha Gilmore, you gotta get out of
            Williamsburg, those hipsters are rotting your brain out, or maybe it’s the booze, in any case, fill it up brother, DON’T STINT!

      3. Shangri-fucking-la

      4. My pet theory is that North Korea paid Myanmar to host the jet’s landing so they could enslave the semiconductor experts on board.

    3. Hey, we have two whole separate and distinct seasons out here – Summer and Not Summer. Otherwise known a ‘Goddamn the cat is melting’ and ‘the rest of the year’.

      1. Unless you were here in LA for this winter, in which case it was also summer.

        1. Based upon the fucking news networks, we here in the east see LA as having fire season and mudslide season.

          1. Mudslides and fires mostly occur where dem rich white folk congregate, i.e. the valley and foothills, the LA basin is more or less sheltered from that by the mountains on all sides.


      Neither goes with Nor and Either goes with Or.

      /pedant grammar nazi

  6. St. Patrick’s Day is a festival of assholery.

    1. http://stayforthecredits.tumbl…..tricks-day

      No, March 17 is not for the squeamish. It’s for the thirsty masses. Those young rebels willing to shout and scream about their Irish blood, the chosen few who will toss raw eggs into open cab windows, the banshees who only want (as House of Pain so eloquently put it) to “get off their feet and jump around.” That’s what St. Patrick’s Day is all about. Doing incredibly stupid things while under the influence of alcohol and wearing neon-green clothing.

      1. I think Kurt Vonnegut actually wrote that. Or possibly Andy Rooney.

  7. A libertarian magazine is gonna tell ME when it’s OK to start drinking early? Why I oughta- *takes another shot* givr u a piese uh mye miyndee

  8. If you get drunk early, you can have all night free.

  9. I can’t RTFA, but from what you excerpted, yeah, that sounds about right to me.

    1. Well, except the first sentence there, which is devoid of any real content. (What is “American life”, and how is “nihilism” “fundamental” to it?)

  10. Fucking Irish screw up another poifectly good American holiday, dere….

    /Archie Bunker

  11. Is this guy claiming that drunk sluts in stupid slutty skimpy green outfits are a bad thing? ‘Cause fuck this guy.

    1. oh yeah skimpy outfits in Cleveland after this winter ought to be a real fucking joy.

      1. It’s the pasty white legs of the True Ginger Micks that really tell the tale of the season. Mmmmm – no sun for six months!

        Come and see Cleveland today! Still Cleeeeeveland, yeah!

        /promo video

      2. Any port in a storm, and any slut in Cleveland.

        1. No wonder Reason couldn’t save Cleveland.

          1. “Warty Lays Waste To Cleveland”

            Catchier than “Reason Saves Cleveland”.

    2. I’d rather fuck the drunk sluts, but – hey – it’s a gay holiday now, so, whatever floats your barrel of Guinness. NTTAWWT…

  12. I’ll be glad when this Day is over and people can go back to only thinking about the Irish in connection to how much they hate James Joyce.


    2. Stately, plump Warty Hugeman came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.

      1. Plump? He’s coming to find you.

        1. Warty’s like that one electron that populates the entire Universe by travelling forwards and backwards in time. He comes for everyone. All I did was bump myself up the list. But that doesn’t matter because TIME IS FLAT!!!

          1. How many quarks is that?

            1. Three quarks for Muster Tim!

      2. +100 grilled mutton kidneys

  13. OT BUT c’mon, really???

    How the Invention of the Alphabet Usurped Female Power in Society and Sparked the Rise of Patriarchy in Human Culture

    Of all the sacred cows allowed to roam unimpeded in our culture, few are as revered as literacy. Its benefits have been so incontestable that in the five millennia since the advent of the written word numerous poets and writers have extolled its virtues. Few paused to consider its costs. . . . One pernicious effect of literacy has gone largely unnoticed: writing subliminally fosters a patriarchal outlook. Writing of any kind, but especially its alphabetic form, diminishes feminine values and with them, women’s power in the culture.

    1. but…but…how did she communicate this idea to us?

    2. You know what? Anybody can write what they want. It doesn’t mean anyone else should pay any attention to them.

      1. Heal Yourself, Skeletor

        Skeletor is experiencing the profound emptiness and isolation of human existence. Follow his journey to positive mental health through daily affirmations.

        1. Blah, was just formatting and didn’t mean to hit submit.

    3. PIV is rape and you can’t have PIV without the letters P, I & V.

    4. Reading?? Too hard!

    5. I followed the link and still have no idea how writing reinforced the patriarchy. The most I got is some fantasy before written history men and women were equal, and then writing things down put women in their place. Who buys this crap?

      1. ROFL! She’s right, though! I mean, once you write things down, women can’t change the results and content of arguments weeks after they occur.


        1. ^^^
          File this under funny because it’s true.

      2. You need to read more Helene Cixous

        1. Why would you want to do that? Are you masochistic?

    6. Goddess worship, feminine values, and women’s power depend on the ubiquity of the image . God worship, masculine values, and men’s domination of women are bound to the written word. Word and image, like masculine and feminine, are complementary opposites. Whenever a culture elevates the written word at the expense of the image, patriarchy dominates. When the importance of the image supersedes the written word, feminine values and egalitarianism flourish.

      Christ, that’s worse than Zizek

      1. Uh, letters and words are images, lady, they’re images of sounds.

      2. Another instance of a feminist making masculinity and patriarchy sound like a great and necessary thing. “Words” are better than “images,” and the word absolutely should dominate the image. Idiots.

    7. Upon closer inspection, I think the base argument is that certainty and meaning are masculine things. Uncertainty and deconstructionism are feminine.

      The writer would right at home in the Duke English department.

  14. This is an obnoxious “holiday” for immature people. get offa my lawn.

    1. Every holiday in this country is just a flimsy excuse to get drunk.

      1. Real drinkers don’t need excuses. Fucking casuals.

  15. I’m surprised you R?hmites haven’t culturally appropriated Purim by now

    /never fear

    1. good throwback. We should do throwbackthursdays where we dress up as our favorite trolls.

      1. What if you are too tall to “do God’s work…”

  16. I’m getting tired of people trying to ruin a perfectly good excuse for a drunken holiday.

  17. If congress would move Saint Patty’s day and Halloween to either side of the Fourth of July we’d have ourselves a hell of a lost weekend.

    1. And you’d never find it again.

  18. The sole purpose of the holiday is drunkenness?indeed, it is a celebration of drunkenness for its own sake.

    The world inside this guy’s head is a sad jumble of progressive talking points, apparently.

  19. V-I-C-T-I-M!!!!!!11111ELEVENTY111

  20. Of all the sacred cows allowed to roam unimpeded in our culture, few are as revered as literacy.

    *head falls off, rolls under desk*

  21. Today, I’ll have a nice lunch at home with my wife. Then I’m going to go down to my local bar, and watch college girls get drunk.

    1. It’s my birthday. I’ll eat NY style pizza, stay home, get drunk and watch The Independents.

      1. It’s my birthday, too. I am having a reuben and a glass of some sort of whiskey later tonight. Should be a good night. I’ll probably be watching The Independents as well. Hoping it’s a live show and they’ve all been celebrating the holiday.

          1. Happy B-day to you as well, FdA. In my opinion it’s the best day of the year to have a birthday. Everyone always celebrates with us.

      2. I’ll eat NY style pizza

        Otherwise known as “pizza”. Unlike that stuff they sell in Chicago.

        1. Just wanted to make damn sure no one thought I’d be eating that “other” shit that a few degenerates around here refer to as pizza.

  22. Pundits of the world =

    Who fucking cares.

    Thank you.

  23. the rain kept the wandering drunken slut count way down this year in Dallas, dammit.

  24. I’m not sure why this guy thinks being nihilistic and getting drunk are related.

  25. Where are the fuckin’ limericks?

    1. I don’t know, is Warty from Nantucket?

      1. Warty is from everywhen.

      2. Warty once was from Nantucket
        His doomcock was so large none could truck it
        He said with chagrin, as he thought of his sin
        I shouldn’t have had a blue whale suck it.

    2. How about a joke?

      Q: How many potatoes does it take to kill an Irishman?

      A: None.

      1. What’s an Irish seven-course meal?
        A six-pack and a boiled potato.

        1. The Irish dilemma: Eat the potato now or drink it later, ha ha!

          Oh, hello there, Officer O’Malley, I was saying what a wonderful sense of humor the Irish had…

        2. Why wasn’t Jesus born in Ireland? God couldn’t find 3 wise me or a virgin.

  26. Valuing drunken revelry is not the same as valuing nothing.

    A nihilist values nothing. Therefore a person who values drunken revelry is not a nihilist.


    1. The word Nihilist is now used to suggest that you believe in something different than I do.

      If you believe in the Total State, libertarians are nihilists.

  27. I’m celebrating 13 years of wedded bliss. No Ole Shillelagh this year. Detroit will have to party without me.

  28. Oh shit, I wore green today without even thinking about it. I meant to wear orange.

  29. Don’t even get me started on Cinco de Mayo. And where’s my goddamned margarita?

  30. Happy birthday to our birthday boys. Many years!

    1. Many years means God grant you many years, it’s not a crack about your ages.

  31. Happy saint Patrick’s day :0)…….. Why are they only flying flags of Ireland? Being St. Patrick was Italian, they should be flying the Italian and Irish flags together……oh you didn’t know?

  32. It’s like Mr. Kotsko has never met any Irish people. We hardly need a holiday in order to drink ourselves into existential emptiness.

  33. I’m Irish-American, and I well know that in Ireland, St Pat’s Day was a primarily religious festival, for the patron saint of the island.

    US St Pat’s Day, starting with the parade (1st one in NY before the War of Independence) morphed into a celebration of American patriotism and immigrant solidarity. A thumb in the eye of Old Yankees who thought the Irish were riff raff, the attendance and even marching in the parades became mandatory for pols of all sorts if they wanted a shot with the Irish vote. The Gay Pride parades actually owe alot to the established format, copied by many ethnic groups.

    The reason the NYC parade gets away with blocking openly gay groups from marching – nobody cares if individual gay people march in any approved group – is because it is still organized as a religion-based event. The Hibernians et al are exercising their 1st Amendment rights to uphold the stupid tenet of their (and my ancestors’) religion and their right to freely associate with like-minded folks and exclude folks with different opinions.

    I have gotten wasted on the night of the 17th, but as I have matured I treat St Pat’s as a time to celebrate Irish culture. I’m a nut for the trad music, Irish literature, etc., so if I have a chance to visit such an event rather than just bending my elbow, I do.
    BTW, the ginger hair is a Norse thing. Irish folks and Scots got it from the Vikings….marrying…. local colleens.

    Sl?inte mhaith

    Kevin R

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