The pluck of one Irishman

Brennan B&WCheers to all on St. Patrick’s day. The Irish celebration has spread through much of the world alongside the popularity of Irish pubs. Today F&O‘s resident “Irishman” won’t be wearing green, and he certainly won’t hoist a green beer. (Dye in beer is sacrilege at the best of times.) In his new column for the Loose Leaf salon, The Pluck of the Irish: How a proud native cuts through the kitsch, Brian Brennan explains. An excerpt:

Here’s what I will not do this St. Patrick’s Day: I will not call it St. Paddy’s Day or the 17th of Ireland. I will not wear a green tie or sweater. I will not drink green beer. I will not wear a button that says, “Kiss Me, I’m Irish.” I will raise another glass to the poet Seamus Heaney, listen to Dublin pianist John O’Conor play the music of Irish composer John Field, and re-read James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I will remember that many of us who become emigrants leave Ireland because we beg to differ, because we fear what Edna O’Brien calls the “psychological choke.”

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