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North America and 'St Patty's Day'


de valera's' giddy goat

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Having lived in North America for almost 2 years now, i believe i am fitting in fairly well. However there is one thing that really annoys me, the use of St Patty instead of St Patrick.
This appears on tshirts and all manner of paddywhackery merchandise, people wishing each other a happy st patty's day. it is completely baffling.
This was brought back to me today by a comment on George Takei's facebook page of all places(he of Star Trek fame) where he mentions St Patty.
Cue a lot of Irish people trying to tell him that it's St Patrick, not Patty, and cue Americans saying what does it matter, its just a day for drinking and calling it St Pukie's day etc etc etc. and progressively sharper comments from both sides.
Do I need to take a chill pill and enjoy St Patty's day with my shamrock shake and my local river painted green or am I right to be mildly offended at it, after all i wouldn't dare to say happy martina luther king jr day
im not sure can you put a link from facebook on this site so I won't...but to see the fun just google george takei facebook and you should see it.
 

artfoley56

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Sibelius

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They pronounce "Paddy" and "Patty" the same way over there. But yes, it's annoying - I associate the name Patty with middle-aged suburban women, not with our venerable Saint Patrick.
 

Narcissist

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Just tell them you're looking forward to the fork of July. That'll harden them....
 

Crack hoe

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I thought that st patty thing was something to do with the gay scene in the states (lesbian men haters) you learn something new everyday :)
 

hellsbells

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Have not seen it myself .
 

Hitch 22

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St. Patrick means nothing to most young Irish people never mind Irish American kids generations removed from the Oul Sod who know next to nothing about Roman Catholicism and Irish nationalism.

It's just an excuse to party, drink and have fun.

Most young Irish people grow up on a diet of American movies, tv shows and music.
Any artistic or cultural output in this country imitates American versions and most Irish filmmakers, novelists, actors, comedians, artists and pop stars seek to break into the American market.
Irish music, dance, poetry, folklore, art, dress and language that distinguished the Irish race barely survives.
GAA tries to imitate international rugby and soccer sports bodies and a trip to Croke Park for the All-Ireland is like Super Bowl Sunday.
Other than our accent our culture becoming increasingly indistinguishable from any other country in the English speaking world.

It will soon be a century since 1916, the War of Independence and Civil War.

They have no perceived relevance to many young people in the 21st century.

Many young kids in America similarly probably don't know or couldn't care less about Yorktown, Gettysburg, Iwo Jima or Hue or how many stripes and stars are on the US flag. For an 18-21 year old kid today 9/11 and the Iraq War is already ancient history.

St. Patrick is so far off in the mists of time his traditional image in a bishop hat and green cloak is about as realistic as that of an Irish fairy with buckled shoes.

Does it matter then if he is called Patty by ill informed drunken people?

Nobody likes a bore who puts people to sleep correcting how wrong they are about pedantic details.
 
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kankokko

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Jan 15, 2012
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54
or am I right to be mildly offended at it
Why would you be offended? Really, does it bother you that much to be offended?

As for the "Paddywhackery", any time someone mentions this, I tell them to go to Carroll's and see what we sell to the world. It seems OK for Irish people to tell the world how much we love beer and sheep, but when these people attempt to cash in on it, a lot of people get offended.
 

ocianain

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St. Patrick means nothing to most young Irish people never mind Irish American kids generations removed from the Oul Sod who know next to nothing about Roman Catholicism and Irish nationalism.

It's just an excuse to party, drink and have fun.

Most young Irish people grow up on a diet of American movies, tv shows and music.
Any artistic or cultural output in this country imitates American versions and most Irish filmmakers, novelists, actors, comedians, artists and pop stars seek to break into the American market.
Irish music, dance, poetry, folklore, art, dress and language that distinguished the Irish race barely survives.
GAA tries to imitate international rugby and soccer sports bodies and a trip to Croke Park for the All-Ireland is like Super Bowl Sunday.
Other than our accent our culture becoming increasingly indistinguishable from any other country in the English speaking world.

It will soon be a century since 1916, the War of Independence and Civil War.

They have no perceived relevance to many young people in the 21st century.

Many young kids in America similarly probably don't know or couldn't care less about Yorktown, Gettysburg, Iwo Jima or Hue or how many stripes and stars are on the US flag. For an 18-21 year old kid today 9/11 and the Iraq War is already ancient history.

St. Patrick is so far off in the mists of time his traditional image in a bishop hat and green cloak is about as realistic as that of an Irish fairy with buckled shoes.

Does it matter then if he is called Patty by ill informed drunken people?

Nobody likes a bore who puts people to sleep correcting how wrong they are about pedantic details.
Not enough time for a point by point refutation, all I will say is, generally speaking, you are wrong. My children and their friends know more about Catholicism and Irish history than I did at their age. They are also more politically astute than I was at their age. "Irishness" has much appeal over here, be ye catlic or protestant. I have Protestant friends who sent their's to Catholic school for example. Lots of people listen to "Irish" music. Everyone here knows of St Patrick, "everyone" knows of his explanation of the Trinity via the shamrock (everyone but the Unitarians think it grand) and they like Riverdance! In America, more and more people are developing an interest in "ethnic" music. Maybe, the Irish, English, Welsh, Scots, French etc...will all end up over here and the Americans there?
 

GrimReefer

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indeed.

in any case, not to worry, Mr Goat, a website has existed since internet-time immemorial (i.e. 2010) to please your unique and specific constituency of patty-groaners

Paddy, Not Patty

All your valid points said, i would say that you need not stray to the US to seek evidence of the denigration of the Irish national day. At home on the misty shores of Erin, pretty much anyone born since 1970 will refer colloquiallly to the date as Paddy's day (see link above for example). Paddy, as we all know is synonymous with either the definitive anti-Irish stereotype promulgated by one one-time enemy who now wisely avoids its use as we embrace it all the more, or the gnawing sense of inferiority of a wanna-be-liked Irish person who wants to appear harmless and a bit of fun to foreigners.

St Patty's Day is more respectful to the Irish identity than Paddy's. Even Paddy's Day lacks the "St' prefix that, and this coming from an avowed card-carrying atheist, is a big part of what the identity is about. Irish people in Ireland can't even get the national day identity straight. Is it derived from the rememberance of a Christian missionary or not? It is, and it's just part of the deal. Much as i think we should revisit that at some future date.

Fact is, Ireland does NOT have a national celebration day based on a historial event of nationhood in anyway. Not even a national leader. Just an evangelist whose followers' legacy was to implement a theocratical ascendancy associated with the identity of being Irish.

The Yanks have the fourth of July because it means something for the definition of their nation. How can you expect Americans to pay our national holiday more respect than we do? Or even close to it? We already denigrate it ourselves because we dont' even believe in it.

Our national holiday has metamorphosed into a fest of binge drinking, absesnteeism, paddywhackery and camp because that is what our national holiday is. And should anyone seek to make it a serious occasion, or at least one with a form of meaning and joy of national identity, they'd be sneered at roundly. It has to be a horrible hodge podge of american-inspired pageantry finished off with copious amount of booze. Until such time that it reverts to being some form of decent, pride-inspiring, family-oriented, culture-based celebration of national identity I cant say I take our national day very seriously.

What SHOULD our national holiday be? Celebration of foundation of the Irish free state? nah, because that started the civil war, perhaps. It is currently a celebration of the death anniversary of a Christian missionary whose story has surely been embellished and the context evaporated in the 1600-odd years since his apparent travails to bring his own brand of what was then an innovative form of religious worship to Ireland, with a wildly successful strategy of getting buy-in from the top (no dobut lessons learned from Constantine). Can't say I agree with that as a statement of my national identity, what makes us Irish goes way beyond the control of the various churches that derive from whatever Patrick worked for.

But it's all we got.

Oh and by the way, in our monstrous devotion to our sorrowful stereotype at home let's not forget the lack of outrage at the so called arthurs day that neatly bifurcates the distance between successive "paddy's days" to maximise the need of the most famous british (well, it's based in the UK!) beer the world has ever known that is constantly associated with Irish people and Irishness to the point where I now grin wanly as foreigners blurt out delightedly their deep understanding of the Irish identity by saying "ah guinness!" upon learning of my so-called identity

Don't blame the yanks, they at least are avoiding the use of the colonial denigration of the Irishman (presumably women didn't or don't ever deserve a stereotype of their own).

We on the other hand have accepted the hegemony of the church and a booze manufacturer in defining who we are as a people.
 

ocianain

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Paddy was of course an attempt to diminish and marginalize the Irish, I was always impressed by how the attempt to diminish was transvaluated. Wanna call me a Paddy to diminish me? I'll make it a Badge of Honor to raise me up! How else can the weak and dispossed fight back but by hoisting their oppressors psy-ops on their own poitard?
 

GrimReefer

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Paddy was of course an attempt to diminish and marginalize the Irish, I was always impressed by how the attempt to diminish was transvaluated. Wanna call me a Paddy to diminish me? I'll make it a Badge of Honor to raise me up! How else can the weak and dispossed fight back but by hoisting their oppressors psy-ops on their own poitard?
That's called self-hating

PS note how this successful stategy or wearing the worst stereotypes of one's identity is used by leading black politicians in the US and jews the world over. Or for that of it, Germans. I believe the French recaptured much of their wounded post war pride by referring to themselves as frogs and cheese eating surrender monkeys. Italians love you for mimicking a stage-version of their accent and as we all know it endears you to the heart of any arab to suggest he go home and beat his wife
 

ocianain

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No, it's not self hating at all. If it were, the people employing it would hate themselves. Conversely, those rejecting it would love themselves. I see no proof of this. In fact, if anything the inverse is true. How many Italians do you know boyo? I know hundreds. One thing an Italian does not sweat is what some voce from the ether thinks. Trust me. Italians are very centered and confident in their ethnicity. Never heard about the Arabs beating their women thing....I would advise against you advancing such sterotypical actions regarding Muslims. To some extent this is understandable on your part as your antipathy to Catholics is so plain. One can only imagine then your antipathy towards "others." The 'other" is not to be feared, just understood. Perhaps isolation and lack of education on your part is responsible for this perspective? Keep posting, I'll try to help you through it.
 

lostexpectation

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They pronounce "Paddy" and "Patty" the same way over there. But yes, it's annoying - I associate the name Patty with middle-aged suburban women, not with our venerable Saint Patrick.
pronounced the same? i'd like to hear an ameran say patty as paddy...

i think it must be something they are taught in schools, because paddy can be used as ethnic slur on irish that it wrong to call it paddy's day, so they say patty to avoid that, they don't seem to get that calling an irish man who's name is patrick paddy is not an insult, even if it would be to call all irish that in a dergotary way, also few are aware of the irish spelling of padraig, and keep say paddy? what as in padrick?

st patty is not more respectful calling st patrick by a feminine name is not respectful, do you call st paul, st paula?
 
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NYCKY

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I agree, I thought the OP was going well until the mention of george takei's facebook page. I have to admit I find the St Patty stuff annoying but only mildly and probably just resigned to it by now.

There are many other aspects to the day that are much more annoying, like everyone's Irish Granny and everyone getting sloshed. I cringe when I see people on the trains heading to the parade at 9 am already drinking beer.

This was the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) position/statement on St Patricks day last year.

St. Patrick's Day Advisory | MTA
 
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