The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Well, Top o' the mornin' to ya! And a fine St. Paddy's day it is, too. Whatever we are are the rest of the year, we all seem to be Irish today. So, what do I read the first thing this morning? St. Patrick not only didn't drive all the snakes out of Ireland but he wasn't even Irish!

Yes, that's right. The actual St. Patrick was a Welshman who had come to Ireland at age 16 when he was captured and enslaved by Viking (according to MSNBC, Irish according to Wikipedia) raiders back in the 5th century. Six years later he escaped (following a dream in which God told him to) and wandered all over Europe, eventually returning to Britain. There, at age 40, he had another dream. This one led him back to Ireland to convert the Druids to Christianity. He is credited with converting some 120,000 Pagan Druids.

Well, I suppose we should have known it wasn't about snakes. The 3 leaf clover, the national symbol of Ireland, was used by St. Patrick to teach about the Trinity. Wiki suggests that the story of the snakes has to do with the snake being a symbol of the Druids. Therefore, driving the snakes from Ireland might be interpreted as converting the Druids.

Like so many bits of history, there is myth and legend intertwined with fact. And the true story of St. Patrick is difficult to discern. It seems that he did live to be 120, a remarkable feat at the time in its own right, and that he was directly involved in converting much of Ireland to Christianity. The actual time period for this is a bit fuzzy.

His birthday wasn't much of a deal until the influx of Irish immigrants to America in the last half of the 19th century. This large influx produced a backlash against immigration and against the Irish in particular. According to MSNBC, the first St Patrick Day parades were more political protest than celebration and this brought politicians to vie for the votes and loyalty of the Irish. After all, the New York parade is said to have brought out some 15,000 Irish to march and that was a large bloc of voters.

Whatever is true, it's a good day to celebrate. Just don't have too big a hangover come Wednesday morning.



The Jules said...

I think hangovers are part of the protest.

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Happy St Pats to all who pass here!