As far as I can tell, the closest I get to Celtic ancestry of any sort is that my great-grandfather’s name was Ferguson and he actually came from Scotland. Most of my other relatives are either of English or German descent and have been in this country a very long time. I can trace one line clear back to Virginia in the 1720’s for whatever that’s worth.
I don’t like to mock other ethnic groups. Irish and Scots are not that far apart either culturally or genetically or geographically. I will say most the people I know who are of Irish descent do like beer drinking and fighting. The other caveat I will add is that I know even more people who aren’t Irish in the slightest who like beer drinking and fighting just as much if not more than their Irish friends. So I can’t say that beer drinking and fighting are particular to just one ethnic group. Even if you look at rednecks as a whole, not all rednecks are beer drinkers. A lot of them prefer liquor.
In a way it’s a shame that someone took St. Patrick’s feast day- the guy who brought Christianity to Ireland- and made it a beer drinking holiday. I am not defending the Catholic practice of praying to saints (I’ve always thought that way creepy and not quite a cool thing to do) but come on. The purpose behind the holiday is to thank God for the life of a person who brought other people to faith. I could understand celebrating Benny Hill’s birthday with a round of green beer or something like that, but St. Patrick wasn’t a funny guy. He was doing serious business. Benny Hill on the other hand, would have appreciated a pint and an off color joke.
It also kind of sucks that previously solemn holidays such as Memorial Day (instituted to honor departed American war veterans) and Independence Day have also turned into beer drinking holidays. I really don’t think that getting drunk and stupid and getting torched by one’s propane grill trying to cook burgers does much to remember departed war veterans. In a way it’s sort of irreverent and disrespectful. Then again, people fish in the brook in the cemetery where my grandparents are buried. I don’t think they would have minded the fishing. They weren’t too thrilled with drunkards though.
That reminds me, on my upcoming French leave days, I need to do a few things on the sanity hit parade. The random rural roadtrip with pictures is one of them. I am just debating over which small town(s) to target. The other is to pay a visit to the cemeteries, yes I want to take some pics of Victorian era monuments in the Marion Cemetery, but also to remember that infinite truth that I am dust.