St. Patrick’s Day, 2020

St. Patrick’s Day, 2020

March 17, 2006

Today, two comic oldies in one. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Bringing Up Father, also known as Jiggs and Maggie, ran for 87 years in newspapers, until 2000. It was a well-known strip when I was a boy, although past its prime. In that prime, the first half of the 20th Century, it was an innovative, amusing and beautifully rendered comic strip, although much of the slap-stick violence would be considered frightfully inappropriate today. If not for the current unpleasantness, we might be discussing the Irish question today, the day we are all Irish, except perhaps for the powers that be in the United Kingdom. Ireland, of course, remains a staunch member of the European Union, while the UK is exiting. The nature of the border between Ireland and the UK state of Northern Ireland has been the single most contentious issue in the process we have come to know as “Brexit,” and it remains so, even though the process of the UK’s official departure from the EU is well underway. Will it be the peaceful, open border that all parties have enjoyed since the modern EU came into existence, or will it be the hostile demarcation that existed prior? The people of the Irish nation and even many of the UK citizens in Northern Ireland have grown quite fond of the friendly, easy nature of the former. However, authority in the UK, while not wishing a return to open hostility, is leery of any arrangement that might, so to speak, weaken the border between its Irish citizens in the north and the citizens of the nation of Ireland. And that is our report on Irish issues for St. Patrick’s Day, 2020.

26 responses to “St. Patrick’s Day, 2020”

  1. I saw a picture on social media of a meat counter filled with corned beef. The reason was that all the other meat have been scooped up by hoarders.
    Frankly I don’t like corned beef. I’m not even a fan of beer let alone green beer.

    I am working for my basement with my two monitors just as I would if I was in my office. However my basement is about 60°, so I’ve got a sweatshirt on. I think it helps me burn calories so I’m going to keep it cool down here. If I turn up the heat then my wife who’s upstairs at our office will roast.

    Ghost: send our best to Jackie.

  2. I’m a St. Patrick’s Day naysayer. The part of me that is Irish resents being reduced to a cultural stereotype of beer-swilling, anything-green, macho ectomorphs. Boston- where I live – is the epicenter of this willing slur of an entire nation. I think I’ll read some James Joyce this afternoon….

  3. I had the pleasure of finally visiting my ancestral home in Ireland two summers ago. The tales of the friendliness and hospitality of the Irish are not exaggerations.

    We drove from Dublin to County Donegal and the fastest route was through Northern Ireland. We didn’t realize we had entered the North until we noticed the Speed Limit signs had changed from KMH to MPH. There were a few pockets that proudly flew Union Jacks, but other than that, there was no real feel of separate countries.

    My guess is that Northern Ireland and Scotland, which have benefited from the EU and strongly voted against Brexit, will in a few years move to leave the United Kingdom and reenter the EU. Should that happen, we will have a de facto united Ireland.

      • “We’ll always have Wales” (Actually, there does seem to be a not-insignificant separatist movement in Wales.)

        In 2018 we spent 8 days in Ireland, mostly shuttling back and forth between Dublin and Belfast. All quite seamless, although we did spend an afternoon in Creggan (an ancestor of one of us was from there), one of the border hot-spots during the Troubles, and there were partisan memorials about. And signs that unreconstructed hostility remains in pockets of Belfast were certainly there. I think Irish unification will be a good thing when it comes, but the path is unlikely to be completely smooth.

  4. The open border between north and south Ireland started once peace had been formally declared. Don’t recall when that was – late 90s or early 2000s. I recall a story of somebody getting a speeding ticket, since the police had no border protection duties, resulting in normal peace time police work.

    Whilst Scotland want to be part of the EU, I don’t think they could afford to leave the United Kingdom, since they do get a lot of English money to support them. The oil revenue can;t be relied on.

    Whilst it would make sense for the Irish countries to unite, it may never happen due to the religious differences and long memories. Of course, Eire may decide to leave the EU, and then they can negotiate free trade with the UK. Alternatively, the EU may just break up as the countries voters realise how much it costs them to support a corrupt organisation (I can’t remember when the accounts were last audited).

    In the mean time, everybody loves an excuse to drink and party, so Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everybody.

  5. Regarding the $%%^$ COVID-19 virus:
    What if the preventative steps we’re all taking (like it or not!) actually work? Who will declare the crisis is over? Will there be another one in the wings? Will this be how every new disease is handled?
    I don’t want to live in a constant state of panic, being told to shelter in place, or be told that because of my age I can’t travel for pleasure, only for approved appointments with doctors or to pick up supplies.
    I have my own OCD issues, but I don’t have Mysophobia!

  6. Just got back from the market – no Corned Beef.
    They ordered 6 cases and got less than 1.
    Lots of other meat. We did not see hoarding.
    Jiggs got his money by winning the Irish Sweepstakes(Lottery)

    • I bought a couple of 3-lb corned beef briskets at a small local market a couple of days ago. There were a dozen or more on display. Not sure exactly how Oklahomans feel about corned beef, but I suspect a lot of them may think it’s a terrible waste of a brisket that could otherwise have been smoked. In any case, one of them (the corned beef brisket, not an Oklahoman) is simmering away in a pot on the stove. (Yes, we have a slow cooker, but I’m old-school.) We’ll be thinking of you when we eat it tonight, OB. 🙂

  7. Jerry: More likely but not certainly, a gene in a corona virus [there are several in the category, COVIDs] mutated, as the new COVID-19, a human picked it up in some ordinary way, transmitted it to another human, and off it went. Some humans may already be immune to it, because we are a genetically variable sp.
    COVID-19 can kill; those who die of it will not reproduce, unless they have already done so. For now, we will combat it 1. by natural selection, 2. medical care for the ill, 3. reducing contact with potential contact [each other and possibly infected surfaces] and other sanitary practices.
    The BSO is postponing its next concert, I think maybe the new Greek eatery in the Paul Bunyan Mall is closed, and my 3 weekly events at church are suspended. For Lent, we’ve given up church. Might be able to stream it online. But I don’t do FB.
    Peace [but remember to wash your hands],

  8. I went out today to mail my IRS stuff, certified. Instead, I tripped outside the PO and lurched head first into its door at considerable speed. The door opens outward, so didn’t move. My noggin caromed off it, however, and I found myself on the ground. Even in this virus-filled day, people rushed to help me, from mailing my item, to lifting my considerable avoirdupois to a standing position, to finding paper towels for my extremely bloody nose, to calling an ambulance.
    Aside from the egg on my head (slightly achy if I mess with it, so I don’t) and a slightly achy neck/shoulder (reasonable for having been shoved aside so roughly), the only complaint is my ever-bloody nose (2+ hours and counting). I imagine I will be fine by tomorrow.
    May God bless those 4-5 people who stopped to help and those others who will need to get rid of my blood pooled on the pavement. BTW, the two ambulance guys and I unanimously agreed I did not need their professional services.
    Yes, I will observe carefully for any negative changes.

  9. Because I enjoy analyzing statistics (I never bet against the house!), I thought I’d pass this observation along:

    A headline I saw this morning says “86% of people with virus are walking around undetected…” Let’s do some math here! The current worldwide numbers show 190,535 confirmed cases, so there are potentially 1,360,964 people with the virus. So far just 7,159 have died. That gives a mortality rate of 0.55%. That’s much lower than the 3 – 6% the media were predicting a few weeks ago.

  10. TR, how did the headline writer know that 86% were undetected? I suppose extrapolation from a smaller sample was used, but too-small samples are often wildly off the mark.

  11. … or at least carousing in the local pub as I had planned. I can get the food as take away, but not the beer nor the craic. This year the toast, Sláinte! seems particularly appropriate. Whether from a recent injury, chronic condition, life changing recovery, or avoiding that blasted virus, I wish you well. So for all we gathered here, SLÁINTE!

  12. Trucker,
    Had a long answer written, but it left for cyberspace. Short: USA 44% are O, 42% A, but at least half of A people have one allele for A, the other for O. Overall [USA], roughly 70% of our A B O alleles are i, the recessive allele for type O. Cannot do superscripts here. The other alleles are isuperA & isuperB. Google Hardy-Weinberg Law. [Simple expansion of the binomial.]

    • Over the years, some of my best writing (I thought it was, anyway) has disappeared into a bit bucket or perhaps a black hole. Sometimes it was the computer’s fault with an older, failing battery (ok, that’s my skinflint nature to not replace it just yet), other times it was the power company. But most of the time it was my failure to use software that automatically saved my work every few minutes. For instance, here, where I tend to go ahead and type stuff directly into this website instead of using a world processor and transferring the finished text when I’ve completed it.

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