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Excuse Me? Mr. Barry, You need to take a real look at Irish history and get your facts right!


Stop Using Fake Holidays as an

Excuse to Get Drunk

This isn’t to pick on St. Patrick’s Day, per se, because America has plenty of imported, quasi-holidays whose only purpose seems to be to sell as much booze to as many reluctant revelers as possible. Don’t have enough self-assurance to enjoy a highball at your local rathskeller on a Friday morning without fretting that everyone will think you’re an unemployed ruminant whose greatest aspiration is to make the Guinness Book for stickiest earwax? Ah, but it’s Arbor Day! You’re allowed to languish, lounge, and imbibe all the pine needle liquor you can tolerate, judgment free. It’s just calendar magic, and the little holiday name printed in the tidy little box on your tidy little Lisa Frank psychedelic ice floe calendar (why else would you bother buying a calendar these days?) is the incantation that disarms your sense of social awareness.


If the heirs to the cultural legacy established by the muskrat trappers, pirates, slave-traders, and religious sociopaths who founded America want to celebrate the Irish diaspora by drinking green tinctured beer, or toast the Mexican army’s momentary triumph over the French with a few healthy nips of tequila, they should go right ahead. America has a cinched a lot of drinking shame under its belt. We send people to war before we legally let them order a beer at Applebee’s. Think about how mundane and petty it is to prevent a voting-age adult from having a warm can of shitty, French-fry yellow American beer. The American people deserve any excuse to drink and make merry because our attitudes towards booze are so hopelessly bipolar that we wrote a hard-booze ban into the Constitution, then, essentiallycrossed it out (a lot of other Western countries got on the prohibition bandwagon, but America has made the best movies about Prohibition, so…) The Puritans planted their crops on top of rocks, wore shitty clothes, froze to death, refused to dance or smile, and also traveled across the Atlantic with casks of booze — drinking with a strong sense of religious guilt has soaked into the fabric of the American psyche.
Realistically, there are only five or six truly substance-based calendar holidays in this country: Christmas (or a secular, winter-time Christmas stand-in), Thanksgiving, Halloween, Carnival, Passover, and Independence Day. Staying up to ring in the New Year is always a sordid, star-crossed experiment in masochism, and celebrating Bastille Day is…unseemly. I mean, the French Revolution was super violent. Do you want that kind of holiday blood on your hands while you’re trying to enjoy a plastic flute of champagne? Of course you don’t.

St. Patrick’s Day By the Numbers

Did you know that 34.7 million U.S. residents claim Irish ancestry, but nearly 122 million Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Explore the history of this popular holiday with facts about parades, traditions and its religious roots.
All of the above holidays have substance-use/abuse on the docket. As in, they’re not mere excuses to chemically alter your state of mind the way St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo are — they’re pretty much insufferable for adults who don’t indulge in something. That doesn’t necessarily mean booze, either — getting pie drunk is a real and blissful thing.   MORE

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