The joy of Stereotypes
I love a good stereotype. They are easy and save you from having to be reasonable. In a way stereotyping is the less bloody equivalent to spraying the room with machine gun fire, at some point you are going to hit someone who deserves it. For example if you say everyone from Liverpool is a "Granny-stabbing-hubcap-stealing-tracksuit-wearing-scumbag" chances are you will malign a few innocent souls but on the whole you have will nailed your point.
Now, not everybody from Liverpool is a "Granny-stabbing-hubcap-stealing-tracksuit-wearing -scumbag", there are a fair few like that, but it would be unfair to describe everyone in that way. Those (very) few innocents are guilty by association. Just in the same way as not all Scottish people are tight fisted gets, and not all Welsh people enjoy a fiddle with a sheep. Some people let the side down and the rest get tarred with the same brush.
But not all stereotypes are negative. For example "all black men have huge schlongs", "all Asians are good at math", and "all French women are hot". But even these positive stereotypes have their problems. For example what if you are an ugly French woman or you're black and you're small?
And then we come to the Irish. Oh my. Wikinerds has a wonderfully enlightening list of Irish stereotypes.
* dislike of the British
* often has red hair or freckles
* high birth rate
* the color green
* beat their wives
Now when I first read this I thought it was rather amusing. But then I went all Celtic Tiger-ish and decided that it was out of date to say the least. In the North of Ireland we all love each other now and 30+ years of sectarianism and tribalism has been solved and put to bed by the wonderfully tanned Peter Hain. I don't even switch the TV off now when the British national anthem comes on! That's progress! So to say we hate the British is now defunct as a stereotype. And with the recent influx of migrants your average Irishman has moved his hate/bile on to them. This annoys the shit out of me considering that the Irish inhabit every corner of the world.
But the alcoholism bit really wound me up though. I've worked in England and have seen them crazy kids go for it on a Saturday night. We have seen Ireland become a slick, modern country with huge growth over the last ten years. Some of the biggest companies have bases here now. Bags of spuds have been replaced with bags of money. The economy is amongst the best in Europe. We are all fucking minted, apparently. Now you can't do that if your pished.
Well you say that, but apparently you can. The last report on Alcohol Consumption by the European Commision shows that the Irish spend more per head on booze that anywhere else in Europe. Each household spends nearly €17,008 on alcohol each year. What? That's mental! That is apparently 3 times more than any other country in Europe and ten times more than the Greeks. It's fifty quid a day! Fifty quid a day on booze?!
So with that in mind it is clear that some stereotypes are indeed true. In fact as I type this I am as drunk as a, well, as drunk as an Irishman. Even the cops here like a good drink. Even the cops who feature in Safe Driving adverts.
Fuck it we are still the greatest lovers. I'm off to down a bottle of Gin and beat Little Miss Manuel*.
Who's laughing now?
*no Little Miss Manuel's were hurt in the making of this blog.