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BS: Plastic Paddy slur

Related threads:
BS: Are You a Real Paddy or a Plastic Paddy? (43) (closed)
Lyr/Tune Req: Plastic Paddy (Eric Bogle) (1)


mg 19 Jun 09 - 01:35 AM
Peace 19 Jun 09 - 01:45 AM
mg 19 Jun 09 - 01:52 AM
Ernest 19 Jun 09 - 02:10 AM
mg 19 Jun 09 - 02:15 AM
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Subject: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: mg
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:35 AM

This is on another thread but I will just start a new one and then do more important things. Anyway, I think that it is definitely a nasty mean thing to say, the song Eric Bogle wrote is nasty and mean and a person could probably not use the term in a respectful, nondemeaning manner. I don't care if it is about the pubs rather than the people who frequent them, or sing in them or run them.   I don't care if it is about sports teams. It is a term that is meant to offend and it does, and not just us, who might enjoy singing the Black Velvet Band now and then, but to our ancestors, who lost a lot of their Irish heritage when they emigrated, but a little bit remained. I have only in the last two years found out the names of my Irish great grandparents..I knew only the last names of two..knew nothing of where they were from, how they got here etc. So when you insult me, and I probably would qualify for the term, you insult my unknown, unnamed ancestors as well and I would not do that to anyone else..Plastic Peruvians? How does that sound?

Anyway, what is going on in the world now is so important, that I shall have to come back to this later. But if any Plastic Paddies could join me in rousing renditions of wearing of the green, get green ring tones on your phone, wear green, especially on Sat. 4 p.m. Iranian time whenever that is...set facebook background to green, vote in the Google request.. I know there are people here in Ireland, Australia...all over the world who could each make a tiny difference..mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Peace
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:45 AM

Plastic Paddy
A Plastic Paddy is, in most cases, a descendant from Irish emigrants. Sometimes however this pet name is also used for folks pretending to be Irish. Both categories are often Irish in a way the Irish were in the nineteenth century.

The first category, the Irish descendants, are often genuine surprised when they find out that Dublin is a real metropolis, including broadband internet access. We have once witnessed the impact of this reality check when an Irish-American joined a couple of musicians. Notwithstanding the fact that he was an excellent violist, he was literally just out of tune in the ensemble. He realised that his way of experiencing and performing Irish music had not been evolved since his ancestors has left Ireland. It would be an overstatement to say that he experienced a nervous breakdown, but disappointment was written all over his face.

The would-be Irish on the other hand are in general just off target. A notice with the text In God we trust, others pay cash, for example, fits somehow perfectly well in a pub in Ireland, but in an Irish pub in the Netherlands it just don't make sense.


Plastic Paddy
Title:
Plastic Paddy
Lyrics by:
Eric Bogle
No recordings known
Category:
Humour and Sarcasm
All song rights and copyrights belong to the respective authors and/or composers and this material might be copyrighted. Inform us if your rights are violated

He's just a plastic paddy, singing plastic paddy songs
In a plastic paddy pub that's called "The Blarney Stone"
There's plastic shamrocks on the walls, there's Guinness and green beer
And a sign in Gaelic above the bar which says "God Bless All Here!"

His guitar sounds like a wardrobe, and it's out of tune at that
His singing voice it ranges from F-sharp to F-flat
He's just desecrated "The Holy Ground", ripped apart "Black Velvet Band"
Sang, "Seven Nights Drunk" and now he's sunk "The Irish Rover" with all hands
He's just a plastic paddy, singing plastic paddy songs
In a plastic paddy pub that's called "The Blarney Stone"
The publican's a Proddy Scot by the name of McIntyre
Who does not allow collections for "The Men Behind The Wire"

He's done awful things to "Molly Malone" and the fair "Rose Of Tralee"
He's murdered "Carrickfergus" and poor old "Mother McCree"
He's thrashed his way through "Galway Bay" and "The Wild Irish Rose"
And if he starts singing "Danny Boy" I'm gonna punch him in the nose
He's just a plastic paddy, singing plastic paddy songs
In a plastic paddy pub that's called "The Blarney Stone"
There's Aer Lingus poster everywhere showing pretty Irish scenes
All peaceful and idyllic, and very bloody green

"When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" and "The Mountains of Mourne"
In his search for Celtic cliché your has left no stone unturned
Till he embarks upon "The Harp Once Through Tara's Halls"
Accompanying himself of the bodhran which takes a lot of balls
He's just a plastic paddy, singing plastic paddy songs
In a plastic paddy pub that's called "The Blarney Stone"
He's just sung in his mother tongue, the ancient Irish Erse
And cleared the pub completely by the forty-second verse

Yes he's just a plastic paddy, singing plastic paddy songs
He's started singing "Danny Boy" so it's time that I was gone
And just one thought comes to my mind as I stagger out the door
Where are you when we need your Christy Moore
Where are you when we need your Christy Moore



So folks know what the shootin's about. I found it on the www. Don't know anything about it other than that. If lyris are wrong or any of the info--my apologies.

Hope this doesn't start the 'troubles' all over again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: mg
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:52 AM

You know what, if I want to sing Dutch songs I expect to be able to without being ridiculed. If the Dutch or Estonians or Bolivians or Americans want to sing Irish songs, more power to them. And shame on people who get their jollies from putting other people down who engage in harmless entertainment, in what could be otherwise very dreary or difficult lives. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Ernest
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:10 AM

Generally you are not ridiculed by the Irish if you sing irish songs.

People who are pretending to be Irish by presenting all the cliches are making a fool out of themselves.That`s what the song is about. And of course faux Irish Pubs that are sold all over the world - often to people who have no connection whatsoeverto Ireland (and especially no knowledge about it).

Best wishes
Ernest


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: mg
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:15 AM

So what. Water will seek its own level. They aren't hurting anybody. Some people like to disco dance. Some people like kareoke. Who does it hurt? If you have higher standards, don't frequent the places you don't like. And sometimes there are cliches for good reason..some people really are like the cliches. And regardless if people are making fools of themselves or not, it is still a demeaning, classist, derogatory ethnic term, whether it refers to Irish-Americans, or Irish-Australians or Japanese who happen to like Irish music, or whatever. Live and let live. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Diva
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:20 AM

Eric Bogle is one of the nicest blokes going. It is a very clever and well crafted song and could also be seen as a statement about how the tradtions and culture of the emigrant become magnified and somewhat different to what is actually going on in real life in the "ould country"

it is not meant as an insult...


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:41 AM

The reason that Irish people loathe the cheap and tacky appropriation of their traditional culture, is because it's a great culture.

It is of course perfectly possible to be an Eireann-ophile (?), loving the songs and history and so-on, without degrading and demeaning traditional Irish culture with inflatable leprechauns and green hair dye.

As an Anglo-Irish person myself - who sings the odd traditional Irish song, loves the beauty in the mythology and literature and has dear memories of beloved Irish family, I know I sure as hell that I wouldn't claim 'Plastic Paddy' as in any way describing me or my relationship to my Irish heritage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:42 AM

Having been directed to the term in the other thread, I read it as a critique on Irish theme pubs, some of which do no favors to the concept of Irish including Irish descendants.

Brilliant music can be terribly corrupted in these Disneyueque affairs and if they promote only a caricature of Irish people and music, then they should be criticised.

I was not aware of the Eric Bogle song.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Diva
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:56 AM

and it is something that is all too apparent in Scottish culture as well. I have both studied this and seen it happen in real life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 04:10 AM

Eric Bogle lyrics typed by his own stubby little fingers

Wikipedia article on Plastic Paddy

Wikipedia article on Eric Bogle

Eric is a very caring man who is also a satirist & humourist - he stopped singing one of his songs "I hate Wogs" because there were too many people who didn't see the irony and either attacked it as racist or, worse, supported the protagonist in his racist views.
I've heard a story about a Neo-Nazi group which took this song seriously & (almost) worshipped it!

sandra


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 04:26 AM

"But if any Plastic Paddies could join me in rousing renditions of wearing of the green, get green ring tones on your phone, wear green, especially on Sat. 4 p.m. Iranian time whenever that is...set facebook background to green,"

Eeek! That's just horrid frankly. I'd suggest, if you 'want to make a difference' then avoid all the above, and instead go to see a Samuel Beckett play, read some Seaumus Heaney, listen to some Sean Nos, or check out the vast array of ancient Irish megaliths that this small island is home to. So very much you can do to discover and celebrate your Irish heritage which isn't trivialising to it or its people. And no shamrocks in my stout either ta... ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Darowyn
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 05:08 AM

Last month I spent a lot of time judging "Celtic" (sic) albums for an internet competition.
There was a very sizeable minority of the albums by bands entirely made up of Americans bearing the full, delightfully cosmopolitan range of Nordic, Latinate and Asian surnames that one finds in the USA, all thrashing away at the playlist so clearly pointed out in Eric Bogle's song. Sometimes there was a claim of Irish connections in earlier generations.
They were interchangeably bland, and the adjective "plastic" would be generous.
Irish artists, from the British Isles, had a far more eclectic approach- as I would expect from the excellent Irish musicians that I have met.
I don't remember anyone called Paddy though!
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Lox
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 05:25 AM

I am normally a bogle fan.

I looked for some kind of deeper Irony in these lyrics but it isn't there.

This is a song about a stereotype and it seems to be indulging that stereotype without questioning its accuracy.

I don't think we would make such allowances for other stereotypes.

I wouldn't.


But something else bugs me about this song ...

... its writer is australian.

Is he trying to identify with the Irish and claim that he represents the Irish viewpoint' better than plastic paddies do?

This isn't his song to sing.

Which leads very smoothly onto my next point.

The only time I have ever heard anyone talk about 'plastic paddy's' has been when I was outside Ireland.

I am Irish through and through. I was born in the Combe in Dublin, I am close to my cousins and aunts and uncles and i love the songs, the football team, the rugby team, Grafton street at christmas etc etc etc

I have the same accent as that other great Irishman Oscar Wilde.

When I lived in Ireland, no one questioned my identity. i never hard the ohrase 'plastic addy' used and when arguments got hairy no one asked me to mind my own business as there was no doubt in anyones mind about my authenticity.

In England however, I have encountered such attitudes, from both Irish expats and from right on English folk.

When I hear it it upsets me.

When I was at school in Hong Kong, I was the only Irish guy in my class, and i was reminded of it daily.

My class mates defined me as 'Irish' in a way that suggested that to be Irish was something to be ashamed of.

As I got older I learned it was in fact something to be proud of, but iin the process I earned my 'Irish' credentials through and through.

Isn't that absurd?

the idea that I should have to earn my own identity?

What a load of rubbish!

There is noone on this planet who has the right to question who I am and if they do they can expect a bloody nose for their troubles.

I had a conversation a couple of years back with someone who suggested that its about where you live not where you come from.

He assumed rightly from my accent that I hadn't grown up in Ireland.

But he assumed wrongly that I had grown up in England.

I asked him "If I'm not Irish what am I?" and he responded "you're English". I asked him why and he said "because you're from england"

I informed him that I had in fact grown up in Hong Kong and didn't come to England till I was 18.

I then asked him "So am I chinese?"


So you see folks, nothing is as simple as we would like it to be.

I'm not Chinese - and I'm definitely not English.

I am Irish.


The term "plastic paddy", used commonly outside Ireland, by Englishmen and Australians with no authority to comment, is responsible for the fact that I have felt I had to write this post.



The fact that I have had to write this is evidence of the fact that the term 'plastic paddy' is indeed offensive.

Why the fuck should I have to justify myself to every stranger with a shallow opinion about my nationality and Identity?

Bollocks to that.

And I've never sung Danny boy before, but I might start now.

It would go down great with all the aunties and their friends from Dublin down to tralee who LOVE it and have always asked me to sing it whenever a guitar has come out.

Are they plastic paddies too?


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 05:52 AM

Interesting comments Lox. I've found quite a genuinely 'clannish' embracing nature in both my Irish family and other Irish people myself.

Strangers will always ask where your family are from, what town were you were born and suchlike. Surprised that you've experienced rejection from ex-Pats, never had anything like it myself - but then again I am English with Irish parentage, so I guess it's a different matter for me - and of course I don't contend your experiences!

Though with reference to what initiated the debate, I still dislike the kind of thing Mg above is advocating however, for there is indeed much more of interest and value to Irish culture than 'punched out of the mold' theme-pubs and err 'green'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 07:48 AM

Well, I understand both sides in this one. And sympathize to some extent with both....but...

I've seen Eric Bogle do the song live and it was absolutely hilarious. You HAVE to see him do it live to get the humour. Just reading the lyrics on a page simply won't do it. He's satirizing a kind of cliched (and not very good) performance that we've all seen from time to time which basically amounts to people pretending to be something that they are not, doing it in a clumsy way, and turning themselves into a raucous and BLOODY LOUD stereotype while so doing.

But do those people have some honestly good fun while they're doing that? Sure! ;-) And does it harm anyone? No! And does Bogle have a right to make fun of them? Well, yeah...why not? I mean, hell, they could make fun of him right back, couldn't they? And you could have a laugh both ways around.

When I saw Bogle do the live show it was in a small place. He did "Plastic Paddy" and a couple of other very funny songs (such as "He's Nobody's Moggie Now")....and he did a lot of very serious songs.

It was a small intimate setting and I was kibbitzing back and forth with Bogle and the band, and at one point I got a joke back on him by quoting a variation on a phrase he'd used in one of the funny songs (one about guns, gun control, and people who love guns) and directint it at him. Anyway, I timed it just right and the band burst out laughing...Bogle looked momentarily astounded to have his own joke turned back on him...and then he burst out laughing too. The lead guitarist (who was a simply astoundingly good acoustic guitar player) grinned and said, "I like this bloke!" It was a moment we all enjoyed thoroughly, although the joke had been at Bogle's expense.

That's how you should take this stuff, I think...with a grain of salt. Look, a person who can't laugh at himself now and then is missing out on having a much better time in life. This goes for a nation too...for any group of people.

Trust me on this: I'm Canadian. No one in the world is better at laughing at themselves and their own culture than Canadians are. We do it all the time, eh? ;-D It helps keep us relaxed and it gets us through the damn winters!

And, yes, Eric Bogle is a very nice guy. He's also quite a satirist. Some people don't get it. Some people didn't get it when Randy Newman sang "Short People" either. They got offended. (sigh)


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 07:52 AM

"But something else bugs me about this song ...

... its writer is australian."

Wrong, Lox. He's a Scotsman.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 07:53 AM

Oops! Forgot the smiley!   :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Lox
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 07:58 AM

I stand corrected on the matter of Bogles origins.

And LH, if I saw him Live I probably would laugh.

But the essence of my point still stands.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 08:02 AM

No problem. Like I said, Lox, I do understand and can empathize with the views on both sides of this argument.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Lox
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 08:17 AM

Ever watched a football match between Ireland and anyone else?

Ever looked at the crowd?

You will notice many leprechaun hats, false beards, guinness artefacts etc and the people sportng them won't be particularly bothered about whether you think they are plastic or not ... even the ones who live outside Ireland.

It's a bit galling that the Guinness logo, formerly representing a British company and now a subsidiary of Diageo (a bigger British company) has somehow become an alternative to the Irish flag (I prefer Beamish myself) but still, if you go into any pub in Ireland you will see the pints lined up, half full, ready to be topped up for the waiting throng and it is the preferred tipple and embraced as a cultural Icon.

Who are the caricaturists? The plastic Paddies or those who sit in judgement of them?

I don't think the answer is straightforward, but then that's kind of my point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 08:19 AM

I'd always assumed that a plastic paddy pub was a pub created with plastic, imitation Irish decor, usually called Paddy Something-or-other's. Similarly, plastic olde worlde Englishe pubs (I was going to put an 'e' on that but thought better of it!). In my experience, they even serve plastic beer.

Now The Toucan in Soho - that's a completely different matter!


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: SINSULL
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 08:30 AM

The only time I heard the expression "Plastic Paddy" used, it was in the context of an Irish native objecting to an Irish-American's opinions on the "troubles". I remember hearing "You sing Kevin Barry and Croppy Boy like they are pop tunes. We live it."

It had nothing to do with actually singing the songs. It was the inplication that the American singer was trivializing the situation in Ireland by pretending to be a militant supporter of all things Irish.

I have to admit. I agreed with the objection. Misty eyed singing of the Patriot Game by a bunch of drunks in a New York pub who have no idea of the history on both sides of the Irish troubles trivializes a complicated tragedy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: theleveller
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 08:38 AM

Now I come to think of it, it was in connection with The Toucan in Soho that I first heard the phrase, when an Irish acquaintance insisted on taking me there for superb Galway oysters and a pint of Guinness and assured me that "this is no plastic Paddy pub".


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 09:18 AM

Lox: "Ever watched a football match between Ireland and anyone else?
Ever looked at the crowd?
You will notice many leprechaun hats, false beards, guinness artefacts etc and the people sportng them won't be particularly bothered about whether you think they are plastic or not ."

No I don't think so, I'm not that into football. I'm sure it happens though. Because I do recognise the kind of standard and universal *football culture* you refer to, which I feel is *perhaps* something of a red herring. It's not high brow, it is lampooning itself, and the English and other footballing nations do similar things.

Yet I'd suggest it belongs within the sphere of football, and if native cultures are inclined to do such things themselves, then I guess that's their perogative.

Yet, I would not take that style of 'football culture' either outside of football or the indigenous culture which expresses itself in such a fashion. Or consider that because they might do that when they're at a football match, that *therefore* we can all take our lead from that circus atmosphere, and imitate the same degree of characturisation of anothers race or culture, that a football crowd might indulge in.

I do not feel that necessarily rightly justifies members of other cultures, doing the same, and especially in broader contexts.

I do agree though, I think it's a complicated matter. And not one easily pinned down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Jeri
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 09:24 AM

I must confess I've done the 'plastic paddy' thing myself just because it can be good fun... I'm sorry--is this color making your eyes bleed? Will switch to...

I can find loads of things that are worth the aggravation of getting insulted by. This is not one. It's just, appropriately, about those who are Irish only when it suits them. It's just like people who get all churchy and halleluliafied on holidays but don't give religion or their church another thought the rest of the year. I play some Irish music, but I've been known to wear a leprechaun hat and go silly with green at times BECAUSE IT'S FUN. I can 'pass' for Irish, but I don't actually call myself Irish. I don't call myself English either, though that's where about 80-90% of my ancestors came from. Folks in the UK might call it 'race', but for me, it's culture.

The term can be used to dismiss people who are hyphenated Irish, but is usually done because the person using the term has no clue about the target's background. You can view this sort of usage as an insult (it's meant as one) but ultimately it's a big old 'Hi. I'm an idiot and don't have an argument so I'm trying to belittle the other person. Now that you know I'm a complete f***wit, KICK ME!' sign.

So yeah, it can be an insult, but it says more about the person saying it than the person so labeled. To know whether a person is adopting a persona to associate temporarily with some group temporarily or IS that person, you have to know him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,color blind Bob
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 09:30 AM

That green print is almost impossible to read;
spare a thought for practicality please.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 09:57 AM

Knowing Eric, his great sense of morality, and his wicked sense of humour, I'm absolutely convinced that 'Plastic Paddy' is not, in any conceivable way, intended to be an insult to the Irish - precisely the opposite, in fact.

It's a song in defence of all that is good and great in the real people and culture of Ireland, and an attack on those who leap on to what they perceive to be that culture in an effort to line their pockets and who, in so doing, themselves degrade the Irish.

A racist is one thing Eric is NOT.

IMHO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 10:00 AM

But he is a master of the use of I-R-O-N-Y.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 10:11 AM

Well if it's in fun...
Maybe I'll black me face up and stick on a big affro wig and wear a Bob Marley tee shirt for next Notting Hill carnival...!



On second thoughts maybe I won't... ;-)
Really would love to get to Notting Hill carnival this year though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,Daz
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 10:18 AM

I met a guy at a conference some years back called Patrick Plas. I think he was from South Africa. I thought this was a thread about him.
He may look at it as identity theft !


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Jess A
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 10:22 AM

I am another who can see both sides of the argument here.

I'm english and love to play traditional english music. It distresses me that a vast proportion of the general population in this country and elsewhere have no concept that there is any traditional english music, and assume that if I'm playing something folky on a fiddle then it must be irish (that happens a lot). It distresses me when some of my peers (by which I mean players of traditional music in England) have so embraced irish music that they are downright rude about anything that isn't irish (an particularly so about anything that is english) - that happens more often than I'd like it to, as well. It amuses me more than distresses me when people who have no more irish blood than I do (or less, in fact - I have an irish great grandmother, fwiw) are so enamoured of 'irishness' that they embrace all the cliches in Eric's song. And because of these things, I've been known to use the term plastic paddy myself, in a fairly derogatory way.

BUT - I love traditional irish music myself, play a fair bit of it, know and respect a lot of irish people (including a vast proportion of my in-laws) and have NO TIME AT ALL for being racist to or about actual irish people, or culture.

I don't see a contradiction between my above two paragraphs, and I wonder whether those who are offended by Eric's song just haven't experienced the same kind of irritatingly sycophantic 'everything irish is wonderful, everything wonderful is irish' rosy-tinted-spectacled view (or in this case either green or guinness tinted... or both) of all things irish that he is describing... ???


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 10:37 AM

It's a bit of a thread drift I'm afraid, but I'm curious to know what others think.

Many of my family are N.I. Catholics who had to emigrate to England because of the troubles (others remained at home and live there still). As a child I recall tearful evenings amongst London Irish family of Irish rebel songs, sung by old uncles who had to uproot and leave home.

I feel I'd never be able to sing these songs myself, for I know nothing but second-hand stories about the shootings, the Falls road (where my grandmother was nearly killed), the political struggles and so-on. And while I might have some romantic sentiment and there is ancestral appeal from both my memories and close atatchments to people (and indeed my family has had its share of troubled inheritance from those times), I feel these songs simply are not *my* story. Yet in many ways I would like to remember my experiences of those for whom it was, and identify with those with whom I loved.

How do others of Irish descent, feel about singing such songs?? And is there anything of the so-called 'plastic Paddy' implied for someone like me (Anglo-English), who were to do so? For comments further uplist, suggest that there might be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 10:38 AM

As I sid on the other thread, some people refer to themselves as plastic paddies. They are earning money filling a commercial niche, maybe they do oompah bier cellar acts another day of the week, and the odd greek wedding. No one really takes it seriously, Bogle's song is a pretty accurate snapshot of a plastic irish pub.
They opened one of these theme pubs in Exeter. The barmaids all had dyed black hair, and they had al been trained in stock ohrases 'top o the morning' etc.
   I asked if they had Music, the young barmaid replied..yes, most nights. I asked...Is it acoustic'. She replied in all seriousness and a mock irish accent...'What part of ireland is that in'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: SINSULL
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 11:21 AM

Kind of like the Australian Assault at Outback. Crikie!


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 11:51 AM

Some people simply want to be offended, in my opinion, and they'll go to any lengths to find 'proof'.

Fake Irish (and fake English, I might add) pubs abound worldwide, and yes, they're extremely annoying and patronising places, stay away from them if they offend you.You wouldn't catch me, dead, inside one of thos places.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 12:05 PM

The falseness or faking of culture for commercial purposes is not just confined to Irish matters. I was feeling like a coffee the other morning in town and thought I'd go into Café Rouge - I'd never been in one before.

So sat down, ordered a coffee and a croissant, listened to the accordion music playing under the red, white and blue bunting and waited. Along came the waitress with the food and drink and, as she put it down, she smiled and said "Bon appetit". Without thinking, I replied with some pleasantry in French - thinking she was French. She looked embarrassed and said, "Oh, I can't speak French - we're just told to say 'Bon Appetit'".

So what's with the French schtick? Or the Oirish schtick? Or Ye Olde English schtick, for that matter. Just serve up good coffee and croissants, or good Irish stout, or good roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and be yourself.

It' not just plastic Paddy - it's plastic René - or plastic anything that sits falsely and tries to pretend it's something it's not. Surely that's the point of EB's song.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 12:07 PM

The body of Irish music contains a wealth of songs with universal themes that are valid when sung by anyone of any nationality. But there's also a large number of Irish songs with overtly Irish, not universal, themes. Those songs should be sung by the Irish, and nobody else. Anyone who sings a song like "Roddy McCorley" without having roots in the culture from which the song grew is a wanker.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 12:07 PM

Sorry - last post was me - had to reset my cookie.

Or should that have been my croissant...?


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 12:20 PM

"Or should that have been my croissant...? "*LOL" Well done Will. I agree with you, it's plastic anything that makes a mockery of a given culture.
However Bee-dubya-ell,s remark " Those songs should be sung by the Irish, and nobody else. Anyone who sings a song like "Roddy McCorley" without having roots in the culture from which the song grew is a wanker." is just plain blinkered. I wonder how Bee-dubya-ell feels about a part North American Aboriginal part white person (me) singing a Scots song (Eppie Moray). On the Fotheringay recording of said song (very powerful, by the way), the two singers, Trevor Lucas and Sandy Denny, are Australian and English..

Get real Bee-dubya-ell !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: PaulF
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:10 PM

Gosh, there's more than a hint of paranoia in some of the posts in this thread.
Anybody with any sense of irony, will see Eric Bogle's song is totally tongue in cheek.
They do say that irony doesn't travel well in certain parts of the world.
Surely we all know what is meant by a Plastic Paddy?
It's someone who drinks green beer, and enjoys all the other weird things that happen in the US on St Patrick's day, and DON'T happen in Ireland, where these poor benighted people seem to think it does go on.
I'm sure that Irish born persons living in the USA, must be totally embarrassed by the coat of verdigris adopted by those who call themselves Irish, even though their claims are tenuous to say the least.
Enjoy it by all means, but don't confuse it with reality.
Paul


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Teribus
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:17 PM

Wasn't this written by Eric Bogle about an actual Irish bar on Bourbon Street in New Orleans??


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:17 PM

Rifleman, I think it's fine that you or anyone else should sing "Eppie Moray". It doesn't speak to a uniquely Scottish experience, but to one about which any number of songs have been written in many cultures. There's not much difference between it and similar Appalachian ballads sung by any number of US bluegrass bands. There's a handful of Scots words, but that's just window dressing.

My beef is with people at sessions in US bars singing overtly political Irish songs. Irish politics is not part of the experience of anyone outside Ireland and I don't feel I or any other American has any business singing about it. We can sing about lost love, no matter whether the song comes from Ireland or Mississippi, but we should leave the immortalization of Irish heroes to the Irish.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:24 PM

I think one of the things Irish culture has experienced in recent years is a 'boom' in interest. Yet, I recall my Mum talking about the Irish being the 'White N*ggers' back in the fifties - not so long ago really. They were no better than dogs - same as he Black immigrants in England and America.

So it's not always been a charming 'fun' appropriated Oirish stereotype. This I feel, is where the dangers of cliche and charicatures lie: They undermine the reality and generate a false superficial image of the truth, which while sometimes 'fun' can equally be demeaning.

As a culture which has been misrepresented and very badly so in the past up until very recently, 'fun' contemporary stereotypes, IMO merely continue the same vein of misrepresentation, that the Irish have ever suffered from.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Diva
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:34 PM

Lox...Eric Bogle is a Borderer frae Peebles


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:42 PM

"My beef is with people at sessions in US bars singing overtly political Irish songs. Irish politics is not part of the experience of anyone outside Ireland and I don't feel I or any other American has any business singing about it. We can sing about lost love, no matter whether the song comes from Ireland or Mississippi, but we should leave the immortalization of Irish heroes to the Irish."

I think it is a fair point Bee-dubya, but my experience was of hearing these songs as a child amongst Irish family. Admittedly I'm older now and I am English-born myself - though with Irish parentage. Do you feel that it would be inappropriate for me to sing those same songs I heard as a child amongst Irish family - in memory of them and their experiences? There were those amongst them, those whom I loved and recall with great feeling.

For I'm not quite sure where I stand on this. Apart from feeling that I cannot because of my English birth. Yet, now that I have begun singing for myself, I am asking myself whether those Irish rebel songs, might not be sung in memory of those who I once heard sing them, and to whom they meant a great deal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: meself
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:53 PM

A number of posters have suggested that this song is "ironic", and that anybody who doesn't find it amusing has no "sense of irony". But while the song clearly points out ironies, to say that the song itself is "ironic" is to suggest that it is actually approving of "plastic Paddies" rather than mocking them - and that it is mocking Christy Moore rather approving of him. Anyone who thinks that is what the song is doing has no sense, period.

There is nothing nonsensical about someone who is fond of "plastic Paddy" pubs, entertainers, songs, etc., being offended by this song - by implication, it is mocking them as well as the pubs, entertainers, songs. Just because we all love Eric Bogle, and he's funny, and he's sensitive, it doesn't mean that everything he has written is above criticism.

(Disclaimer: the band I put together for this past St. Patrick's Day, I called The Plastic Paddies).


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Diva
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 01:55 PM

My grandmothers family were from the Falls Rd in Belfast "refugees" from the Troubles, combination of mixed marriage (my great grandma) and the loss of family monies by marrying the wrong bloke! and of one of her brothers having the audacity of going for a job at harland and Woolfe and been found dead in rather suspicious circumstances after.

They were in Glasgow in the early twenties when there was a lot of anti Irish Catholic feeling. This was NEVER mentioned at home, I came accross it while studying history at Uni and was stunned.

They went to Canada and thrived by sheer dint of hard work, which is the story of many emigrant families over the years. They retained a fondness for their culture but were not maudlin about it.

If we are only singing songs of our own cultures then I have hit the jackpot for I can claim Irish, Scots, English and French Canadian and a wee smattering of Native North American

But in our family songs are songs and stories are stories doesn't really matter where they come from so long as they are good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:06 PM

There's a song that goes well with this, and helps explain what it's about, and it's by another emigrant to Australia, this time from Ireland, the songwriter Enda Kenny (not to be confused with an Irish politician of the same name that no one would want to be confused with).

Don't Ask Me To Sing The Wild Rover
I don't have to try to be green
I'd rather you drove me right over the edge
Of the high rocky cliffs of Doneen
I've left all that behind me now
I'm not homesick any more
And I don't need you to remind me
Of Paddy's green shamrocks shore.

Do you ever stop to ask yourself
Just why it is you left home
What have you seen of the places you've been to
Since you started out for to roam
Is it Mass every Sunday
The pub every night
And five different bands
That all play the same shite
Like Donegal Danny and Dirty Old Town
And a "fine girl you are" in the old Holy Ground.

How many friends have you made over here
Whose accents are not like your own
How is it every time I get to hear you
You're talkin' of going back home
Well I won't be found
Where your sorrows are drowned
With plastic shamrocks and beer
Cause I've chosen to live in Australia
Not in "Ireland Over Here".


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:10 PM

'Gaelic Hat' is an 'Irish' band Usually Vocal/Guitar/Accordian , Vocal/Mandolin/Whistle . and a Fiddler . We are all English , though I am a quarter Irish , and we are SERIOUS about Entertainment . I am not sure if we qualify as Plastic Paddies any more than 'Crossbones'
are Plastic Pirates , or 'Naval Packet' are Plastic Victorian Seamen


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: PoppaGator
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:33 PM

"Wasn't this written by Eric Bogle about an actual Irish bar on Bourbon Street in New Orleans??"

I rather doubt it. I don't recall any Irish bar having existed on Bourbon Street at any time that I've lived here, which is since 1969.

There have been a couple of notable Irish pubs over the years in the French Quarter (but not on the Bourbon St, "main drag"), none of which would seem to likely candidiates for "Plastic Paddy-dom."

One, Danny O'Flaherty's on Toulouse Street, was a thriving business until Katrina. Danny was and is native Irish, a notable performer as well as landlord/entrepreneur, and in fact a native speaker of Irish from the Galway Gaeltacht. The main music room was an excellent venue, with good acoustics and a well-enforced be-quiet-and-listen policy. Danny had a relatively strict traditional-music-only policy, employed a small group of local musicians who fit the bill, and also provided a venue for many touring Irish/Celtic acts (icluding a few Mudcatters). While some of the clientele might plausibly have been accused of being "Plastic Paddies," I don't think the establishment could be tarred with the same brush.

After O'Flaherty's had gone out of business, a new establishment opened just off Bourbon St., "Sean Kelley's." At first, this new pub began employing many of the same singers and musicians who had been regulars at O'F's; more recently, there has been some controversy over how management had been treating the performers, many of whom refuse to appear there any more. The place is very bright and shiny (haveing been so recently renovated) and might very well be considered a "plastic," pseudo-Irish theme pub, but I think it is too new to have served as Bogle's inspiration.

The other notable French Quarter Irish-pub-with-live-music would be the Kerry on Decatur Street. This place is even less obviously and self-consciously "Oirish" ~ the music is NOT always Irish; it is normally more-or-less acoustic (folk/blues/country, almost always without drums and often featuring multiple harmonising vocalists). It's "Irish" inasmuch as they stock every available brand of Irish whiskey, and they know how to pour a decent pint of stout; also, the staff usually includes a few recent immigrants from Ireland (as did O'FLaherty's). The clientele almost always includes a number of tourists, but is predominantly made up of neighborhood regulars ~ and keep in mind, the French Quarter of New Orleans is not your run-of-the-mill neighborhood. The atmosphere is very relaxed and unpretentious, with no corporate imperative to playact at Irishness. (No one has to say "Top o' the mornin"" or any such crap.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:47 PM

I notice in the Wikipedia article Sandra linked us to that Christy Moore has recorded this song. Make whatever implications you want of that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:49 PM

"My beef is with people at sessions in US bars singing overtly political Irish songs. Irish politics is not part of the experience of anyone outside Ireland and I don't feel I or any other American has any business singing about it. We can sing about lost love, no matter whether the song comes from Ireland or Mississippi, but we should leave the immortalization of Irish heroes to the Irish."


What? What percentage of Americans has Irish blood..at least 25%. So it certainly would be part of their experience. But if they have 0%, so what. They still have universal heartbreak from wars and rebellions and someone somewhere in their own families, perhaps in their own experience, had their head bashed in by some tyrant. They have every right to sing these songs, whether they understand them, the history, etc. or not. And I have a right to sing South African songs and Hawaiaan songs, etc., as long as I do not disrepect them..although I will put in a disclaimer that if they are very sacred songs then I should not. I can sing O Freedom. I can sing the Marsellaise. If I knew Polish or Ukranian I could sing their songs. I can sing Die Deganzen sind frie???.

It is like saying I can only breathe certain air. No can do. Sing what you like. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 02:58 PM

My beef is with people at sessions in US bars singing overtly political Irish songs. Irish politics is not part of the experience of anyone outside Ireland and I don't feel I or any other American has any business singing about it.

Many of those songs can be taken more generically. Patrick Galvin's "James Connolly" is a fine song about the leader of a movement of armed resistance to a better-armed foreign oppressor, and it would make perfect sense to dedicate it to Abdullah Ocalan, Leonard Peltier or Velupillai Prabhakaran. "The Old Orange Flute" is a spoof on bigotry which could be sung anyhere it can be explained without taking up half the evening with footnotes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 03:01 PM

Furthermore, what language are many of these songs in? English. A more or less universal language. And what about times like these...can someone in Iran not sing Kelly the Boy from Killane if it gives her comfort or hope or something in these times of trial? What about the Bosnian Irish band? What did they probably go through as infants or young children? These are universal songs. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 03:05 PM

And furthermore, we have a couple of generations in America of Cambodians and Laotians and Vietnamese etc. Should they be mocked for trying to remember some positive bits of their culture, after the horrible times they went through? What if they sing hokey (to us) songs? What if they get together once a year and sing wearing of the saffron or whatever? It is not for us to mock them. It is not for us to say that is not what they sing in Cambodia. It is not for us to imply that they are culturally or morally inferior. Same same Irish. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 03:16 PM

I repeat "Get real Bee-dubya-ell !!

Plastic Paddy (or whatever), there I said it with no guilty concience, describes perfectly the fakeness of the highjacking of other cultures to the commercial gods (pubs etc.... Ireland isn't special in this regard.

""My beef is with people at sessions in US bars singing overtly political Irish songs. Irish politics is not part of the experience of anyone outside Ireland"

BS!!! The reason many ofIrish descent live outside of Ireland wasbecause of politcs...for godsake read your own history....!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 03:28 PM

It was a friend from Athlone whom I first heard describe an Irish theme pub as Plastic Paddy...

Interesting to see that Enda Kenny's song includes Dirty Old Town, written by a Salfordian of Scottish extraction, on the list of Plastic Paddy songs (thanks Kevin). The definition of Irish songs is very elastic.

Kitty (whose great-great grandfather came over to England from Donegal in the mid 19th century.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 03:40 PM

"we should leave the immortalization of Irish heroes to the Irish"

I'll sing what I choose to sing, and, to be honest, I don't need yours or anyone else's approval to do it...that makes me a wanker, so be it, like I've saidelsewhere, if you're a paying member of the ausience, then I'll listen, but until that occurs, I'll carry on doing what I'm doing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 03:52 PM

Okay, I give up. Ya'll sing whatever you want with my blessings. Sorry if my opinions have offended anyone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 03:53 PM

Crow Sister

I think you could and should sing those songs your family used to sing. Even though you are once removed from the troubles, you had first hand experience of the effect on close family.

Given your vocal ability and presence, I think you would do the songs a very good justice.

I say give it a try.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 04:39 PM

This really should be up above the line. It's a music thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Gervase
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 05:38 PM

To be honest the only time I've heard the term is from Irish friends, and it seems to be used in the sense of the Wikipedia definition - deriding fake or wannabe Irishness rather than as a term of abuse for someone with a bit of the Irish diaspora in them. The other phrase I've heard muttered - for the more ludicrous excesses of "St Pat's" in the USA as one example - is "Paddywhackery".
Odd, though, how it seems to be such an American trait to wish to lay claim to an Irish link. No-one seems to be quite so keen to claim an African-American link (though I can claim both in my mongrel Anglo-Irish-Franco-Cajun genes!).


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Gervase
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 05:49 PM

...the other end of the schtick, as it were, comes from another Irish mate who on a trip to Chicago (having drink taken) approached any attractive American girl he could find and ask, "Hey love, have you got any Irish in you?". If they shook their heads, he'd say, "Well, would you like some?!". It was only his charm, good looks and loyal mates that stopped him getting twatted a few times...


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: meself
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 06:20 PM

"It was only his charm, good looks and loyal mates that stopped him getting twatted a few times..."

Um ... isn't that what he wanted?


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 06:32 PM

Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Bee-dubya-ell - PM
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 03:52 PM

Okay, I give up. Ya'll sing whatever you want with my blessings. Sorry if my opinions have offended anyone.


Good! Mick groves, former Spinner, tells a tale of A.L.LLoyd cutting through this kind of crap when people were discussing what is folk, and who should sing it, with the comment... 'If it moves you, its folk.

As a youing man working in the company of Scots Celtics, and learniong my first orally transmitted songs. Roddy McCorley moved me..... but not to wanking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,Don NC
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 08:18 PM

I never heard of the term used anywhere only here. Teribus introduced us to it.

I think it refers to Americans who descended from Irish emigrants.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Jun 09 - 10:28 PM

If anybody actually read the lyrics to Eric's song it should be obvious what he's talking about. He's not running down all the songs he lists--though some might be seen as cliches.   He is talking about a wretched performer who can't or won't do justice any of the songs he sings--but still feels compelled to run through (no pun intended, of course) every song he can think of that might be popular at an Irish pub.

There's another excellent song, something to the effect of "You're not Irish, you can't be Irish--you don't know "Danny Boy"--which mentions a sizable list of songs thought to be traditional Irish by some pubgoers--but are definitely not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 06:17 AM

Correct Ron.
The main problem is that there are a lot of, presumably rather unfulfilled, people just looking for things to be 'offended' by.
They'll be making an Olympic event out of 'Offence-Seeking' before long. And there'll be plenty of Mudcatters in the line-up for the first heat! :-) :-)
IMHO, and not wishing to 'offend' any rather unfulfilled people, of course! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,Allan Connochie
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 06:34 AM

Bogle received a lot of complaints from cat lovers about "Nobody's Moggie Now" which was a song about a squashed cat. In response to balance things he wrote another song about a squashed dog. He's obviously got more of a sense of humour than some posters have!


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 09:38 AM

Somebody alert the media! A British-Isles male (Bogle) has found another basis for despising other British-Isles males. We can now add 'paddyism' to the. list. So far we have seen Brits despise one another for:

ethnicity (Scottish, English, Welsh, etc)

income

accent

sex (Somebody can come along and say 'Shut up, you cow.')

hair color (Don't be a redhead if you know what's good for you.)

youth (Though contempt for children seems to be dying out.)

playing instrument that doesn't have enough prestige


===========
Now they can start trouble based on knowing the wrong kind of Irish song.

You know, I don't think the music is the problem, it's the after-effects of the beer drunk while listening to it. You know, the anger and sadness we learned about in school. The anger and sadness that follow the high.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: plnelson
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 10:22 AM

I live in the Boston area, where we have a huge ethnic-Irish population.

And when it comes to stupid, simplistic, superficial stereotypes of the Irish, many of these are among the worst offenders!   What it means to be "Irish" in much of Boston is to drink green beer on St Patrick's day and sing "Danny Boy" at the top of your lungs and wear a pin with a shamrock that says "Kiss me, I'm Irish".   They know little or nothing about traditional Irish music or instruments, Irish history, Irish writers or poets, Irish politics, etc.

We have very active folk and literary communities around here, too - and the members are a diverse range of ethnicities, but I would say mostly not Irish.   And I think the non-Irish folk and literary communities here are doing a better job of preserving Irish music and literature than most of the true ethnic Irish in Southie (an Irish part of Boston) are doing.    Somebody's gotta preserve Irish culture and history!


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: meself
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 10:51 AM

Okay, now I'm confused: who are we supposed to be sneering at - and who is supposed to be taking our sneering in great good fun - the Irish-Americans who sing Danny Boy, or the non-Irish Americans who don't (but who are greater authorities on all things Irish)?


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 12:27 PM

At this point, perhaps we should resurrect the recent thread on "Boring Folk".   The instruction on that site for threads was: Sort by:   Vacuity or Contentiousness.

Also check out Robbie O'Connell's song (in the DT):   "You're Not Irish".

Though in my opinion even Danny Boy can be done very effectively--if you have the range for it, and do both verses.   The English attorney who wrote the poem did a great job.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: robomatic
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 01:10 PM

y'know there are all sorts of other words:

sarcasm

satire

parody

humorous intent

'plastic paddy' is an excellently alliterative term that may serve in all the above capacities, as well as insult.


There are as many shades of green as there are of gray.

Rob O'Matic


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 01:34 PM

Richard Thompson is on record as saying, in response to a slur against him by Shane MacGowan (something to do with Thompson being a has-been and being overated), that the last thing the world needed was another stage Irishman, no one, at the time (this was when The Pogues were at their height, they opened for RT), said a word. I'm wondering IF some people simply want to offended by perceieved racial slurs? Just asking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: meself
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 02:21 PM

I don't have any beef with the song (other than its implication that non-RC, non-IRA-supporters, are less authentically-Irish than RC, IRA supporters – how do the Irish feel about this?). However, it is the sort of thing that would have better remained as a musicians' in-joke. Like the private humour of medics, social workers, undertakers, and second-storey men, that of musicians and other show biz types is not always fully understood by the general public. This song should be taken as an expression of the frustration that many folkie/Irish-type musicians have felt and no doubt are still feeling at being required to perform the same handful of songs endlessly, night after night, year after year – or at being unable to get a well-paying gig because of their refusal to do so, and seeing lesser musicians get those gigs. There is no reason to expect the general public to relate to that frustration; the general public, inasmuch as they sit down in an "Irish" pub from time to time, apparently want to hear and sing along with that handful of songs. Having those songs, their singers, and the places where they are sung, mocked, is of course going to bewilder and even hurt those who are not part of the in-crowd. Eric should have saved this one for the after-party.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 02:34 PM

"...those songs mocked". Wrong. Eric portrays a singer who butchers everything he does.   As I noted before, he does not ridicule every song listed.

If you think he does, that's in your head. If you don't like Eric's song, don't applaud. You'll probably survive til the next song. Or you can always leave the concert in protest.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: MartinRyan
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 02:41 PM

Just think of it as Bogle's revenge for what the Irish did to his No Man's Land ;>)

Regards


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: gnu
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 03:03 PM

Might I suggest "Exile's Son" by CARA. A wonderful tune which is devoted to the subject.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: kendall
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 03:31 PM

Tempest in a tea cup


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: heric
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 03:38 PM

I was drinking one night in Ireland in the seventies. This old guy told me he likes American tourists just fine, just "not the ones who come here and wear green doubleknit pants and all that." I had to tell him "Man, you don't understand. They're Americans. They actually DO wear green doubleknit pants."


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: meself
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 04:19 PM

"Yes he's just a plastic paddy, singing plastic paddy songs"

Of course you're right, Ron - there's no mocking of the songs there.

"If you don't like Eric's song, don't applaud. You'll probably survive til the next song. Or you can always leave the concert in protest."

Calm down - and please quote from my posts to show where I said I didn't like the song.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 05:38 PM

I think we all have favorite phrases and some we have to give up. I have had to give up long ago such phrases as Japping out, Welching around, Indian Giver. I didn't really relate them at all to Indians or Japanese or Welsh people. But this is a deliberate, I'm better than they are type of insult, and I can't believe that respectful people would use it. It is meant to insult a supposedly lower than I class of people who know more than they do about their/our heritage. I admit, I knew/know next to nothing about my heritage. L here is what I knew...potato famine blah blah blah orphans blah blah blah railroad blah blah blah starvation blah blah blah Wearing of the Green blah blah blah St. Patrick blah blah blah snakes blah blah blah descended from kings blah blah blah ....not much to build on but not much to throw away on command/edict of my social superiors either. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Joybell
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 08:24 PM

I've always disliked this song. I know it's supposed to be satire but I don't believe it works that way. It's a mean and nasty comment about other performers. It gives people a chance to sneer. His comments are not private ones, they are made to be public and as such they give nastiness a legitimate voice in the name of satire. Once a song is out there it takes on a life of its own and the character, along with intentions, of the author become irrelevant.
I understand that in the whole scheme of things this discussion seems trivial but I'm out there singing for people where it's sometimes lonely. Many of us are. There's enough nastiness.

There I've said nasty three times.
Magic three times at the Solstice.
Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Paul Burke
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 08:39 PM

I'm glad Eric found it within him to write a song that wouldn't curdle cream. He's spot on; just that the synthetic Celts sing Eric Bogle songs, or the like, as often as not. The real problem is the whinging selfcongratulation of much of what has passed for Irish folk in the last 30 or 40 years. The Troubles shrove them of the need for a self- examination once again. Sad that I haven't got WLD to argue the toss with on this one, Joybell you've got the wrong stick, never mind the wrong end.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 08:53 PM

"a self- examination once again"

I know that one ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Joybell
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 09:24 PM

Cute metaphor but too cryptic for me. I'm usually rather bright too. However you've proved my point, Paul. You see how easy it is for you to fit this song into your own agenda. I'm familiar with catch-phrases and the way they can be appropriated. They are sticks with which I'm quite familiar.
Joy


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Joybell
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 10:18 PM

Joybell's trulov here: Let's start by getting a few things defined. The minute you take a cent for a performance or a song, you are a professional entertainer. however heartfelt our songs, or whatever their pretensions to social relevance, we are in show business. our supporters are not a folk community: they are a market. (and of course, we love them). for one of us to publicly denigrate one of the others is tacky and unprofessional, and always carries with it the suggestion of professional resentment or jealousy. of course, any one of us has a perfect right to do it, but it is self-demeaning. for people to support this kind of activity only demonstrates the smugness and clannishness in part of what is inaccurately called the "folk" scene.
i don't know Christy Moore personally. He is certainly a fine singer, but if anybody mentioned my name in a song like that, i would be mortified.
keep on truckin. h


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 Jun 09 - 10:30 PM

I know what you mean, Joybell. I have worried for years that Eric will mention ME in one of his satirical songs! Fortunately, that hasn't happened.

Yet. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 05:25 AM

Joy

Re "a self-examination once again". I suspect Paul is thinking of The Wolfe Tones, one of whose party pieces (sic) was A Nation Once Again .

Regards


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: kendall
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 09:17 AM

I used to sing Irish songs because I like them, even though there is no Irish in me. I do have a bit of "Scotch" in me at times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 09:26 AM

Time for some comic relief anyone?


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: goatfell
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 10:51 AM

for god sake its only a bloody song


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 11:12 AM

That about sums it up for me, Goatfell. ;-)

But remember....there are people in this world who spend their days searching for something, simply bloody anything, to get upset about. Really, anything at all will do. For those people, Eric Bogle's Plastic Paddy "slur" makes quite a stimulating excuse for generating a bit of outrage. Yesiree! Nothing like a bit of outrage with your tea and biscuits to start the day off right!

I think that all those people should go and picket the Australian consulate over this, don't you? (grin)


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 11:17 AM

There was an excellent comedian on the TV last night. Aussie bloke - looked a bit like Vin Garbutt in his younger days oddly enough - can't remember his name. Anyway he was on about people taking offence. Point was - let 'em. There is enough real pain without people taking offence at real or imagined slurs. You are all grown up people here. Remeber the old adage - sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me. Guess what. It's ture. Grow up and get over it. He put it far better of course.

DeG


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 11:52 AM

Well said, Dave. That's two of us with a sense of humour and a real sense of perspective (four including LH and Goatfell). The other miserable, moaning navel-gazing idiots need to get a fuckin' life and get offended by real issues that really matter.

IMHFO, and with every intention of offending miserable, moaning navel-gazing idiots.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: meself
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 11:57 AM

Offended? You take yourself far too seriously, sir.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: kendall
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 01:18 PM

What happened to the free exchange of opinions on this forum?

Their opinions are every bit as valid as mine or anyones.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: robomatic
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 01:20 PM

Check out "Gaelic Song" by The Arrogant Worms and let me know if it leads you to a lawsuit. I think it's hilarious.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: robomatic
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 01:31 PM

C


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 01:42 PM

A few years ago I had a fiend visiting. He wanted to see the area and, although I didn't really fancy it, liked to see O'Connor's in Doolin.
Not a bother, I descended into Doolin (I take the road from Liscannor over Doonagore bog and down by Doonagore castle) and had a walk around the amenities of Fisherstreet.

Eventually we stuck out head in the door of O'Connnor's, it was around three in the afternoon and inside was a tour-bus group of aging Americans being entertained by an accordeon player singing 'The Forty Shades of Green'.

We didn't go in.


Anyhow, I figure Bogle's song is about that sort of experience of traditional culture.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: robomatic
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 01:53 PM

Hell, man, Disney's done it for the world. This is how we make the world safe for McDonald's, (so I guess the celts win after all after a fashion).


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Maryrrf
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 01:54 PM

I don't like the "Moggy" song but although I sing regularly in pubs and perform most of the songs Eric mentions, the "Plastic Paddy" song doesn't particularly bother me. I don't mind being spoofed and as opposed to the Moggy song there's nothing tragic that is made fun of (unless "murdering" Carrickfergus counts).

What's wrong with entertaining people by performing songs they want to hear? Some I like and enjoy singing, others I don't care for much. But if the audience enjoys themselves that's a reward in itself. I'm not a fan of "Galway Bay", but if it makes somebody's day to hear it then that's a good thing. I'd prefer to do an evening of Child Ballads but there isn't much of a market for that.   So we'll do some fun Clancy Brothers/Dubliners type stuff with guitar and banjo and maybe a fiddle, and everybody has a good time. I've even played at a pub called "The Blarney Stone".


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 01:56 PM

It is fine that you didn't go in and it fine that the aging Americans found some innocent pleasure. It is fine that the accordeon player got a bit of money and the bar owner had 40 people spending money in his bar. Worked out for everyone. Hopefully the market would support something you would prefer, but we always have the option of singing privately with friends etc. Bar owners who have to make a living don't have to do it in a way that suits any of us. We are also free to set up a competing bar and see where the aging Americans prefer to go and/or the general populace and/or people who might come from afar to hear the specific kinds of music. And I will tell you something..probably unless they live in CHicago or Boston these aging Americans have never heard much in the way of live music. The only live music I heard growing up was in church or the local German oompah band.   Not even Scandinavian music in a place with a heavy Scandinavian population.   So don't begrudge them that small little bit of pleasure..not that it seems that you were...mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: meself
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 01:56 PM

When a fiend visits, it's always best to humour him ... !


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 02:09 PM

I think what is saddest about this is that it is basically cousin against cousin, family against family. Regardless of what has gone on culturally, some of these people have the exact same DNA as anyone in Killarney. So it is people turning on their own, which is a disgrace. And if it non-Irish calling out these names, then it is too stupid for words. It is none of their business. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 02:31 PM

All I can say is that I was brought up with a healthy suspicion against all forms of that 'Blut und Boden' malarkey. It has a history of bad experience.

If you like: at the end of the day we're all cousins and second cousins in one way or another and it should be far from anyone to tell another 'it's none of their business' for spurious reasons.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 04:13 PM

Mg: "I think what is saddest about this is that it is basically cousin against cousin, family against family."

Must say I find this melodramatic tawddle. You don't *seriously* consider yourself "cousin" with people that you shared a common ancestor with of several generations ago...? 'Family' isn't a few shared chromosomes, it's the people you are close to and share love and arguments with.

Say someone from Australia tracked me down after my great great Uncle emigrated in 1918, I'd think it jolly interesting. But only that - I sure wouldn't feel any kinship based on the fact that we shared a great great great granny that neither of us ever knew. And there wouldn't be any tearful reunion with lost "cousins" ten times removed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 05:04 PM

Contraire. I have met up with some second cousins, having no cousins at all on my father's side and this was just in the last couple of years. One was in Ireland, by marriage. I missed meeting her husband. Yes, I do consider myself cousins with the Flynns in Chicago and Spelmans in Wisconsin and Deverys I hope to meet in the Portland area and DOnovans in California (who will be having a big family reunion in Spokane next year and I have been invited to it)and the Fitzgeralds in Ireland. Today I hope to maybe find a couple of Rex's in the Seattle area that might be second cousins. I am blessed with being related to Yusinovichs in Seattle and Williams and Cornwalls and Deckers in other parts of the US. And actually someone in Australia did track me down and provided me with information on the Devery Hotel near Ayres Rock and how respected they were by the traveling men there. I have talked to some second cousins in South Dakota and hope to someday make it to the Milwauke Irish fest where some cousins ten times removed yearly attend. Families became very fractured due to wars and poverty and diseases and why would anyone begrudge trying to build a few bridges to reunite them?    mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 05:15 PM

This may help: Spray


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 06:33 PM

I met again today an archetypal Plastic Paddy. has a good irish accent, which he keeps fresh. Learned most of his irish songs sice moving to England because it makes a very good second living.

   Parodies himself.   His Tee shirt reads 'Sham-Rock'. Full points.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Joybell
Date: 21 Jun 09 - 07:23 PM

Well that's swell. I could get myself some of those points. Where do I apply. I'm quite good at SELF parody.

However SELF parody is not what this song is about.

That's a whole different kettle of fish, a horse of a different colour, a red herring, a different ball game, a different end of a different stick.

Isn't it fun how far we ramble.
Cheers, Joy not-easily-outraged-and-not-outraged-now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 05:06 AM

On the subject of the Irish and football ...

... How many Irish Man U, Liverpool, Arsenal ... and these days Aston Villa fans are there.

Wearin' of the red ... singin' the songs ... remembering busby's babes ...

I look forward to explanations as to how this is utterly different.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 05:25 AM

"... How many Irish Man U, Liverpool, Arsenal ... and these days Aston Villa fans are there.
Wearin' of the red ... singin' the songs ... remembering busby's babes ..."

I wouldn't know tbh Lox. - I don't partake of it or witness it except on news flash scenes. But I guess like the collectively understood conventions one might find in Panto, it's further examples of circus-style norms adopted by football fans within the sphere of
football culture.

Having no interest in either football or panto myself - I'm not inclined to paint my face and chant "you're shit, you're shit, you'reeee SHIT!" or cry "He's behind you!" in the supermarket, library, office, or when out having lunch with friends - or doing any of the other stuff in my everyday life that has likewise nothing to do with football culture, or panto.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 05:49 AM

Nothing of relevance here really other than to say football isn't at all big among my Irish family, it's always been the Horses... :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 06:35 AM

CS,

Generally, just so you know, Irish footie fans behave rather differently to English fans and as a result internatonal fixtures generally have something of a carnival atmosphere.

The point above is really just an indication of how the Irish have adopted stereotyped and cliche'd aspects of British culture with as much zeal as some brits have adopted Irish culture.

Just as have many Asians, Africans etc.

There are probably more "committed" Man U fans in India than in the rest of the world put together.

And the humourous pickings and parallels for the critical observer are plenty.

As for your comments regarding football and panto, there is no point me saying well you obviously know nothing about it because you have stated that yourself.

The question is, how can you judge with such scorn something that you admit you know nothing about - your impressions of footie culture confirming that fact.

I had earlier considered the possibility that the scorn poured on "plastic paddies" derives from a similar type of apparent class snobbery.

Footbal is a significant part of British and Irish culture, particularly at working class level, but also beyond that.

The reality is that I have endless numbers of Irish relatives aged 40 upwards who love danny boy etc and loads of all ages who love to sing along to Ride on etc and who don't see any need to refer to Plastic Paddies. They just enjoy having a good time to some old songs and they enjoy the singers. The more conservative ones like the johnny logan versions, and the others will happily get into a night of paddy mcginty's goat etc.

The youth go to football and rugby matches dressed in shamrocks, leprechaun beards and guinness hats. Afterwards they drink copious amoiunts of Guinness and sing Ole Ole Ole and the fields of Athenry.

All classic Plastic Paddy behaviour according to those with the required "insight" to tell the difference.

They get drunk, they live the cliches and they have a damn good time and they don't give a monkeys about terms like "plastic paddy" which have been imported.

The thing that attracts me to the Americans over the "plastic paddy" critics is there lack of judgementalism.

I'll bet those ageing Americans were like many of the Ageing Americans here.

I'll bet they aren't shallow or easily pigeonholed once you get to know them.

I'll bet they each had interesting experiences and perspectives on life that run much deeeper and resonate more powerfully than any cheap term like Plastic paddy ever could.

Folks on here are free to like or dislike the bawdy side of Irish culture, and they are free to like or dislike a song by Eric bogle.

But all this value judgement, pigeon holing and definition of terms on the subject of a nation of free individuals is quite frankly a load of bollox.

And as with all stereotypes and caricatures, it is a fabrication and represents noone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 07:32 AM

"how can you judge with such scorn something that you admit you know nothing about"

No scorn Lox, you're seeing stuff that isn't there IMO - though my tongue might be in my cheek - and I recognise that doesn't carry on internet.
I do see football being somewhat like panto though. And though I don't have any interest in either, both are valid cultural expressions, that possess their own unique conventions.

I did go to a football match once about fifteen years ago - so though essentially I know nothing about football bar what gets flashed up on the news - I can remember that the chants of "You're Shit" were full on. Can't remember much about the match at all apart from that though, 'cos some bloke in a big red affro was standing in front of me...

Otherwise, as I mentioned uplist - as an English born person with Irish parentage (N.I. Catholic) I've been lately considering learning some Irish rebel songs myself - in memory of those I loved for whom such songs meant something to their personal experience - experiences (which meant I was born in England as a consequence of their emigration to escape the privations resultant from the troubles.)
So I don't think it's as cut and dried as you appear to think, I think it is.

I'm just loathe to lay full claim to a culture that I have *some* direct connections to. And I'm wary of indulging in cheapening things that might be worthy of respect. I'd never think "Well THEY do it, so why can't I?" - because, I'm not one of *them*. I'm not Irish, I'm English with Irish heritage. I see a difference, it's not *my* culture to treat as trashily I want to, simply because I have some 'green' chromosomes.

My feelings about my own immediate Irish family, people that were troubled, poetic, alcoholic, storytellers, gamblers, sometimes violent, extremely charming and very, very talkative - complicated 3D people with a history (much of it profound and tragic in equal measure), would make me feel uncomfortable about trivialising them by indulging in shallow and commercial Disneyesque stereotyping.

Other people with Irish connections may feel differently, but I find it very unappetising.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 07:51 AM

"it's not *my* culture to treat as trashily I want to, simply because I have some 'green' chromosomes."

I get your point, but it is based on a premiss that the leprechaun beards etc represent trashy treatment of Irish culture.

In fact they are a perfectly valid part of Irish culture, that those who do enjoy would probably love you to participate in.

Of course there is a time and place for everything, and Irish culture is made up of a myriad of other ingredients.

However, if your rationale is right - and as an outsider you are not qualified to make statements of Irishness that include wearing silly hats, beards and hamming up well known Irish songs - then by the same token, neither are you qualified to make value judgements regarding the authenticity of aspects of Irish culture that you see represented in your local O'Neills.

Which leaves you in a kind of self imposed stalemate.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Greg F.
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 10:10 AM

For God's sake people, Bogle is lampooning pretension, presumption and smarmy artificiality- not Irish 'Heritage'- as my grandparents and great-grandparents from Kilkenny and Cork would readily see.

RE" the current plague of "Heritage" that seems to be sweeping the globe, David Lowenthal's Possessed By The Past: The Heritage Crusade and the Spoils of History Free Press, 1996, is informative & instructive.

Best,

Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 11:11 AM

Correct Greg. I said as much, way back in the thread, at least twice. But those who delight in being 'offended' seem determined to squeeze the last drop of 'offence' out of this (which is why I lost it a few posts ago!).

Kendall's quite right, this is indeed a place for free and open exchange of opinions. Mine is that it's an absolute, 110%, solid titanium, diamond-encrusted Non-Issue. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 11:12 AM

"For God's sake people, Bogle is lampooning pretension, presumption and smarmy artificiality- not Irish 'Heritage'"

EXACTLY Greg,
I do wonder, sometimes, as to where some people were hiding when the senses of humour (that's humor to our American friends, the ridiculous and irony were handed out.

I've always felt that one should learn from the past, but don't dwell there, that way only leads to madness.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: meself
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 11:16 AM

And then there are those who delight in being offended by those who delight in being offended ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 11:20 AM

And also those who have nothing worthwhile to say, so they just poke sharp sticks in the eyes of those who have, eh, meself?

Nicely put, Rifleman.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 11:29 AM

And then there are those who delight in being offended by those who delight in being offended by those who feel offended ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 11:39 AM

LOL!


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: The Villan
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 11:55 AM

I like this one that has just been wrritten by Big Al Whittle.

The Bakelite Brummie Song

Nice one Al, and I am a true Brummie. Love it, keep the humour going.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 12:25 PM

I think the Bogle song, is a related, but tangential issue to the core thread.

One of the things that has me somewhat intrigued however is that some posters maintain the right to behave in the fashion described by the Bogle song on Paddy's day in particular (with green beer, plastic shamrocks and all the rest of the Disneyesque lampooning) *without* engaging in any further depth in more serious or diverse elements of Irish culture - but then object to that intentional and restricted form of cliched Oirish err 'homage' say, being termed "plastic".

Maybe a particular section of the Irish community in Ireland do enjoy lampooning classic Irish cultural cliche's themselves when out having a drink, but I imagine they possibly do other stuff too. Or even if they don't, this narrow 'ironic' self-lampooning of Irish culture, is not descriptive of "Ireland", "Irish people" or "Irish culture" any more broadly than that. It'd be like everyone who maintained a belief that they are an Anglophile, thinking that dressing up in beefeater costumes and eating whelks on St. Georges day was an expression of their love for Merrie Ye Old Englande or something - Ahhh that's a different thread - I think the BNP have that one covered already.... ;-)

It's the foreign reduction of another culture, to such a specific and narrow stereotyping - affectionate or otherwise - which I don't really dig. It descends too far into ShamMockery for me. And the Irish have been badly represented in a variety of negative stereotypes over the centuries.

Maybe I'd do a ridiculous Plastic Paddy night if it were amongst Irish people? I'm not exactly uptight - perhaps I'll give it a go sometime to find out and have fun. But I rather doubt I'd enjoy it with a bunch of Essex lads and lasses at O' Neils, who have no other interest in Ireland or Irish culture than getting pissed up on Guinness at an Oirish theme pub on Paddy day.

Otherwise, I'm happy to differ with anyone who disagrees. I've run my course of interest in this subject I think...


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 12:34 PM

Well, first of all I personally call it St. Patrick's Day and would never call it Paddy day or Paddy's day or whatever. Secondly, you need to have a better understanding of the Irish American experience. This has all been going on way before Disney. It is real for what it is, and that is a battered and sometimes broken people getting together in defiance and for fun and for many reasons. For many the extent of their cultural heritage was back-breaking work as serfs. I don't know how much of the culture they had in those days...some to be sure..stuff was passed down. Many were illiterate and of course there was a strong oral culture.

Anyway, it is still not nice to put them down. Some of what you see is quite real, the desire for shamrocks everywhere etc...painting a green stripe etc. These Irish Americans were not very sophisticated, very well educated, knew next to nothing about the heritage. They did what they could. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: goatfell
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 01:00 PM

it's only a song for god sake


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 01:38 PM

I am Irish-American (or half of me is). This is not about the people who went before, mg, this is about the people indulging in certain cultural behaviours now. I've seen the argument from several perspectives: as someone who grew up in America - and whose father worked in a Plastic Paddy pub when I was growing up; as someone who lived and worked with Irish immigrants in New Jersey and got an insight into what they felt about the "Oirification" of their culture in America; and as someone who lived and worked amongst the London Irish when I first came to England.

Firstly, there is a cheapness about the Irish stereotypes which abound in both Britain and the US. Part of their cheapness is borne of commercialism, it's true. But at the end of the day, there is a vast difference between being OF a culture, and having that culture as part of your (distant) heritage. There is a huge disconnect between indigenous cultures, which develop and evolve and constantly change, and their sentimental, tourguide depictions which are fixed in aspic. Probably there are few cultures which suffer from this more than the Irish. This is partly due to the vast numbers of people who claim Irish ancestry in America, but in my experience very few of those people have any direct or significant experience of Ireland or Irish people. In searching for some sort of cultural identity they have assimilated something which is in itself a completely false amalgam of stage Irish, Tin Pan Alley, Bing Crosby movies and troubles songs.

mg, if you are offended by the term "Plastic Paddy", you shouldn't be defending these stereotypes - you should be digging a little deeper to find out what Irish culture is really about. If you don't want to, that's fine - but don't expect anyone to take this false construct of American songs and green beer as a serious attempt at cultural engagement.

What I'm going to say now may offend some of the people on this thread - but my experiences as the descendant of an immigrant family, who became an immigrant myself, whose daughter is now the child of an immigrant family, has led me over the years to certain observations. Being Irish American - or Italian-American, or Greek-American, or whatever - is simply not the same as being Irish, or Italian or Greek. When I visit Ireland or southern Italy (the other half of my heritage), there are definitely things I recognise, which have a familiarity for me, and which resonate. But equally, being in those places underlines the fact that I am not of those people, do not belong to those cultures. To try to pretend that they belong to me in the same way that they belong to people who have spent their lives in those places, to assume an understanding and kinship because of some notional concept surrounding the blood running through my veins, is delusional at best and dishonest at worst.

I have lived around half my life in America, the other half in England. These are the two cultures I know, and understand, and which I feel belong to me, because I have lived them. It is nothing to do with the colour of the blood running through my veins (which is definitely not green) nor the colour of the beer I drink (though I did once have a green English beer that was brewed with nettles).

One point I would make is that the worst excesses of the sentimentalising (is that a word?) of very real suffering that accompanies the "Plastic Paddy" culture is what happened in America in the 80s, where gullible Americans in shamrock bars in Boston and New York and Los Angeles would thump their bodhrans and belt out Fields of Athenry and The Men Behind the Wire before chucking their money into the IRA collecting tins. That's what comes of over-romanticising a culture that you don't really understand.

"For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the region in which they are born, the city apartment or farm in which they learnt to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poets they read, and the God they believed in. It is all these things that have made them what they are, and these are the things that you can't come to know by hearsay, you can only know them if you have lived them. You can only know them if you are them."

- Somerset Maugham


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 01:59 PM

Well said Ruth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 01:59 PM

Of course. And most of us do not confuse being Irish American with being native Irish. it is different. Do we expect French Canadians to be like the French? No, we do not. Do we expect second or third generation Japanese to be like the ??Nissei? No, we do not. Do I tell a Japanese American how to behave especially on an important holiday to her? No, I do not. Should people in Japan tell them how to celebrate in America? Probably not but it is not for me to say. Would I call the French Canadian Fake Francoise because he celebrated differently, perhaps in a very unsophisticated manner, than people who remained in France and had very different lives? No, I would not. I would think (a) again it was none of my damn business how Francois celebrates, dresses, sings, parties, and (b) I would think it would be a very rude and cruel thing to do. He has a new heritage and he has a right to sing whatever he wants and assemble peacefully etc. to do it. Would I call someone Artificial Akiko because she has her unique and perhaps unsophisticated third or fourth generation Japanese-American celebrations, forged by various furnaces of relocation camps and discrimination etc. etc.? No, I would not. It would be absolutely none of my business how she goes about hers.

And what if Fake Francoise and Artifical Akiko wanted to come to my St. Patrick's Day parade and wear green shamrocks and funny hats? Would I try to kick them out and tell them how foolish they looked? No, I wouldn't, but I bet some of you would. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 02:29 PM

and as I said, mg: "if you are offended by the term "Plastic Paddy", you shouldn't be defending these stereotypes - you should be digging a little deeper to find out what Irish culture is really about. If you don't want to, that's fine - but don't expect anyone to take this false construct of American songs and green beer as a serious attempt at cultural engagement."

I'm sorry, but I am speaking as an Irish-American myself. And I find it all rather embarrassing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 02:44 PM

I do not take it as an attempt at cultural engagement at all. I see it as a harmless but actually very historical and very important celebration that was put together by our ancestors and I personally respect it. And we are basically not talking about Irish culture, at least I am not, but Irish American culture, which is quite different. Also people are talking what goes on on one day of the year usually and confusing it with normal behavior. This happened to be the one day of the year we were allowed to really have fun and to not to go school and to not have to obey the laws of Lent. One day a year. We were not to get too happy around Christmas or Easter because Christ had to die on the cross..even at Christmas..he was going to sooner or later. We had one day a year to have fun and sing You're welcome as the flowers in May to Dear Old Donegal and eat ice cream with shamrocks in them and drink green Kool-Aid... How is that for sophisticated or uncultural? Some of us are those stereotypes and so were our ancestors and like all people we deserve to live and celebrate in peace and respect. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 04:50 PM

The expression denigrates fakery. Not a lot more to say.


Interesting however that St Patrick was not Irish and St George was not English.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 05:27 PM

In the absence of any actual engagement with any of the actual points I've made I shall have to assume that people either agree with them or that they are unable to find fault with them..

Something to bear in mind about the Essex boys and girls and the Irish boys and girls who dress up in silly cliche'd clothes etc, whether its on St Patricks Night or after a footie or a rugby match, is that as they get drunk and become boisterous, and the same chemicals affect the same synapses, they are all doing exactly the same thing - having fun.

Having fun is a piece of Irish culture that we are proud of at home, that we export abroad and that I am glad to see other people enjoying in our name.

And while the Irish and English revellers enjoy themselves, you can be sure that both groups are equally unconcerned about the significance of Joyce or Flann O'Brien etc ...

Talking of Flann O'Brien, I am reminded of the matter of the poor mouth ... you know ... the truly gaelic gaelic ... as spoken by the truly gaelic gaels ...

This Topic has been subject to ruthless parody since long before the term "plastic paddy" appeared, or its implied antithesis; the "authentic Irishman".

And both sides of this "argument" are equally guilty of reliving the whole absurd farce.

Imposed definitions mean bugger all.


Those who keep saying "It's just a song, please pay attention to the fact that this thread isn't about a song, it is about a descriptive term.

It just so happens that a song was posted which illustrates the meaning of this term.

But while we are on the subject I will say this.

Eric Bogle has great strengths, and "the gift of years" is in the top five of my repertoire.

However, check this out.

In this chorus he is satirizing modern language and its deviation from English as he used to know it.


"Ah look what you've done to the old mother tongue
It's a crime the way we've misused it
It's been totally tis woggled crumb and blonged and golly woggled
and we've stranged mangled frangled and abused it"


As with all of us, he has his moments when he hits the nail squarely on the head and at other times he is as cringeworthy as the plastic paddy he describes.

But that's freedom for you - and I wouldn't have it any other way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 05:32 PM

"It's the foreign reduction of another culture, to such a specific and narrow stereotyping - affectionate or otherwise - which I don't really dig."

You have fallen into the same paradox as last time, as a term such as "plastic paddy" is nothing if a reduction of Irish culture into something that could not possibly include the plastic paraphernalia.

And wwhen the Irish go out and enjoy themselves in this fashion, after rugby and football matches, they are not being Ironic. They are having a good time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 05:54 PM

Some years ago I went to Carnival? in Quebec City. I enjoyed myself, but I didn't think, oh this is the essence of French culture (not even French Canadian) --- These people dressed like onions and people with their canes filled with booze are expressing the highest form of their culture. I thought, what fun. I think I will join in the merriment, perhaps not dressing like an onion, but more power to them if that is what they like to do. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 22 Jun 09 - 06:27 PM

If somebody wants to enjoy an evening, a day, a weekend , or whatever, by dressing up and getting rat-arsed, singing songs remembered from his/her childhood, and generally celebrating his/her/somebody else's culture and/or heritage, that's fine by me.

IT'S FOR THE CRAIC!

Don't analyse it, it's not susceptible of logical explanation. Just bloody enjoy it, and have a good supply of paracetamol handy for the morrow.
That's what we Folkies do best.

Simples.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 09:58 AM

"As with all of us, he (Eric Bogle) has his moments when he hits the nail squarely on the head and at other times he is as cringeworthy as the plastic paddy he describes."

Right on, Lox. ;-) Even the finest songwriters occasionally lapse into a trite or awkward bit of verse. Even the best write the odd song that's a real turkey. You can't be all good all the time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 10:19 AM

By and large I am not in favour of people pretending to be what they are not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: theleveller
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 10:46 AM

"But that's freedom for you - and I wouldn't have it any other way."

I think that hits the nail on the head, Lox. I can see why people might be offended by the term but, quite frankly, many of us have been called a lot worse on this board. LOL! What is needed is a sense of proportion. In his book 'Liberty in the Age of Terror', A C Grayling echoes John Stuart Mills when he says: "Sometimes the price of free speech is offence, but "feeling offended" can never justify censorship…..one of the main sources of danger to liberty comes from controversies that turn on "feeling offended"." Although, he then adds Mills' words: "No one pretends that actions should be as free as opinion."


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: meself
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 11:51 AM

Nobody on this thread has called for censorship of anything.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 12:05 PM

I've been called much, much worse (being a non-white type person *LOL*), this so-called 'slur' is amusing by comparison.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 05:15 PM

Rifleman,

I would suggest that the term "plastic paddy" compares with the term "coconut" in terms of potential offense caused.

They do not run in perfect parallel, but the thing they have in common is that they are both based on a false premisse i.e. that if someone of a particular background conforms to the wrong stereotype then they are not authentic.

The problem is that in order to differentiate autentic from non authentic one must assume that there is a right stereotype.

In fact, all stereotypes are inaccurate.

And on this basis it follows that your understanding is not that dissimilar to mine or anyone elses whose identity has become subject to the generalizations of judgemental observers.

It is important not to trivialise the experiences of others, whether by comparing them to your own experiences or by saying something about them "having a chip on their shoulder".

Remember that one?


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 06:06 PM

I think there are many larger issues here, and one is how some groups in America essentially disowned their parents and grandparents because they were ashamed of the way they spoke, dressed, ate, etc. It is a great American tragedy..so many family tragedies based on teen-age shame of a mother in a babushka or cooking everything with garlic. America, especially in the days of much immigration, was not by and large populated by very sophisticated (in our minds) people. I think that was especially a problem for Mediterranean and Eastern European immigrants, but we don't want to back to those days, do we? I don't think it was an especially Irish problem, more with other groups, but I heard my ggmother wore red flannel petticoats and smoked a clay pipe and only spoke Irish, greatly embarassing her daughters...so for some of us at least we can't make fun of these stereotypes without making fun or or insulting our ancestors. I can't. Mine were hardly sophisticated..it is a wonder how I got to be. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 07:22 PM

Lox, that is nonsense.

A plastic Paddy is someone who is not Irish whose pretence is the adoption of the caricature extreme stereotypes of Irish behaviour - the English Etonian who insists on starting sentences with "Top of the morning to you, begorrah!" It speaks of the non-Irish.

A coconut is a person whose skin is black but who has adopted the treachery of Babylon. It speaks of the black. NB "Black" used in the English sense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 07:50 PM

It is such a useful term, although nasty, that it seems to have varous meanings depending on country etc. And we just hate giving up perfectly descriptive terms, whether they are nasty or not. Once we have a word that perfectly describes a phenomenon, we don't want to get rid of it. And just like Oreo seemed to spread to Apple and Banana, I am sure that something like "PP" has spread to other cultures. And they are all words that sneer at others. Probably the worse of that ilk is "wannabe." I don't think a person could use it in a respectful manner, because it is a disrespectful word. All of them suggest that a person is not OK the way she or he is..like saying Obama was not Black enough. Someone is not Hawaian enough, or Native American enough or really truly Irish enough or being Irish-American is not good enough and has silly rituals and costumes associated with it. Like we should get together on St. Patrick's day and read the Book of Kells or something and only drink the purest of meade. Oh well, not for me.   mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 10:42 PM

Late and confused (as usual)

A request for clarification.

I am too cheap to subscribe to the OED online, but this is what askOxford.Com has to say about "Paddy":

"Since the 19th century it has come to function in English as a generic nickname for an Irishman."
and
"informal, chiefly offensive an Irishman."

My question:
If "Plastic Paddy" is now a pejorative term, does that mean that "Paddy" itself is not longer a pejorative term?

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: meself
Date: 23 Jun 09 - 10:53 PM

To further muddy the waters: in Borstal Boy, Brendan Behan says that he doesn't mind it when an Englishman addresses him as Paddy, but he can't stand it when a fellow Irishman does (as one does in the narrative).


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 04:44 AM

Richard, if you were to read my first post here you would see that the term has been used against me in a derogatory way and I happen to know that it is used against many others with Irish parents but who talk with English accents.

Terms, especially those not found in dictionaries, are defined by their usage, not by your greater knowledge.

In fact, what you are telling nme is that you are uninformed as to its pejorative usage.

I am informing you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 05:06 AM

To add to my last post, It should be noted that a recent scandal in Bristol City council involved a Black Councillor acusing an Asian Councillor of being a coconut.

Coconut

So One does not have to specifically be Black to be on the receiving and of this type of abuse.


"If "Plastic Paddy" is now a pejorative term, does that mean that "Paddy" itself is not longer a pejorative term?"


Excellent question, beautifully put.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: MartinRyan
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 05:20 AM

For what it's worth, in a debate that has gone beyond silly at times, my experience has been:

"Paddy" is often used, sometimes pejoratively, by people (mostly English) to refer generically to an Irishman; "Plastic Paddy" is used by Paddys, always pejoratively, to refer to non-Paddys who try too hard to be Paddys.

Clear enough? ;>)

Regards


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 05:56 AM

Lox, what you suggest is not the general usage of the term "Plastic Paddy" (both from my own experience and of my friend Paddy Cannon).

Also, if you read my post you would apprecaite that the usage that you cite of the term "coconut" (sometimes "Bounty Bar") is exactly as I said it was used.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 06:18 AM

Martin,

Your experience of the usage of this term is of course useful and adds to the overall picture in a helpful way.

My experience is different and hopefully provides you with a broader view of how the term is used.

The old Indian story of the Elephant being examined and described to the villagers of a blind community by three blind men teaches us to listen to the experience of others and add it to our own experience and not to rely solely on how we have perceived things.

In the above story, the three blind men have a fight - one of them says it is definitely like a snake, the next says it is definitely like a tree stump, the last refutes such absurd statements and says it is like a rope with a fly whisk on the end.

None are wrong, and though their experiences don't seem compatible, they are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 11:41 AM

Lox, kindly don't preach AT me in regards to racial prejudice and derogatory terms until you've walked a mile and lived a year and a day in my moccasins. As I said I've been called and experienced far, far worse that 'plastic paddy'

Remember THAT one!


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Lox
Date: 24 Jun 09 - 05:31 PM

"kindly don't preach AT me in regards to racial prejudice and derogatory terms until you've walked a mile and lived a year and a day in my moccasins"

I'm not preaching mate.

And I'll never know what its like to walk in your moccassins.

And you'll never know what its like to walk in mine.

besides which there are many pairs of moccassins other than yours that I could wear if I wished to and each would have its own unique qualities.


I asked you not to Trivialise my experience.

Are you defending your right to do so?


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 11:17 AM

You may think as you wish.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,Chongo Chimp
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 11:52 AM

Okay, enough of this hoo-hah. You people are all missin' the point. This Bogle character is a closet pervert and he is flauntin' it in fronta his audiences in code. So ya think this Plastic Paddy stuff is about imitation-Irish musicians do ya? Well, yer so wrong!

What the phrase "Plastic Paddy" really alludes to is Bogle's penchant fer paddywhackin' his casual paramour's naked behinds with a plastic paddle! That's right. You heard me. Bogle's been a paddywhackin' pervert for many a year. He keeps a couple plastic paddles tucked away in his guitar case, wrapped in a polishin' wrag. He does his show and scopes out the audience fer any potential groupies that are taken in by his idealistic soundin' antiwar songs and stuff like that. He makes out like he is a big liberal crusader, but there ain't much truth to that. He's really a typical Aussie headbanger and hellraiser with all the sensitivity of a drunken warthog on a night around the town.

After the show he gives out autographs and chats up the naive female fans who are taken in by his smarmy act. Then he lures 'em back to his hotel room where there are mirrors on all the walls and ceilings. Then the fun begins. Out come the paddles. Whack! Whack! Whack! All night long.

Yes, this is the perverse life of a well-known folksinger.....and that's not all! Bogle also likes runnin' over cats with his all-terrain SUV, and he cruises the lonely roads in the Australian Outback, endin' the lives of feral cats, kangaroos, wallabies, platypuses, and any other animals unlucky enough to be crossin' the road when Eric Bogle motors through!

The man is a menace. Somebody has gotta put a stop to his shenanigans.

Hmmm. "Shenanigans." Now there's a great Irish word that don't get used much lately...

- Chongo


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 12:12 PM

?


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Lox
Date: 25 Jun 09 - 04:09 PM

Rifleman,

I didn't express a point of view, I asked a question.

To be fair, your response tells me that you don't wish to press the point and I likewise don't wish to argue it. I think our common ground in recent threads has far outweighed our differences.

All the best.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 08:57 AM

Being British-Born (and not actually having a problem with it) of Irish parents I've long become immune to the 'Plastic Paddy' line. What I've found is it's often used by mediocrities whose only claim to any kind of 'credibility' is the fact that they were born somewhere on the Island of Ireland - which is hardly something they can take any credit for.

A mate of mine prefers to describe himself as 'FBI' - Foreign Born Irish!

I like that one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 11:04 AM

I `ad that Eric Bogle in my cab the other day. `e was looking quite chipper and asked me to take `im to a club in `ammersmith.
I said, "`ere Eric, you`d best keep you `ead down a while. They`ve all gone into one about that "Plastic Paddy" song. Whatever prompted you to write it?".
`e said, "Well, I was in this pub called the "`Dublin `ound" and they was all singing that "Danny Boy". I said to `em, `That`s a great song, it`s about the Old Country, ennit?`"
They said , " No it aint. It`s about a bloke who `ad a strip club in London!!"

Whaddam I like??


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Rifleman (inactive)
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 11:11 AM

"To be fair, your response tells me that you don't wish to press the point"

No, No, my response means quite simply, You Can think whatever you want about me, I simply don't care.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 11:42 AM

That's exactly how I feel about the more contentious sods who burden me with their pent-up hostility from time to time on this forum. ;-) I don't fecking care.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: meself
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 11:45 AM

I hardly think that Lox fits into that category.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 06:53 PM

several years ago as I was playing fiddle at a session (here in Vancouver)
An Irish fellow (non-musician) who sat beside us mentioned that he enjoyed my playing, and said I had the East Clare style down quite well etc. But When he asked where I was from and found I wasn't Irish he said, so you're a Plastic Paddy then - And Id never heard the term but thought it was a bit pejorative. The implication is that you are a wannabe Irish, and that deep down, you really should be Irish to be playing Trad Irish music.

(And it obviously doesnt work the other way, as American Country Music seems to be hugely popular in Ireland, you turn on the radio and it Big Tom or such like while traditional Irish is far down on the list of popular music styles)

Still there is some resentment of foreign players, when I asked one of my (Irish) music friends (I use the term advisedly) about where to find good sessions in Ireland - he said (without apparent irony) you don't want to go to Doolin because that's where all the feckin' foreigners go....


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 07:21 PM

I think we need to register our complaints in person when this slur occurs. ANd it is meant to shame people, have no doubt. At the very least you can say ouch and register that you do not find this a nice name to be called. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 08:28 PM

"I simply don't care"

Yes I see - that explains your enthusiasm for commenting earlier.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 08:47 PM

I wasn't implying that Lox does fit into that category, "meself". I was just speaking in general terms, that's all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: heric
Date: 26 Jun 09 - 10:54 PM

I saw some Irish kids "break dancing" in Dublin in the eighties. It was hard not to feel a just a little sorry for them. Kept it to myself.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: goatfell
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 04:03 AM

yes


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Mo the caller
Date: 27 Jun 09 - 08:31 AM

I think this might be like other fields, where the more you learn the more you find there is to know.
So people who don't care much about it may think shamrocks and Danny boy sums up Irishness. And no harm in that.
We went to a workshop at a folk festival and learnt Irish Dancing. Then we went to another, at another festival and found that what we were taught was completely different. We now know that the varieties are almost endless, from step dancing of all sorts (not just the 'River Dance' kind), Ceilidh dance, Set dancing (the use of the term meaning dances in sets of 4 couples based on 19th century Quadrilles). And within Set Dancing there are different styles of footwork the figures are done in different ways depending on where and when the dance was collected.


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Subject: RE: BS: Plastic Paddy slur
From: Ernest
Date: 03 Jul 09 - 07:07 AM

Eric Bogle had to use the term "Plastic Paddy" because the copyright to the term "Plastic Mick" belonged to the estate of the late Michael Jackson...

;0)
Ernest


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