HE SAID: St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2010

It’s a beautiful Wednesday morning here in Vermont, and before I continue with my 10,000 word term paper, I thought I’d do a quick entry for your enjoyment.  See, my plan is to do lots of work today, and then reward myself with a bunch of green beer and or Guinness tonight.  Why? Because it’s St. Patrick’s Day of course!

What’s that you say?  “Jeremy, you are Jewish…not Irish!”  To that I respond, “well at least I have an ‘ish!'”

Seriously though, I’m not effing Irish.  Not even close…except for my pale ass white skin.  Oh, and the fact that I used to demolish Lucky Charms like Ron Jeremy demolished women.  So why the hell do I (I=just about everyone) feel entitled enough to take part in an Irish holiday and get all banged up on what should be a random Wednesday night?

Straight from the Wiki entry (which means it must be true) on ‘St. Patrick’s Day’ – “It is named after Saint Patrick (circa AD 387–461), the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland. It began as a purely Catholic holiday and became an official feast day in the early 1600s. However, it has gradually become more of a secular celebration of Ireland’s culture.”

So we’ve got a Catholic holiday that has slowly turned into a holiday that celebrates Irish Culture.  Awesome, but guess what?  I’m not Catholic and I know jackshit about Irish culture.  Something tells me if Sean O’Flannigan asked me what I knew about his culture and I responded with, “Jameson, Guinness & the potato famine” he would be somewhat offended.  I mean, if someone likes Latkes (potato pancakes) or Matzoh Ball Soup, then by all means, eat away.  But don’t feel the need to celebrate Hanukah or Passover if the only thing you think you know about Jews is that we are thrifty (which isn’t true, by the way.  Well, I am thrifty, but that’s because I’m cheap…not because I’m Jewish).

I’m not on a high horse here, because as I admitted at the beginning, I’m going to get drunk tonight; and more importantly I’m going to have fun doing it with a bunch of friends and randos all dressed in green.  I just don’t understand how or why a traditionally Irish/Catholic holiday became so widespread.  But then again, I don’t understand why I see the Easter Bunny two weeks after Christmas, or just the Easter Bunny in general.

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SHE SAID: St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2010

Ah, Jeremy.

The Irish are a jovial people and hence, a jovial celebration that has come to embrace and include anyone who feels like partaking.  Even if partaking means drinking green beer, wearing ridiculous hats and generally dressing like an idiot while knowing nothing about what you’re celebrating.  Maybe we should all take note not to take ourselves and our damn holidays so seriously or separate everyone else from experiencing them.

I mean, how awesome would it be if we all celebrated Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Guy Fawkes Day, Australia Day, Martin Luther King Day, Canada Day … we keep adding days, we might be celebrating a whole lot more and maybe, just maybe, a little less pissed about all the other crap we end up moaning about.  We might come together as a people … imagine all the people, living life in peace.  I figure we wouldn’t have to go more than two weeks at the most without a holiday.  And I’m all for it.

Because in the end, whatever you’re celebrating, you get together with people, sometimes family, sometimes friends, ideally people you love or at least care enough about to go through the effort.  And however somber the holiday, and however much you moan about the insanity of your family or whomever you’re getting together with … there’s still a part of you that enjoys it and is glad you went through the effort when it’s all said and done.

I love holidays like Saint Patrick’s Day.  I don’t have to spend money on presents for the gazillion people in my family, I don’t have to travel insanely to spend face time with everyone, and yet it’s a day of fun green food, good wishes, and smiles.  I still haven’t jumped on the green beer wagon, since I’m pretty psyched about my amber to brown colored beer, but I don’t want to hold anyone else back from enjoying it.  I did, however, make my son a ridiculous green breakfast and send him off to school looking like the jolly green giant threw up on him.

The Irish.  They’ve suffered, been downtrodden and starved.  But, damn, they know how to have a good time, and to make sure those around them do as well.  When I went over one summer, just mentioning I was American meant I was bought beers all night.  It was the only time I remember my arm being sore from holding full pint glasses all night when I woke up the next morning.

So, unless you’re Scottish and sporting orange today, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.  Can you still say “top o’ the morning to you!” in the afternoon?


HE SAID: Holiday Commercials

November 15, 2009

*Editor’s Note: While it can be tough being a lonely Jew on Christmas, this post has nothing to do with that.  I am not bitter Hebrew.  I have been lucky enough to experience both (C)Hanukah and Christmas the past few years, and enjoy both.

I had trouble titling this post.  Why? Because for some reason I thought “Will TV stations please stop airing effing holiday commercials two months out” was a tad too long and verbose.  Seriously though, I saw the first holiday themed commercial about 10 days before Halloween.  Oh, and by “holiday” I think we all know I mean “Christmas.”  Lets face it, the Jews aren’t exactly shoving Hanukah Harry themed items down our collective throats.  This first commercial was a gospel themed CD.  I found it odd that it was airing up in the Vermont area – the advertisements probably aren’t reaching the targeted audience.  Stoned white college tree huggers are probably not jumping to their phones to purchase the CD.

Here’s the thing about all this over-advertisement: while it’s true Americans are generally dumb (see election 2004), we are not so dumb that we need to be reminded that Christmas is on the way and all the stores of lots of really really good sales (I wrote that sentence a bit dumbed down to emphasize my point).  We are all all to aware of what Best Buys, Targets and shopping malls in general will be like for the next six weeks, we do not need it rammed in our faces through all forms of media.

Not only do we need to deal with excessive advertising, we need to deal with excessively cheesy advertising.  Take a gander at this, then this, and finally this one.  Ok, so that last one wasn’t cheesy, but it brings me to my next point – at one point Tyra Banks was incredibly attractive.

What about the first two commercials help advertise their products? Are they trying to tell me if I do my house decorations at Lowe’s and grab my tree (or menorah) there that my daughter will surpise me with a visit? I would hope that in the future my kids will show a little gratitude for all that I end up doing for them, such as putting them college.  Or I should say, they should show some gratitude to my wife for putting them through college and me for being Mr. Mom.

You want a good Christmas commercial, check this retro stuff out – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7kxPYzigCQ.  I have to cut this short because I want to crush some Oreo’s and skim milk.


SHE SAID: Holiday Commercials

November 15, 2009

294709-main_FullHoliday Commercials stink.  I concur.

But it’s kind of a given.  Even more so given the current economical state.  Everyone and their mother is trying to sell sell sell and get in the black between the traditional consumer mad dash from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve (although apparently that margin is now ten days before Halloween and Christmas Eve).  It’s a tiny time frame, I would imagine these people are under a ton of pressure, and the result is ads that are all too frequent airing too early in the year.

Toys, home goods, big box stores, oh my.

Recently, I feel like the amount of jewelry ads airing mid November astounding.  The forced, vomit-inducing cheesiness that runs rampantly on these ads is insulting to everyone, from the actors to the unsuspecting viewers.  If someone ever actually used the phrase “he went to Jared” to announce an engagement … if that’s the best they can come up with, that’s depressing. Although Kay, while normally anger inducing with the “every kiss begins with k” catchphrase, managed to come up with this one, which makes me laugh almost every time I see it.  I’m still waiting to see DeBeers moment of cripplingly forced, generic, gender stereo-typing, lame excuse for a romantic moment this season, but I have no doubt it will make me change the channel when I do.

Why does my mom expect all five of her grown children to be sitting in the living room come Christmas morning?  Thanks Lowes.

But I’m getting into entirely different territory here.

I have recently come to the conclusion that the ads I like are the low budget local ones that I catch every once in a blue moon when the urge to watch a back to back of the Wheel and Jeopardy strikes me.  They are way more entertaining and genuine than anything else out there, especially the dreaded holiday ads.