Happy, But Hated. Why Not?

by Brendan Strong

IT was a great weekend for Irish sport. A shame for me as I don’t follow it.
As a zeitgeist whore, I enjoyed the unbridled energy, goodwill and passion of Ireland’s grand slam rugby win. Later on, some fellow beat the living shite out of a guy from Central America (who, at time of writing is still in hospital). This time it was considered a triumph for the nation.  I wish I’d blogged on Friday, just after I’d swigged a wine and whined to my wife “You know if they win, someone will declare the recession over….” She, again, rolled her eyes to heaven.
Earlier in the week it was said that the Welsh hated the Irish. Confusion ensued (“no they don’t”; “no, indeed, we don’t”, “we don’t care anyway!”; “yes they do!” “no, indeed we do! Do you mind if I take a leek?”). Well, we sorted it out. They hate us now. OR whatsisname, Stephen Phffewyardsshortt Jones. If they don’t hate one, they’ll hate t’other. I’m sure of it.
The Germans are pissed off with us. Of course, it looks like they’ll end up bailing us out of this government-backed bankruptcy that Fianna Fáil (Fine Failers, a teacher of mine once called them) barrelled us toward.
The Americans are annoyed with use because we took their jobs, or so they believe – what with our cut-rate corporate taxes.
Europe is annoyed with us because we were the kid with all the chances who spent fifteen years staring in a mirror and masturbating furiously. Now, we’re in serious need of a lover and we’re reluctant to take any form of prophylactic that might protect them from contracting something nasty. Also, we were the spawning ground for Libertas, who believe themselves to be the real voice of Europe and want to stymie any attempts at making Europe work efficiently.
We’ve aggravated Libertas with our constant questioning of their motives. (I must admit, the only thing I’ve ever agreed with them are these points: Why are Libertas questioned to an extent that no other European party are questioned? Why is there this feeling that if you’re pro-EU, why can you not question the way it works?).
But, we’re happy. And our happiness pleases me in many, many ways.
First, for the first time in (how long?) fifteen years, our happiness hasn’t been predicated on being “the small country punching above its weight” or “one of the richest countries in the world” or “fuckit, we’ LOADED!”
We’re proud because we ‘done good’. Fifteen lads manhandled a pig’s stomach in a much more convincing way that fifteen other lads. One lad beat seven shades of shite out of another guy.
But they were Irish. Irish and proud.
And this morning, everyone was happy, smiling even. Smiling! At strangers! Being friendly! I haven’t seen it in years. It’s not the misty eyed “Here we are, all miserable and happy together”. Neither is it “There’s more to life than money, and now we’ve no money, there’s more to our life…” It’s just the idea that we’ve all shared this great experience (experiences) and we’re enjoying sharing it. We’re together again.
Happy but hated, why not?

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