5/23/2009

I Pissed on a Republican (not what you think)

I hang out at an Irish pub. Granted, I'm about as Irish as Kim Jong Il but they have live music six nights a week and I'm friends with most of the staff.

Last week I found that someone had scrawled the words "Sinn Fein" on the wall of the men's room in double-thick black sharpie.

I'm not bothered by graffiti. I live in a major metropolis, graffiti is a fact of life. I am bothered by the fact that this particular vandal is either a major idiot or a complete asshole.

The owner of the bar is an Anglican from Belfast. He is pro-English. He forbids performers from singing revolution songs. He currently has a cousin serving in Her Majesty's Royal Marines. He is not a "we ourselves" kind of guy. Most of the patrons who bother to have an opinion on the subject are Unionists, not Republicans.

Possibility 1: This guy's an Idiot.
It's possible that the fellow with the marker didn't know the politics of the bar and was legitimately trying to manifest his ethnic pride, assuming that people who frequented an Irish pub would share the proclivities of Ireland proper. Though, really, if you've going to commit an act of vandalism pursuant to the longest and most intractable cultural conflict in western Europe, you might want to find out who's side the people around you are on.

Possibility 2: The guy's an Asshole.
It's also possible that he did know the politics of the bar and decided to tag the wall anyway, which is not cool. This is a conflict that predates the discovery of the Americas. It defines the politics of Great Britain and Ireland and impacts the daily lives of nearly everyone in that part of the world. A share of those people have emigrated to the US, far from that strife, and now frequent this bar. Some guy brought that animosity the breadth of an ocean and turned it into a doodle over a urinal. Yeah, that guy's an asshole.

Blarney & Bollocks.



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2 comments:

nursemyra said...

and bullshit.....

Tom Harper said...

I used to hang out at an Irish pub in Berkeley a long time ago, for the same reasons you described. It was near my apartment, it had a friendly vibe, live music or "other" entertainment most nights, etc.

I think there was political activity going on there, but you had to be looking for it, or tuned into it. I was just there to have a Guinness or 3, meet people, etc.

If I was going to leave graffiti there, I'd definitely make sure the owner and most of the patrons agreed with it; or else I'd go somewhere else.