Saturday, March 08, 2008

Ireland forever

A roundup of notable Irish films from Kevin Cullen - -- Kevin gives us 15 slides here of film picks for St. Patrick's Day. Renew your Irish in the comfort of your own home, quietly, safely. How do we reconcile having St. Patrick's Day during Lent anyway? Is there a dispensation, a free pass, a get-out-of-Lenten-jail card that creates a window of festive opportunity in the middle of the somber contemplations of Holy Week? Are Irish Catholics eternally conflicted just because of the calendar and doomed to a lifetime of substance abuse to cover over the wrenching angst and guilt?

There's another thing, too. Many of us have mixed allegiances when it comes to being Americans who also originally hail from Ireland. Take my grandfather, for instance. During the First World War, he applied for his US citizenship and had to appear before a judge, who asked him why a fine, strapping young man like himself wasn't in the Army. My grandfather's reply, "Because my country's not at war," put his US citizenship on hold for a good while.

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