Monday, August 15, 2005

The IRA

Wow, man. Fucking IRA, holy shit. Laying down their weapons. Whew.

Okay, let's see here. I know there's something deep and contemplative I could say about this.

Instead, I'm going to tell a little story. Maybe that'll get the creative juices flowing and incite me to write some sort of abhorrently long rant.

Here's the story. I know this girl named Amy, and she's Irish. Don't hold that against her. She's also a stoner. Also, don't hold that against her.

So I was thinking the other day about the IRA thing while at work, and how in the past she'd talked about her Irish pride, and I decided to ask her a simple question; basically what did she think about the IRA deciding to lay down their weapons. I basically assumed that she would not be happy with the situation, but at the same time I assumed that somewhat facetiously. So in all reality, I'd kind of figured she'd be happy about the peaceful end to decades of senseless bloodshed.

HahahahahahahahahahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

So here's how it went down:

Me: Hey, Amy, how about that IRA thing?
Amy: What IRA thing? What happened, I didn't hear.
Me: Oh, well the IRA last week put out an announcement basically saying that they would from this point on pursue democrat means and between the lines telling all the cells to put away their guns since they now have enough legitimacy in Parliament to feel they're clearly represented.
Amy: Oh, fuck! Oh my god, what the fuck? Well, there goes hundreds of years of war down the drain for nothing at all.
Me: Well, actually, after September 11th it was already going that way because... (launches into an explanation of the complex geopolitical ramifications of terrorism on the support network established within the US to funnel money to the IRA, followed by a diatribe about how this is actually good for the Irish people because it means an end to the bloodshed and a more respectable place within the Parliament.)
Amy: Well, that sucks.

Okay, so here's the thing(s).

Number one:
WHAT?

Number two:
WHAT?

Number three:
How can a fourth generation who pays no attention whatsoever to the "struggle for Irish independence" (anyone who still calls it that is deluded, in my humble opinion) even pretend to have an opinion about this situation? How can someone seperated from the conflict by thousands of miles, safely tucked away in a house in East Texas, really say that they think the violence and death should continue indefinitely until the Irish people have a completely seperate country from the British?
How can someone be so nationalistic if they've never even seen the country that they're so adamantly in support of? How, if the very people who were leading the charge for so long to fight "for victory or death" have decided that it's now time to move on and pursue a more civilized method of extracting concessions, can someone who's never been involved in any way whatsoever think their opinion is more valid than the opinions of those who have seen their brothers, fathers, families die?

Number four:
No, seriously, WHAT?

Okay, in all seriousness... Here's the thing. Part of why everyone knew this was going to happen with the IRA is that after September 11th, funding from American donors dropped off drastically. The majority of donors to IRA money-laundering organizations were from Boston and New York City, and for some reason these people, being so close to the terrorist attacks and so effected by them, decided that they didn't want to support violence and death in Ireland after seeing how much it could have an impact on oneself when similarly violent attacks occurred just down the street.
I'd like to believe that it wasn't just shock and outrage over the concept of "terrorism" or "guerrilla tactics" that upset these people so much. I'd like to believe that these people, so close to such a large-scale terrorist attack, realize that this, on a smaller scale, was exactly what had been going on in Ireland for a long, long time. I'd like to believe that they realized that the money they were giving went not to liberating the Irish people, but instead went toward perpetuating a culture of fear. I'd like to think that after seeing those towers collapse, they didn't want any of their "Irish brothers and sisters" to lose their families in a similar way.

Then I talk to someone like Amy.

Maybe it's just because she lives in Texas, not the Northeast, and the attacks on September 11th don't have quite the same meaning or significance. Maybe it's because she doesn't have that type of empathy. Who knows.

Well, I think that's about enough for the moment.
Apply this to your own situation as is merited. Have a good eve, kiddies.

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