It’s An Irish Thing — I Wouldn’t Understand

Contrary to what my last name (Fogarty) may hint, my heritage is only composed of a pinch of Irish in the overall mix. I guess it makes sense when one considers that “Fogarty,” depending on the source, means either “The Banished One” OR “Son Of The Exiled Man.”

In either case, it doesn’t reflect well on my ancestors. They’ve been on this side of the Atlantic for many, many generations. Straight Outta Eire Circa 19th Century, yo. Some of ’em, anyway. The rest came from Scotland, England, Germany, France, Prussia, and maybe Atlantis and R’lyeh, for all I know.

It doesn’t really matter, though. It’s not a case of where my blood’s been, but what I tend to appreciate. St. Patrick’s Day is, alongside Halloween and New Year’s Eve, one of my favorite holidays. Or at least it was when I lived back near Chicago where people seem to go absolutely hog wild (I’m from the Midwest. I can say things like “hog wild”) over said holiday. They dye the Chicago River green, pee in the streets, and cause more mayhem than a post-Lakers championship riot. It’s the festive spirit of the occasion that moves me, not the minimal ethnic ties I have to the tradition.

That being said, I can’t say I’ve ever had a truly great St. Patrick’s Day here in Los Angeles, and it’s not for lack of trying. In a city that generally offers something for everyone, you’d think there would be St. Patrick’s Day festivities aplenty, yeah? Perusal of the latest L.A. Weekly leaves me wondering if anything’s going on at all. I would love to start a monthly Celtic and Celtic-punk club/gathering where one could enjoy the sounds of The Pogues, The Tossers, Flogging Molly, The Clancy Brothers, etc., but I wonder if the interest would even be enough to fill a small club on an even infrequent basis out here in Los Angeles.

But, hey, I remember a monthly club where they played nothing but Smiths and Morrissey songs all night — and people (including me) went. Maybe trying something different might be worth a try. But to be honest, I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

Oh! And if you do know of anything going on tomorrow that I’ve overlooked, please let me (and the rest of us) in on the secret!

13 thoughts on “It’s An Irish Thing — I Wouldn’t Understand”

  1. I’d go. You should check out Blood or Whiskey, a great Irish band with traditional roots.

  2. I don’t know of anything musical going on, but Tom Bergin’s is opening at 6 AM for everybody who managed to get the day off (or just wants to stop in for a pint or two before work).

    That, to me, is impressive.

  3. It would be cool to have a Celtic scene – there’s a band out of Seattle plays punk (ponc) in Scottish Gaelic, and a heavy metal band out of Scotland in the same language. The wonderful thing about non-Celtic things in Celtic languages is that they are entirely anticommodities and unrecuperable for the present.

    As for the US version of the St. Patrick’s thing, speaking even as a Chicagoan, all I can say is “pog mo thon!” Celtic culture without Celtic languages = zilch. Where are the Gaelophones? I spent a St. Patrick’s Day evening in the Cat and Fiddle (Hollywood) once, and aside from the kilted bagpiper at midnight and the lovely lass who kicked off her brogan and danced for everyone, it pretty much sucked the way only the Cat and Fiddle can suck when too many people are packed into its otherwise charming courtyard.

    Kilted bagpipers are in fact Scottish. Which reminds me of the bouncer at the C&F who showed up to check ID’s in his kilt, but when asked “A bheil Gaidhlig agaibh?” could only say “No,” after being told what the phrase meant.

    Flogging Molly indeed.

  4. JIM: Blood or Whiskey. Check! I’ve heard of them before, but I’ll write it down so I can make sure I check them out. AFSHEEN: Most impressive! Where’s that? MY FELLOW ROBERT: Yeah, I’ve done the C&F thing, too. While I didn’t think it was horrible, I didn’t find it outstanding, either. And I’ve always wondered about the bagpipes/kilts on St. Patrick’s Day. Sure, I know the Scots were an Irish tribe that moved over to the next big island back in the day, but that was a while ago. Shouldn’t there be a St. Columba’s day or something? I wouldn’t mind learning Irish or Scots Gaelic, but there don’t seem to be many classes offered ’round these parts! Sure, I could try book learnin’, but it’s just not the same, somehow.

  5. AFSHEEN: Thanks! I have seen that place, now that I think about it. JOSH: Thanks! I’ll post here if/when such a thing ever takes place, believe me! KOGA: Ah! Good call! So what are you up to this evening, sir? Any of the mentioned activities?

  6. Tonight is the weekly bowling gig with Jon and a few other friends in Santa Monica (Brian and Wendy might be there). Afterwards, it’s off to Finn’s, probably after 11:30 PM.

  7. I noticed quite a crowd this morning before 7am at Brennan’s in Marina del Rey…all lined up and dressed in green. I was bummed I hadn’t taken the day off.

  8. So what did everybody end up doing?

    I celebrated by going to Ikea for three hours (!!!) and then being too tired to do anything that didn’t involve sleeping.

  9. The wait to get into Finn McCool’s was a whopping 1 1/2 hours so those plans pretty much went out the window. WTF is going to wait that long to get in anyways?! :o

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