Oct 27 2008

He Sings The Songs That Remind Him Of The Good Times

Published by at 2:24 pm under Blog

DrinkWhoopsadaisy posted a post about her issues with the demon drink. She’s not in favour of going out and getting blottoed or drinking just to get hammered, a culture that is all to prevalent in Ireland today.

Now, I don’t quite agree with her viewpoint. I like alcohol. I like it a lot. I even like that our nation has a reputation for being drinkers. Of all the reputations we could have, I think it’s one of the nicer ones. We are the drunken poets of the world and I do take a certain pride in that.

That said, I have mentioned recently that I haven’t been feeling the best, so I have decided to combat this by trying to eat better, exercise (a bit) and cut down on my alcohol intake. I’m not giving it up. I don’t want to – I enjoy it too much. But being drunk on a school night or having six-packs more than three nights a week is possibly taking its toll. Moderation is key…I think.

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11 responses so far

11 Responses to “He Sings The Songs That Remind Him Of The Good Times”

  1. Aidanon 27 Oct 2008 at 3:57 pm

    “I even like that our nation has a reputation for being drinkers.”
    I hate that stereotype actually because it gets brought up almost any time I meet people. There is no art in getting drunk, it’s like getting a tattoo, everybody can do it and the more you do it the worse it looks.
    “We are the drunken poets of the world and I do take a certain pride in that.”
    If only, I don’t think that the world sees the drunken Irish as poetic. From a Dutch vantage point, most of the time they think think that the rowdy group in the corner is English and I don’t bother correcting them about their provenance if there is somebody particularly the worse for wear.
    Wherever you go people go out and have a few drinks and dance. The Irish ‘craic’ is no different than the fun you have on a night out in any Dutch or Polish town. There may well be a select few poets amongst the drunken masses but I wouldn’t romanticize the Irish relationship with the bottle.
    I read this article a while back written by a Pole who had lived in Ireland and I thought this statement was both telling and a bit sad “That barrier of polite, yet distant, friendliness seemed impregnable. To my delight, I found out that it was actually soluble in alcohol.”
    It would be a lot nicer if Irish people could be a lot more emotionally open without needing drink. Drink can be a great friend but for many Irish people it is no such thing.

  2. PaddyInEnglandon 27 Oct 2008 at 5:15 pm

    “The Irish ‘craic’ is no different than the fun you have on a night out in any Dutch or Polish town.”

    Couldn’t disagree more. There is something very special about going for a drink in Irish bars that is not matched anywhere else. English bars are shite in comparison. In England the bars are more like franchises. Google Weatherspoons or Yates for example.

  3. sheepworrieron 27 Oct 2008 at 5:46 pm

    Im happy enough with the stereotypes we seem to get – they’re not particularly untrue, despite being heavily romanticised.

    At least we’re not stereotyped as boring, arrogant or stupid.
    Or English *shudder*

  4. Joon 27 Oct 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Sure, Irish bars are better than English pubs (double shudder) but that doesn’t mean that our inability to have fun, or socialise, without alcohol is an admirable or healthy thing.

    It’s the way we celebrate, it’s the way we relax, it’s the way we meet old friends, it’s the way we celebrate the birth and Christening of our babies, our weddings, all our religious holidays.

    If you don’t drink, your drunk friends can lose their charm fairly fast after the first fun and tipsy hour or two. Not always, but often. The husband says the worst fights in the pub always happen at Christenings, Sunday afternoon drinking with your family. Nice. We’ve even convinced our fourteen year olds that the only way to enjoy yourself is to binge drink. It’s bullshit.

    I think drinking’s fun too. Sure. But I odn’t think it should occupy the place of honour it does in our society. The drunken poets have broken families and fucked up children!

    On a more concerned note, four six packs a week? Ee, start taking some vitamin B! And think about the fact that it’s a depressant…

  5. Aidanon 27 Oct 2008 at 8:51 pm

    “Couldn’t disagree more. There is something very special about going for a drink in Irish bars that is not matched anywhere else. English bars are shite in comparison. In England the bars are more like franchises. Google Weatherspoons or Yates for example.”

    Well, I am not sure how comparing Irish craic to going out in Poland or Holland leads your comment.
    However, I did live in England for five years and every English town I was ever in had plenty of pubs that were not chains. Having said that I had good nights out in All Bar One and Yates’ in the past.
    My point is that Irish people sometimes make out that craic is unique. It’s not. I have had craic in Ireland and countless other countries.
    The major difference between Ireland and most of the rest of Europe (besides Britain) is that you are guaranteed to see countless people annihilated with drink on a Friday or Saturday night. That’s not a pretty sight and it is not something to be proud of. Not all poets are drunks and drunks are definitely not all poets.

  6. whoopsadaisyon 27 Oct 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Darren – first of all, I am delighted to hear that you are cutting down for a bit. I had no idea you drank so much during the week actually – that’s a lot! I hope it makes you feel better 🙂

    Secondly –
    “We are the drunken poets of the world and I do take a certain pride in that.”
    Do you really believe that? Really?? I think the rest of the world is copping on to the fact that the majority of Irish people don’t know how to enjoy themselves without a few pints inside them and the novelty is wearing off, fast.
    How many drunken Irish poets are there these days? I don’t know much about the world of poetry but I am pretty sure that not too many of them are functioning alcoholics…

    I don’t see that there is any pride in not being abke to talk to people or have fun without having an artificial helping hand or a ‘social crutch’ to help you along, which is what most people are using it for.
    I am not anti-alcohol by any means. I enjoy a few drinks as you know. I’m just all for everything in moderation!

  7. Darrenon 27 Oct 2008 at 11:52 pm

    @Aidan I am not condoning heavy drinking and I am certainly not saying that being the rowdy gang in the corner is for me. You may not believe the romanticised view of the Irish drinker, but to this day, across the world, we are still seen as a friendly nation who is fond of the drink. That view may not be accurate, but it does exist.

    Drink can be a great friend but for many Irish people it is no such thing.

    I agree. For many it is a poison and for many families it is akin to a virus. I would not blame the substance for this though – the person who abuses it must shoulder the responsibility.

    @Paddy That’s what I was alluding to. I didn’t mean for this to spark a serious debate on alcohol – I simply wanted to point out that I am fond of drink and drinking and I do enjoy the ‘scene’ that accompanies it. I just feel that for my own self, I need to cut down.

    @Sheepie Again, that’s what I’m saying. We could have such awful reputations worldwide. We could be viewed as the dangerous and stupid American, the dull and conservative Brit, the smelly and pompous French, or how about the terrorist Eastern European? Stereotypes are never accurate, but being labeled as a fun loving drunk is far from the worst label we could have.

    …you are guaranteed to see countless people annihilated with drink on a Friday or Saturday night. That’s not a pretty sight and it is not something to be proud of.

    @Aidan I wasn’t saying I’m proud of that. I am somewhat proud of being known as a nation of happy drinkers, that’s all.

    @Whoopsadaisy Do I really believe that we are a nation of drunk poets? No, certainly not. Nor do I believe all Americans are stupid or that all Dutch people wear clogs. I do believe that we have that reputation though across much of the world. I wish people would comment on what I actually wrote as opposed to what they think they have read:

    I don’t see that there is any pride in not being abke to talk to people or have fun without having an artificial helping hand or a ’social crutch’ to help you along, which is what most people are using it for.

    You know me – do you think I’m proud of that? Does that sound likely? I’d be very impressed if you could find anyone who is proud of that. Having pride in a reputation and a perceived reality is a very different thing.

  8. Aidanon 28 Oct 2008 at 10:02 am

    “I do believe that we have that reputation though across much of the world.”
    If you are talking about English speaking countries you might be correct that there is a romantic Brendan Behan-like image of the jolly Irish drunk.
    However, I spend much of my life with people from countries who are not culturally similar to Ireland. You learn a lot more about what people think about your country when you hear what they are saying in their language and what I hear about Irish drunkenness is not flattering at all.

  9. Darrenon 28 Oct 2008 at 4:43 pm

    @Aidan Maybe I’m not well travelled enough. But regardless, this post doesn’t sum up my views on alcohol. I’m just saying I need to cut down a bit. Thanks for the input though. I may revisit this topic.

  10. Rickon 28 Oct 2008 at 10:04 pm

    I’m with you on school nights, except on rare occasions. I’m going to give it a rest or while.

  11. Darrenon 29 Oct 2008 at 4:47 pm

    @Rick I even turned down Champagne last night. I’m very proud of myself. 🙂 And I noticed you played Tubthumping yesterday – good man.

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