El Dorado News-Times
Does Saint Patrick’s Day have a future?
I am definitely a product of the great American melting pot, but on both sides of the family, a Scots-Irish ancestry is prominent.
(Some distant cousin with too much time on his hands traced my mother’s maternal grandmother’s line back to 1557 in Ireland. But come to think of it, if the distant cousin also had too much Guinness beer in his hands while researching genealogy, the family history may only go back to last August in Antarctica instead. No wonder we’ve never had any reunions.)
I hope that Saint Patrick’s Day survives well into the future, but I see trends that may make for an unrecognizable celebration within a few decades.
Let’s be realistic. The whole “saint” idea will become increasingly problematic as the secularization of culture continues. Someday soon we may celebrate Celtic/Gaelic culture by spotlighting Patrick the Guy with the Really Outstanding Social Credit Score.
Oops. Did I say “guy”? I forgot that “Hollywood Reporter” says the reboot calls for the hero to be Patricia. And, remaining scrupulously faithful to the source material, she and her kick-butt sisters import snakes into Ireland!
The coveted four-leaf clover may not be such a rare commodity in the future. If we don’t get train derailments and toxic spills under control, we could wind up with abundant four-leaf clovers, two-headed leprechauns, unending river dances (“I’m not dancing — my legs are having violent spasms!”), etc.
Speaking of leprechauns, those fabled pots o’ gold will doubtless get a makeover. (“Cast iron pots of gold? That’s so irresponsible! We’re going with biodegradable paper pots of gold! That will make sure — begorrah, no one told me it was going to rain! The gold is washing away and me Lucky Charms are getting soggy!”)
Persistent water shortages could make those dye-the-rivergreen events like Chicago’s a thing of the past. (“Hey, I dug out the color wheel from the city’s old aluminum Christmas tree. Let’s shine it on this endangered wetland over here. Is everybody having fun?”)
Diehard Anthony Fauci fans may cause trouble for seasonal clothing vendors. Millions of perfectly wearable festive shirts will need to be replaced with ones emblazoned with the message “Kiss My Mask, I’m Irish — and Septuple-Vaccinated and Doing A Pub Crawl on Stilts.”
“Corned locust and cabbage.” That may not sound like a palate pleaser to you, but dietary transitions accelerated by climate change will create new culinary traditions. Of course, it may take some subtle persuasion. (“You can still have corned beef, but it comes with a side of lectures from Al Gore and Greta Thunberg. Or you could eat corned locust and cabbage in solitude.” “Pass the locust! I’ll take a shillelagh to the first person who comes between me and a barbecued exoskeleton!”
Will the telling of tall tales remain as a pivotal part of Saint Patrick’s Day? Perhaps, but more likely, certain websites will denounce it as “Fake blarney! Fake blarney!”
I hope you’ll take part in a traditional Saint Patrick’s Day parade while you still can. I’m not sure how much longer government officials will tolerate them, especially in high-taxation states.
“Hey — they’re not stopping at the designated end of the parade route! All the marchers are making a break for the state border! I’ll bet the ingrates are migrating to the low-tax state of Antarctica! Not a state??? Darn those failing schools!”)