Saturday, March 17, 2012
Ireland -an Gorta Mór
No cats were harmed in the making of this post
(It's pronounced arrlend ya potato head)
On this festive of days when the last of the green beer is spilled and the holiday is but a memory, time to reflect back to a bygone era when conditions were as harsh as fate would permit. History revolves in it's circular path and what may seem new is nothing more than a repetition of days past. Names may be changed but the game is the same. Nothing new to see here if you study your history.
St. Patrick aside the other event of Irish history creeps it's ugly head the potato famine of the 19th century. Nothing less than tragic by today's standards or any standards for that matter. But in digging into the bleak past one finds many similarities to today's events. Unable to produce and thereby pay their rent the less fortunate were thrown off their land and had their hovels burned behind them. Now you might think that nothing crueler could exist in our modern day world but history as was mentioned has a way of repeating itself. Try as we might to cast all manner of law to prevent such an event history like nature has other plans.
Back then the order of the day was to somehow bring a relief to such suffering yet as we all know greed and politics have a way of spoiling such plans. The Poor Act was implemented but not before a Tory amendment was added to basically poison the effort. No tenant on more than a quarter acre could be entitled to any relief either through assistance or by workhouse. You recall the workhouses of the time of Dickens a debtors prison conveniently structured so the less fortunate could never get out of debt.
But this is the 21st century and not some dusty antiquated novel we now see. Oh contrare, the bubble of housing which by the way still continues is no less tragic than the days of yore. To add insult to injury someone cast from their home today faces a default clause neatly tucked into the fine print. Run away if you will from submerged house debt only to discover that's not the end of your economic troubles. Like a lustful stalker the bank will follow and they know where you work. No problem for them to find out. It's austerity heaped on austerity and don't forget the tax and fee increases on the least of us. Like making a rape victim pay for the privilege.
As sad as all this may sound here in the home of the brave and the land of the free it's playing out world wide. So it seems the farther we try and run from a tragic past the closer we run to tragedy. Maybe it's time to open that vintage bottle of scotch because the beer is all gone now. Now tell me again what this holiday was all about.