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When Irish History And Geography Meets American Earnestness

From the United States (but of course), and more specifically, the city of Seattle (naturally), a video illustration of “100 Years of Beauty – Ireland“, a phenomenon which apparently separated the country into two separate fashion cultures for some place called “the Republic of Ireland” and an even more mysterious territory known as “North Ireland” (?). Which will come as a surprise to pretty much every person who has lived on this tiny, homogenised island nation for the past one hundred years or so. A foreign-imposed border may have divided us, clothes and hairstyles most certainly did not. That was – and is – the farcical nature of British “partition”. North or south, Ireland looks identical because it is identical. That is why the British unionist minority in the north-east paint kerbstones red, white and blue, hang Union Jack flags from lamp-posts and deface Irish language road signs. Because they know, as pathetic as those things may be, there is precious little else they can do to visually differentiate north from south, unionist from nationalist.

Ok, the behind-the-scenes videos seem to indicate that the people producing the original presentation meant well, but it’s not as if Ireland was situated in the wilds of the Hindu Kush. And it’s not as if the US is lacking in Irish immigrants, or knowledgeable Irish-Americans, or people with no connection to Ireland at all but who can still use Google, who might have said, “Er, are you sure about all this?“, and maybe point out a few incongruities in the terminology and interpretations. “Colonial” good. “North Ireland” bad. Etcetera.

5 comments on “When Irish History And Geography Meets American Earnestness

  1. Apparently, women in both the “Republic of Ireland” and “North Ireland” were quite attractive during the century in question, somewhat flaky and didn’t wear tops – ever. What an inane video. What’s the point? Did some advertising agency have a few hours to kill one afternoon?


    • It’s part of the new “content” market for websites like Buzzfeed, etc. Companies basically produce these click-bait articles/videos and supply them to various media platforms. Sometimes the content-makers sell them direct, sometimes they just put them out there on the internet to go viral, and then hope that the stuff brings in customers looking for more of the same. As business models go it is extremely flaky. The income from it is subject to the whims of the internet and it can be very cut-throat. My brother does some work with them, “Irish people eat American foods for the first time”, “Americans try Irish candies for the first time”, that sort of thing. The work is nonsense but the money is good, and the people they employ are all hopeful actors/models/comedians.


      • Just when you thought media couldn’t get any more inane …


        • I genuinely don’t see how it could be profitable, but apparently lots of hispter start-ups are looking to get in on it. All it takes is some decent camera and sound equipment, a couple of good PCs or Macs, three or four employees, a couple of rooms to make it in, some willing wannabes celebs willing to do it for a few euros at a time, the guts to cold-call PR and media platforms, and away you go. This is fairly typical. It is, as you say, utterly inane but the Facebook/Twitter sharing generation love it, the vids bring in traffic and hits for the websites that feature/host them, so who knows?


          • Wow! It’s a real cottage industry, isn’t it? Videos that I won’t be clicking on include “Men Get Their Back, Sack and Crack Waxed,” “Men Wear Women’s Lingerie” and “Girls Try Shave Their Boyfriend’s Armpits for the First Time.” I generally don’t try to predict the downfall of any civilization, but I may make an exception in this case. Of course, American productions are just as bad, if not worse.


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