Thursday, November 29, 2007

Behaving like the English

Ed West of the Daily Telegraph says that Irish drinking has changed.
Irish drinking patterns have gone through a weird process of Anglicisation.

The Irish used to drink in inter-generational groups, which has a civilising effect, while female drunkenness was frowned upon, as were overt displays of intoxication.

Now Irish women vomit at bus stops like good English girls, teenagers booze in packs, and alcohol-related violence has rocketed. Drunken Irish football fans even shout in mockney accents picked up from English TV, which carry a certain chav chic.
Is he right? I never really thought about it before, but there is something to his "inter-generational groups" comment. I remember when I first came here I was struck by the sight of young guys with long hair, etc. sitting there talking, joking with men who I imagined would frown on such haircuts. It was one reason I found the Irish pubs so appealing. (The lack of music was another, but sadly that's in the past now too.)

It's a short article, but one that is interesting for the manner in which it laments the changes in Ireland, changes that have led to the Irish being more like the English then ever before.
Ireland is now free, rich, drunk and Anglicised: English shops dominate the high street; that oxymoron, English celebrity culture, is everywhere; British tabloids have taken over; English football is the new religion; and Tesco has "pacified" the country way beyond Gladstone's wildest dreams.

This new Anglo-Irishness reflects a self-consciously vulgar New Brit view of the world in which drunkenness is something it never was before - shameless.
Generally Irish people hate being criticized by anyone English, but in this case West is criticizing the Irish for behaving too much like the "English".

I know he's overstating things, but generally I agree with him.