Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category
(I first wrote this March of 2012. Each year I try to add at least one new story to my Irish History Celebration posts. I’ve reposted it this month for our Irish Heritage celebration. Enjoy! – BS)
The Famine began quite mysteriously in September 1845 as leaves on potato plants suddenly turned black and curled, then rotted, seemingly the result of a fog that had wafted across the fields of Ireland. I have been told that the cause was actually an airborne fungus originally transported in the holds of ships traveling from North America to England. Somewhat ironic then if you consider how many Irish families in turn fled to North America because of it. Let no one say we Irish have not had a sense of humor in the annuals of history.
In Any event, The Great Famine was a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration between 1845 and 1852. Outside of Ireland it is more commonly called The Irish Potatoe Famine. Within Ireland, and amongst my own family it was referred to as an Gorta Mór or great hunger.
With The Armorer finally going dark there aren’t too many folks from the heydey of blogging still around.
So whose left?
Well John DuMond of Nobody Move is still writing, and doing so with much more regularity than myself. I’m a frequent lurker there and rarely comment but I still like his work, especially his true crime pieces.
Harvey too, is also still running over at Bad Example. Again I lurk but do not comment often. Mostly because I have a hard time finding time to do much more than quickly read any more with work and school.
Laughing Wolf has been much more creative than I posting quite regularly.
Stephen Sherman aka The Commissar still runs his Ace Pilots page, but his Politburo Diktat is long gone.
Teresa and Technicalities is still alive and kicking
Doc at DocInTheBox also posts occasionally.
T1G of Drunken Wisdom is another sporadic like myself.
EricSWG of StraightWhiteGuy also writes sporadically, and well as always when he does.
The Conservative UAW guy last posted in May.
Nidonemo is still active thankfully.
The Ministry of Minor Perfidy is another who has not posted since May
Slobokan has been silent since April
All of the Northwest Arkansas Bloggers are gone save for myself.
Since I started writing online back in 1997 I have seen the web undergo a lot of social changes. From mIRC to OTC sites such as Tripod and Geocities, to the MySpace and Blog Heydeys.
All the folks I have listed above, for the vast majority I interact with via Facebook with regularity. They get tired of the spammers, the Chinese hackers, the internet drama, and the “Take this down or we’ll sue you!” crowd.
Its hard to blame them. I’ve been threatened with at least 4 lawsuits in over 15 years of writing on line. I’ve gotten more hate mail than I can shake a stick at. Its one reason I have rarely if ever used my real name online: the fact is there are just some plain old fashion sick people out there.
But I have also met some fabulous people, made great connections. Been introduced to some legends, and people who I consider friends today.
Blogs may be going to the way side, and one day it is entirely possible that this site too may go dark (though I have no immediate plans to do so) but until that time its much like digital cave drawings. People have evolved, maybe not for the better, but their digital social culture has definitely swung towards the instant gratification world of Facebook and G+. Even I use them.
But I can’t put down my keyboard, not entirely. I feel like if I do, a little piece of me might die with it.
Current vote tallies are as follows.
An Leargaidh The Slopes 2 Votes
An Dun Hill Fort 2 Votes
Monadh Liath Grey Mountains 1 vote
Cair Ceann Tulaich Fort of the hillock 1 Vote
And lets not forget an honorary mention for Caisleán Critter
Don’t forget to check here for the full list.
Vote tallies will end the morning of Saturday April 20th.
As for me? I’m trying to maintain decorum. Of course inside I’m screaming. 5 and a half hours and it will be all over.
So here’s something to set the mood. Caoineadh Cu Chlainn, probably one of the prettiest songs I know of, as performed by Bill Whelan and played on a Uilleann Pipe.
Typically March is one of my favorite times of the year. You get the full gambit of seasons in one month: rain, snow, cold, warmth and the colors begin changing once again.
This March has been brutal, not weather wise but just in general.
We lost a good friend, and military blogger in Carroll LeFon AKA Neptunus Lex in 2012. My whole family was nearly killed in a car accident in the same year. My daughter has been plagued with one sick spell after another. The list goes on and on.
But in the end it is still the seasons, and just plain luck that goes wrong even though sometimes it is fate itself that has turned against us.
Read the rest of this entry »
(I first wrote this March of 2011. I’ve reposted it this month for our Irish Heritage celebration. Enjoy! – BS)
It’s been said that we Irish are blessed with the “gift of Blarney” or gift of speech. Which is why we make such great story tellers, writers, authors, poets and actresses.
Renowned for such wit and humor as that which came from the likes of Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats and others. For we Irish, words and language are so very important…My grandfather once told me that if a picture is worth 1,000 words then it takes 1,000 words to paint a picture.
But this Irish gift of wit doesn’t come out of thin air, so the legends say, but rather from solid stone!
This one is a fairly new one, as it was just written in 2010. As with our other March stories we thought we’d share it once again! – BS 2013 UPDATE: Video corrected
Irish history is more than just words on paper. Like so many civilizations past we tend to put our stories, our mythos in to song.
Many have heard the songs of Ireland and found them any array of reactions from distinctive, to beautiful, to addictive. Music is not merely a form of expression for the Irish. It’s a way of reliving our past, and it is probably one of the few mediums in which blood has not been shade amongst ourselves.
The son of the god Lugh and Deichtine, Cú Chulainn was originally named Sétanta . He gained his better-known name, Cú Chulainn, as a child after he killed Culann’s fierce guard-dog in self-defense, and offered to take its place until a replacement could be reared.
This is a story oft told me as a young lad
More on Cú Chulainn after the jump
For Dr. Burton of MSU
I’ve done a lot of things with my website over the past several years. When I first started at Techography.com back in 1995 we wrote tech articles in layman’s terms for people. There are a lot less laymen today than there were in those days and the need for what we did I think is not as great. We slowly have veered away from it and split the sites in to two sites with different focuses reflective of ourselves as we have grown older as well, one with a more tech face (that we really haven’t focused on or bothered with any degree of dedication whatsoever in probably 5 or 6 years) and this one which is mostly my playground.
(I first posted this on March 10, 2007 at Techography.com it has been reprinted here for posterity and your enjoyment)
The Orangemen are a peculiar amalgam of history, anger, controversy, patriotism, and pain.
It was founded in the same County that my own family heralds from…Armagh. It’s no surprise that we settled in Ellijay then, the Apple Capital of Georgia. The Orange Order is a Protestant fraternal organization based predominantly in Northern Ireland and Scotland with lodges throughout the Commonwealth, Canada and in the United States.
I first wrote this back in 2010. I have reposted it for our Irish Heritage Month – BloodSpite
Without a doubt this is my most favored Irish song. It’s not really traditional, having been written in the late 1970′s.
However, the story behind is as saddening as the lyrics.
More after the Jump
(BloodSpite’s Note: I originally wrote this in March of 2011. I’ve republished here for this years Irish Heritage celebration. I hope you enjoy!)
I’ve mentioned before that my family hails from County Armagh. However, my family does not align itself with the Ulsters. It’s one of the reasons we left Ireland in the 1940′s my grandfather having had enough of the frictions between the North and South, “We were all Irish, dammit.” he would often curse in his latter years with a shake of his head.
This post isn’t about politics however, it’s more about a place that politics happened.
I originally wrote this in 2010 here. While I try not to add anything to my original posts when I re-post them I do try to correct spelling, punctuation, etc. I also have a bad habit of adding new pictures upon occassion. Otherwise you should find little, to no differences between the reposted material, and the original. – BloodSpiteDanny Boy is one of over 100 songs composed to the same tune.
The author was an English lawyer, Frederic Edward Weatherly (1848-1929), who was also a songwriter and radio entertainer. In 1910 he wrote the words and music for an unsuccessful song he called Danny Boy. In 1912 his sister-in-law in America sent him a tune called the Londonderry Air, which he had never heard before. He immediately noticed that the melody was perfectly fitted to his Danny Boy lyrics, and published a revised version of the song in 1913. As far as I know, Weatherly never set foot in Ireland.
Read the rest of this entry »
On Easter Monday, shortly after noon, Patrick Pearse and a band of ill armed and ill prepared poets and romantic patriots rose in rebellion took control of the General Post Office incentral Dublin and several other strategic sites around the city. The Irish Republic was proclaimed in Dublin, and the insurgent Tricolour suddenly broke upon startled eyes flying from the flagstaff above the General Post Office in the very heart of the Irish capital.
I first wrote this back in 2007 at Techography. With Calimus’ help I dug it from the archives and republished it here, in 2010. As with all things Irish Heritage, I’ve brought it back once again. Enjoy. -BloodSpite
Now that I’ve learned a great deal about Northern Ireland, there are things I can say about it: that it’s an unhealthy and morbid place, where people learn to die from the time that they”re children; where we’ve never been able to forget our history and our culture-which are only other forms of violence; where it’s so easy to deride things and people; where people are capable of much love, affection, human warmth and generosity. But, my God! How much we know how to hate!Every two or three hours, we resurrect the past, dust it off and throw it in someone”s face.
-Betty WilliamsNorthern Irish Peace activist, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
It”s almost time ye see.
Time to dust off the green carnations, the Erin Go Bragh pins.
Time to remember, and time to celebrate.
It has been said, albeit sometimes bitterly, that Ireland’s best exports were her son’s and daughters. But they have kept the faith, however Americanized. Little Ireland, poor and underpopulated, with it’s humble patron Saint unknown in the rest of the Christian world causing all the fuss one day a year on a day in March.
Saint Patrick’s Day in New York is the most fantastic affair, and in past years on Fifth Avenue, from Forty-fourth Street to Ninety-Sixth Street, the white traffic lines were painted green for the occasion. All the would-be Irish, has-been Irish, and never-been Irish seem to appear true-blue Irish overnight. Everyone is in on the act, but it is a very jolly occasion and I have never experienced anything like it anywhere else in the world
Brendan BenhanBrendan Benhan”s New York
My grandfather used to joke.
“Do ye know what St Patrick’s Day is in New York?”
My family moved south to Georgia, the mountains of the time in the North of the state wild, to escape the lack of jobs and the No Irish Need Applysigns that plagued them upon their arrival to the land of milk and honey.
“No Grandpa.” said I, the youth and unknowing. A babe in the woods. ” What is St Patrick’s Day in New York?”
“St Patrick’s Day In New York is the day all the factory owners on Fifth Avenue watch their employee’s parade in the streets.” he roared, laughing at his joke that took me years to understand.
Englishmen, Scotchmen, Jews, do well in Ireland- Irishman, never; even the patriot has to leave Ireland to get a hearing.
Each day of the Weekend, for the rest of March I will supply some tidbits on life in Ireland, stories my family has past to me, both of their time in Armagh, and upon their arrival here in the US.
I hope that you will See St Patrick’s Day to be more than just a time for green carnations, green beer and music. I hope you will see just what it means for those of us who are Irish, in America.
Thus when you raise your green glass, to your mates and your friends, and you hear the words of every lasses lover in the lyrics of Danny Boy, you”ll have a tear in your eye and your heart, for a people who at once are ready for anything, and prepared for nothing, and proud just the same.
So its finally March. Usually my favorite time of the year.
As you can see I managed to ensure that the website changed to its typical green hue for the occasion, forests of Ireland a backdrop for something I have done on this website for several years: that of sharing some Irish history, Mythology, lore and my own families history with you.
This year has been crazy, and the last several weeks hectic. Last year our March celebration was marred by the loss of longtime friend and fellow MilBlogger Lex.
I can’t promise you this month will be better. There are things moving in m own life that have me as worried as a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs, but I digress.
It’s March. There is still snow on the ground. Spring is coming soon as the last vestiges of winter make their way from our lives for this year.
The U. S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.
Let me begin by saying I am not a right wing extremest. Nor am I planning some foolish course of action of violence. Rather I entice you to think, and beyond that point of your nose.
I believe in a woman’s right to choose. That you should be able to marry whom you please without my interference, if you want to burn yourself out on crack cocaine so be it. You can worship the Flying Spagetti Monster for all I care as long as you don’t perform human sacrifice, slaughter animals, or need virgins for deflowering.
Essentially as long as your choices do not interfere with my own I have no desire to interfere with anyone’s way of life. I guess it could be said I am a individual isolationist, although I prefer the term Constitutionalist, or perhaps American.
However, with all this I understand that a certain number of laws need to be placed in this world. A defining of the social lines and culture that can not be, should not be, crossed. By this a governing body of those laws does indeed need to be in place, with its power limited to those laws that are found just and equal.
Merle Haggard had it right.
It has been tough going as dad, a student, a Volunteer fan, as a citizen.
The personal budget is screaming under the weight of schools, and Christmas. The countries budget might as well be on fire for all the good screaming has done it.
I am hopefully for a strong cold Winter. We haven’t had one in several years now, and frankly I think we need it.
Oh and lets not forget the Mayans. I’m attending a “We made it out alive or we got left behind!” December 22nd party.
But as I sit here in my office, sipping my coffee, my daughter playing on her computer beside me, even with all these troubles I can find a sense of peace.
Everything is falling apart around us, but at home, in the quiet of our home, we find peace.
Your life is what your thoughts make it.
– Marcus Aurelius
There’s a lot to be said for that I think.
At work its all 100 miles an hour, get it done lickety split quick. At home I try to slow it down. Relax. Breathe. Enjoy.
Kick back, scotch or wine, cigar and watch the leaves fall.
If we can make it through December……but until that time, keep the peace, aye?
You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
So some folks got what they wanted last night and some folks didn’t. Such is the way of the world and the nature of the beast.
I won’t sit here and try to ploy niceties and say I think under this leadership we are heading in anything even vaguely considerable to the right direction.
But nor will I quibble over it.
What I am concerned about is a much more conscionable change in our culture as a whole.
- Last night we elected a woman whom has led most of her life as a fraud
- We voted to legalize a product that is arguably worst than tobacco.
- We elected a President who likely allowed US diplomats to be killed
- We reelected an administration whom supported an Attorney General who has managed to kill at least 1 Border Patrol agent and hundreds if not thousands of Mexican citizens.
- We reelected a President who disenfranchised military voters.
- And a act of terrorism where soldiers and civilians were killed was classified as “work place violence”
Any one of these alone, ten years ago, would have shown a government official the door. But in this day and age not a single thing has been done on any of them.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not happy with the outcome, but I am more concerned over our populaces willingness to forgo these slights against itself.
Rather we have created entire generations whom are dependent upon the government. I’ll be exploring this more in coming days but historically speaking it’s a scary trend for our nation.