The island of Ireland, whence most of my ancestors did come. The Irish have been engaged in a struggle against the powers of English rule for countless years now. The tale of the Irish is mainly a sorrowful one, but from such hardship some of the most brilliant writers, thinkers, and activists have emerged. These pale paddies have endured much and although many may drown themselves in the spirits, they have not yet lost their fighting spirit.
The tales about Ireland’s ancient past are varied, shrouded in mystery, and fascinating. Michael Tsarion, an Irishman, has a series called the Irish Origins of Civilization, which claims that druids from Ireland had incredible knowledge and were the real force behind the Babylon, Sumeria, and Egypt. There are also ancient stories about savage giants living on the island.
The various forces that invaded the island over the year, such as the Romans, seem to have succeeded in killing off all of the massive humans, but they took some of their fantastic dogs for themselves. Even though there are no more real “giants,” compare an average Irishman to a Chinese or Mexican man, and things might start to make more sense.
This Irish history of giants includes an extraordinarily tall man named Charles Byrne (the Irish Giant) who lived from 1761-1783. The young man was paraded around as a freak in London during his short life. Although reports from the time list him somewhere between 8’2″-8’4″, the exhumed skeleton puts the giant at around 7’7″. Although he wished to be buried at sea, a man named John Hunter purchased the skeleton for 500 pounds and it resides in The Hunterian Museum in London. Generally known to be a large, hearty people, the Irish could possibly have been much larger before invading forces mixed their genetics with those of the native islanders.
It’s very difficult to know the real story of the Irish origins because the people of this island have been dominated and oppressed for many thousands of years. Many families of English nobility set up estates in Ireland and lorded over the local populations.
In the 1600s and 1700s, Irish Roman Catholic citizens had been prohibited by the penal laws from owning land, from leasing land; from voting, from holding political office; from living in a corporate town or within five miles of a corporate town, from obtaining education, from entering a profession, and from doing many other things that are necessary in order to succeed and prosper in life. (link)
Through the 19th century, the Irish were able to make some progress but were halted at every step of the way.
(did they all stand still for the picture?)
The potato famine of the mid 1800s was a defining moment for the Irish wherein a 1/4 of the island’s population died from disease or starvation. About a million died and a million more immigrated. Debate over the real causes of the potato blight and how it was handled continue to this day, with many asserting that it was done intentionally. By the way, if it wasn’t obvious, the above picture shows a family getting evicted by some thugs during the famine.
So without any choice, many Irish poured forth unto the world from their home island. They were not given a very warm welcome..
I’m hoping most of you have seen Gangs of New York. In my opinion, Daniel Day Lewis is one of the better actors alive today. In the movie, he plays Bill the Butcher, a “native” in charge of his section of New York. He does not like the Irish he sees flooding his streets.
I’m forty-seven. Forty-seven years old. You know how I stayed alive this long? All these years? Fear. The spectacle of fearsome acts. Somebody steals from me, I cut off his hands. He offends me, I cut out his tongue. He rises against me, I cut off his head, stick it on a pike, raise it high up so all on the streets can see. That’s what preserves the order of things. Fear. (47)
The Butcher often mourns the loss of his most-respected enemy, the Priest, who he had killed in battle. He stands unopposed until the forgotten son of the Priest, Amsterdam, begins plotting to overthrow the tyrannical king. As the son, played by Leo, is coming into his own, he hears the following from Walter ‘Monk’ McGinn:
(sync for yourself)
I’ve got forty-four notches on my club. Do you know what they’re for? They’re to remind me what I owe God when I die. My father was killed in battle, too. In Ireland, in the streets, fighting those who would take as their privilege what could only be got and held by the decimation of a race. That war is a thousand years old and more. We never expected it to follow us here. It didn’t. It was waiting for us when we landed. Your father tried to carve out a corner of this land for his tribe. That was him, that was his dead rabbits. I often wondered… if he had lived a bit longer, would he have wanted a bit more?
And Amsterdam gives us this gem: When you kill a king, you don’t stab him in the dark. You kill him where the entire court can watch him die.
The Irish who came to the United States had to fight for their survival against other white people, black people, and everyone else who was just trying to scrape by in the polluted cesspool of the city. Many got a uniform put on them and were sent off to die in Lincoln’s war. Many enjoyed the power that becoming a police enforcer provided them. Most Irish would eventually assimilate into the “melting pot” and lose most sense of their heritage.
For those who remained in Ireland, there were many more struggles to face. They continued to be demonized, oppressed, and curtailed from enjoying freedom in their own land. Many brave Irishmen gave their lives to resist the brutality of their next-door neighbor.
The flag of Ireland was apparently first presented as a gift by some French women who felt for the cause of the Irish in 1848. Over the years, the Irish gradually gained more independence from the British, who did anything they could to stem the rising tide. The following is anti-Irish (anti-giant) propaganda from 1882.
Many of the English nobles who had been living in Ireland for their whole lives actually supported the freedom fighters and the cultural renaissance that fueled them. A good book about this time period is Redemption by Leon Uris.
The Easter Rising of 1916 saw the tri-color of the Irish fly officially for the first time as Irish republicans staged an insurrection. It was put down after seven days, but this act was a monument around which the future would be built for the Irish.
The state of Ireland and its constitution would be declared, ratified and then recognized in 1922. A second document would be passed in 1937 and this is their current constitution. Perseverance and the force of will had paid off. But this was not the end of the sorrows for the Irish. The green of the flag is supposed to represent the Catholics while the orange is for the Protesants and the white is the peace in the middle between the two groups. This white has often turned red.
There has been more than one instance of a “Bloody Sunday” in Ireland’s history.
The instance from 1972 involved the shootings of 27 unarmed protesters by the British Army. These actions would be heard around the world and many musicians would make mention of the day in their songs.
Needless to say, much Irish music is dedicated to forceful resistance..
And then there are these dapper dans..
This art is a reflection of a long history of car bombings, assassinations, and other acts of violence surrounding the Irish. Such acts happen when people feel their backs are against the wall and no one is enacting any justice. People take the law, and guns, into their own hands when criminals are in control.
Boondock Saints was released exactly ten years before my interview with Henrik Palmgren on Red Ice Creations, which is one day after my birthday. The story is about two Irish brothers living in Boston who decide to serve their God by blowing away the assholes ruining their city. At the end of the movie, they storm into a courtroom to execute a crime boss who has about to be found innocent. They give this speech..
Connor: Now you will receive us.
Murphy: We do not ask for your poor, or your hungry.
Connor: We do not want your tired and sick.
Murphy: It is your corrupt we claim.
Connor: It is your evil that will be sought by us.
Murphy: With every breath we shall hunt them down.
Connor: Each day, we will spill their blood till it rains down from the skies.
Murphy: Do not kill, do not rape, do not steal, these are principles which every man of every faith can embrace.
Connor: These are not polite suggestions, these are codes of behavior and those of you that ignore them will pay the dearest cost.
Murphy: There are varying degrees of evil, we urge you lesser forms of filth not to push the bounds and cross over, into true corruption, into our domain.
Connor: For if you do, one day you will look behind you and you will see we three. And on that day, you will reap it.
Murphy: And we will send you to whatever god you wish.
It does seem a bit hypocritical that they should stop killers by becoming them themselves, but this has long been the action of saints. I believe this phenomenon of vigilantism is going to become more prevalent in the coming days as the corruption becomes more apparent and widespread. Like in the end of the movie, there will be a mixed reaction to this type of behavior.
Many will argue that these movies and stories are there to get us to see glory in the spilling of blood. I mean, the Catholic church seems to be one of the most corrupt organizations on the planet and the Irish supported the Nazis in WWII. Well, they did that because they hate the British and wanted to see their empire fall completely. I can’t say I blame them entirely there.
In games such as war, conquest, or liberation it all depends on your perspective..
The Celtic Rebel and I had recently been talking about the movie Revolver, which is a movie I recommend everyone see, and I think it really relates. Jason Statham plays the main character, Jake Green, and speaks the first lines of the film:
One thing I’ve learned in the last seven years: in every game and con there’s always an opponent, and there’s always a victim. The trick is to know when you’re the latter, so you can become the former.
Jake had been con-victed and sent to confinement, but while in jail he sat in between two chess masters who would pass games back and forth via books. He learned that they were planning an escape and they told him that they would take him with them. They didn’t, but he learned that you can only get smarter by playing a smarter opponent. A good chess master will feed his victim pieces (peaces) and let him think he took them. This could be the furthest thing from the truth and is only a distraction so that the larger plan can unfold.
When he gets out, he wins a good deal of money and then challenges a big casino/crime boss to a game of “chance” – winning a massive amount of money. He is abducted on the way out by two “angels” that force him to give away his money and in the process take down the whole corrupt operation of this reptilian-looking Ray Liota.
(in the royal purple)
As Jake approaches an enraged, broke kingpin at the end of the movie, he does so with utter confidence, unarmed. He knows that the greatest enemy will hide in the last place you would ever look. By this, he means the voice inside one’s head that is looking out for its own survival. He speaks to this entity as he takes an elevator to an armed madman..
The point is to not be the victim. You should be the opponent. Be confident and fearless. When the walls (rooks, towers) come closing in, the king will be trapped.
But what then? Once the game is won, do you then choose to sit back down and play again?
There is a whole world of possibility..
And maybe I’d like to play some other games.
I would like to close by offering a possible location for Zion (“in oz”)
Could it be the Emerald Isle? Hell, the crazy, sophisticated, technological white folks had to come from somewhere.
In regards to Zion, I think it’s important to realize that not everyone who wants to achieve Zion on earth is an evil person. But the gold path is surrounded with poppy and it leads to a technological tyrant who rules through fear. There are also black witches that don’t want the heroes to get there.
Eventually the wizard’s curtain is pulled back and he is revealed to be a fraud. The leprechaun has been trapped and must grant wishes to those who sought after him. They proved their worth by fearlessly confronting great dangers. This is a powerful message that many people can internalize and this probably one of the reasons that this movie is frequently mentioned in regards to mind control experiments.
I want to forget all of that nonsense for a little while..
I know home is where the heart is, but this sure does look like a wonderful place. Maybe I can end up there with some nice Irish lasses to show me around. But then I might end up trapped with tons of little Kyles running around wild, not obeying my authority. Eh, I could imagine worse 😉