Flavin's Corner
3-12-99
Green Day

May those that love us, love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we will know them by their limping.
Traditional Irish Blessing (curse?)

    This Wednesday is, of course, St. Patrick's Day.  Once more I must choose
between wearing green or black.  Being a lapsed-Catholic and Irish-American
on March 17th is kind of cool, in as much as it's a broad license to overindulge,
weep, puke, and weep some more, but every year on "Green Day" I'm torn by
the same feelings.  I'm proud of my Irish ancestry and very much ashamed of
...certain things.  Ouch!  Well, we can't change where we come from...

     I still have difficulty living with the fact that Ireland was the only nation to
send Germany a sympathy card after Hitler committed suicide.  The New York
City-born Eamon De Valera, Taoiseach (or Taoisigh, the "Prime Minister") of
Ireland, sent his condolences to the German ambassador in Dublin after reading
an account in The Times of London which described a Hamburg radio
broadcast by Grand-Admiral Karl Donitz, Commander-in-Chief for the north
of Germany, who falsely claimed Hitler had died in battle.  Manners is one
thing, but that was a bit much!

     Another example of Irish "manners" is said to have occurred near the end of
the reign of Uganda's notorious dictator, Gen. Idi Amin Dada Oumee.  Amin
had an evil sense of humor (after Nixon resigned from the Watergate scandal,
Amin sent him a "get-well-soon" card), terrible dietary practices, as well as a
love-hate relationship with the British.  During one of his frequent foul moods,
he had two British soldiers seized, stripped naked, made to carry him on a litter
through the jungle, then killed, and reportedly had them cooked and ate their
flesh.  When some Irish revolutionaries heard of Amin's treatment of the
British, they sent the dictator a case of Guinness Extra Stout to help wash
down the soldiers.  Now THAT was just a waste of good beer!

     An infamous lack of Irish "manners" was shown by Sinead O'Conner on the
Oct. 3rd, 1992 Saturday Night Live television show.  After performing an a
cappella version of Bob Marley's "War," the singer added the words, "Fight the
real enemy," and ripped up a photograph of Pope John Paul II.  O'Conner
believed that conservative Catholicism and its anti-divorce and anti-abortion
positions hurt the women of Ireland and that the Pope, as head of The Church,
was "the real enemy..."  Silly lass; the Irish have always been their own worst
enemy...

     Bob Marley based the lyrics of his song on a speech given in 1963 by
Ethiopian ruler Haile Selassie I to the United Nations.  Though never formally
accepting or denying the role, since his 1930 coronation Selassie had been the
focus of the Rastafarian messianic movement in Jamaica, who regard him as a
"black Christ."  Born Tafari Makonnen in 1882, Tafari became Ras Tafari
when he was married ("ras" means "head" in Arabic and has the meaning of
"prince" in Ethiopia; hence the origin of the movement name), and was later
crowned His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, Power of the Holy Trinity,
225th Emperor of the Solomonic Dynasty, Elect of God, King of Kings, Lord
of Lords, and the Conquering Lion of Judah.  Because of apocryphal tales of a
surviving dynasty between the Queen of Sheba and Solomon and the 1930s
invasion of Ethiopia by Italy's Mussolini under the alleged blessing of the
Roman Catholic Church, the Rastafari have remained vehemently anti-Catholic.

     It's not known if O'Conner was familiar with the disillusioned Rastafarian
anti-Catholicism stance or simply sung Marley's song because of its overt
confrontational theme.  It's rumored the "real enemy" was some of her Rasta
friends who were involved with gang and drug wars, but it really doesn't
matter...  O'Conner has since become a Buddhist, apologized to the Pope, and
is considering her Catholicism once more as evidenced by her recent statement
that she "hopes to now find her real home in the church."  Whatever...  This is
from the woman who also recently said, "Bill Clinton is the sexiest man in the
universe.  I would bring my own cigars!"

     The above examples of poor behavior are nothing compared to the
shocking secret kept by one of the most beloved Irish Americans of this
century, John Wayne.  The "Duke" was a lingerie fetishist!  Yes, The Quiet
Man enjoyed wearing women's underwear!

     Though born Iowa in 1907, Marion Robert Morrison (his real name) later
moved to southern California, a place where many an innocent has fallen into a
lifestyle of perversion.  As a young actor, "Duke" Morrison began to wear
women's nylon stockings under his pants, at first to ease a nasty case of
psoriasis, but continued to wear them the rest of his life because he liked the
way they felt. [Note:  Apparently the "Duke" was here a tad before his time, as
there are now nylons for men (which include ...ah, an accommodating pouch).
Click  here  for more.]

     As his fellow American actors enlisted for service in World War II, the
"Duke" couldn't because of a football injury incurred while at USC.  Around
this time it is thought that he began to wear ...corsets.  While it is not unusual
for those suffering back problems to wear support, such support is seldom of
the cotton coutil Edwardian variety.

    It was after the release of The Quiet Man in 1952 that the "Duke" began to
put on extra weight, in the area of his upper chest among other places, and
took to wearing a bra.  With nylons, a frilly corset, and a lace bra, the John
Wayne lingerie fetish was complete.  The "Duke" has remained an Irish
American icon, recently seen cut into Coors Beer commercials, and his
continued popularity may be due to the general unawareness of his lingerie
fetish.  Perhaps the homophobic managers of the St. Pat's Day Parades in
NYC, South Boston, and Chicago should watch old John Wayne movies...

     Ouch!  The above was incorrect!  It wasn't John Wayne with the lingerie
fetish -- it was way weird director John Waters!  Sorry...  I guess I started a
wee bit early with the Guinness.  Ah, Erin Go Braless!

turning green,
Rick

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