/ History /
First, the target: start with the end, then read the beginning. In a word: the English crushed the Irish —out of fear of the Spanish! (This fear was not a hallucination.)
Once the English learned the habit of smiting the Irish they unlearned it only in fractions.
Who, I ask though, would have done better?
I just bailed out of streaming the movie Southie: Irish Bostonians drinking, fighting, misbehaving. Last night I watched LA Confidential: LA cops, mostly Irish, drinking, fighting, murdering, planting evidence, muscling in on the rackets …
We cheer in the bible when God whoops it on the people in Sodom and Gomorrah: how come Americans don’t cheer when American Nazis lynch the blacks, starve the Irish, torture the Cheyyena: don’t let in the Africans: except as slaves?
Ugly business. Like evrything, it has a history: it has a history whether or not you or I know that history! no matter how history has been mangled by the media etc. before it ever reachers our helpless ears in the compulsory schools … I know Irish history, a few things anyway. And I learned some history in graduate school that bore no resemblance to the usual misinformation. It’s history part of which we know, but the core of which we don’t.
Listen carefully, you haven’t likely heard this before, not cleanly, not clearly.
Look at the atlas. There’s Europe. Scandinavia is sticking up in the north, Spain and Portugal are well situated by sea routes. England is a big island to the west, Ireland is a less big island still further west.
See? Celts, seaside: sailors. Like Greece & Troy.
The Romans built roads. They also had ships but they used ships like land. Before Rome mess them up, permanently, the Celts used the seas as roads, they were sailors. Isolda sails from Ireland for Cornwall, Tristan, from Armorica, Celtic France, abducts her. The Romans messed up the Celts so they could steal their salt mines: you invent it, you develop it, then we’ll kill you and administer your invention for ourselves. Civilization: the worst civilization prevails.
Meantime this and that Germanic type were marauding everywhere, the Normans, the Franks … Danes were sailing to Britain, Swedes were sailing to Russia, Icelanders were sailing to Norway, Saxons were sailing to Britain, wars destroyed things in all directions. Before 1492 merchant ships hugged the coasts, wanted land always in sight. Then Columbia, insane but brilliant (and crazy-brave) faced deep water, looked for india, found the Caribbean, called the natives “Indians”. Once tangled, it’s very hard to straighten things out. I think God nuked Sodom because it was all too tormented to straighten out. Anyway: Columbus “discovers” “America”, the Pope draws a line of the newly mapped globe: says half the world belongs to Spain, the other half to Portugal. (Where were you when the US gave one monopoly to the post office, and another monopoly to MaBell, and the Cheyenne’s land to Nils and Olaf? Same place I was: not there.)
Of course it was all far more complicated than the Pope had any idea. Spain wasn’t happy with half-the world monopoly, besides, inflation made their new wealth not worth the trouble of locking it in a vault: more, more, like a junkie. Spain wanted England; England didn’t want Spain to take England. But while Spain was sailing up on England’s back door, where the Armada broke up in rough waters, Spain was also sneaking around to come in through the back door. That is: Spain sent commandoes to soften up the Irish, so Spain could engulf England, stolen understand from the Celts (as well as from nature), from the west and from the south-east. These “commandoes” were of course the Jesuits! The Jesuits are dedicated to growing the power of the Pope, they figured that a strong authoritarian Spain, ruthless, wholly un-Christian, anti-Christian, was as close as they could get to growing the Pope.
Henry VIII, once a good-looking guy, not yet a fat monster, an athlete, a real musician, tried blunting Spain’s ambition by marrying Catherine of Aragon. Look at Aragon on a sixteenth-century map: she had more land than he had! She didn’t play fair, she gave Henry no male heir, Henry’s courtiers were beside themselves with frustration. It was all about holding on to whatever monopoly you’ve got any kind of a hold on: and growing it. Political, cultural capitalism.
Aragon, thanx wikimedia
So: Henry feared the Pope from Britain! Understand, what nearly no one does: the Church of England was not Protestant! Henry’s claim was that Canterbury was the true seat of Christianity, the archbishop there the true pope. Henry executed Roman Catholics but he burned Protestants as heretics!
(Still, reflect though: as many queens and citizens and friends and advisors as Henry killed, England got through the Reformation with next to no English deaths! in wicked contrast to Germany, Austria, etc. War raged everywhere except England: where a few queens got the axe. Almost bloodless.
Henry, Elizabether: geniuses, some balancing act; but clearly also very lucky: lucky for the English.
(But I’m still for God just nuking Sodom, never mind the tangles.)
So: England built its guard to the south-east: defend against Spain. England also countered Jesuit spies from the west! Stomp on the Irish. It’s not aggression, its not conquest; it’s self-defense!
They really believed that.
Remind you of anything? anybody’s Cold War?
Terrorism was the only defense the English allowed the Irish! Remind you of anything?
Smite the Irish
1976 or so I met a guy who just made a splash in NYC as a publicist, Irish guy, very Irish, had gotten his face on the cover of Time. And there were also headlines about Irish terrorism, a bomb on some English duke’s egg cup. The Irish guy was muttering, Oh, no, we’re not so bad … I took the Irish side (in his ear): the duke got to be duke by torturing some Irishman, or his great great granddaddy did; why can the Irishman, his great great grandson that is, put a bomb in the duke’s egg cup? He didn’t have a clue what I was talking about!
Same logic as: if we could come here, just had to kill a few Indians, why can’t anybody come here? if they’re willing to kill a few immigration cops. We got our advantages by lawlessness; were do we get off now talking about law?
I first started scribbling too much about the Southie movie, here’s some scrap before I absorb or delete it.
There was a lot of ethnic warfare: Irish cops beating up Puerto Ricans, blacks, framing the blacks, lying about everything: all protecting the rip off the public scam of government. (Of course there wouldn’t likely be an pubic without the government fertilizing population growth way out of proportion to anything possible in nature not interfered with.
It’s a noir flick, the dialogue painful, awful, made me cringe.