Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thomas Day revisited
Day's theory about why American Roman Catholicism took the shape that it had by, say, 1950 is entirely spot-on. However, I would contend that, in the wake of fifty years of continuous social upheaval, the reason that it still looks the same (although the idiom has changed, the ethos hasn't) is not ongoing Irish class hatred and anti-English sentiment, but rather simple inertia. Thanks to decades of cultural miscegenation, and the physical and intellectual mobility provided by the invention of the automobile and the radio, the interstate highway system and the television, and finally the personal computer and the internet, most Americans today are not in any real way influenced by the prejudices and preferences of their immigrant ancestors. They decide for themselves what to believe in and do, or not, as the case may be. This is the "Post-Postmodernism" that I refer to at times. I can't prove this, by any stretch of the imagination, but since manifestations of Irish identity in the U.S. are now largely confined to the first two weeks of March each year, it seems reasonable.
Paul Goings

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