In Ireland of today, it can be observed that a pattern has seamlessly emerged whereby the attention of the citizenry is increasingly focused upon foreign shores, but not in any manner conducive to the good health of our nation.
It is still obvious that the Irish Establishment, and its minions throughout Capitalist business, look overseas for their lead in how to evolve our society. It appears that we Irish are incapable of progressing our own communities without seeking guidance and succor from abroad, at least if the Capitalist teat-suckers of greed are to be believed.
I am obliged to write this in a foreign language so that the people of our country might understand. I hear a foreign tongue spoken as a primary language across the land. I listened, over the years, as we used words and phrases taken from English soaps, and shuddered as men became ‘mates’ and women ‘birds’. I cringed as oblivious Irish people declared themselves great patriots as they followed soccer and rugby to the exclusion of our national games. Apparently wearing a green jersey is sufficient to be said to have walked in the footsteps of Clarke and Pearse.
We have held on to the administrative divisions imposed by the colonial regime. We laud our counties whilst forgetting that the counties themselves are an introduced system. We still accept the redrawing of provincial boundaries from those that had existed for a thousand years. Our regional accents are frowned upon by the state broadcaster, which instead would see us all speak in an English ‘Home Counties’ brogue. We are over-run by west-Britism. Our apathy will destroy us.
Do not mistake me. I hold no fear nor dislike of English or ‘British’ culture. I admire it greatly. I have watched the programs from our neighbouring island. I have and still enjoy their music. Their comedy is world-leading, as is the arrogance of their Surplass. I do not wish to see an isolated and insular Ireland.
But a foreign culture, no matter how appealing, is not my culture. Colonialism in Ireland bled the Gaelic identity from many, with others moving all too quickly to embrace the pseudo-Irishness that was configured. This path is still promoted by those within the Irish Surplass, and is championed by witless gobshites who know no better, and couldn’t care less.
Yet a new and dangerous twist has been added to the dilution of our true and unique national selfhood. It is one that even the island of Britain is in danger of being overwhelmed by. This threat has arrived, loudly trumpeting its own worth. It drowns out the opposition by its sheer volume and size. It is a behemoth of infiltration and presence. It is the contemporary influence of the United States.
Yes, I know I am using a platform created by a US company, and software provided by one from the same nation, so I will not decry everything that originates there, any more than I would with respect to English invention, or German or Chinese. Yet I will criticize the abandonment of a nations character, and the leaving of cultural debris as a reminder of who we were, just so that Irish gypes can jump upon a pop-culture bandwagon and scream, ‘look at me lads, I’m Americano-cool! Listen to me sing like Beyonce…see me shake that thang…’ (I scolded my grandmother severely for such a performance).
As usual, we in Ireland followed every twist and turn of the recent US presidential election. We continue to watch closely each news report on the myriad shooting tragedies in the US, even as greater suffering occurs in places such as Yemen, Myanmar, Syria and Palestine which seem to be of less concern to us. We are fixated on each ridiculous Trump tweet and public utterance. We know their states, their parks, their cities, their history. We increasingly use their terminology and are confused due to the spelling of certain words that they have programmed into our computers (why has travelers only got one ‘l’? when was this decided and by whom?).
We gawk at their music stars and their attire, their movie stars and their attire, their TV stars and their attire, their attire, and routinely undergo the humiliation of their bio-metric scans just so we can spend our money in their country. We queue to eat at their greasy franchises, spreading like a Capitalist disease across our land, and unquestionably lap up the fetid and well-packaged propaganda from their many commercial intrusions and muscled Capitalist media.
It is Cultural Imperialism.
We do all of this willingly and think ourselves trendy, current and informed. We do not stop to consider if are being manipulated, nor wonder if we are being exploited. We sigh in misplaced amazement at how green the grass seems across the Pond, and foolishly dream of being a part of such a vacuous fairy-tale.
Yet their people, the ordinary citizens of the US, do not benefit from this mass infection of the planet. They too live with the unavoidable effects of greed, selfishness and ruthless ambition. They too are being marginalized and dispossessed, as we are all fed an unhealthy diet of consumerist excess. They too live in growing debt, that is being used as a means of controlling them, of ensuring their complicity. They too are fed the same drivel about the ‘American Dream’. I have lived among them and I have seen and experienced the facade that is presented as both desirable and obtainable to all. Only those with little conscience stand a good chance of success in the dog-eat-dog society that is the US. Small communities there become redundant, their residents displaced as Capitalist economics breaks up families and neighbourhoods (or is that neighborhoods?), their towns levelled (?) to be ‘redeveloped’. To criticize such economic strip-mining is to be labelled ‘un-American’ or, heaven help us all, ‘Socialist’.
The regular people of the US are dispensable to those who control the country. The people of the world are dispensable also, but only after they have wrung and bled us dry.
In Ireland, this faux-cultural colossus from the United States is being callously injected into our identity and will overwhelm. That we should so warmly and unwittingly embrace it must surely be a clear indication of the dangers of growing US global hegemony. We are blithely walking our children and their children into a hollowed future, one of a US-consumerist texture, and which will come to be a homogeneous society of bland ideas, superficial ideals and superfluous sentimentality. And we thought Cromwell was a problem…