Monday, March 19, 2007

Probing St. Patrick

Well, a few days has passed since that whole St. Patty’s train came rolling through and so I’ve been set to thinking: who the fuck was this St. Patrick fella and what did he do to inspire all this holiday horseshit anyway?

So I did me some research.

It turns out that St. Patrick wasn’t some little faggy-looking hobbit sporting a shamrock and pot of gold at all. Go figure!

You mean we were lied too? First the Easter Bunny, then Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. And now St. Patrick too? Hard to believe I know.

In a nutshell, Patrick was a Christian priest whose job it was to convert the population of Ireland to Christianity. Sounds easy enough, right? The Druids, however, stood in his way.

The Druids, as it turns out, were very important people in Ireland at this time, and their symbol happened to be the ‘Snake of Wisdom’. And you already know what a hard-on the Christian Church has for snakes - right? They have a total “Anti-Snake” kind of philosophy going on.

Druids could be priests of the old religion of Ireland, but they were also much more. The Druids, you see, were histories original “multi-taskers”. And, sadly, they didn’t exactly look like the wizard-types you see in children’s Harry Potter books either.

One part of the Druid class were the “Bards”, whose job it was to remember all of the history of the people, as well as to record current events. Because, being the back wood bumpkins they were, the Irish Celts did not rely on a written language, everything had to be memorized. So Bards became poets and musicians, and, in essence, drunken barfly’s. This also explains why the Irish tend to get strangely poetic when they’re toasted I suppose.

They used their music and poetry to help them remember their history, and consequently, they went very hungry as a result.

Despite all this the Bards were highly respected members of the Irish society, as the Irish believed that remembering the past helped you plan for the future. Funny then, how they still didn’t feel the need to write anything fucking down – but I digress. I suppose that’s why the Irish are not known globally as the brightest bulb in the box. And also, perhaps, why Celtic music in general tends to twist my testicles in a knot.

Another part of the Druidic class were the “Brehons”. Brehons were the Judges and the Keepers of the Laws. The Celtic people had a slightly complicated society, and with it, a highly complicated set of laws. Brehons trained for many years to learn the laws of the people so that they could be relied upon to make peace in the event of the disputes.

Again with the no writing shit down! Not too bright these ancient Micks.

Because they served to protect the rights of every man, woman, and child, they were also held in high regard. Picture Judge Joe Brown in animal skins and you’d be getting the idea.

And, of course, there were the Druidic Priests. This branch of the Druid set were the keepers of the knowledge of Earth and Spirits. You just know that made for one hell of a campfire song!

It was their responsibility to learn the Spirit World, in order to keep people and Earth in harmony. Priests performed marriages, and “baptisms”, they were healers, and psychiatrists. The Priests were the wise grandfathers to whom you could go with a problem and climb into their lap for council. Later, maybe, they made you dig deep into their pockets for “candy”.

So, into this crazy Enya album of ancient Irish culture enters a highly energetic and devoted Christian, to who had just been assigned the task of “saving” the people.

Specifically, he had come to kick him some serious pagan ass!

The Irish people at that time were very happy and doing quite well – as do most people before Christianity’s ugly head rears itself – but Patrick was persistent if nothing. He recognized that the Druids were the real who’s who of Irish society, and so set about trying to convert them to his Christianity.

The Druids, of course, were none too excited about giving up their way of life. And who could fucking blame them? They only spent their entire lives learning the ways of the people and committing it to memory, and now they were being asked to simply forget it all and go with another plan? “That’s the thanks we get? Fat-fucking-chance!”

And so the stereotypical of the testy, scrappy Irishman is born I guess. In fact, saying that the Druids were reluctant is like saying that Christ’s last day on Earth was a just little aggravating.

And although Patrick was not willing to abandon his vision of a Christian Ireland, he was getting desperate. He knew that because the strength of the people rested with the Druids, he did the only decent, moral, Christian thing he could think of – he set about systematically wiping them from the face of the earth.

Patrick began to undermine the influence of the Druids by destroying the sacred sites of the people and building churches and monasteries where the Druids had once lived and taught. To put it simply, he literally cockblocked the Druids out of the very society they had helped to preserve and preside over for hundreds of years.

In the end, the Druidic class was broken by a bitter campaign of attrition. Instead of hearing the teachings and advice of the Druids, the people began to hear the teachings of Rome. Because the Druids were the only ones who were taught to remember the history, with the Druids dead and their influence broken, the history was forgotten. And so Christianity throws the towel over another of the worlds cultural birdcages.

See where not writing shit down gets you?

Patrick had finally won. By killing off the teachers and wise ones his own religion could be taught instead.

And it’s another moral victory for Jesus!

For his mass conversion of a culture to Christianity, and for the killing of thousands of innocent people, Patrick was made a Saint by his church. Sure. Why not?

Now, forgive me for saying so, but this Patrick fella sounds like a wee bit of an asshole. So why then is everybody so psyched to celebrate someone who’s claim to fame is having once bitch-slapped an entire learned and highly sophisticated culture back to the Jurassic Period?

Maybe this is why we are just naturally drawn to pick on and tease the Irish.

Today the story is told that Patrick is the patron Saint of Ireland because he “drove the snakes out”. We now know that the “snakes” were the old Druids.

That’s kinda like kicking the shit out of Steven Hawking if you ask me.

Some tough guy Patron Saint he was.


Blogger K. Restoule said...

I just got a call from St. Patrick. he didn't liked being probed with snakes. i think you owe him an apology.

7:52 AM  

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