Thoughts on the St Patrick’s Day Parade,
And why it made me so angry.
I was going to go into Dublin City Centre with my children to watch the parade, but I realised that I didn’t have enough energy. So we compromised and watched it on TV at home, as long as we could play a game of monopoly afterwards. Deal! As soon as the parade started, I was very glad we stayed at home. Because what I saw made me angry.
The first thing I saw was President Higgins arriving at the VIP seats. I think I wrote to him at least 4 times in the last 2 years. Writing to the President of Ireland was a big deal the first time, but the second time I was frustrated, and by the third time, I just didn’t care. I said exactly what was on my mind, and I hit, hard. He acknowledged my letters and emails by means of an automatic email receipt, but he never actually wrote back to me. Not even his secretary wrote back. This man never acknowledged to me or to anyone that he signed medical apartheid into legislation, nor did he acknowledge the consequences of doing that. How ‘his people’ became divided, how hate was stirred up on many corners, families separated, people excluded. The vitriol on social media, mainstream media, and on the news and talk shows exacerbated the problem. The dirty unvaccinated were talked about by ‘celebrities’ as if we were dogs that needed to be kicked, criminals that should be locked up; some people even said we should be killed for it. This is not something that is easy or quick to get over.
We had our rights taken from us one by one, in a similar way to those during the lead-up to the Holocaust. President Higgins, the same man who spoke out year after year at the Holocaust memorial, this same man who was at a talk about this very subject, given by a holocaust survivor who spoke about how it starts (always for your safety), and where it may end. Higgins gave us not one iota of remorse, not even an acknowledgement. He spoke gleefully into the camera, wearing his shamrock, delighted at his day out and his free sandwiches.
Breathe. Walk around, get away from the TV. Glad that I was not in the crush of the crowd with the wind and cameras in my face. Just as well we stayed home.
And then the parade began. It started with a homage to Ukraine. People walked in front, proudly holding the Ukrainian flag. Then there was a dedication - this parade was for them.
Of course it was for them. Not for us. We have had so many things taken from us, it’s only to be expected. (And probably more to come.) But did the organisers realise that people from Ukraine are mostly unvaccinated?
I laughed. The lights that light up the world for Ireland today bore the colours of the Ukraine flag.
I was still angry. Can you tell?
The parade floats were beautiful. I watched the dancing, listened to the music and enjoyed the children’s colourful outfits and face paints. I was cooling down. I pointed out that the presenter was rude to a group of Ukrainian people when she referred to them as “these people” instead of talking to them directly, and using their interpreter to interpret, instead of talking to him directly and ignoring them. But she’ll learn. And then I saw the ‘Love and Acceptance’ float.
Love and accept everybody. As long as they’re vaccinated? Or Ukrainian? Do what you want, dress how you want, love whoever you want, as long as you don’t go against the mainstream narrative. We love and accept you if you behave yourself. No such thing as unconditional love and acceptance here. No thank you. You can tell my anger had not abated. And then the parade was over - this super-long, super-fancy parade, lasted the same amount of time as any other parade would have done in the past. Except of course for the past 2 years.
Don’t get me wrong, I have always loved the parades. I watched them in person while growing up, my father would bring me and my brother to his place of work and we would peer out the high window and watch the whole thing, breathing condensation on the glass, and getting an ice cream afterwards. I kept going when I was older, outside because I was taller then, and could see from street view, and cheer on with the others. When I was in my 20’s the crowds thickened and it became claustrophobic to be outside in the crush. I stopped going then, but I always watched them on TV. When I lived in the city centre for a year or two I tried it again, but it was too much for me, so I watched the parade on TV with the sound down as I could hear the noise outside. It never was in synch! The Patrick’s Day parade always held a place in my heart. So much so that I’ve put the parade into my novel, and funnily enough, I’ve made St Patrick’s Day the birthday of my main character. I don’t know how I will feel about it all next year. Everything changes so quickly, and I don’t hold onto anger if I can help it. I do need to process it though, before I let it go.
Anyway. Back to today. I think being angry made me tired as I didn’t notice when the children landed on my properties during our monopoly game. Of course this meant I was first out. No harm done. It was fun. We noted how interesting it was that the banker always seemed to be the one with the most money and the most properties.
As I’ve said before, and I will say again just to be clear, I sympathise with anyone from any war-torn country. With anyone who has been driven from their home in fear of their lives. Anyone. From any war. Not just the flavour-of-the-month war. Or the one that suits the current mainstream narrative.
Once everyone had gone to bed I watched Hugo Talks. I like him, he’s astute and makes good observations. I didn’t realise he made this video:
Something in me released when I watched it. It was my anger. I realised I was still holding onto it. Because I’ve wanted an acknowledgement.
I wasn’t expecting a full blown apology to be given during the St Patrick’s Day celebrations, but I did half expect some sort of acknowledgement of the past 2 years, of what we have been through. The parade wasn’t presented the way I needed it to be presented, it was of course, sticking strictly to the mainstream narrative. What had I expected? Of course the Parade is mainstream, I just didn’t realise I was expecting something. Maybe that’s really why I was angry.
A total stranger from England said the words I needed to hear an Irish person say to me today. Thank you Hugo Talks. I signed up for your Patreon. And now I can let my anger go.
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