From _The Dubliner_ magazine, a rant on why foreigners are starting to think Irish suck, which overlooks our tendency to rant on why foreigners think we suck.
“Nowhere has our approach to the US been more craven than in the Iraq crisis. Through offering use of the facilities at Shannon airport to US warplanes, we sold out on any notion that neutrality meant anything. Irish complicity in US military actions has been justified on the basis that ‘we owe a lot to the US’ and ‘we don’t want to lose American investment’. So much for our ‘proud’ tradition of military neutrality and independence – so much for the political and legal doctrine. Like so many other facets of Irish society, our neutrality has revealed itself to be a sham. So what then does it mean to be Irish? It seems that we are not really the nice, friendly people everybody else thinks we are. In fact, we are deeply shallow. We say what we think people want us to say. We love the idea of a united Ireland but not the reality, the idea of speaking Irish even though we can’t really do it. We are European with the Europeans, and American with the Yanks, Catholic when we feel like it, and liberated and literary when we don’t. We are welcoming to foreigners except when we’re not, environmentally friendly unless it’s in our back yard, and neutral when it suits us. We stay up drinking all night because we want to be liked, not because we are genuinely fun-loving people. What an insincere, un-self-confident bunch we really are (although not a lot of people know this, we hide it so well). Perhaps this insincerity, this insecurity, this shallowness, has become the truest attribute of Irishness. Let’s face it: our one defining characteristic is that we are a nation of hypocrites.
“We” do self-hatred pretty well though, it seems.