Wednesday, 30 May 2007

The joy of Stereotypes

not necessarily

I love a good stereotype. They are easy and save you from having to be reasonable. In a way stereotyping is the less bloody equivalent to spraying the room with machine gun fire, at some point you are going to hit someone who deserves it. For example if you say everyone from Liverpool is a "Granny-stabbing-hubcap-stealing-tracksuit-wearing-scumbag" chances are you will malign a few innocent souls but on the whole you have will nailed your point.

Now, not everybody from Liverpool is a "Granny-stabbing-hubcap-stealing-tracksuit-wearing -scumbag", there are a fair few like that, but it would be unfair to describe everyone in that way. Those (very) few innocents are guilty by association. Just in the same way as not all Scottish people are tight fisted gets, and not all Welsh people enjoy a fiddle with a sheep. Some people let the side down and the rest get tarred with the same brush.

But not all stereotypes are negative. For example "all black men have huge schlongs", "all Asians are good at math", and "all French women are hot". But even these positive stereotypes have their problems. For example what if you are an ugly French woman or you're black and you're small?

And then we come to the Irish. Oh my. Wikinerds has a wonderfully enlightening list of Irish stereotypes.

* alcoholism
* dislike of the British
* often has red hair or freckles
* whimsical
* high birth rate
* Leprechauns
* dirty
* musical
* cops
* Catholic
* the color green
* beat their wives

Now when I first read this I thought it was rather amusing. But then I went all Celtic Tiger-ish and decided that it was out of date to say the least. In the North of Ireland we all love each other now and 30+ years of sectarianism and tribalism has been solved and put to bed by the wonderfully tanned Peter Hain. I don't even switch the TV off now when the British national anthem comes on! That's progress! So to say we hate the British is now defunct as a stereotype. And with the recent influx of migrants your average Irishman has moved his hate/bile on to them. This annoys the shit out of me considering that the Irish inhabit every corner of the world.

But the alcoholism bit really wound me up though. I've worked in England and have seen them crazy kids go for it on a Saturday night. We have seen Ireland become a slick, modern country with huge growth over the last ten years. Some of the biggest companies have bases here now. Bags of spuds have been replaced with bags of money. The economy is amongst the best in Europe. We are all fucking minted, apparently. Now you can't do that if your pished.

Well you say that, but apparently you can. The last report on Alcohol Consumption by the European Commision shows that the Irish spend more per head on booze that anywhere else in Europe. Each household spends nearly €17,008 on alcohol each year. What? That's mental! That is apparently 3 times more than any other country in Europe and ten times more than the Greeks. It's fifty quid a day! Fifty quid a day on booze?!

So with that in mind it is clear that some stereotypes are indeed true. In fact as I type this I am as drunk as a, well, as drunk as an Irishman. Even the cops here like a good drink. Even the cops who feature in Safe Driving adverts.

Fuck it we are still the greatest lovers. I'm off to down a bottle of Gin and beat Little Miss Manuel*.

Who's laughing now?

*no Little Miss Manuel's were hurt in the making of this blog.

20 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Enda said...

* dislike of the British

Problematic: have British boyfriend. when he is a wanker, I play the colonialist card. Otheriwse we are equal hugely integral parts of the European Project etc.

* often has red hair or freckles

Have red bits in beard if I don't shave. I shave.

* whimsical

I like this one.

* dirty

And this. Hehehehehe. I'm a dirty monkey....

* musical
* cops
* Catholic
* the color green
* beat their wives


Make of this what you will.

Enda P said...

Ooops. This is my blog.

Medbh said...

Don't forget that the negative connotations of black men's sexuality reduced it to the "Mandingo" stereotype that degraded them to a bestial sexual predator out to rape white women. That stereotype was responsible for a lot of black men getting lynched in the U.S.

How can the Irish be dirty when the average Irish woman puts in 60 hours a week of housework, 10 of which are reserved for cleaning?
As for the rest, well, I'm going to pour some wine.

Steve said...

You'd think I was Irish at the moment, as I've about a pint of whisky in my system.

Also, how is "Leprechaun" an Irish stereotype? Do people think that the Irish are actually leprechauns?

Fat Sparrow said...

"or you're black and you're small?"

Yeah, I went out with him.

And God help you if you ever come to America.... Your average American has no idea that NI is part of the UK and not the ROI. They think it's like a North Carolina/South Carolina thing. All of which led to a very interesting session with the tweaker neighbor about how my recovering Prod husband from NI would not be getting her a discount on "authentic" Irish leprechaun statuettes.

True story.

toast said...

1) Maths, in this country we call it maths. Stupid Paddy.

2) whats a north carolina / south carolina thing? is that like a meath / westmeath thing (there is no east meath, the east of the county blew away in the great storm of '87)

Conortje said...

I am constantly asked why I don't have red hair. The dutch find this very amusing.I've learned to be patient with them on this.

ellie said...

I always fall for stereotypes!
While the rest are looking down on us as contraceptionless alcoholics we can all go to the pub and have a great laugh at their expense.
Your round Manuel!

paddy said...

I tell you no lie I travelled a bit and in every country not one ever got where I was from, and in a way I'm quite proud of that.
I remember reading "to name something is to have power over it.
I've thought about that a lot over the years and so far I think it's true. It's a foolish psychological game we play. It's like saying I have a cold or flu; wrong, the flu has us. Maybe a stupid analogy, but you get my meaning.
If we can slot a person into unemployed, doorman, factory-worker, we can calculate the more poewerful we are; same with nations
Great post Manuel. You got me waffling on. Forgive me.
Sincerely Y;-) Paddy

Kav said...

I find this post extremely offensive to ugly French women.

savannah said...

you are an inspiration, sugar!

big gay al said...

i eat babies!

Manuel said...

enda: I shave my red bits too. You cant take the chance, there is still a lot of ginger discrimination out there.

medbh: "I'm going to pour some wine..." once you get the dishes done. Or you'll get the back of my hand. Awh jokes about partner violence are still fun

steve: who says we arent? I'll put a curse on you. Wheres me lucky charms?

Fat sparrow: I'll get them discount if they nees it. True i can.

toast: I heard there was a "north" belfast. Never been dont know if it exists or not.

conortje: you dye it dont you? C'mon show us your curls!

ellie: G and T?

kav: ils ne peuvent pas tous être Audrey Tautou!!

paddy: you provide a touch of levity here. And my god does this place need it!

Savannah: yes, yes i am.

big gay al: sssshhhhh, get back to your wine you drunkard

Fat Sparrow said...

"Fat sparrow: I'll get them discount if they nees it. True i can."

I'm sure she'd appreciate that. Now, do you take meth, or just Visa?

Old Knudsen said...

The Irish are thick, I've heard all the jokes.

toast said...

Why are irish jokes so stupid??

So the english can understand them


you can use that one, but don't forget to give me credit

tallulahbloom said...

Where would we be without stereotypes. I once went on a date with a greek guy who used to be a waiter and half way through the date he cocked an eyebrow and said "all english girls are easy, No?"

Manuel said...

Old K: you probably wrote them all

toast: Are you Oscar Wilde?

tallulabloom: once a waiter always a waiter! Fucking plate chucking, lamb munching, bottom sex having Greek bastard. Hows that for stereotyping?!

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Anonymous said...

Hopefully, you are wrong. The real lovers are the French. I know, I'm one of them

BTW, I hope you will be happy to learn that some crazy shitty french dude is loving your blog so much that he is reading it from the beggining, and it will take him at least a year to cover all of the stuff.

BTW2 lets fuck the japanese spam, non-sense on a irish blog :D


P.S. : the french rules in sex. There's just no way