Kiss me, I'm Catholic.

Monday, August 01, 2005


Via Philokalia Republic, Kevin Grace trounces the latest Ex-Irishman with a Ponderous Memoir of Life in Neolithic Eire. It's a bad sign that it took me more than five seconds to realize that this was a parody:

A great tramping, barracking, bollocking man was our Father O'Pression. His writ ran the length and breadth, the highways and the byways, the up hill and the down dale of County Tooraloora. And to be sure, any of us boys at Saint Miseryguts had only to whisper a hint of a glimmer of a fancy of what we all wanted to do to witty, pretty Kitty McMahon behind Finnegan's cowshed, when then, as sudden as the rains that fell from the shimmering, slatey-grey clouds above, he would appear before us, as tall and as terrible as old Finn MacCool himself, stinking of the bacon sandwiches he stuffed in his soutane, of the Jameson's he swigged from a battered pewter flask and of the lack of the deodorant he damned as a wicked Protestant innovation, the wrath of a thousand Dies Iraes in his eyes, etc etc.

The sample from the actual memoir is rather more muted, but it still runs through the same checklist used by everyone writing a crappy knockoff of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Let's see...

1. Random emotional breakdown and flight from Creepy Irish School, intended to be both funny and damning. (Hint: is neither.)

2. Casual yet Significant mention of girls playing by convent school.

3. Picturesque superstition concerning ghosts of executed Irish rebels.

4. Picturesque superstition concerning Catholicky things (i.e., the narrator's mother, in the midst of hanging laundry on the line - oh! the medæval darkness! the patriarchy! woe! - exclaims "Jesus Mary and Joseph!" on seeing her son appear in the back garden).

5. Precious description of some household artifact that can probably be purchased in a kitsch-mongering catalog titled "Celtic Treasures" or the like.

Slap a re-tinted black and white stock photo on the cover and you're ready to go! Wow, now I'm wanting to write one myself...

Oh, and get this: the tome's title, "A Great Feast of Light," refers to the light pouring from the gazillion new televison sets that apparently descended like a cathode-ray Pentecost on the darkling isle of Eire and swept her clean of priestcraft. Perhaps Doyle will write a sequel in praise of the enlightenment that will ensue when Paddy discovers the joy of scarfing a box of Krispy Kreme dougnuts in his SUV and buying crates of cheap Chinese junk at his local big box.

Would somebody fisk the review? Pretty pleeeeeeeeeeeeeze?

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