As happens on Christmas and Valentine's Day, on St. Patrick's Day every publication is scrambling to churn out a holiday-themed column. A quick Google search reveals 1,243 new articles on the subject. How do journalists keep from writing the exact same thing? Here are 7 ways to spin a St. Patrick's Day-themed column:
- Use the Holiday to Protest Capitalism Throwing a wet blanket on the holiday gaiety, filmmaker Michael Moore writes a "St. Patrick's Day Lament" decrying his favorite targets: insurance companies, corporations and government contractors. What does this have to do with St. Patrick's day? These entities all steal "green" (i.e. money) from working-class Americans. Very clever, Mike.
- Use It to Demand More Open Immigration Policies Immigrants aren't all that bad, insists The Daily News' Brian O'Dwyer. Remember the Irish? He calls for a loosening of immigration policies:
It is unconscionable that so many Americans have forgotten where they came from, that all of us except Native Americans are immigrants or their descendants. Slamming the door behind us is not only bad policy, it is un-American. It doesn't seem as if it should be necessary to remind decision makers of the contributions Irish-Americans have made to this country, but apparently it still is.
- Use It to Flaunt Your Culinary Prowess From Irish coffee to colcannon, to corned beef hash to Irish soda bread, food writers are busting out their recipe books.
- Use It to Remind Readers This Is Basically an American Holiday The Houston Chronicle's Tara Dooley says today's revelers are more "red, white and blue" than "green." But to Alex Massie at the British Spectator, the American tradition has become the most authentic:
These days, mind you, it's gone so far that you can no longer easily determine what's pastiche and what's become parody. In a curious way, the celebrations in New York, Chicago and Boston are the real deal and it's the attempts to emulate them in Ireland that are the most ridiculous part of the entire shenanigans. The American stuff, while still enjoyably absurd, is at least real fakery; the Irish end of the bargain is the fake fakery.
- Use it to Give Readers Unorthodox Ways to Celebrate the Holiday Wired magazine recommends reading a collection of Irish myths and legends while The Wall Street Journal advocates two PBS specials on Irish music. There's a wild night.
- Use it to Tell Irish Jokes, "We, of Irish descent, can take the drinking jokes," writes Tom Purcell at the Moderate Voice. "Why did God invent whiskey? To keep the Irish from taking over the Earth. What’s a seven-course Irish meal? A potato and a six-pack. What’s the difference between an Irish wedding and an Irish wake? One less drunk."
- Use it to Make a Quasi-Relevant List Perhaps the most desperate idea, Stacy Conradt at Mental Floss lists various celebrity Pats born on St. Patrick's Day. Suffice it to say, she defines celebrity very broadly. The list includes: Patty Maloney, an actress with dwarfism who's 11 inches tall; Patrick Adams the producer for Salt-N-Peppa and R. Kelly; and Patrick McDonnell, a newspaper cartoonist who created the strip Mutts.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.