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3 April 2009

Curmudgeon? Moi?

I am not noted for being awkward.

The menion Davimack made in a comment here recently set me thinking.
(This, BTW, is one of the ways gardeners keep themselves awake in the
garden. There's nothing like "thought" to keep one alert.)

The question of "niceness" and how it fits into a functioning ego is of much
interest to me. I don't see that being "nice" is a great asset in life.
I am not, after all, "British". The cult of niceness hit the mainland
possibly centuries ago and it continues to produce very strange habits of
manners and protocol that would have you laughed out of court in the average
Irish home. There is something robust and vigourous about the Irish.

And normally I don't have to think much about "The Irish", either.
When you are embedded in a culture, you can take it or leave it, it seems to me.
However, whenever I travel in "le monde anglo-saxon", every time I open my mouth it seems to be an excuse for people who have never been to Ireland to ask interesting questions (which I invariably cannot seem to answer) about Saint Patrick and the nicities of sheep farming. Ireland travels in the popular imagination as a rustic place full of jolly rustics. This has absolutely nothing to do with my daily life and I join in the fantasy as best as I can.

That is as nice as I can get; though if you read the last post in the thread in the title bar above, niceness, even in the nicest person, has its limits...

3 Comments:

Blogger DaviMack said...

There's nothing like thought, though, to distract you from what you're supposed to be doing. ;) That's why I'm so happy not to be driving anyplace, here in the UK!

4/04/2009 3:54 pm  
Blogger Tales from the Birch Wood. said...

An enigmatic comment, indeed.

I saw that your bursary has not been renewed, so even I have gone into "thought" mode about how students can manage in these increasingly cruncy days.

It seems that Ireland is about to re-introduce college fees. I used have a delusion that, in middle age, I would return, all agog, to the groves of Academe and take up where I left off in the early 1970's. However, it all seems a bit much.

As for driving... just think of all the petrol money you are saving. I have a car and I get teased about it growing moss. An effort, yet again, to keep the Planet from going into meltdown has kept me walking and taking the Luas (Dublin's tramway system).

Here's wishing you a productive weekend.

4/04/2009 4:15 pm  
Blogger DaviMack said...

It's an odd world, this. I find that I'm able to work for 1/5 of the hourly rate I received in the US, and to work 20 hours per week, and still have way more spending money than I did in the US. I'm not worried so much, except that not having a bursary means that I'll probably not end up entering academia right away, if at all, because I'll need to repay student loans. It's ... a choice which is out of my hands, but which I'm not going to lament until I see the shape of the world when I get there.

Who knows, it could be that the dollar plunges so drastically that I'm able to pay them off in no time!

4/04/2009 8:34 pm  

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