Happy St. Patrick’s Day From The Shattered Lens

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day has always been an important day to me.  I’m Irish on my father’s side and I’ve always been a bit obsessed with Irish history.  Add to that, St. Patrick has always been one of my favorite saints.  Patrick lived a fascinating life, first going to Ireland as a slave and spending six years as a shepherd before escaping back to Britain.  He would subsequently return to Ireland as a missionary and eventually becoming one of the most influential figures in Irish history.  Admittedly, there is some debate about the exact facts of Patrick’s life.  Did Patrick really drive the snakes out of Ireland?  I have no idea but it’s a good story and certainly one worth celebrating.  I’ve spent most of my life living in the Southwest and once, in New Mexico, I nearly stepped on a freaking rattle snake so you better believe that I appreciate anyone who can drive away the snakes.

During this pandemic, I’ve noticed that, for some people, the holidays sometimes seem to run together.  When no one is going out and celebrating, it’s easy to forget what day it is.  One of the worst things about the lockdowns is the way that they’ve robbed people of anything to look forward to.  That’s one thing that I think is often overlooked.  People are not robots that can be simply reprogrammed to stay in one place or to forget about what their existence used to be like.  It takes a startling lack of empathy to fail to understand that there’s more to most people’s happiness than just going to work, come home, and doing what they’re told.

For that reason, I think it’s important to remember that today is St. Patrick’s Day!  And it’s also important to celebrate it in whatever way you feel comfortable doing. Take whatever precautions you have to take to protect yourself and your loved ones but also enjoy the day.  Celebrate the night.  Most importantly, don’t give up.  If Patrick could get the snakes out Ireland, then we can certainly survive whatever life decides to throw at us.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  May the road rise up to meet you.


Artwork of the Day: Fight Stories (by George Gross)

by George Gross

“One fist was Irish!”

And a happy St. Patrick’s Day to us all!  Hopefully, the Irish fist is the one knocking the other boxer out of the ring.  I would be disappointed otherwise.

Fight Stories was the first fiction magazine to be devoted to just one sport, in this case boxing.  The magazine started in 1928 and it was popular enough to run into the early 50s.  This issue is from 1949 and features a cover from George Gross, who has been featured many times on this site.  You can even see Gross’s signature in the bottom left corner of the cover.

I hope everyone has a good St. Patrick’s Day.  They can cancel our parade but they can’t cancel our spirit!


Music Video of the Day: Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2 (1983, directed by Gavin Taylor)

This video was shot at Red Rocks in Denver, Colorado during U2’s tour supporting War.  (The album, not the concept.)  U2’s reputation has never really recovered from the Songs of Innocence fiasco but when they were a young group and before Bono’s messianic tendencies got the better of him, they were a rocking band who were responsible for some of the best songs of the 80s.  Sunday Bloody Sunday was one of their signature songs and this video captures them at their best.  And, even if modern-day Bono does sometimes seem to be too impressed with himself, no one can deny that he’s done a lot of good in the world.

The song is meant to be a condemnation of the atrocities committed by both sides during The Troubles.