Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The LuLac Edition #1983, March 14th, 2012

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Many of you have heard me rail against the drunken coarseness exhibited by the younger generation. I cannot believe I am at that age right now where I use that phrase. Most young people I run into are decent, hard working, committed people who have respect for their heritage and their own current situations. However there is a group of people who have been raised to think that everything they do and say is the most important thing in the world. They also believe that any type of bad behavior could be chocked up to youthful exuberance and just plain fun. Their justification for this is that in these tough economic times, they need to release the pressure they are under and that anything goes. As long as they say they are sorry later. Last week WILK staffers had an incident with young parade goers in Scranton. I’m using Steve Corbett’s blog piece as an example of the lack of respect for the parade, the heritage behind it, the people participating in it as marchers and the people who were spectators. It is a sad example of what happens when you mix too much alcohol with an overblown sense of entitlement. Having had been involved with the Parade in the 90s when I worked for Rock 107 and seeing what it has evolved into, I’m wondering if maybe an alcohol free parade might be the ticket. Surely there might be the quantity but it will improve the quality. And it will certainly relegate those amadons Corbett refers to back to where they belong given their behavior, “the kid’s table”. Here’s Steve’s piece:

Foggy Dew Rains On Scranton Parade

by Steve Corbett

On a scale of one to 10 on the Irish-American “amadon” meter, the four lads I met at Saturday’s Scranton St. Patrick’s Day parade were an eleven. Amadon is Gaelic for lout, a blessed but blighted “eejit,” as they say in the old country, who shows up particularly around Paddy’s Day to howl, moan and ultimately self-destruct.
Anger management classes, DUI pleas and divorce courts are loaded with them.
Those of us who care about all things Irish do our best to counsel them. But some failures from the ancient gene pool have simply mutated into another species that is simply beyond repair.
Unfortunately we at WILK News Radio encountered these sad lads before I even had a chance to cruise the route waving my shillelagh at the crowd. Worse yet, because of their “uniform” of tweed caps, ill-fitting sport coats and ties, we have reason to believe that this pale little gang might have been part of the official parade committee marshals charged with keeping civil order as ambassadors of the county and the culture.
If that is the case, they should be banished from all future parade duty, although I wouldn’t go so far as to ship them to Australia the way the English cast out our political prisoners in times gone by. No, even the outback deserves better.
The supposed leader of this Gaelic brat pack - baby-faced all and sucking on cigarettes they didn’t even know how to smoke – began his Mayo melt-down by stepping to us in some official capacity to determine when we would step off.
In the spirit of the good-natured banter that flew everywhere Saturday and was well received in most quarters, I quipped to the young man that we were marching in Division Eight, the Oscar Wilde Division. Oscar Wilde, I said, was Ireland’s most notorious homosexual writer. This is progress for the parade, I said. And, indeed it is, since neither the Irish, most parade officials nor Scranton is known for any grand acceptance of tolerance and diversity.
Only later did it dawn on me that the kid likely had no idea who Wilde was, and that he must have taken my comments as some kind of insult to his manhood, his nationality and his role as an aspiring Quiet Man upon whose shoulders the future of his Minooka neighborhood and his tiny part in shaping civilization depend.
Yes, the kid said he was from Minooka, the Irish section of the city where my grandfather landed in 1904 in search of the American Dream, a dream that took him deep into the coal mines where he contracted the black lung disease that eventually killed him.
The lad sneered and said that maybe I was a “homo,” too.
Stunned, I laughed and said we all need to check our family trees.
Again he spit his slur as his buddies chimed in with their own dull brand of challenge, buzzing like little Celtic bugs at a Galway picnic.
Only later did it dawn on me that all four likely had been drinking, a comment made by one of several witnesses to the incident. We later observed them at the back of a white van parked in an adjacent lot tipping some kind of beverage into their young yaps before heading off to shake hands and slap bagpipers on their backs in the overly friendly manner of youngsters in their cups and playing grown-up.
Trying to temper the conflict, I asked the lads if they knew who I was. Maybe they didn’t know my deep Minooka connections that might quell the brewing storm. One lad said my radio show “sucked” but the leader seemed ignorant about me or the proud and troubled culture that brought us there.
The leader also was just getting wound up.
“You’re an a-hole,” he hissed, like one of the little rattlers hiding in the bog that dear St. Patrick missed. “You’re a f-ing a-hole.”
Now his volume rose, easily heard by a truck load of small children who waited patiently for their start in the parade. WILK News Radio program director Nancy Kman, concerned for the kids, asked the hooligans to please watch their language. Kman later reported being accosted again by this same gang when the loud-mouth apologized "only" to her. But one of them had to be pulled away as he shouted that a man he named would be coming either for her or for me, a comment that another witness perceived as a clear threat.
I asked the leader for his name. For some bizarre reason he tore the cap from his head and identified himself. I mentioned that I might know his grandfather. Again he erupted. I told him that I intended to call the president of the parade committee whom I named. Call him, the loud lad shouted. When I quietly said I might also call the police, the pathetic band retreated.
I’ve seen similar performances over too many years in Minooka and elsewhere. I’ve also come to detest this loutish behavior that often results in punches flying, injury and shame brought to decent families that deserve better.
Scranton deserves better. I deserve better. The whole Irish race deserves better.
But on this fine bright afternoon, we got something worse. We got a new generation that lacks the simple respect for themselves and others. We got a sad look into the future through the eyes of the young. We got what we never bargained for - immature Irish eyes as foggy as the dew in which “a risen people” once took immense pride, dew that held the promise of a better future for us all, including people like poor Oscar Wilde.
Steve Corbett is a long time newspaper columnist, writes three column a week on the WILK website and can be heard Monday through Friday 3 to 7PM on WILK AM & FM Radio.


At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The louts were very wrong, and something should definitely be done about this growing problem on Parade Day. Steve Corbet should readily be able to identify those louts and their actions, as not too many years ago, he too, was one of them! Maybe they also will grow up and become respectful human beings.

At 12:51 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

teve Corbet should readily be able to identify those louts and their actions, as not too many years ago, he too, was one of them!

At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe we created these louts.

For whatever reason (parents, family, school) they do not know their true heritage. They do not know their true culture and have never been schooled in "manners". Remember it always comes down to the "gotcha: "whose manners" are we teaching?

Every time I took the time to "enlighten" my kids about where we came from, who we were and how we "act or respond" I endured the "diversity" comeback and how we had to practice commUNITY and essentially "water down" (my word) our culture, mores and beliefs.

Steve Corbett got a glimpse into this. If he is truly concerned he needs to stand against this behavior.

We'll see.

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to Steve's own account, he seemed to realize they were intoxicated, yet he fanned the flames. Instead of being a responsible adult and just walking away, he fueled their anger. Yes, they were wrong, but Steve had hand in making a bad situation worse. Anyway, isn't it kind of hypocritical for those at WILK, you know the News/Talk/Beer station to be upset about the oveconsumption of beer. TheirG oddamm programing doesn nothing but highlight alcohol consumption. They spend week after week promoting their own consumption of beer and wine; including the Frat Party Friday Kegger.

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I marched in the parade for a few years, but stopped attending and taking my family due to the drunken
nature of the event. The bars open early and the drinking begins and what too often follows is predictable! I know part of the Irish Heritage includes a taste for the drink now and then, but the excessive drunkeness promoted by Scranton Parade is out of line!
Closing the bars until the parade is over is a suggestion that needs to be considered. Too often the Scranton Saint Pats Day Parade has
been an embarrassment. Most would say without the bars there would be no parade, but a parade is a family event. Not in Scranton, sadly! Its a good day to stay home even if you are Irish.

Tam O Shanter

At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since you and Corbett describe yourselves as liberals I thought you resembled this article.

At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GROW NTO THEIR PERSONALITY? Sorry but I'm not sure what you mean? Do you mean grow out of their personality or grow to find a new mature personality. You gotta stop with these deep thoughts as I'm a fly fisherman and never get too deep from the surface.

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Irish Race? Since when did Irish become a race. It is an ethincity. He is so dumb; heyna or no?

At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well put. Sometimes it seems as though Steve MUST always have the last word.
My experience with my son taught me that there are occasions when you just "let it be".
Noboby wins a debate with a drunk - walk away.


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