Oscar Wilde still lounges, louche-like … a river crossed by bridges named for playwrights and patriots … the clamorous clans of Erin … a bittersweet anniversary. Fifty years ago the last king of Ireland, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, came to the land of his great-grandfather Patrick. … delighted a lyrical people with his wit and his one-liners … charmed old ladies, nuns and schoolgirls …750 years of British occupation enforced by hangman’s noose and cannon. … poor island of farmers, shopkeepers and laborers … Hipsters from Google and Facebook flooded pubs in Dublin’s Temple Bar area and danced to traditional music as mournful as it was infectious. … crucifixes are gone from many homes … What remains, in homes and shops and pubs, are pictures of President Kennedy. … But looking back is always productive. Memory is embedded in every square foot of Irish sod.
It’s as if Thomas Friedman had himself decided to follow the leapin’ leprechaun, hopping swiftly from one cliche to another. Only worse. I don’t know why it is that NYT editors’ critical faculties desert them every time they see a piece singing of the sweetness and the sorrows of the Auld Sod. But I do wish that they’d stop it.