I might have thought that the Irish might have clarified their position on this after over two hundred years:
At 17:59 p.m. today, drinkers will raise a toast to the 18th century brewer, who invented the iconic stout in Dublin. Diageo Plc (DGE), which owns the brand, says Arthur’s Day is a celebration that supports Irish bars struggling after the worst recession in the nation’s modern history. Opponents led by medics and musicians say the event encourages binge drinking and disorder in a country beset by alcohol abuse. “Their mindset is entirely noble in the sense that they’re trying to maximize profits for their shareholders,” said Frank Murray, head of the alcohol policy group at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in Dublin. “But the downstream effects of excess alcohol consumption are huge.
Not that I am looking to support a faceless heartless international conglomerate or anything but doesn't the sort of complaint set out in the story strike you as a wee bit over the top? For example, an "emergency consultant" from Cork is quoted comparing described the city last Arthur Day as the “last days of Sodom and Gomorrah.” The band The Waterboys have issued protest songs. The nation's Deputy Prime Minister even pitches in with an opinion, for Heaven's sake.
Is it really the case that the Irish nation is being led to discover new ways to over drink? Or is it that the the promotion of a cultural history that includes one massive brewing concern just so uncomfortable? Coming from a nation with a major automotive and hardware store is called Canadian Tire and a major beer brand is called Molson Canadian perhaps it's that I figure that horse left the barn long ago. Heck, Santa Claus as we know him today was largely formed through ads for Coca-cola.
Any Irish readers out there? Is the disgust truly with the heavy drinking or is the corporate identification with nation identity at the heart of this?