Sunday, March 25, 2012

(You can't fool) The children of globalisation

According to some famous T-Rex lyrics, you can't fool the children of the revolution. If you couldn't do it back in 1972, you certainly can't do it to our furure generation who are growing to be culturally diverse adults - the children of globalisation. Or can you?

I don't know how it only came to my attention recently, but there are a hell of a lot of multi-national children out here in Ireland!
Amongst Aviva's extended family and playground friends are the most interesting co-productions of at least two nationalities you can think of. Due to Celtic Tiger years, the most seen mix of genes would be Irish-Polish. However, thinking of all the parents and children I've met so far, I can list you any combination from Irish-Italian to South-African-Austrian-Irish.

Now, how come there are so many mixed race children in Ireland?
And do you think their future life will be easier, due to superior language skills, or only more complicated, through cultural clashes that their parents may never have experienced when they grew up?

One explanation for multiculural Ireland might just be a general misinterpretation of mine. As you all know it's a very small country with a population of just 4.6 million, most of which live in the general Dublin area (apparently where most of the jobs are...). As we live in this melting pot too, it's hard for me to judge what's going on "down the country" and it may just seem as if there are so many different cultures coming together in Ireland, when in fact there are still many purely Irish families in Offaly with six or more kids.

But isn't it also an accepted truth that since the Great Famine the Irish spread out (their seed) all over the world and continue to do so? Expressions like "Irish Twins" wouldn't have found their way into Idiomatic dictionaries if it wasn't for the US-Americans who mocked Irish-Catholic immigrant families for their fertility in the 1800s. And how come there are Irish pubs in every country of the world? It has also become a tradition amongst young Irish people to go travelling for a year after their Leaving Cert and in many cases to bring back more than only a souvenir from a foreign country (I'm talking about a girl or boyfriend obviously).

So, what will the future bring for our multicultural children? Experts predict that in a few thousand years there won't be such a thing as racial differences anymore, as we are all going to "melt" into one big race so to speak. On the positive side, this would eventually mean an end to racism. On the negative side, due to increasing globalisation there will be a flood of apparent possibilities that even our current generation is struggling to cope with. Being a binational family certainly has many positives, such as bringing up a child bilingually without much of an effort. But what is a young family to do in a recession-ridden country, where only one of them has work here and the other one is offered some somewhere else..?

On a totally unrelated matter I would like to mention here that Robert Sheehan was on the Late Late last Friday. For all the unfortunate ones amongst you who missed it (just like myself), you can watch a repeat on the link provided. Thankfully, he is even the first guest on the show. Just listen carefully to the tune he walks on to and remember my post on sharp dressed Irish men. Do you think we're kindred spirits perhaps ;-)?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sharp Dressed Irish Men - a Celtic Legend?

I am surprised none of the blogs that I'm following at the moment has picked up on this topic yet. So therefore I am more than pleased to write about something that really matters and that I know a lot about: Irish men and their looks!

In the past Ireland has proven me wrong in many respects. Whether it be the amount of annual rainfall or the density of it's ginger-haired population. (It actually doesn't rain as much as a German would think it does and you do not constantly run into redheads.) 

However, what about the Irish male? Why do they all dress so badly and is there such thing as a sharp dressed Irish man?

The stereotypical Irishman has a reputation of being a down to earth bloke, who's mad about sports and loves to slip into something way more casual after a hard day's work at the office than a tie and a shirt - the famous tracksuit bottoms! 
You literally see them everywhere in Ireland and not without reason the Irish are often named alongside the British when it comes to the worst dressed European Nation.
Even my own partner prefers to wear his dad's old tramp jacket accompanied by trackies over a brand new decent looking coat that his Mum got him for Christmas! As you can see, the stubbornness of the Irish doesn't make this search any easier!

And it's not just me who's looking for them - sharp dressed Irish men. In his one part documentary, John McGuire tries to explore "the psychology of Irish men and their attitude to fashion and overall appearance". By the time McGuire appears on screen in his pinstriped suit you start wondering though whether he should have chosen a sharper outfit himself to present the show. However, everyone who saw the program last December will probably agree that it was entertaining to see how he transformed an unemployed man by peeling him out of his tracksuit, flying over to Paris, getting a custom-made suit and shirt and even creating his own fragrance. Well, what do you think? Did that fellow get the job he applied for? Of course he did!

And now on to some other Irish blokes that got a job (probably) due to their good looks. Just below that post I put up a few photos that show four of my favourite Irish male celebs. I would be delighted if you all got involved and take a guess who is who. You can win a FREE subscription to this blog and the chance to become a co-author of Girls in Green ;-).

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Everywan should have a Gok!

Yesterday evening I happened to watch the Late Late Show again for the first time in ages. I bet you wonder why - and I can't blame you. But here it is:

As I flicked from Take Me Out to RTÈ 1 during the break, I saw the old Tubs announcing GOK WAN to be on the show and an unusually excited audience was cheering in the background. There was no way I could have missed out on that - even if it meant that I had to spend the first hour and a half watching the Late Late.
If you are a female between the ages of 15 and 65 (roughly speaking) you will certainly understand the hype. Especially, if one of your main concerns is how to look good naked (or with your clothes on), camp fashion stylist Gok Wan is your man! The whole idea of his television program is to make women and men feel comfortable in their own skin by giving them a makeover and telling them they're beautiful no matter what size and body shape they are. At the end of the show they'd usually be confident enough to appear naked in front of the camera. I really don't get why there's no new season of How to look good naked out yet! Well, I guess it was replaced by Gok's Fashion Road Show that touches more than only one topic.

But now back to Gok's appearance on the Late Late Show.
Tubridy correctly introduced him as the man women would leave their husbands for, and he obviously wasn't talking about the way they would dump their blokes for a stud.
With half-Chinese, half-British Gok being on stage, the show almost seemed less old-fashioned and Ireland almost cosmopolitan. Our stiff Tubs even dared to joke about the downstairs department, which he obviously regretted instantly by flushing like a little schoolgirl. 

Talking about his one-part documentary Made in China, where Gok tries to trace back his roots, Tubridy finally asks him to pick the best dressed woman and man in the audience to win a shopping voucher.
I have absolutely no idea what hit Gok when he went for a ninety-year-old man wearing a grey suit with pink tie, and even the poor old fellow was visibly confused when he wouldn't let go of Gok's hand and kept calling him beautiful.

Anyway, it was great fun altogether! I can't wait to see another illustrious guest on the Late Late, whenever that might be...