St. Patrick’s Day Forum

Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. MarkedMan says:

    Thanks to the title of this open forum, this here dual US/Irish citizen may actually remember it’s Saint Paddy’s day when I’m getting dressed for work and put on a green shirt. Hasn’t happened in many, many years

  2. Neil Hudelson says:

    @MarkedMan: yup, I always remember at about 4:00 pm on St Paddy’s when I question why there are so many day drinkers out and about.

    This year, by utter coincidence, I had bought a full brisket about two weeks ago. Smoked the point and decided to corn the flat brisket. It takes about 10 days to finish, and today is day 11. Excited to try a corned beef that’s not injected with salt water and stored in a vacuum pack for a year.

  3. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Both smoked and corned sound delicious! There’s only me now, so St. Paddy’s dinner isn’t a thing anymore. Enjoy!

  4. Scott says:

    The More You Know

    I remember my 8th Grade Biology teacher regaling us with the story of his summer job in college which was collecting bull semen. As 8th graders, we thought that was the most hysterical thing we heard all year.

    The Latest Sign of Dairy Inflation Is Tanking Sales of Semen

    Higher prices for dairy products could be coming, and falling sales of semen from dairy bulls are telling the story.

    The market for dairy semen sales has tanked to a 17-year low, with sales volumes dropping by 6.7% last year, according to National Association of Animal Breeders data. It’s because American dairy farmers don’t want as many milking cows — they’re buying semen from beef cattle and raising more animals for meat instead, because it’s more profitable. Right now, dairies are struggling to make money as everything from feed prices to labor and energy costs skyrocket.

  5. @MarkedMan: We aim to serve. 😉

  6. CSK says:

    March 17 is also Evacuation Day in Massachusetts, and a public holiday in Suffolk County (Boston) commemorating that on this date in 1776 the British were forced to leave Boston after George Washington fortified Dorchester Heights.

  7. Michael Reynolds says:

    In honor of Saint Patrick’s day I will make this a ‘green day,’ starting in mid-afternoon.

    This will not be a departure from my usual habits, but I will be thinking of Ireland.

  8. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I have a bottle of Writer’s Tears Redhead Single Malt Irish Whiskey lurking in my liquor cabinet. I should crack that open.

    What the hell: I’m a writer, I’m a redhead, and I’m 28% Irish.

  9. sam says:

    Was in Galway a few years ago. We were sitting at a table outside a bar in the Latin Quarter watching the parade through the Quarter. (I was having a Guinness. I lived 40 years in Mass, and 2o of those in the Cambridge area and never had a Guinness. How did I miss that? Anyway…) These two old Irish guys were sitting at a table next to us. I was quasi-listening to their conversation, not really paying attention to what they were saying so much as just enjoying that wonderful Irish accent. Then one of them raises his voice about 2o decibels and says, “And I said, ‘This fuckers on a slab. He needs to be buried!!'” Now I wish I’d paid more attention to the prelude.

  10. CSK says:

    Same here: Cambridge for 20 years. Never had a Guinness.

    Did you ever go to The Plough and Stars?

  11. Sleeping Dog says:
  12. sam says:


    Did you ever go to The Plough and Stars?

    I lived in the Plough. I got to know Peter O’Malley a bit. Archtypical Irish mad man. Great guy with a wicked sense of humor.

  13. MarkedMan says:

    @Sleeping Dog: No surprise the Koch’s are on that list.

  14. CSK says:

    We may have bumped into each other, though I wasn’t an habitue of the P&S. I did go to Ryle’s in Inman Square a fair number of times, in company and solo. Great place.

    Did you ever hit the original Casablanca in Harvard Square? Not that painfully trendy fern bar they replaced it with.

  15. Sleeping Dog says:


    Sam, you hung at the P&S and never had a Guinness till you made it to Dublin?

  16. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    This is beginning to sound like an OTB commenters’ meet-up before there was an OTB.

  17. Kathy says:

    Is it too soon for Russian invasion jokes?

    Let me try one:

    General Ivanov, on orders from Czar Putin the Greatest Ever, draws up a bold, daring plan to take out a major target in Ukraine once and for all. This action will be the pivot on which the war turns.

    He gathers a large force, deploys it at strategic points, and waits to attack at the exact time air cover arrives and artillery can lay down necessary fire. This whole operation depends on precise execution.

    While he waits the final minutes in the pre-dawn darkness, suddenly a lone Ukrainian soldier appears from behind a stretch of wrecked wall. He looks the Sov- er, Russians up and down, shakes his head, and says “You all should go back to Russia, or you’ll be sorry,” and ducks back behind the wall.

    Ivanov sends two soldiers after him. Sounds of fighting are heard. The Ukrainian private reemerges alone, and says, “Seriously, guys. Go away and don’t come back.” Then goes back behind the wall.

    Ivanov now sends four soldiers after him. Again there are sounds of fighting, a couple of gunshots, and again the private emerges and says “This is your last warning.”

    Annoyed, Ivanov decides to launch his strike early, before the Ukrainian soldier can give warning and ruin everything.

    As the tanks and armored carriers begin to rumble to life and crawl forward, a badly wounded Russian soldier comes limping out from behind the wall and cries out in warning “Stop! Go back! It’s a trap! There’s two of them back there!”

  18. sam says:


    I hit them all. The Casablanca was great because it was open late. Ryles had great jazz. And then there was Jack’s up the street from the Plough. The Insquare Men’s bar as also fun. Good times.

  19. Sleeping Dog says:


    Sam, quit it. Can you comprehend how many brain cells I lost in those places? 🙂

    Can’t remember all of the bit (brain cells) or who did it, but, “oh we all went to different schools together.”

  20. bookdragon says:

    It is St. Paddy’s Day and also Purim – days celebrated by both sides of my family and holidays that both involve copious amounts of alcohol.

    This year instead of not getting too blitzed to no longer distinguish between ‘cursed be Haman’ and ‘blessed be Mordechi’ it will be not knowing ‘Chag Sameach’ from ‘Erin Go Bragh’.

  21. de stijl says:


    I got shipped off to my grandparents’ dairy farm when I was a kid during summer.

    Insemination is a truly weird ass thing. The insemination man wore an arm condom. Lubed it up with petroleum jelly.

    My job that day was to hold the cows’ tails out of the way of their privates and try to not get kicked as he made his way down the line.

    I don’t know which was worse – the cows that bellowed at the intrusion, or the silent ones.

    I had made up names for those cows. They were my friends.

    The thing I remember most vividly are the sounds. The awful, terrible sounds I can never unhear.

    Fuck me, that was pretty traumatic for a ten year old to witness. He wore a goddamn arm condom! That is nightmare stuff.

  22. de stijl says:

    I no longer go out and party hearty on St. Patrick’s Day for decades now.

    1. I now longer want to get drunk. Nowadays, I occasionally sip myself into a slightly buzzed state, but blind drunk is never a thing I want to experience again.

    2. I woke up next to a woman I vaguely recalled from the night before. Apparently, we hit it off pretty well. Several times.

    (I am of the psycho-sexual type that views physical intimacy as meaning a de facto romantic relationship. Joined at the hip, part-and-parcel. Therefore one night stand type situations are really uncool and weird and uncomfortable for me. Not my scene. I had known this about myself for years, but my drunk ass decided to do it anyway in my state that night.)

    3. I was massively hung-over. My brain and body ached. I wanted to drink 4 gallons of water. I wanted to puke. I wanted waffles and many, many glasses of orange juice. I wanted to be asleep again. I wanted to be gone and go home. Hangovers suck.

    Nowadays, I just cross out St. Paddy’s and New Years off my calendar. I’m staying in, thanks. Your plans sound awesome, and thanks for inviting me, but I am gonna nope out. Thanks, but no thanks. Have a great time. I’m staying in.

    I also bail on wedding receptions after two drinks.

  23. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @sam: My first Guiness was in Korea when I was about 55 or maybe 60. It was brewed in Japan under license to Kirin. I guess that would make me someone who’s never had a real Guiness. Tho I did visit a pub in Belfast where my uncle had one when I visited relatives with my mom.

  24. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: 😛

  25. CSK says:

    How about “Erin go bubkes”?

  26. Kathy says:

    @de stijl:

    I got very drunk at a party while attending language school in Cambridge, England, I think in the summer of 84 or 85. I passed out in the yard for a while, which was damp and cool. I somehow got back home, then spent two days in bed with a very nasty cold, which hung on for several days after.

    I’ve never gotten drunk since. Buzzed is my limit. If I feel loosening inhibitions, I know I’ve gone far enough.

  27. grumpy realist says:

    @Kathy: One of the side effects of a Slavic ethnic background coupled with the after-effects of having taken certain medication many many years ago is having a total step function when it comes to alcohol tolerance. I get totally buzzed on one drink, then nothing further happens until multiple glasses later at which I promptly fall asleep.

    So I’ve decided a half of a glass of wine is my limit. And only over the course of a meal.

    (For some reason, beer affects me more than other drinks so I prefer the non-alcoholic stuff.)

  28. Mu Yixiao says:

    @de stijl:

    Nowadays, I just cross out St. Paddy’s and New Years off my calendar.

    I spent my formative years waiting tables and bartending–which meant on every big drinking holiday, I was working. Going out on a holiday is… not fun for me. I’ll stay home and drink, instead. New Years Eve, I’m in bed early after spending the day prepping food for my New Years Day Chili Feast. 🙂

    I’ll be going out tonight, but not because it’s St. Pat’s Day; because it’s Thursday, and that’s “old people night” at the wine bar*.

    @grumpy realist:

    One of the side effects of a Slavic ethnic background coupled with the after-effects of having taken certain medication many many years ago is having a total step function when it comes to alcohol tolerance.

    One of the side effects of my Slavic heritage, growing up in Wisconsin, and having lots of practice, is that I’ve got a staggeringly high tolerance for alcohol. 😀 Fortunately, I’m just a “talky” drunk (followed by a sleepy one).

    * Thursdays before 7-ish, it’s just a few of us regulars who sit and chat. With the exception of one kid who’s 30-ish, I’m the young’un of the bunch at 53. 🙂

  29. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: My early medication history created a more opposite reaction. I didn’t drink often (still don’t–the prednisone did enough damage to my liver all by itself 🙁 ), but I never felt inebriated, at all. The effect was just like drinking water for me. I felt “drunk” for the first time ever in my life (from alcohol anyway) about 10 years after I stopped taking theophylline/ephedra based medications for asthma control.

    I can’t speak to the effect of my Irish/Italian genetics on the question. I’m agnostic on such issues.

  30. JohnSF says:

    For any who want a good reason to toast Ireland, the result of the rugby match last Saturday was England 15 Ireland 32.
    So either Ireland or France will take the Six Nations win this year.
    Which I know will fascinate you all 🙂

    (For Ireland to win the championship, England need to beat France this coming Saturday, as well as Ireland having to win against Scotland. My money would be on France, to be honest)

  31. sam says:

    I just remembered Christopher’s nightmare in The Sopranos. He dies and goes to Hell — and it’s an Irish bar and everyday is St.Paddy’s Day. Heh.

  32. de stijl says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    I am a talky drunk myself. If you are within my sight range, I want to be best friends with you. Have a deep and meaningful sharing of the minds moment. That’s my drunk jam.

    I have seen people get aggressive and violent when they were drunk and it always puzzled me as to why you would do that.

    The whole “in vino veritas” thing kinda makes sense. You are revealing more of your true self with every drink by the nature of the disinhibition effect.

    It is pretty fascinating. Often depressing.

    Apparently, my true inner self is a polite, friendly moron. I’m totally okay with that. Too polite. Too gregarious. But what can you do?

  33. Sleeping Dog says:

    Gov. Sununu (R) promises veto for NH Republicans’ redrawn Congressional map

    During the last Dem controlled legislature, Sununu vetoed a plan to set up a non partisan committee for reapportionment. His reason for doing so is that NH didn’t have a history of gerrymandering congressional districts. This R legislature is going all in on gerrymandering at both the federal and state level. While the state legislature is too large to effectively gerrymander (401 seats), even with multi member districts the state senate is only 24. This veto is only for the Federal offices.

    From 2006-2006 the 1st district has swung back and forth between R Frank Guinta and Dem Carol Shea Porter. Both were from the fringe of their respective parties and neither were particularly good politicians that could hold the center.

    The current 1st district congress critter is Chris Pappas, who was elected in 2018 and won reelection by 3-4% while Biden took the state by nearly 10%. With the existing boundaries the district is competitive, but the R plan would have made it an R lock and the 2nd district would be so Dem that AOC could be elected there.

    Good for Sununu if he goes through with the veto.

  34. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Prednisone is a right bitch. Been there, done that. I puffed up. Felt like crap all day.

    Cluster headache meds are crazy. They give you bonkers crazy shit when you are 16. It’s disturbing to think about, but it kinda makes sense as those fuckers are hard-core painful.

    I was walking around as a 16 year old with pocketful of class A schedule 1 drugs for day to day use as needed.

    Barbiturate analogs? Sure. Why not. Opiates? Go for it.

    One thing about opiates, for me at least, was that I knew I was still in massive pain, but I could easily wish it away into a room two rooms down the hall. It’s still there, but I can create a space where I don’t actively feel it. Hard to describe. Not an analgesic – a means to disassociate from the excruciating pain.

    Cluster headaches are hell on earth. Would not wish it on my worst enemy.

    They give you ergotomine. It was crazy.

  35. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Thanks for flagging that, I’m going to call his office to let them know that I support the veto.

  36. Beth says:

    1. I despise St. Patrick’s day. The not good part of that is from a wildly racist English father and a fairly racist Southside Lithuanian grandmother. Thankfully I’ve left their racism behind, but I also don’t like the holiday because of being around too many amateur hour bar fights in my youth.

    2. My years of suppressing my emotions and training myself to keep everything absolutely locked down has created a situation where I don’t appear drunk until my friends are chasing me while I run naked down the street. It’s very either/or. One minute I appear sober, the next minute I’m naked and hugging people. I’m a very happy drunk.

  37. Kathy says:

    There have been some aviation developments recently.

    First, His Majesty’s latest airport brainstorm, the Felipe Angeles International Airport formally begins operations next Monday (A holiday, to boot, the birthday of Benito Juarez). It will include the triumphal arrival of a flight from Caracas, operated by Conviasa (yeah, first I hear of it too), among a handful of flights to Cancun and Tijuana by domestic airlines.

    Next, Interjet’s new owners say they intend to fly again, and they will put their base and hub in the new airport. Just the same, the government officials who oversee civil aviation say Interjet still has to pay all its many debts, estimated to be around $2 billion US, before they are allowed to fly. No one will invest that much money on a startup airline.

    We’ve been through this before after Mexicana went kaput in 2010. It’s still dead. Interjet, alas, will remain a corpse 10 years from now too.

    It’s too bad. I liked it. It was my favorite domestic airline, and the first I went with for travel, be it business or vacation. They had the most legroom and excellent service (albeit they only served a drink and a snack only, but it was complimentary). They were just caught by the shift from low cost, which Interjet was from the start, to ultra-low cost model. On the one hand Aeromexico beat it as a legacy full service airline, and Volaris and Viva at lower fares.

    Back to His majesty’s new airport, it will flop.

    The reason requires some explanation, but essentially it’s too far from the city and takes too long and costs too much to get there.

  38. CSK says:

    In his St. Patrick’s Day speech today, Biden said that “I might be Irish, but I’m not stupid.”

    Oh, please, Joe.

  39. de stijl says:


    Drunk me would totally hug you and be super happy about that.

  40. Sleeping Dog says:

    You may remember Arnold’s stirring video at the time of 1/6, here he is again regarding Ukraine.

  41. de stijl says:

    Younger me was conflicted about hugging and physical contact.

    I did not have the best parental guidance on the matter. I inadvertently associated physical contact as a manipulation tied to the manic phase of bipolar disorder.

    A scam. A sham. An obvious fake. What do you want from me? I was likely too young to fully understand the concept of bipolar, but I had already sussed out the signs and tells and knew what was coming. Physical contact meant mania. Mom is now up. Up mom is scary and borderline crazy pants.

    Hugs were a danger signal.

    It wasn’t ’til I was 20-21 or so until that just honest friend to friend hugging stopped freaking me out. I got there eventually.

  42. Mister Bluster says:

    America Drinks and Goes Home
    Absolutely Free
    Mothers of Invention

    I don’t regret for having met
    Up with a girl who breaks hearts
    Like they were nothing at all
    I’ve done it too
    Now I know just what it feels like
    And just like I said I have no regrets

    Thank you Frank Zappa

  43. Beth says:

    @de stijl:

    I think I’m an outlier in that I love being touched. I’ve told my partner that she needs to just pet me like a cat. I need physical contact often.

    Mine stems from inattentive and distant parents. I’m working really hard not to pass a lot of the awful stuff I got from my parents to my kids.

  44. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @de stijl:

    One thing about opiates, for me at least, was that I knew I was still in massive pain, but I could easily wish it away into a room two rooms down the hall.

    For me, the worst side effect of chemo was the neuropathy. I’m one of the lucky ones where it’s severe & permanent. I keep an active prescription for fast-acting opiates, with doctor’s reluctant blessings. They tried drugs used for neuropathy (approved for diabetics, off-label for chemo), but they did nothing until we got up to “danger, Will Robertson” dosages. Fast acting opiate, OTOH, just moves the pain to another room, and allows me to imitate a functioning humanoid.

    Oh, Luddite, do your hands and feet still hurt? Yes, doc, they’re still in a puddle of burning gasoline, but I can stand to touch things, so it’s ok.

    Cluster headaches, like migraines, are not something I’d wish on my worst enemy.

  45. de stijl says:


    One thing about being weirded out about hugging when I was little and then kind of getting over it, is that, as an adult, I give it my all. Best I can do. I commit fully.

    If I’m going to do it, I need to do it well. No half-assed bro “hugs” from me. That’s an insult.

  46. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Beth: Well, stone-cold sober me also likes to be touched, and would be happy to give you a slightly-awkward and perhaps somewhat inappropriate hug that seems very well deserved anyway.

  47. de stijl says:


    We are all outliers. Every one of us. Embrace your inner weirdness.

  48. Beth says:

    @de stijl:

    Absolutely. I fly my weirdness like a pirate flag.

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Sounds awesome.

  49. senyordave says:

    Inflation isn’t permanent, says Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg
    WTF is up with Buttigieg being the point man on inflation? If it were someone high up in Treasury that would be one thing, but this pretty pathetic. If oil prices stay in the $100+ range we’ll see price increases across the board.
    If Biden had wanted to show he was serious about inflation he could have not re-appointed Powell, who admitted to Congress that the Fed had missed the warning signs on inflation. Mostly because they were too busy protecting markets.

  50. Kathy says:


    WTF is up with Buttigieg being the point man on inflation?

    He’s also wrong.

    High inflation doesn’t stick around forever, but inflation does.

    BTW, inflation is commonly understood as two different things.

    1) An oversupply of money, which causes higher prices as money loses value. This was very clearly demonstrated in Rome’s Crisis of the Third Century. The Roman Denarius, the standard silver coin, was minted with an ever lower silver content. things got so bad, even the legions were paid in kind rather than in specie.

    2) A generalized rise in prices. We hear this a lot when the price of oil goes up, or when some other widely used commodity goes up in price, affecting many other things.

    Ok. So “rising prices” is a feature of both definitions. But which is the actual inflation? It’s measured as a rise in prices, as far as I know, not as the expansion of the money supply.

    Yes, I know economics is nicknamed, deservedly, the dismal science.

  51. Kylopod says:

    @bookdragon: I saw someone dressed as a St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun for his Purim costume.

    Anyone remember Thanksgivukkah?

  52. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Kathy: Just so. We’re accustomed to the visible form of inflation, i.e., higher prices for a bag of Doritos. It’s not so easy to notice that, in a bag of Doritos of a given size, the air content increases, the volume of Doritos decreases, and the price stays the same. Of course, with gasoline, it’s always the rising price brand of inflation.