Irish KC : A Blog

Kansas City's Irish Festivals, Music, Pubs & Events

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Unique Irish Distinction

You know that Bernard Shaw is the only person to have won a Nobel Prize for Literature and an Oscar for best Screenplay, but who is the only person to have been nominated for a Grammy, a Golden Globe, an Oscar and the Nobel Peace Prize? It's that Irish man again.

As we get nearer to the celebration of Bloomsday in Kansas City, one of the quotes from Joyce's Ulysses that you are likely to hear is of 'a good puzzle it would be to cross the city of Dublin without passing a pub'.

This puzzle often leads to the mythical notion of Dublin having 1,000 pubs, when in actual fact for its population it is underserved compared to the rest of Ireland, and has closer to only 800 - and no, the existence of the superpubs doesn't compensate, even if it does make Joyce's puzzle easier.

The modern day equivalent of Joyce's impossible Dublin pub puzzle was the challenge of trying to find three consecutive editions of Irish monthly music magazine The Hot Press that didn't mention U2. While it was funny when first mooted in the mid-eighties, twenty years later it's now as unthinkable as Joyce's Dublin walk.

Both challenges are of course negative - not passing a pub, and not finding a U2 reference - because when you find what you're not looking for, then you really know where you are.

There is a major article on Bono in today's Independent which goes over much history but is primarily concerned with his world missionary role - which is where his Nobel nomination comes in, more than the Grammy, Oscar, or Golden Globe.

We must launch the Irish KC Bonowatch.

Handy Irish Phrase: Chomh postúil le cat siopa   (As pompous as a shop cat)


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