Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ashes to ashes -- now take the bastards down!

So Ash Wednesday was yesterday. This marks the beginning of Lent. I wore ashes on my forehead for most of my life. I miss them, but I can no longer stomach the Catholic Church and its bigotry against the LGBT community and women. And hypocrisy on child sex abuse by priests. I do like the Pope's cool shoes.

As Lent begins, I also think of St. Patrick's Day and the holiday's importance in our Irish-Catholic family. Many of those memories involve drinking and toasts to The Old Sod where I've never been and to where my Irish grandfather never wanted to return. It'd odd to be nostalgic for a place I haven't visited. But it's in my blood and I grew up with the stories. I credit some of my storytelling and writing skills to DNA and a certain spirit that travels down the generations. My parents, both terrific readers, get a lot of the credit. So do the nuns and priests and public school teachers who educated this lad.

Irish have a creative side, a drinking side, a dark side, a feisty side. I was thinking of that when I watched this Dropkick Murphys song as accompaniment to videos of the worker protests in Madison, WI. "Take the bastards down." Has a good ring, don't you think? As a public service to me and my readers, I'm going to track down the origins of this song. The Murphs are known for their ass-kicking shows. Maybe this is an original. Maybe an old union song. I will let you know. Meanwhile, here's the vid:

UPDATE: Here's a post from the Dropkick Murphys web site (with cool T-shirt):
Hey Everyone -- the Dropkick Murphys would like to take a moment to acknowledge the struggles of the working people of Wisconsin and to pledge our support and solidarity by releasing the song “Take Em Down” from our upcoming album. We think it’s appropriate at the moment and hope you like it.

We have also created a limited edition “Take ‘Em Down” t-shirt which will be available for sale shortly at Proceeds from the “Take ‘Em Down” t-shirt sales will benefit Workers’ Rights Emergency Response Fund (

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