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Doc Sportello

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Gender: Male
Home country: United States
Current location: Channelview Estates
Member since: Fri Jul 7, 2017, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 6,889

Journal Archives

Hey, Irish Americans: Your "Celtic" tattoo isn't Celtic -- because that whole idea was made up

I post this as an American of Scots-Irish (mostly) descent. I enjoy trad music from the Isles and Guinness beer. But O'Heir makes substantive points about the celebration of "Celtic" culture and how off-base most of it is. An easy, fact-based read that some won't like but here it is:



Let's have a little talk among ourselves, Irish Americans. Let's celebrate our diversity. No, I'm serious; that's the real story of our heritage. There is no pure ethnic identity to be found deep in our ancestry, or in anyone else's. To quote the Harvard geneticist David Reich, whose research on ancient DNA has upended the study of human prehistory, "Present-day populations are blends of past populations, which were blends themselves."


Where I'm going here with all this, my Irish-American friends, is that the real and endlessly complicated story of Ireland's past is a lot more interesting than the search for some made-up "Celtic" essence that never existed, and which always ends up at two connected destinations: blatantly fake racist B.S., and somebody trying to sell you something. This ever-frustrated quest for plastic-shamrock authenticity is one of the big reasons why so many Irish Americans feel bewildered or alienated by the realities of contemporary Ireland, a small island of abundant contradictions and deep historical ironies that doesn't want to be a misty stereotype of itself — but is still willing to play that role for the Yanks if there's enough money on the table.

There is a darker side to Irish-American bewilderment, although we're on friendly terms and I won't accuse you of that: I mean the retrograde right-wing tendency exemplified by Sean Hannity and Mick Mulvaney and Kellyanne Conway and any number of other Trump-affiliated Republicans, which remains attached to an idealized, nostalgic vision of Ireland as a Gaelic-Catholic-nationalist (but English-speaking) monoculture, the land of saints and scholars and "comely maidens dancing at the crossroads," to quote the 1943 St. Patrick's Day address by Éamon de Valera, the American-born, half-Hispanic leader who shaped 20th-century Ireland, for better and (mostly) for worse.

When those "make Ireland great again" folks look across the Atlantic today and see a country whose current Taoiseach (i.e., prime minister) is a gay man of Indian ancestry, and where the starting goalkeeper for the national soccer team is Black, I can only hope they feel outraged and baffled. They should be: Jesus, Mary and Joseph, how did Ireland turn woke? That's the world telling them that their understanding of Irishness is bound for the rubbish bin of history.
Posted by Doc Sportello | Fri Mar 17, 2023, 11:58 AM (38 replies)

Highly recommend 'Jimmy Carter: Rock and Roll President'

I had it on my watchlist and this moment seemed perfect to check it out. The doc is told though the perspective of Carter's love of a wide variety of music and that works as a fitting synopsis of the man's life, views and his effect on the world. It also includes a reference to the need to reevaluate his presidency and wipe off the dirt unfairly dumped on him by the repubs and enablers in the media.

There are so many thoughtful tributes from musicians and others. As one put it, paraphrasing: 'we're told not to meet our idols because you'll be disappointed. That wasn't true with Jimmy Carter.'
A couple of others:
Rosanne Cash telling of voting for Carter as a teenager, then going to bed on election night 1976 not knowing who won; then being awakened in the middle of the night when her parents, Johnny and June Cash, were whooping and hollering because Carter had won.
Also, and this is fitting for an example of how low current repubs have sunk, is John Wayne wishing Carter well while speaking on inauguration night to a roomful of celebrating Democrats. He said: "I am a member of the loyal opposition, with the accent on loyal."

The documentary is a beautiful tribute to a truly great man.

Posted by Doc Sportello | Sun Feb 19, 2023, 11:34 PM (1 replies)

Alabama basketball player charged with murder

Darius Miles of the Alabama men's basetball team is one of two men charged with muder after an incident Saturday night.

Posted by Doc Sportello | Sun Jan 15, 2023, 11:23 PM (0 replies)

Robert Reich: Democrats should unite with moderate Republicans to elect a Speaker


Does this mean the rest of us have to sit back and allow a tiny minority of extreme rightwing Maga House Republicans controlled by Donald Trump to hijack congressional Republicans, who in turn will hijack the entire House, and thereby hijack much of Congress?

No. There’s an alternative, and House Democrats and the few remaining “moderate” Republicans should take it: come together to make someone like Michigan’s moderate Republican Fred Upton or Ohio’s David Joyce the speaker of the House.


Given that the likeliest alternative will be a Speaker Kevin McCarthy beholden to the extreme Magas, either Upton or Joyce should be elected speaker. What should Democrats ask for in return? A power-sharing agreement similar to the one agreed to in the last Senate, in which each party got the same number of seats on all committees.

The deal will enable the government to function and will simultaneously repudiate the Maga extremists. It’s a good deal for America.


I agree with Robert Reich. Are repubs liars and terrible? Yes, but I think this move would be the best alternative to having MAGAts in control for the next two years and the best path to having at least a somehwat functioning government going forward.

Posted by Doc Sportello | Thu Jan 5, 2023, 11:30 AM (27 replies)

Neal Katayal: Senate should take over Jan 6 committee

Should Dems lose the House. Just now on Ari.
Posted by Doc Sportello | Mon Nov 14, 2022, 07:39 PM (14 replies)

Another try: S+C+A+R+R: Unusual and captivating music video

Posting here after screwing up the first posting in music appreciation. I couldn't find out much about this artist but I can't stop listening and watching this hypnotizing video that one reviewer called addictive, creepy and catchy.

Discovered it on the Coping episode of Off the Air:

Posted by Doc Sportello | Wed Nov 9, 2022, 10:37 PM (0 replies)

S+C+A+R+R: Unusual and captivating music video

I couldn't find out much about this artist but I can't stop listening and watching this hynotizing video.
EDIT: I posted the wrong video link. Correct one now.

Discovered it on the Coping episode of Off the Air:

Posted by Doc Sportello | Wed Nov 9, 2022, 10:22 PM (1 replies)

This may go down as an historic night for Democrats

The House is a tie and the Democrats have a 50-50 chance, according to MSNBC, to keep their majority. No, Dems didn't win senate races in OH, FL, NC where there were hopes but they still have a good shot at keeping the Senate. All of this in a year where Biden had low polling numbers and there is high inflation. Most pundits, even Dem ones, there were predictions of a 25 seat or more loss for Demcrats in the House.

And the old meme about parties with incumbents getting creamed in mid-terms has proven to be not only false here, but according to Kornacki only a couple of modern elections would have had this outcome. Lots of votes and outcomes to be determined, but like 2018 this may eventually turn out to be not a good night but a great one for Democrat.
Posted by Doc Sportello | Wed Nov 9, 2022, 01:10 AM (9 replies)

Kornacki listing several possible Democratic pickups in the House

Can't name all of them but in Texas, PA, Mi, Ohio and several in California all have repub districts that Democrats are leading in. We may not lose the House if they pull out wins.
Posted by Doc Sportello | Wed Nov 9, 2022, 12:19 AM (2 replies)

'The truth is they're vulnerable': inside America's mobile home crisis

New documentary "highlights a cross-section of mobile home-owners and the system that aims to ruin them".


A Decent Home, Sara Terry’s unflinchingly intimate and troubling documentary about the crisis that is roiling the nation, tells this ever-pervasive story on a refreshingly human scale.
Terry spent six years working on her film, which follows bands of residents at a quartet of mobile home parks under threat by developers looking to jack up rents – sometimes by more than 50% – or repurpose the land for more lucrative use. Moving a mobile home can cost up to $20,000, which makes it easier for landlords to get away with inflicting steep rent hikes.


Posted by Doc Sportello | Tue Oct 25, 2022, 10:37 AM (22 replies)
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