hist-brewing: Re: Recipe and Soul

Dan McFeeley mcfeeley at keynet.net
Wed Apr 4 23:46:26 PDT 2001

On Tue, 3 Apr 2001, Joel Plutchak wrote:

>I have just a few nits to pick in an otherwise interesting missive.
>True, the United States as a country is only ~225 years old.

[....] stuff deleted

Good point, as a country the U.S. is only about 225 yrs old but the Colonial
period extends its history a little bit longer.  Still, so far as historical
identity goes, the U.S. is far younger than other countries, i.e., in the
sense of historical connection.  China and Russia have undergone recent 
revolutions but their sense of historical identity is much much longer than

>The "fairy rath" of Ireland could well have a parallel in
>the Indian mounds scattered throughout the plains states, or
>the abandoned cave dwellings in the southwestern US, and indeed,
>some of give due respect to such remnants from the past.

I hesitated over that one, given that Native Americans have been around
for quite a long time.  The dividing point is the sense of historical
continuity -- for the Irish, the fairy raths are reminders of the Tuatha
De Danaan, a godlike people who were driven underground by the invading
Milesians to become the fairy folk of legend.  The connection with
historical identity is strong for the Irish, but not so for the U.S.
in regards to the Indian mounds.  

Our youthfulness as a country was driven home to me one time when my wife
and I were at a small parish get-together at the home of our curate.  An
English couple was there, talking casually about their home and the different
historical sites they'd been to, often centuries old and older.  They talked
about these places as easily as talking about yesterday's news!

On Tue, 3 Apr 2001, Scotti the curmudgeon wrote:

>    Later on, Plato built metaphysical structures which perverted the 
>mainstream of Western philosophy for over two thousand years.  His 
>"Forms" are purest blarney.  My Gaelic ancestors at their most fanciful
>did not say anything as ludicrous as the things Plato promulgated with
>a straight face.
If your Gaelic ancestors are the same as my Gaelic ancestors, that could be
debatable.  :-)  Although I wouldn't use the word "ludicrous," to critique
a myth or epic, still, some of the tales in the Irish epic cycles are just
amazing.  The transformations of Cuchulainn in his battle rages are only
one small example.  Incredible stuff!

Dan McFeeley
mcfeeley at keynet.net

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