Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013



We here at the DUNER BLOG just love new holidays.  Naturally, we spent last Thursday celebrating ARTHUR'S DAY.  Never heard of ARTHUR'S DAY?  This fete celebrates the birth date of Arthur Guinness in 1725.  To celebrate Ireland's (non) official national beverage, surprise concerts organized by the brewery take place in 815 pubs across the Emerald Isle.  And your first pint of Guinness is free.

"It's my favorite night of the year!" exclaimed David Doolan, 28, of Dublin.  "A musical treasure hunt." He's right.  The list of artists is quite impressive and varied.   Rock bands like Mumford & Sons, Snow Patrol and OK Go! take over tiny taverns for intimate concerts.  Down the road, dance mavericks like The Sugababes, Calvin Harris and Kelis turn a relaxed Pub into a loud Club Dude.  It's the the Coachella and Reading Festivals rolled into one!  What's not to love?

Plenty!  In fact, this year's ARTHUR'S DAY celebrations were met with a wave of protest nationwide.  See, many Irish citizens are tired of the drunkard stereotype of their culture.  Unfortunately, the corresponding statistics are not pretty.  Households in Ireland spend 8% of their income on booze. (They spend only 4% on clothing.)  Annually, the tiny Irish economy loses $5 billion in sick leave / hangover losses.  Ireland leads all European nations in cirrhosis / liver-related deaths.  Yikes!

However, after further research, we here at the DUNER BLOG have determined the real reason behind the ARTHUR'S DAY resentment.  A decade ago, the privately-owned Guinness Brewery was purchased by the huge, London-based beverage corporation Diageo.  Since the takeover, the marketing of the world's best selling stout has exploded.  There are now Guinness TV commercials, radio spots and billboards. ARTHUR'S DAY is another example.  The Irish Times called it a "pseudo-national holiday" to sell more beer.  No wonder people are mad!  It turns out, this holiday is a English gimmick, not an Irish tradition.

While both sides of the ARTHUR'S DAY debate have their merit, we here at the DUNER BLOG feel the real victim here is Mr. Arthur Guinness himself.  He was a great man who started with next to nothing and built the world's largest brewery.  He cared little about Irish / English hostility, nor did he know about modern day marketing gimmicks or statistics regarding alcoholism.  In fact, he was a great philanthropist who was honored by the Irish Government.  To demonstrate their respect, the lease for the St. James Guinness Brewery is for 10,000 years!  Let's not drag this great man's legend through the mud...

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