LET'S have a big irish "cheers" for oscar wilde, winner of my "world's coolest irishman" poll, which just expired. (he drew slightly more than a third of votes.) for much of the poll, joyce (whose "dubliners effectively taught me to read) was leading, but st. oscar made a last minute rally. yeats, that master of swoony celtic romanticism (and later, crisp, steely modernism) came close. van morrison (like wilde and yeats born a protestant), morrissey (an english citizen of irish heritage) and arthur guinness, father of the great stout, did not chart so well.
wilde joins syrah/grenache/rhone ("favorite wine") among recent winners on this blog. (tho i imagine he preferred port or absinthe.)
i'd considered listing john lennon -- take a look at the gaelic last name folks, and he was not the only beatle of irish heritage -- but figured it would lead to confusion or fisticuffs. (there will be a poll with lennon on it shortly.)
and i hope the enthusiasm that met these celtic heroes is matched by support for japanese film in my latest poll.
as for wilde, i often think of his definition of a cynic: "A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."
and here is one of his finest aphorisms, one still pertinent today:
"The youth of America is their oldest tradition. It has been going on now for three hundred years."
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