The Blog section on EBW reminds me of a smokey, dimly lit, hole-in-the-wall Irish Pub. You know, the one with the Butcher's Apron (Union Jack) used as a dartboard... with walls covered with the praises of strong whiskey and stout ale, and that barkeep that will never remember your name, but knows exactly how much that tab was you walked out on last night. Like any good pub, its mostly full of drunks, fools, drunk fools, those in the process of becoming drunks, and those that just came to get in from the rain. You've got your regulars, the ones with a barstool with their fat ass permanently imprinted on it, and you've got your tourists, the ones with fanny-packs who gawk at the regulars and donât understand the local dialect, customs or camaraderie.
Like any good pub it is full of drunken Irish poets and writers. You've got your Yeats, your James Joyces, your Flann OâBriens, your Sam Becketts, your Brendan Behans, and your Seamus Heaneys. Just a bunch of drinkers with a writing problem. Most are truly awful. Some are merely bad. But its those wonderful few, the ones whose stories of danger, daring and adventure and tall tales of loves lost, that make drinking here such fun. Many writers, many philosophers, lots of nutjobs, a few Casanovas, and a even a Nostradamus or two. And each and every one is a fully certified, professional, accredited, lauded, authority on everything that needs be known about anything ever. Just ask 'em, they'd be glad to tell you. Buy 'em a drink, give 'em five stars, give 'em a thumbs up, and you've made a lifelong friend for the rest of the night.
And like any good pub, courtesy and civility are tossed out the drunk chute (back door), and caution thrown to the wind. Those silly, meaningless rules concerning common societal taboos and governing social interactions are blithely and happily ignored. Religion and politics are the consistent topics du jour. Just know that whenever two blokes of brilliance are in heated conversation, there will be encouragement from their mates. And of course, like any good pub, it'll cause quarrels and fights. The fights are brisk, intense, and quickly degenerate into rolling about in the general muck and mire that is the floor of any good pub. But since no one is ever wrong or at fault in a pub, you get up, dust each other off, and the winner buys the next round. "Make 'em stout and make 'em fast barkeep."
And like any good Irish Pub, you've got your jezebels, your loose women, and those lasses that are just in looking for a good time. They'll make you master and commander of a ship worthy of the roughest seas the North Atlantic has to offer. Cross her though, and she'll make you a bastard and a sounder of sorrows, and you'll retreat to a more friendly, accepting, open-minded tavern across town. Preferably to somewhere that has the Top 40 on the juke, instead of Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphy.
Of course, like any pub worth it's name, the town drunk'll stumble in through the door, and make some bizarre, side-splitting, off colour remark. He'll then stand there with a blank stare, swaying slowly back and forth, mutter something to himself, and walk back out into the cold, bleak night. And as it is a Public Tavern, we'll take on all comers. The young and inexperienced rabble will crash through the door, having just read the new advertisement in the neighborhood rag, and proceed to drink far more than they can handle. They'll go about slurring their words and hurling epithets at their fellow rabble, and insults at the regulars. Then, as politely as may be expected, they'll be handed their asses, their coats and hats, and ushered toward the door, told to return when they can better handle the spirits.
Like any good pub, it takes quite the act of attrition to get banned. And even then, everyone knows you'll be back in a week or two, as soon as the Door Keep's swollen eye goes down. And like any good gathering of like-minded pain gluttons, the pub is the unfortunate site of the occasional diaspora. The old timer moves on or passes on, the hot-headed boy finds a bird that takes his time and attention away, or for others it just gets old and stale. It's fine though, just the nature of things. Fresh blood will again flow into the pub, bringing new coinage, new stories, new drinking songs and new shit to fight about.
Let's see what's on tap.