Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Blarney Stone Gift

I have a friend, Mark, who knows about the Blarney Stone, located in the Blarney Castle, Cork, Ireland. Most Americans know or have heard of the stone, but he was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, so he has better knowledge – perhaps first-hand knowledge. The legend is that if you kiss the stone, you get the gift of blarney, in other words, the gift of bullshit. As far as I can tell, he doesn't have the gift and he is about as straight shooter and honest as anyone I know. If I stretch what I know about him into an extrapolation, I suspect that most Irish are less full of blarney than Americans are and they have no need of the stone. The stone is really in the wrong country. Maybe we should move the stone to Washington D. C. There would be a lot more kissing the stone there.

In fact, Americans from all over the country may start a new tradition, nearly religious worship in nature, of a Hajj (pilgrimage) to the stone, much like the Hajj to Mecca, to get the gift of blarney. That would fit in to our culture; fanatically capitalistic or religious or nationalistic or a combination of two or more of these. Who would visit the stone most often? Republicans or Democrats? Salesmen, marketeers, CEOs? There would be a long line. I'm sure of that.

In its current location, it takes considerable effort to kiss it. In fact, you have to bend over backwards (you will have to scroll down to see a demonstration), literally, to consummate the act, sort of like having to bend over backwards to think up the bullshit many tell the American public. A Youtube demonstration of kissing the stone is an even better demonstration of the effort it takes. The stone's “gift” gives the bullshit artist a magical power so that the listener believes what they're told , at least if one is not careful about what one believes.

Mark tells me another story about the stone. He says that in the dark of night defiant young people visit the stone to piss on it. The more I think about that, the more I think that is justice for those who visit the stone in the light of day for the benefit of blarney. Perhaps he was one of those defiant young people and his honesty is a result of that act; sort of a reverse Blarney Stone “gift.” That, the pissing on the stone, could be just as much legend as getting the gift of blarney and perhaps deflects or diminishes the power of the gift to those who desire it. So, once the stone is moved to Washington D. C., we should continue the practice.

We should make it just as difficult to get the gift, i.e., having to bend over backwards, in the light of day and under the scrutiny of a video camera; so we'll know the identity of the bullshit artists. Then, in the dark of night, we'll allow all of those who are honest in the light of day, piss on the stone. I don't know if that will diminish the power of the bullshitters, but it sure will make me feel better about justice.


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