So while I was doodling out a thoughtful post on British identity in the Emerald Isle, this whole pajama business in Dublin blew open, meriting mention not only in the London Times editorial section on Friday(sorry-behind a paywall), but Althouse as well! So what’s up with dressing down?
The debate that took place was fascinating – in part because there really was no debate. The Dept of Social Welfare hung up a bunch of signs asking people to show up in street clothes, and Irish punditry applauded. I read this as part of a continuing meme in Irish thought and culture – that Irish manners, once the finest to behold, are crumbling due to American/British media, the Celtic Tiger, the end of the Celtic Tiger, the Church, the lack of the Church, Leinster Rugby losing to Connacht, so on and so forth. Mind you, this is a nation where people still thank the bus driver as they exit the bus. Where thank you notes are sent with profusion. It’s not a political thing one way – or the other. It’s more like a nationwide “Mind yer manners” moment.
4 thoughts on “Getting to the bottom of PJs”
I’m English, I’ve lived in Ireland for years. I’ve never been to a more polite place.
Oh, I agree completely. And even so, many Irish people I meet will still tell me how rude everyone has become. I do think there’s a grain of truth there – that is, probably Irish manners were once quite rarefied and now they are simply excellent. I was listening to RTE Radio One and an elderly fellow called in to complain how men no longer remove their hats, or even stop and bow their heads, when a funeral cortège passes by. It’s actually very much like the American South. Southern manners (and hospitality) are legendary. But Southerners will tell you they aren’t what they used to be.
FWIW, some people in my area — the Seattle suburbs — thank the drivers when they get off buses.
I was startled by that at first, but on second thought, decided it makes some sense. After all, the rides are heavily subsidized.
And yet again the middle classes are shocked, shocked by lower-class behaviour. Some things never change, do they?
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