St. Patrick’s Day




Irish Immigrants (1909) / Wikimedia Commons

Dia duit!

While many of us like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. with green apparel and booze, it’s also super important to acknowledge the origins of the celebration: immigrants! With the future of over 800,000 Dreamers in jeopardy under the current administration’s policies, it’s only right to draw attention to the holiday an article from TIME calls

[…] the closest thing in America to National Immigrant Day, a tribute not only to the Irish, but to the idea that Americans are all part “other.”


SO, if you weren’t aware, the general consensus of nativist Americans in the 19th century was that the Irish (the first ‘modern’ immigrants in the U.S., as expanded upon in this NY Times article from 2012) behaved like this:

Anti-Irish Political Cartoon by Thomas Nast

“The Usual Irish Way of Doing Things” (1871) / Wikimedia Commons

The political cartoon above is by Thomas Nast, y’know, the dude who created the modern-day depiction of a fat, red-suit-wearing Santa Claus? Yeah, same guy.

Here’s a continuation on that thought from my FB, (edited slightly for clarity):

  • The celebration was brought to the United States by Irish immigrants in the 19th century.
  • These immigrants (and others from ‘undesirable’ areas of Europe, such as Scotland, Germany, and Italy) were largely unwelcome in ‘white collar’ work forces, such as medicine, politics, law, et al.
  • Many of these immigrants didn’t speak English, and would learn only after arriving in the U.S.A., including the Irish. (The English language was forced upon them for 800 years but was by no means universal in Ireland then, nor is it today.)
  • Not all of these immigrants came legally; even today, a low estimate of illegal U.S. residency by white Europeans and Canadians is 550,000 according to the most recent figures from the Pew Research Center.

This brings us to the present, when people with Irish (and German, and Italian, and Scottish, and … ) surnames are trying to prevent immigrants (today, largely from South America, Central America, Africa, and the Middle East) from enjoying all the benefits and opportunities their ancestors received once anti-immigrant sentiments shifted southerly. Such is the (stupid) pattern of history. But not all is lost (it never is).



If we as a society can willingly get behind this look for a day

Some dude in questionable attire / Chicago Tribune


surely, we can get behind these amazing people!

here to stay

Dreamers / The Intercept


Slán abhaile!

x. Carey


Baltimore / year in review

let's get political
‘Nobody shoot anybody!’
‘Names not numbers!’
‘You matter! You matter!’

I won’t lie—This was an exceptionally violent year in Baltimore. As of 29 December, 343 persons were killed in the city, and a police officer scheduled to testify against the BPD’s Gun Trace Task Force was shot and killed (allegedly with his own weapon) the day before he was scheduled to testify in court.

But, this was also a year in which the unemployment rate dropped from 11% to 5%.This was the year Erricka Bridgeford was named Marylander of the Year 2017 for her activism, specifically, the ‘Baltimore Ceasefire’ of 4-6 August. A judge ruled that Black Lives Matter was not an organization in the traditional sense, and therefore could not be sued.

This was a year of terrors, horrors, and tragedy; it was also a year of bravery, activism, and the tenacious belief that Baltimore is a good city, and will improve. In short, 2017 was a year of contradictions.

I write this to pay my respects to the persons killed this year. I write this to reiterate that I believe Baltimore is a good, is a loving, city.

I do not write this to inflame, I do not write this to misinform, I do not write this to sound woke for the sake of sounding woke. The facts and stats I provide are linked to legitimate sources. Baltimore IS a good city, and it’s a far better place than is often portrayed in media.

I write this to say: 2017 was an especially rough year for the city, but 2018 will be better. We will make it so.


Winter Music


Alas, it’s winter again!

(At least there’s good music.)



  1. “The Sound of Silence”, Simon & Garfunkel

2. Wild is the Wind, Nina Simone

3. “Black Beauty (A Response to Lana Del Rey from Willis Earl Beal)”, Willis Earl Beal

4. “I’m So Tired”, Fugazi

5. “Breaking It Up”, Lykke Li


Happy winter, if you’re one of the crazy ones.

x. Carey

‘the bleak December’


Ah, distinctly, I rememeber



I’ve a friend who describes this time of year as liminal.

We’re both the superstitious sort, but there’s truth to the matter. There is something spooky about the winter, the last month of the year (in the Gregorian calendar, at least). The cold is coming and things are ending, and they won’t begin again for some time.

(Etymological side note: liminal comes from līmen, Latin for ‘threshold’; next month is January, which comes from Ianuarius—the month of Janus, a Roman god: the gatekeeper.)


It’s cold here, where we are, and it snowed over the weekend. We are almost over our heads in final papers (my humanities cohorts and I) and exams (my aforementioned friend, a STEM major…oxymoronic, huh?) but we are OK.

The cold and the dark do affect me, but I’ve pulled through for the past twenty winters and I’ll do so again. 2017 has been a bad year for so many people, for so many reasons (but also a good year! for the silence-breakers!) but we have pulled through. And anyway,

perfer et obdura, dolor hic tibi proderit olim

(Ovid, Metamorphoses)


love, Carey