UnNews:Irish cut back on Bloomsday Celebrations; "Nobody's actually read the whole book", say experts
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16 June 2009
DUBLIN, Ireland -- The annual 'Bloomsday' in celebration of the writer James Joyce's book Ulysses has been cut back this year for the official reason that 'Ireland's economy is like a drunk floating down the River Liffey right now'. However fans of the book say it has been 'overwhelmed' by people who think the book's hero Leopold Bloom is the same person who helps create Springtime for Hitler.
Fans of the book which is set on the 16th June 1904 and has been called a chronicle of life , death, taxes and obscure obscenities was long banned in Ireland. Its story of Leo Bloom and his struggle to lose his cherry on that day led it to be labelled 'Protestant filth' by the Irish Catholic Church.
Dedicated followers of Joyce started honouring their hero in the 1950s with one almighty drinking session on this day as they visited all the places mentioned in the book. The event gradually snowballed and now on this day everyone who wants an excuse to get truly 'bladdered' has turned up. Recently some fans even came dressed as Joyce or one the characters in the book - though others thought the title it was about the ancient Greek hero and would sail in on a galley ship kitted out like extras from the movie Gladiator.
When times were good, the purist readers of the book allowed eccentric exhibitionism as 'essentially harmless. But this year the mood is very different. Many of the bars that were once open on this day are closed and everyone feels pretty sorry for themselves. Now they want to blame James Joyce as they think the book has helped to perpetuate the image of Ireland as a land of whimsy and whiskey.
"Yes we are going to be cutting back this year," said a spokesman for the 'Bloomsday Event'. Everyone here is broke..I am broke..by the way do you want to buy an honest Irishman a drink ?...Ok...well as I said..broke...ah it's a great shame.. before he lost his accent and slipped back into a Boston brogue.
We are sure next year will be better..I am sure of that of as I am sure of myself..are you sure..?.
Before he could talk again, the spokesman slipped into the river and fulfilled the simile contained in the first paragraph of this story.
- Winona "High Beams" Wallsconce "Pretentious people claim to understand Joyce novel "Ulysses"". New York Times, June 16, 2009