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  • Pacific Swedes

    So there's an Irish fan in a full Leprechaun get-up standing amid a sea of Swedish fans at the soccer and no-one feels the need to attack him.

    Well, there's a lot of soccer hooliganism and violence that goes on but that photo restores ones faith in mankind - or in the Swedes at any rate.

    http://www.dailyedge.ie/irish-fan-le...21797-Jun2016/

  • #2
    According to someone who spent several years in UK, leprechauns are devious nasty little imps. It's a wonder he didn't attack the Swedes!;-)

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    • #3
      LOL

      "UK" ... and there's a possible point of friction, as those initials stand for "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". The status of the northern part of the island of Ireland is, shall we say, disputed. The English and Scots (and French Hugenots) started meddling there a long time ago - and before they did the Normans already had (as they did everywhere from England to northern France to Sicily and beyond). Ordinary people in Britain and Ireland are left with the legacy of all this. But this is the story of humankind ...

      Leprechauns as far as I know are peculiar to Ireland, but everywhere in pre-modern Europe had some kind of belief in fairy or elfin people of some sort. Generally, they were a lot more menacing and of more dubious character than anyone would think if they took their notion of fairies from Walt Disney. There's a brilliant book about the medieval mind by C. S. Lewis called The Discarded Image - he was actually in his day job a scholar of Medieval and Renaissance literature, and a very brilliant and gifted one, though it's not what he's usually known for. Anyway, Lewis gives a useful survey of fairy lore from that period in that book and tries to help readers understand what these creatures are going to mean in that literature. He makes it clear that the "good people" were still believed in in Ireland within living memory (and in many other places I daresay). Lewis himself was an Irishman, though he spent most of his adult life in Oxford, and he mentions staying in a cottage in a remote part of Ireland. The locals, he says, tended to give it a wide berth at night. It was rumoured to be haunted by both a ghost and the "good people" but it was the latter that worried people.

      So, yeah, fairies, elves, leprechauns - whatever you want to call them - were regarded as potentially dangerous only a generation or two ago.

      In Iceland (Iceland with a C not an R) the ministry of transport has been known to divert roads around rock outcrops and the like believed by Icelanders to be the haunt of elves. Icelanders don't take any chances when it comes to the possibility of annoying the elves.

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      • #4
        The icelanders may have just had a point if David Paulides' missing 411 books are to be believed.

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        • #5
          "In Iceland (Iceland with a C not an R) the ministry of transport has been known to divert roads around rock outcrops and the like believed by Icelanders to be the haunt of elves. Icelanders don't take any chances when it comes to the possibility of annoying the elves. "

          Thought it was trolls, not the Internet kind, but the misshapen ugly ones. :-)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Paysan View Post
            "In Iceland (Iceland with a C not an R) the ministry of transport has been known to divert roads around rock outcrops and the like believed by Icelanders to be the haunt of elves. Icelanders don't take any chances when it comes to the possibility of annoying the elves. "

            Thought it was trolls, not the Internet kind, but the misshapen ugly ones. :-)
            LOL

            I think the point about the internet trolls is not that they are angry—the image of the Scandinavian troll is of an oafish, ill-tempered and dangerous brute—but that they aim to provoke anger. I've a vague notion that the word derives from fishing. (Maybe it's related to the word "trawl".) So the internet troll posts some kind of inflammatory opinion that he himself might well not agree with and watches for the responses from people who can't control themselves.

            ‘He who is unmoved, who has restrained his senses … is said to be devoted. As a flame in a windless place that flickers not, so is the devoted.’ (Ancient Indian. Bhagavad gita. ERE ii 90)
            But this is not how most people are in themselves, particularly not in contemporary societies—"restrained"? "unmoved"? as if! raises eyebrows—so inevitably some start jumping up and down. I suppose the "troll"—the one who has dragged the fishing lure—is amused by the fact that he is in fact controlling them like puppets.

            A pretty silly proceeding all round. Silly (and uncharitable) of people to drag lures and sillier of people to respond to them.



            Anyway … no, it's the elves all right:

            https://www.theguardian.com/artandde...-elves-or-else

            I believe a surprisingly large number of Icelanders claim to have seen elves. Lewis said he had seen one as a boy in Ireland (with an R), but did add that he was in an excitable state and also unwell at the time.

            Tolkien's trolls (in The Hobbit) are a hoot, but the writing does come off as a little snobbish, since the trolls speak in lower class accents.

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