Photo of the Day: Irish Eyes Are Not Smiling

May 18, 2011
Allan MacDonell is TakePart’s News + Opinion editor, with a focus on social justice.

A typical foreign visitor to Dublin, Ireland, might plod along the James Joyce Ulysses walk, down a few pints at a theme pub, join in on the a capella chorus of "Thousands Are Sailing to Amerikay," and later recall the excursion as a trip well-played among convivial and boisterous hosts.

One Dubliner quotes esteemed Irish poet Johnny Rotten: &39;God save the Queen! We mean it, man!&39; (Photo: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters)

Unfortunately, the Queen of England is not a typical foreign visitor. In fact, the touching of her royal heels on Irish soil on Tuesday marked the first state visit by a British monarch since the Emerald Isle's independence. Ireland tossed off the yoke of U.K. oppression way back on December 6, 1921, a time when men were free from the media tyranny of royal weddings, and women wore hats that functioned as attractive and purposeful head coverings.

The residual ire toward a ruling family that has held no sway over the nation of poets and pub keepers for almost 90 years is complicated and nuanced, but can perhaps be boiled down to a single, polarizing image.

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