Veteran Irish American Entertainment critic and JC Heights Native Mike Farragher turns a critical eye on himself and releases
“This Is Your Brain on Shamrocks”
Founder, Irish Voice newspaper and IrishCentral.com
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This Is Your Brain on Shamrocks2: 50 Shades o’ Green, the second in a series of essay books that contain a ribald look at life, faith, an Irish mother’s guilt, culture, and family.
“If I am a shamrock, then my roots are tangled in a compost of debilitating Catholic guilt, repressed sexuality from years of nuns shepherding impure thoughts with corporal punishment, and a shadow of doubt that the other shoe is about to drop whenever you find yourself at a peak in your life,” Farragher explains. “To be uncomfortable when things are good is to be an Irish American.
After more than a dozen years covering the Irish American rock beat for the Irish Voice and IrishCentral.com, Mike Farragher approached his editor with the idea of publishing some of the funny stories he has told over the years to his friends at the bar. “I travel with some very funny people, so there is always this intense pressure to come up with something over-the top in the storytelling department,” Farragher says. “Since Irish are gifted storytellers, I always thought I had an unfair genetic advantage---for a change!”
Farragher devoted half of the page in his column to these stories, which appeared within the wildly popular “The Narrowback’s Corner.” His pieces quickly became favorites of regular readers, taking the writer by surprise.
“I thought I was the only one who had a mother who would get me out of bed on a Sunday morning by screeching, ‘I’m sure the Lord Jesus Christ didn't want to get up the day he died for your sins,’ but I was wrong,” he says. “I got e-mails, Facebook posts, and letters to the editor by the dozens from Irish-Americans in my age bracket telling me that I was writing about their lives as well. I was unprepared for the reaction and deeply grateful for the many people who encouraged me along the way.”
Farragher has been cheering on new voices on the Irish American music scene with his “Off the Record” column and he plans on showcasing these talents during Rock and Read events that are planned for the near future.
“People are reading less and the music business is being clobbered by digital piracy,” Farragher reasons. “I thought putting music and literature together for a unique night in pubs across the country this spring would create buzz for some of the great, unsung voices of Irish America. Irish pubs were and still are gathering places for fun and culture on the Emerald Isle and we will be taking our ‘Rock and Read’ events to a pub near you!”
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