For some 2000 years, give or take a decade, Celts have been considered among the barbarians of the world. Hillbillies. Rough sorts. We’re one of the original Downtrodden Masses, though, perversely, we’ve developed a sort of pride in being thought low. We’ve fomented uprisings galore, taken Rome, been deported as political dissidents, invented whisky (and about 80% of the rest of the interesting things in this world), and developed a cuisine that most certainly is based around a series of whisky-fumed dares.
There are multitudes more people with some sort of Celtic ancestry here in North America than there are in the original Celtic lands. Generally, when we arrive in a new territory, we first seek solitude (hermit-hood runs strong in the Celtic genetic code), and then seek out other hermits for occasion hermit get-togethers, which tend to involve goodly amount of whisky, rousing political debate, a few fights, and some of that daring food.
Eventually, Celts spread out in search of solitude. They come together again to create more little Celts, and if that process is repeated often enough, in the Highlands of America, we can view the newest of the tribes:
I met one today at the store. He had a mullet, a wife-beater shirt with a homemade band decal, and somewhat grungy jeans. His biceps were adorned with a knotwork band, ornamented with a skull on one side, and a heart with a woman’s name on the other. He was whippet thin, with a fox-narrow face and bright blue eyes. I heard him call to his little girl.
“Boudicca! Boudicca, honey, come stand by Daddy.”
And then, the defining moment:
“Come on now, Bubba… you need to stand by Daddy.”
Ah, yes! Name your sweet baby girl after one of the most fierce female warriors the Celts ever produced: Boudicca.
“Bubba” for short.
Yep, these are my people.