Killing the Celt is a collection of short fiction, metafiction, and nonfiction pieces that include Celtic history, social and political satire, travel narratives, pop-culture musings, and memoir. The book’s thirty one essays and stories are framed within brief histories of the six Celtic holocausts, and bound together with a Celtic sensibility marked by dark, anarchic humor; a love of place, time, and culture; and a steely distrust of authority.
As the author notes, the Celts are always done in because they can never unite long enough to fight off a common foe. We Celts are good examples of those who hang separately because they’ll be damned if they’ll hang together past the first fist fight.
Or, as dark Irish humor has it, God invented whiskey to keep the Celts from taking over the world.
The following is just one excerpt from Killing the Celt. Call it political satire. Call it a Jacksonian daydream…
The First Openly Celtic President Talks Foreign Policy
Anchor: “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I’m Daniel lzquierdo for ABS News. This evening President MacBytback is going to address the nation on the subject of the Middle East. I am joined for tonight’s broadcast by my colleague Tom Gauche. We also have our Celtic Color Commentator, Peter O’Deas.”
Co-Anchor: “And it’s rather early in his term for the President to be speaking on such an important topic, isn’t it, Dan?”
Anchor: “That’s right, Tom. President MacBytback has only been in office for two months now. But as we heard recently in his speech on terrorism to the Council on Foreign Relations, the President is not afraid to speak his mind and to take decisive, somewhat unprecedented, action. It will be interesting to see what he has to say tonight. Here he comes now.”
The President is shown walking into the Oval Office. He is wearing a kilt. Surprisingly, to many watching, a basket-hilted sword is slung at his left side. A piper can be heard playing a martial tune in the Rose Garden. A large metal map of the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Europe sits on an easel behind the President’s desk. A two-dimensional bag of money — marked by three bright-red dollar signs-is attached to the map with a magnet. The map looks like something you might have seen in an early-19th century elementary school classroom.
Co-Anchor: “Peter, is that a MacBytback tartan the President is wearing?”
Celtic Color Commentator: “No, Tom, that’s the Marine Corps tartan. As you know, the President was a marine back in the late 1960s. The pipe tune being played is the old charging air, The Haughs of Cromdale, a favorite of the Highland regiments in the early 19th-century Peninsular Wars.”
Anchor: “Thank you, Peter. Now the President is about to speak.”
“Slainte, my fellow Americans. As you know, I am a quiet man, a man of few words, so I will get straight to the point of my talk right away. The Middle East has tong been a primary focus of United States foreign policy. I have absolutely no idea why this is so — perhaps it’s our amazing thirst for oil, maybe a certain sense of religious commonality, or possibly a degree of undue influence from a small number of powerful people in the Northeast. I mean, if one bothered to watch television news, a thankless task to be sure, one would go away with the idea that the Middle East is the largest continent on earth. Well, our business there is no longer going to be done as usual.
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“We buy most of our oil now from our friends down in South America and we’ve begun to tap into Russia’s huge reserves. So we needn’t worry too much about oil.” He paused. “As for religion, as far as I’m concerned Newgrange in the Boyne Valley is the New Jerusalem.” He looked away at a small spot just below the ceiling on the far wall. “Or it may be Avebury in Wiltshire. We’re not sure at the moment. I have a committee from my Druidical Council of Scholars working on that problem right now.” His preternaturally light blue eyes peered steelily into the C-Span camera, and he briefly smiled at his handlers, who were trying their best not to squirm in their seats.
He stood up in front of the map. “In any case, we’re going to stop pouring billions of our taxpayers’ dollars into that stony, turbulent dust bowl over there as we’ve been doing every year for the past 40 or 50 years. It hasn’t done much good, now has it?” He took a wooden pointer and pushed the magnetic money bag from its position between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, up across the Mediterranean Sea and Europe, so that it settled over the Isle of Man. “So, we’re going to mooooove this from here to here. See how easy that was.” He gave what a New York newspaper would call a “big, dumb grin” in its lead editorial the next day.
“We’re going to cut that money in half and spend it for a while in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. We may put a little into England and Brittany, too. We’ll see. I’m convinced that if we help the Celtic peoples in this way, they will form a unified, strongly bonded nation that will be a good ally in our fight to keep freedom alive in the world and a stabilizing influence in the Eurabian region. We need to guard the cradle of the Western imagination with all of our might. And, to be sure, we need a perpetual counterbalance to the hyper-rationalist Franco-German superstate.
“The people in the Middle East are just going to have to grow up and learn to get along like everyone else. For God’s sake, they’re all the same people, with some odd disagreements on religion. They’ve been going at it tooth and nail for the past 9,000 years. Now, if they can’t get along, they’re going to have to learn to fight with sticks and stones again. Today I signed an Executive Order stopping all foreign aid and arms shipments to the region. So I wish them luck. They’re on their own.
“That’s all I have to say. Good night and God bless.”