(might be NSFW)
Testimonial: "None of you seem aware of quite how bad you are. I mean I'm pretty outspoken on how bad the internet has gotten, but this is up there with the worst."
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There was another Canadian show, The Beachcombers, about a guy named Nick Adonidas, who ran a lumber salvage operation on the coast of British Columbia.
The series was insanely gritty for its day, and dealt frequently with Nick's alcoholism problem, which was treated as being - in our terms - horrormirthy. Nick had a particular weakness with ouzo, and often was shown puking drunk, hung over, or in dire financial straits due to this.
The foil was a guy named "Relic", who used unscrupulous means to swipe lumber off of Nick, who wasn't above some shady dealings himself. Many of the characters were North American Natives, and their issues in dealing with Whites were explored fairly often, though they were also portrayed as "noble", in that they were virtually flaw-free (for example, they were the only characters that weren't horrid drunks).
Funny thing: In the 80s, the show was revamped, using more suspense and action, and tanked. The audience wanted sordid and awful social problems rubbed in their faces, which only proves that Canada is still very British.
Sounds nice, bit pricey for universal love though.
And Equinistry makes me think of this harrowing story:
I realize it may be too late now to back to the OP, but I wanted to add something.
I think the truth is inbetween the idea that Americans have a severely abbreviated culture and Hyphenated-Americans are Really Really Hyphenated People.
America was colonised in waves, and those waves often consisted of people from distinct linguistic and cultural groups, usually settling in similar areas to each other. The parents bring the culture with them, from their homelands, but the children born there...well, they exist in a different geographical, legal, political and economic climate to the one their parents did, alongside other emerging or distinct foreign cultures as well.
Thus you have a case of divergent cultural evolution. Much like the way Canadian French is different from Modern French, but related historically and linguistically, you have an Irish Tradition with an offshoot - the American-Irish tradition, and the Irish one. Conditioned by outside factors and the course of history, there is inevitably going to be a major difference in how those traditions are percieved and what kind of behaviour they result in.
The only reason Irish Irishness is considered more legitimate than American Irishness is because the former controls the state of Ireland, and thus the percieved homeland of Irish Tradition by both sides.
Boston Marathon today.
The finish line is in Copley Sq, where I work.
Just now, there were two explosions near the finish line.
No word on what's going on.
Updates will most likely follow.