Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tasty but Tasteless: Irish car bomb cupcakes

We're coming up to the 10th anniversary of the Omagh Car Bomb, on August 15th. It killed 29 people, including unborn twins. In Omagh there is now an art exhibition in recognition of the bombing.

So, it is a little bit shocking to see a recipe for Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes come across the wires today. A moderator here comments that "an Irish Car Bomb is an alcoholic shot. the cupcake, I'm sure, is named after that." Ah ok, so that makes it OK then....

Imagine if someone from Oklahoma moves to Ireland and discovers an alcoholic shot there called an "Oklahoma City Bomb" (perhaps using some whisky from Oklahoma, is there such a thing?). Or, how would someone from Tel Aviv feel about coming across a "suicide bomber" alcoholic shot. And, then if there were also matching cupcakes?

Now, I guess there is a risk of being too thin-skinned about this. Irish people can take a joke. Maybe this is another sign that we can move on from the past. But, something about it being a cupcake makes it grate....

Added to all of this, there is the annoying fact that the cupcakes look quite tasty! I may make a batch myself but give it another name :-).


Anonymous said...

Ha! This is so relevant to my recent experiences living in Dublin as a student for six months. One night in Doyle's (I'm sure you know it, right down the street from St. Stephen's Green) I made a quick joke about "why hasn't anyone suggested car bombs yet" and I could see right away that the comment was off-color and not well-received. Someone patted my shoulder and told me "It's not really cool to call 'em that anymore," so now you know that in fact you're not uptight at all, or overly politically correct. You're just polite to anyone alive or dead who has had the unfortunate sadness of knowing firsthand how serious a carbomb is, and that it's no light phrase. And Irish college students, apparently, are just as proper! Make the cupcakes, drink the guinness w/ a shot of bailey's, but drop the harsh nicknames. Great post.

Mark O'Neill said...

Yeah, the "Irish Car Bomb" drink name is completely unknown in Ireland. I was astonished when I first heard it used in the US.

Not far from Doyle's there is South Leinster Street where a car bomb killed people during the Dublin and Monaghan car bombings, a series attacks which had the largest number of fatalities in history of the "Troubles".

These things go both ways though. Speaking as an Irish person, I know we also say unintentionally offensive things to Americans all the time.