I am fed-up with Plastic Paddies and plastic-every-nationality.

Especially the [North and South] American who think they belong where their ancestors are from. No, they don’t.

Lucy the Oracle
11 min readMay 15, 2024

This post is tongue-in-cheek. Read it like a sassy stand-up comedy routine.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Did you cringe at the image above? — That means you DO belong in Ireland.

So… I’m a half-Swede, half-Portuguese born in South America. I’m the last person you’d imagine joining the Irish in their collective animosity against the Irish-American. Right? In fact, as a child, I couldn’t even point to Ireland in a world map. (The fact it’s tiny doesn’t help, I suppose).

[Insert here jokes about how many Irelands fit into your chosen country, and how we’re all neighbours and know each other’s aunt]

There is one thing, though, that I’ve always had in common with the Irish: begrudgery.

It’s an art.

(Yes I’m a Capricorn)

You should win a prize, a big fat prize, if you ever accomplish the impossible task of impressing me. Honest. I am the polar opposite of a dreamer with rose-tinted glasses. Again I’ll blame it on my zodiac: I’m the opposite of Cancer.

And people… For some god forsaken reason… Seem to think they can impress me by being fake. As fake as plastic.

There was a period in my life (which by the way, ends TODAY) when I used to avoid calling them out, because poor things, they need to resort to being fake in order to feel good about themselves? Why would I be mean to them? I’d rather silently judge; Sometimes even let them believe I was buying it. I worried about these people’s fragility just like you worry about accidentally breaking a delicate glass.

I’ve changed my mind, though. I mean, sure, being a bitch 24/7 probably isn’t a good idea either… But maybe I should aim at a middle ground; Because if I don’t, people get bolder and bolder… And eventually need to be put back in their place.

The irony is: some would accuse me of racism for publishing this rant; When in fact THEY are the racists and they’re just projecting.

My rant has nothing to do with race. Nothing to do with looks or even with blood. It has to do with pretending to belong in a place you’ve never set foot on. It IS outrageous. I’m quite surprised so many people can’t see that. And on top of not seeing that, they virtue-signal about authenticity.

Authenticity your arse. Fuck that bullshit. Shove it you-know-where.

THIS is authenticity:

Coláiste Lurgan in Connemara was one of the first summer schools here to launch these pop music covers as Gaeilge, back in the early 2010s. I’m friends with the management myself and have been there, I can tell you for sure this isn’t just propaganda — they DO get this amount of diversity every year and every young person in these videos is actually studying there. Spending time with the local community. Learning what it’s like to BE here in Ireland and to engage with what’s truly native.

But some people all over the Internet haven’t ever even heard about the Gaeltachtaí, let alone know that these places are equivalent to indigenous reserves in the Americas (yes, often complete with national parks and untouched natural scenery).

No, they don’t have the balls to interview someone who is really native in order to learn any of that. Instead, they go for the plastic paddies (who do, in fact, also exist here. It’s not just the ones from America) as long as these fake people make a convincing enough documentary or book about some elusive sense of Irishness long lost to time. Ah, how comfortable it must be to think of re-indigenising ourselves as an act everyone, without exception, needs to practice! It takes the responsibility away from these people’s shoulders, and they can just shrug and say “oh well, there’s nothing we can do, everything is lost — let’s just reconstruct some distant and idyllic past for the sake of romanticism”.

Motherfucker! A leithéd de scannal agus seafóid!

This isn’t much better than straight-up cultural appropriation. Indigenous communities EXIST. We’re here! Hello! Stop erasing us! *Frantically waves at the sky, as if seeking help from an airplane*.

Phew! It feels good to FINALLY get this shit out of my chest. Along with the chesty cough from last week. Oopsie, watch out or you’ll come down with the flu.

There are some behaviours I shouldn’t give the benefit of the doubt to. I used to, but I no longer will. I used to think everyone deserves a chance, who am I to judge on a first impression, etc.

Aye, of course. Just like you pretty much never judge a bear on first impression. (See, I’m a bit of a hermit but I follow the news here… From my oracle cave).


For heaven’s sake, Lucy! Have a backbone! you’re an oracle. If you smell bullshit, call out the goddamn bullshit because it 👏 is 👏 coming 👏 for 👏 certain. Maybe this is the lesson I’ve been missing all along. The reason why I repeat the pattern of attracting fake people again and again and again.

Luckily, though, the real people are also in my life. I live in a Gaeltacht. Of course they are. Some aren’t even from Ireland, but that doesn’t matter: They have been here a long time. They “know the ropes” better than any plastic paddy daydreaming with a sense of community without having ever set foot here, without ever getting off the couch and DOING SOMETHING about their problem.

Let’s touch grass.

I have made a decision. I’m cutting off from my life every person who exhibits this flavour of “fake”. (They taste as fake as red food coloring. Do not Google red food coloring. You’ll regret it). Sure I’m not permanently cutting them off, of course! It’s grand, it’s only until they touch grass, like the slang says. (But let’s be honest, in practice, that’s the same as “permanently”. Some people don’t have the guts to face their share of responsibility for the artificiality that’s in their lives, pretty much ever. They just point fingers and blame the external).

I mean… That’s valid. That’s “so hecking valid”, like ContraPoints usually says.

The problem is, I, Lucy, can’t enable it. I can’t! It goes against my higher values. I work with a god of truth, after all. Can’t do that and at the same time turn a blind eye to “fake”. Sorry to disappoint. I tried, but it was bad practice. That’s ok. Lesson learned. Not looking back now.

Photo by Philip Myrtorp on Unsplash

Similarly, I could have chosen to be a Plastic Swede.

…But I didn’t, because I don’t have the audacity.

And mind you, I speak some Swedish. A child would outsmart me, but I speak some very basic Swedish. That places me light-years ahead of certain “plastic” people I’ve met who claim to be from [insert country here] because their ancestors were from there, but don’t even speak the goddamn language.

It’s the very least you could do!

I can understand not travelling (even if it’s as easy as a drive on the M4 if you’re a plastic paddy from Dublin) — sometimes there are economic constraints and you really can’t travel anywhere. But at least open Duolingo, my dudes. It costs literally nothing. Befriend people from that country online and learn from them, I don’t know, there are many valid manners to show respect if you care about heritage. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

But sometimes there ISN’T a will. There’s just espousing the idea of heritage. And it remains like a daydream inside some people’s heads. And they delude themselves that THAT is enough.

Sure. You pretend to tell the truth and I pretend to believe it. I know the rules of that game all too well.

Looking the part isn’t gonna cut it on the long term.

Photo by Feri & Tasos on Unsplash

You know that. I know that.

This brings us back to racism — good timing, also, because it’s one of those words that shake you up. If you were sleeping through my talk so far, I bet now you’re alert: racism? RACISM? WHERE? Show me where, I’ll beat this racist up real good!

Calm down. Some people are into that. Better not risk it.


Looks will only take you as far as convincing two groups of people: 1) the plastic crowd, and 2) the clueless crowd. (The puns were not intended, but go on, we’ve all seen the movies).

Actual natives who really belong will know you’re not one of them the second you open your mouth — like I learned in Greece.

I’ve been to Greece. It was fun.

In my travels, I tend to plan WHERE I’ll be beforehand, but only book transport — especially local transport — on the go. So, when I was in Greece, I quickly learned that I “pass” as Greek.

That’s why the pickpockets wouldn’t target me. It’s great. I can flex my stuff. I can give gringoes the middle finger too, “hey loser, I have privilege here”.

I enjoyed it there and need to go back. ευχαριστώ! (Okay, look, to be 100% honest with you guys… Don’t laugh… this is how I actually pronounce thank you in Greek: ευχαριστå. This monstrosity. I’m ashamed. But I’m improving, have patience with me).

I bet you’re Googling that. I’ll save you the trouble.

As you can see, some things DO come from family heritage. Accents for example. But it’s never a complete baggage, and tends to be outdated. Always best to actually touch some motherfucking grass and go learn from real natives of the place your family hails from.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Greece is one of those places where I’m mistaken for a local. That’s also why old ladies came up to me asking for directions in Greek (and that’s when I had to keep saying “sorry, I don’t understand” and switch to English, to their disappointment. That’s also why I’m now learning the language, I felt bad lol but it’s a tangent for another post).

I’m the kind of person who can totally book a hotel in the dodgy side of Athens (If you’ve been there, you know the one area) as long as I keep my mouth shut while I’m on the go. I have the “Mediterranean looks” (pero no realmente, soy Latina, but let’s go with people’s assumption here), and I also have the resting bitch face people tend to wear in the Balkans. But in the end of the day, I do not fit in there. Maybe I would if I spent long enough and actually committed to respectfully learning from the locals. I was just a tourist. Nothing deeper than that.

Some people ARE locals, but DON’T “pass” because the stereotype will take a few more decades to become a thing of the past, I suppose. (Hence racism). It’s a thing here in Ireland too, and pretty much everywhere. Disgraceful, but real, what can I say?

In Sweden… I do in fact “pass” as a local. Or people are too polite to comment anything — I’ll let you guess which one rings truer. Anyway, Sweden doesn’t count, it’s the woke country, I’ve heard. The only people they discriminate against are the Norwegians. Those pesky Norwegians… Surefire way to sell your invention to the Swedes, just say “it’s banned in Norway”. (High five if you got the reference ✋).

But although there’s something to be said about tolerance to the differences, and it always sounds good when you say you’re “inclusive”… There’s a Delphic maxim people should not forget so easily:

Nothing in excess.

Don’t discriminate and gatekeep so much that you become a fucking fascist… But maybe, just maybe, it’s a good idea to have a leg to stand on every now and then.

Sometimes, we need limits. For example, we need to limit the amount of bullshit we allow into our lives. And for that to happen, we need standards. And in order to have standards, we need to confront (gasp! The horror!) some of our near-and-dear once in a while when they offer less than what we truly deserve.

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

I’ve spent far too many years of my life (and I’m not just talking about the years I wasted in my abuser’s house) trying really hard to love certain people; Trying to find some semblance of commonality between me and certain people. I’m talking about the extremely “yin”, motherly, people-pleasing, zero-drive-and-zero-self-esteem, meek, overly apologetic crowd. And the reality is… I’ll never, EVER, until the goddamn day I die, have any hope of getting along with them.

I can’t. It’s too far down the other extreme of the spectrum I’m on.

It’s not even a balanced place for me to learn and grow. I should just listen to the maxim instead and stop insisting on an excess of the energy that opposes mine. Even because, these are the people who tend to be okay with “plastic” cultural identities — not because they truly enjoy it (I don’t feel that’s true), but because they don’t even stand up for themselves in regular everyday situations… Let alone have the courage to break up FOR REAL with the dominant culture they’ve been born and raised into.

Oh, no, why bother? It’s so much easier, so much less scary, to just wear a mask that more-or-less resembles an ideal that is only truly realised inside their imagination… Because the alternative, my friends, takes balls.

I even tried helping some of them (yes it’s more than one person I have in mind, more than a handful even; Although the indirect references here will sound specific, because weirdly they all seem to “think in unison”). I’ve lost count of how many of these people I tried inviting to come experience the local (TRULY indigenous) culture, having myself as a safe point of contact, but alas, nobody is ever interested.

“Oh but the Native American, oh but the Vietnamese, oh but the Tibetan…”

My dude (or lass. It varies). You’re in Ireland. There is authenticity inside Ireland. Even if it isn’t your thing, there’s no need to join in, simply come and se-

No. Straight-up. Always a no.

Right… Go travel and see those places then?

Also no. And when they do, it’s always staying within the confines of the [touristy] beaten track.

Okayyy… Right, let’s try a third alternative: I know this person here FROM an indigenous community in Asia.



Well, okay, then. Keep looking at the greener pastures in a distance. I guess some people don’t want a solution to their problems. What they want is a never-ending pity party. (And a sprinkle of envy my way, every now and then, because how come I go on adventures? I must be a superhero for that to happen… Surely no-one on Earth is capable of such a thing). Uh-huh. I’ll just start to agree from now on.

Some people are always right. No matter what, they’re always right. Well, I wish them all the best. Away from me. :)



Lucy the Oracle

Oracle learner / spirit worker based in Ireland. Buddhist/polytheist. I don't read minds. I don't change minds. I don't sugarcoat. Take my message or leave it.