Oh whiskey, you’re the devil




I shan’t insult you by explaining who the Pogues are, but I will observe that A) even they were not immune to early-eighties album art design and B) 27 year-old Shane MacGowan, at right, looks eerily like my brother. Unfortunately for MacGowan—and incredibly fortunately for Brooks—they now look very different. The Irish are not a handsome people, and we do not shepherd what beauty we have into old age. In MacGowan’s case, heroin and excessive drinking—he famously stopped singing during the first song of a 2002 concert at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre to vomit on fans in the front row—conspired with a weird nationalist/intellectual refusal to brush his teeth to make him look like, well, everyone he ever sang about. “I’m completely Irish,” he told the Guardian in 2001, by way of explaining why he had arrived at his interview holding a bottle of gin. This interview took place at a bar.

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