Wednesday, April 4, 2012

STOP The Insanity... Everybody's Culture is Beautiful!

Monday's rant wasn't just a reaction to linguistic idiots calling Canadian culture second rate, it was a wake-up call to language zealots to step back from insulting others just because they can. 

I really wanted to put an end to the idiocy in the comments sections and to remind fools like Benoit Dutrizac that he isn't the only one clever enough to make injurious remarks about somebody else's culture.

When we were kids, the classic insult of this sort was "YA MUDDER WEARS ARMY BOOTS!" which if I recall, was first enunciated by none other than 'Bugs Bunny.'
It sort of means 'Shaddup already.'

When readers in the Comments section complain that Canadian culture is a pale imitation of American culture, it's nothing more than a lame attempt to annoy, as is likewise when English readers do the same .....Your mother wears army boots!

At any rate, I'm surprised that nobody cottoned to my tongue in check reference to the 'PRICE IS RIGHT.'

For Pete's sake!!!!

If you are a regular fan of the 'The Price is Right" in French or in English you are not exactly a paragon of cultural superiority.
It's a piece of crap in any language and 'showcases' the very worst of us. All it proves is that people on each side of the language divide are equally greedy and stupid.
So I guess we are not so different from each other, language aside..

Did not one of you readers appreciate a belated April's Fool's Joke!!!!!

Monday's post was meant to prove that we can all make arguments that hurt when we are angry or in the mood to punish.
Lawyers do it every day, make a great argument to support a bad premise.

Calling someone's culture second rate or lame is like calling someone else's kids ugly.


What good can come out of it?
Everybody loves their kids and it's the same for culture, everybody loves their own and if one culture is more sophisticated or complicated is it automatically better?

Who really is to say what is good or bad?

Here in North America, including the ROC, Quebec and America, we live in a fast food culture of crap. Greasy, fried, fatty, bad for your health CRAP!

I'm sure that no one among us will argue that our food culture is superior to anything offered elsewhere the world, even in poorer countries.
Yet we like our food and are used to it and wouldn't want to change it for a 'superior' food culture.
What would you say to someone from another country telling you that your food culture is crap?
You'd probably tell the insulter to take a hike.

Telling English Canada that it's culture is a pale American imitation or telling French Quebec that their culture compares to a second tier hockey league, makes as much sense.
You're not going to convince anyone and you'll just annoy people with such comments.
It is an argument not worth having. Really, think about it.

We seem to be living in a charged atmosphere where a few hotheads aided by the media are whipping up people into a linguistic frenzy, brainwashing the public into believing that the sky is falling in on the French language in Quebec when nothing can be farther from the truth.
And so as the inflammatory rhetoric against English rises, it is to be expected that the English defenders riposte.

But is all this emotional debate necessary. Is language such a big issue in Quebec?
I'm not talking about the media, which has a vested interest in pushing disharmony.
How many people are really involved in this movement to protect the French language in Quebec?

Are people really so worked up about language in their own personal lives?

Every time the language militants call for a massive demonstration to denounce this or that, concerning the French language, they barely get a turnout.

When they called for a massive display of indignation over the hiring of a unilingual English coach of the Canadiens, about 150 turned out to protest. This in a city of two million and this after tens of thousands of dollars of free publicity in television news coverage before the protest.

Consider the 25,000 to 50,000 students who protested last week over a tuition hike and one can easily come to the conclusion where the language issue actually stands in this province.

On a scale of one to ten, language as an issue must rate between zero and one.

Sure if you take a poll and ask Francophones if they are worried about language, they will invariably answer YES, but ask them to make some sort of a sacrifice to defend their language and culture and the answer is NO.
They won't even attend a demonstration.

It's clear that the entire French language movement is composed of a tiny group of serial complainers.
It's the same faces on TV, over and over again.
Gilles Proulx, Mario Beaulieu, Mathieu Bock-Côté and the Parti Quebecois.

As they say in French... Dats it, Dats all!

Let us consider the 'shocking rise' in complaints over at the OQLF where we are told that complaints are way up this year to over 3,500 from 2,400.
Most of this increase, by the way, stems from the fact that the OQLF issued false and erroneous public information that businesses in Quebec who have trademarked names, must use French descriptors.
There is no such stipulation in the law or in the rules.

At any rate, even with this increased number of complaints it boils down to not very many in a province of eight million people seven million francophones.
The OQLF will not reveal the actual number of complainers or the percentage of complaints that are unfounded, but we can draw some inferences.

Many French language militants admit to making hundreds of complaints! One dear lady, Marie-Thérèse Rioux,  received an award for making over 200 complaints. Others like Louis Prefontaine and Gilles Proulx and Mario Beaulieu are also serial complainers and so it may very well be that 90% of these complaints are made by a couple of dozen fanatics.

I reviewed a number of these complaints on a site run by Mouvement Québec français, which ran a contest whereby readers send in copies of their complaints. About one third of the complaints were completely unfounded and as for the famous Madame Rioux, she should actually check out the rules before complaining. 
Here she complains  about a Café Chill-Out, because there's too much English in the name, despite it including that famous descriptor!

We are letting ourselves get carried away.

All of this language hate is only about getting people to vote for sovereignty. A classic case of sleight of hand.

In the meantime it masks the real issues of a province on the road to financial ruin and remains a wonderful mask that keeps us from debating the pressing societal issues.

Readers, please don't get caught up.
Francophones and Anglophones get along just fine in Quebec, if only the radicals would leave us alone.

That they don't is sad, but we need to react as adults.


  1. If this recent media bandwagon is indeed about edging people towards voting OUI using unfounded data, does that make the media both complicit as well as culpably negligent in destabilizing all of us, irrespective of political, economic, and religious stripe?

    Or should we just accept that media is that final self-indulgent judge which decides whether something (or someone) passes muster?

  2. I didn't get the April Fool's reference... but to be fair, it was a day late! ;-)

    I don't have the source at hand right now but I remember reading somewhere that half of the complaints to the OQLF were done by something like 3 or 4 individuals... self-appointed vigilantes. Does anyone know whether that's correct?

  3. Well, Editor, THAT was a boring read (and I scored one for boring). Running out of ideas? What happened to that parade of partition stories you were going to publish a few weeks ago? THAT created some spark.

    Maybe hitting those knucklehead who write OQLF complanits should be kicked in the head with an army boot!

    1. You probably think the OQLF is "fascist" yet you speak of kicking people with army boots. Now that sounds fascist.

      Writing a complaint on a piece of paper doesn't physically hurt anyone.

      Get lost with your violence, nazi.

  4. Incidentally, you can see an image of the said Café Chill Out sign in Côte-des-Neiges (WARNING: this disturbing material is shockingly offensive; parental guidance is advised) on Google Maps here. Indeed, eradicating this scourge by legislating an artificial face that doesn't correspond to the reality is surely the only way to preserve and promote the French language and culture in North America.

    Honestly, people are getting out of control with Bill 101 these days... they think they have carte blanche to do anything at all on account of it, and since they're so proud of themselves, they can do it all anonymously, to boot! René Lévesque must surely be turning (spinning) in his grave as this was never the intent of this temporary measure that he had envisioned. I've even seen people complaining lately about Facebook postings (!) and what-have-you for having English before French on account of this coercive law which doesn't even apply (and to which the French language has never been subject to, ever in its history, incidentally). And then Jean-François Lisée and his ilk are shocked... SHOCKED... if anglos aren't necessarily enthusiastic supporters of a culture that is aggressively trying to erase them out of existence.

    Incidentally, has anyone else ever noticed that signs in Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese (such as appear in normal cities around the world) are barely, if ever, the object of complaints? But words that francos use every day (like Take-out and Chill-out) are... and then nationalists deny that 101 is an anglophobic law which confuses the promotion of French with the erasure of English. Uh huh, yeah, right.

    1. "and then nationalists deny that 101 is an anglophobic law which confuses the promotion of French with the erasure of English. Uh huh, yeah, right."

      Allez expliquer votre argument aux anglos du Nouveau-Brunswick qui en font un max afin d'éradiquer le français de cette province...Uh huh, yeah, right.

    2. Here's the link for your friendly english men :

    3. Poor Seppie... you are obsessed with this fringe group that does not represent the majority of New Brunswickers. Please do try to broaden your horizons just a little bit.

    4. @Kitty

      N'oubliez pas que le mouvement nazi a débuté de cette façon,par un petit groupe d'intolérants.
      Les similitudes sont frappantes.

    5. There are no laws of any kind restricting or banning French in New Brunswick.

    6. Non, juste un groupe d'insécures (la anglo society) qui veut détruire la loi (provinciale) sur les langues officielles.

      Mais il ne s'agit que d'une infime minorité qui ne réussit même pas par être reconnue par la plus petite communauté anglophone.

      Je crois que Seppie les utilise de façon rhéthorique; je ne crois pas qu'ils représentent une vraie menace.

  5. What was that? "On a scale of one to ten, language as an issue must rate between zero and one."

    But it doesn't stop you from publishing a blog dedicated to language.

    Or labeling Stéphane Gendron, who calls Israelis the Nazis of modern times, a hero because he opposes Bill 101.

    And like him, you compare the people you hate to Nazis. With the help of a title, "The Final Solution" and a photo from the Holocaust of Jews being herded onto a train.

    "We are letting ourselves get carried away." You said it.

    (The Touchy One)

    1. You appear to be saying that if someone writes a blog about, say, unicorns or rainbows, it necessarily follows that these too must be important issues. I believe that the Editor’s point was that compared to the current student protests, language protests are far, far down the list of priorities for Quebecers these days. Compare the student demonstrations to that done by the Jeunes Patriotes du Québec, a gang of east-end Montrealers who travelled all the way to multicultural and multiethnic Verdun to protest a misguided dépanneur owner. If you can find an even more pathetic demonstration than this one, I’d like to see it.

      You also appear to be saying that Stéphane Gendron cannot be wrong on one issue and correct on another.

      I also notice that you didn’t deny the appropriateness of the comparison of Gilles Proulx’s mentality to that of the attendees of the Wannsee Conference. In any event, regardless of the appropriateness of any comparison, I would like to draw the Editor’s attention to Godwin’s Law and hope he will beware of reductio ad Hitlerum in future.

    2. "You also appear to be saying that Stéphane Gendron cannot be wrong on one issue and correct on another."

      Il s'agit de son jugement global ici qui est mis en cause si nous tenons compte de ses multiples frasques antérieures.

  6. "Everyones culture is beautiful"...Even Bill 101 which is a part of the Quebecois culture?

    Sure thing mon cher editeur. Maybe you have been assimilated to the communitaire de Franco"borg" where resistance is futile.


  7. One more thing comes to mind.

    If there are so few complainants to the OQLF etc. Why is there an OQLF at all? Why is there bigotted bill 101? The majority has to vote in the politicos who put forward these laws, do they not?

    So, obviously, the people of Quebec are in majority agreement with these laws, rather than the few supporters and protestors you allude to be the case.

  8. Si c'était une blague, M. l'éditeur, vous avez dû rester bête quand vous avez vu que tous vos fans étaient d'accord.

    Personellement, j'ai juste pris pour acquis que vous n'étiez pas très culturé si vous vous attardiez à "The Price is Right".

  9. Sauf les peaux de castors...Nous attendons toujours de voir un produit culturel typiquement canadien et reconnu au niveau international...Tic tac tic tac tic tac...

    Très bien votre référence à "Bugs bunny le... canadien?"

    1. Do you like cartoons Seppie?

      I get a kick out of Yvon of the Yukon. Have a look,

    2. Presque aussi drôle que la face à Stéphane Gendron.Quel humour,une autre différence culturel j'imagine.

  10. Since the post and its following comments were not much different from what I daily read about Québec on english forums, I didn't get the April Fool's reference either. Peut-être la farce n'était-elle pas assez grosse.

    "I really wanted to put an end to the idiocy in the comments sections (...)"

    May I suggest that you reply to stupid comments by saying something as simple and staightfoward as "your comment is stupid for such and such reasons."? Who knows, it might work.

    "Calling someone's culture second rate or lame is like calling someone else's kids ugly. (...) What good can come out of it? Everybody loves their kids and it's the same for culture, everybody loves their own (...)"

    That's nice and I agree. How about now a post saying that independentists are normal human beings* simply seeking independence which is a normal and universal human aspiration?

    Michel Patrice

    (*To the moron who will for sure come up with a clever "well, no they are not normal human beings" reply : it is so predictable that I would almost be disappointed if no one came up with it, and not only would it not be funny, it would not even be offending, it would simply be d'une désespérante insignifiance.)

  11. @ Seppie,

    "Sauf les peaux de castors...Nous attendons toujours de voir un produit culturel typiquement canadien et reconnu au niveau international...Tic tac tic tac tic tac..."

    How about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police? They are well known internationally and their "Musical Ride" travels around the world.

    "Très bien votre référence à "Bugs bunny le... canadien?"

    Bugs Bunny is an American cartoon character invented by the same production company that created "Blacque Jacque Shellacque", who is an excellent representation of the average Quebecois.

    1. "How about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police?"

      Ho boy!Rien de mieux?

    2. I have the distinct feeling that even if you had listed 100 things, you'd still have gotten the same snarky answer.

    3. Auriez-vous 100 éléments culturels de niveau international à énumérer?Laissez-moi avoir des doutes.Une douzaine de distinctions et je serais déjà très impressionné.La reine d'Angleterre ne compte pas,plusieurs pays se la partage déjà.

  12. Before reading this current post, I was writing yet another comment for the previous Price is Right post. It is unfinished, but here is what I had so far written :

    "A suggestion for the Editor :

    You could elaborate on the subject of Québec's culture by writing something on « nationalist » songs. The theme is rich, there is a lot of material, Paul Piché, Gilles Vigneault, Loco Locass, Claude Gauthier's Le Plus Beau Voyage, just to name a few.

    There could be so many possible angles to comment on.

    One could comment on the minority of separatists who brainwash a passive majority who doesn't know better. It could lead to another elaborating on the "separatist factory that we call schools". And one could add that we don't know better because we are unaware of the beautiful outside world, because of our "language handicap" of course.

    One could comment on us mentaly living in a non existing fantasy land, a mental country that doesn't exist. (Vigneault has plenty of material about « le pays ».) One could comment about us reliving past traumas over and over and constanly reviving past grievances (Loco Locass's Les Géants and Évangeline could be good material).

    One could comment on how Paul Piché is a has-been, and one could insist on how even our own children are no longer interested in this music, that they are into english and american music (which could be a nice opening to remind that french is a dying language).

    Mr Sauga could be outraged that these artist ungratefuly bite the hand that generously feeds them with equalization money (bleeded from Ontario) and money from the Conseil des Arts without which we would not have a pot to piss in.

    One could comment on how the Saint-Jean-Baptiste has been highjacked by ethnocentrist bigots. It could be demonstrated that what is normal national pride elsewhere in the world is, here, some sick perversion.

    I could help in looking for relevant material.

    This could lead to some more genuine, constructive and open hearted discussions."

    Il y aurait tant de matière pour chier sur le Québec, ce serait Noël en avril. Et après, on pourrait reprocher aux québécois d'être fermés sur eux mêmes et de ne pas aimer le Canada comme ils le devraient.

    1. Oui, oui, tu as raison, il y a un peu de sarcasme, c'est tout subtil, si on regarde bien, on peut l'entrevoir tout en filigrane entre les lignes.

      Il y a aussi une sorte de colère toute contenue que la décence empêche de laisser déverser.

    2. @MP

      Le mot "intelligence" provient justement de la faculté de pouvoir lire entre les lignes.La langue française est magnifique.

    3. Mon commentaire de "léger sarcasme" était lui-même un sarcasme, bien sûr.

    4. Attention les anglos détestent être témoins de conversations entre francophones sur ce blogue.

      J'entend déjà les commentaires : Seppie,Michel Patrice et Yannick : Same asshole

    5. seppe : LOL! Ou devrais-je dire, MDR? ;)

      C'est effectivement ce qui arrives chaque fois que 2 francophones 1) postent en même temps et 2) sont d'accord.

      Ça sous-entend que nos opinions sont tellement loufoques qu'il est impossible que plusieurs d'entre nous puisse arriver à ce blogue par différents parcours et être d'accords.

      Eux, au contraire, font preuve d'une impressionante et louable individualité en étant tous d'accord que le français au Québec (et par extension au Canada), c'est con.

    6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. Editor, you called it. Baudouin has returned to the PQ, citing "consultations with her electorate" as the reason.

    Now let's wait for the other rats who jumped the ship to return humbly and obediently to the mother party.

  14. I love how Michel Patrice speaks english and pretends to be so open minded and benign when he speaks about his beautiful culture and his girlfriend whispering sweet nothings in his ear and calling himself an independiste like its something romantic. Then in french he teams up with racists like Seppie and OQLF. Same old bullshit, he probably thinks he's a straightforward guy like JF Lisee.

    1. You got it. I also love how these dingleberries encourage each other to baldly state untruths amongst themselves. Most (perhaps virtually all) of us are also francophone (i.e. French-speaking) and love living in a French-speaking place (despite the efforts of radicals to make life as unpleasant as possible for everybody). The very existence of a blog such as this one is a testament to our commitment to living here. Just because many anglophones disagree with certain things and wish to stand up for our rights (exactly the same way as francophones do) doesn’t make us anti-French. However, it’s sad that many francophone Quebecers don’t realize that anglophone Quebecers, who have been living here for centuries, are not the enemy. In fact, we are probably their greatest allies.

    2. I don't know who you are, Cat, but I rather like your take. Plus, I like that you can use "dingleberries" in a sentence. Chapeau.

    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    4. From the Urban Dictionnary website, you can buy a mug with dingleberry and its definition printed on it. Fascinating. Pour vrai.

      Michel Patrice

    5. Nice example of the two solitudes.
      To The Cat, dingleberry means "Idiots".

    6. Heheh... I'm glad you enjoyed that one, Apparatchik! I enjoy your posts too.

    7. "dingleberry means "Idiots""

      Une des autres définitions est davantage scatologique.

    8. Si quelqu'un est contre la loi 101, ça ne fait pas de lui un francophobe, ça va de soi.

      Alors pourquoi autant de francophobie sur ce blogue si ça n'est pas nécessaire? De tous les commentateurs, Apparatchick est le seul que j'ai vu s'opposer aux commentaires francophobes, et cela seulement dans les pires délits.

      Ayez la force de vos convictions! Si vous êtes fiers d'êtres à la fois francophones et anglophones (comme moi), alors faites-le savoir aux racistes de votre camp, pas juste celui du camp opposé!

    9. Enfin! Je suis tout à fait d'accord avec toi, Yannick! Malheureusement, il semble que la nature de l'internet est telle que les gens peuvent faire des commentaires qu'ils n'oseraient jamais faire dans la vraie vie. Anyhow, you have made me very happy! Tu m'as rendu un grand plaisir avec ton commentaire!

    10. Je ne suis pas certain quelle est la situation en Acadie mais je crois que s’il y a des traces de francophobie sur ce blogue, ceci est sans doute dû aux efforts d’exterminer toutes traces de la présence historique des anglophones au Québec. Sûrement que les Acadiens au Nouveau-Brunswick réagiraient de la même façon si l’on essayait d’effacer la culture acadienne, ce qui n’est pas du tout le cas aujourd'hui comme elle ne l'est ici.

    11. Wow, that's rich coming from you Yannick, who is involved in alot of anglo-bashing on this site, always saying what the English did to the French.

      And I've never heard you write one word against Seppie when he insults almost all of us on this blog.

      And when Michel Patrice writes insults? Nothing as well...

    12. Je crois que je devrais préciser pour nos amis francophones que malgré le sens scatologique du terme, il est (beaucoup) plus souvent utilisé dans un sens humouristique et plutôt inoffensif. Ainsi, il serait plus ou moins l'équivalent d'un « nono », une « tête de linotte » ou encore une « cervelle d'oiseau ».

    13. Évidemment, il va de soi que ceci était mon sens voulu (au cas où qu'il y aurait eu un malentendu).

  15. Just a few notes on Canadian culture.

    I believe that for the entertainment industry, which is what I think we’re talking about, it is interesting to note, as Tanya did, that Quebec benefits from massive cultural subsidies of 2.4 billion (prov & fed together) and the rest of Canada 4 billion (fed). I knew it was a lot but not that much. So not only does CBC benefit from its subsidy but also CTV, Global, and Sun TV. Radio Canada benefits from subsidies but so does King Pierre Karl Peladeau (him of the lockout- my-workers-and-get-rid-of-most-of-them-after-the-lockout fame at the J de M) and TVA, V télé, Télé-Québec. Without these subsidies, probably only TVA and V télé would exist.

    Now someone noted the large Quebec audiences for French television. I know we are often told that this is an amazing success but if you think back about 40 years ago when for American TV there was just ABC, NBC, and CBS, they used to have great ratings, not necessarily because TV was better back then but just because of the limited options and everybody knew the famous shows: The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Three’s Company, Taxi, and All in The Family (you know the show with Archie Bunker). You had no other choices.

    So francophones, 70% of who are UNILINGUAL, have the same type of choice we had back then: 3 or 4 channels. No wonder why their ratings for their top shows are so high.

    Nowadays, Canadians have all the American channels available (what’s that – over 300?) as well as the CBC. Funny thing is, as mdblog pointed out, CBC is actually winning some ratings battles now, even with all this competition. It remains, though, that our audience is spread across many networks, thus the lower ratings for the top shows.

    Personally, I watch Dragon’s Den and Doyle’s Republic and other shows from time to time and I don’t find they are inferior to American offerings. In fact, I believe Dragon’s Den spawned Shark Tank on American TV. The point is that there is a lot of uniquely Canadian TV on CBC.

  16. Another point on TV and in movies, a lot of Canadians go to the US because they can make more money, just like Celine Dion does, so these American shows and movies actually have a large Canadian contingent, people like : Alex Trebec (Jeopardy), Carrie Anne Moss (from the Matrix), Catherine O’Hara (SCTV, Home Alone, Beetlejuice), Corey Haim, Corey Monteith (Glee), Dan Akroyd, Donald Sutherland, Elisha Cuthbert (Kim Bauer on 24), Eric McCormack (Will & Grace), Eugene Levy, Evangeline Lilly (Lost), Howie Mandel, Jim Carrey, Kim Cattreal (Sex and the City), Kristen Kreuk (Smallville), Leslie Nielson, Martin Short, Michael J Fox, Mike Myers, Neve Campbell, Rachel McAdams, Rick Moranis, Ryan Gosseling, William Shatner and more…just tired of typing.

    And if you think of it, it is really in music, that Canadians shine: Amanda Marshall, Alanis Morrisette, Avril Lavigne, Barenaked Ladies, Blue Rodeo, Bryan Adams, Chantal Kreviazuk, , Cowboy Junkies, Crash Test Dummies, Diana Krall, Finger Eleven, Great Big Sea, Holly Cole, Jann Arden, Jeff Healey, Matthew Good, Michael Buble, Neil Young, Nelly Furtado, Our Lady Peace, Sam Roberts, etc etc etc.

    So to tell you the truth, Canadian culture is alive and kicking.

    K gotta watch the Habs lose so that they can get a high draft pick, lol…

    1. Si je vais travailler dans un McDonald,vont-ils me laisser cuisiner mes propres recettes de hamburgers?Les artistes que vous avez nommé n'apportent rien de canadien avec eux lorsqu'ils vont travailler aux É.U,ils ne font que se fondre dans la culture américaine...Pas le choix.

    2. Hey RR

      Hope you`re watching! 4-1 at the moment. Hope they can keep it.

    3. Whoa 4-2! I missed somthing...

    4. 5-2 for the habs now! I was supposed to watch but then decided to watch something on CBC. The one time I don't watch in the last little while and they're winning, as Charlie Sheen would say, lol

    5. Assisterions-nous à la naissance d'un nouveau tandem?Laurie la calculatrice et Roger le lapin?
      Qui l'eut cru?

    6. Kim Cattrall Canadian? Wasn't she born in Liverpool, UK?

    7. Kim Cattrall was born in the UK but moved to BC when she was 3 months old. She has Canadian citizenship.

    8. Yes, well, you’re right that Kim Cattral was born in the U.K. but she moved away at 3 months and lived in Canada until she was 11, then lived in the UK until 16, when she moved to Canada to finish high school. She has both UK and Canadian citizenship. The things I learn by having to do quick research! lol

      I was trying to get people only born in Canada on the list but I guess that one slipped in. I know, for example, in interviews, sometimes Jennifer Garner, Matt Leblanc, and Matthew Perry are referred to as Canadians but that is because either they have Canadian heritage or had formative years in Canada, so I avoided them on my list.

      Oh and Sandra Oh is also a Canadian doing well in the US. Plus there are various good actors in dramas on the CBC.

      And part of Canadian culture are amazing comedians like Russel Peters and Sugar Sammy.

      As well as The Group of Seven, who painted Canadian landscapes.

      As for music, there are smaller acts like the Dears, as well as others that I am not aware of because I am no longer a young teenager who is in touch with all these things.

      And a lot of indie films. So there’s a lot of Canadian talent out there if people would open their eyes.

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  18. The sad part of it all.... it's state sanction racism against les autres... In Quebec the de souche population has become tolerant to the "intolerance" of the nationalist/racist/separatist movement....

    1. Nous devenons plutôt tolérant à l'intolérable envahissement anglo.Heureusement,la tolérance a souvent ses limites et je crois que nous allons très bientôt les atteindre.

    2. Envahissement = présence?

    3. Disons présence envahissante.

    4. Ta peur irrationnelle d'une pente glissante vers l'anglais par le seul fait d'avoir un bilinguisme institutionnel me parait peu convaincante. Surtout compte tenu de la présence d'une masse critique de francophones, d'institutions médiatiques, pédagogiques, culturelles, et économiques qui pourront à elles seules assurer la pérennité du fait français au Québec.

      La raison pour laquelle l'assimilation s'est faite ailleurs, c'est qu'ailleurs les francophones disposaient de peu (voire aucune) de ces institutions. Louisiane, Manitoba, Acadie... on ne peut pas, de toute honnêteté dire que ces endroits-là nous ressemblent, ni même que nous les ressemblerions, que ce soit avec ou sans loi 101.

    5. Honestly, such twaddle! Every other culture on the planet that I know of co-exists merrily with English except for the poor, downtrodden, chip-on-the-shoulder Québécois de souche. PFK is better than KFC! Let's out-French the French by eating hambourgeois and chiens chauds! Franchement ! At the moment, I can’t think of a more insecure place on Earth. I’ve lived in many countries all over the world and I know, for example, that the Japanese love to borrow all sorts of words from foreign languages (mainly, but not only, from English) yet don’t feel it threatens their culture in the slightest. Denmark (whose population is even smaller than Quebec’s) is deservedly extremely proud of their culture, yet their citizens are virtually all bilingual (if not trilingual) without feeling threatened by it whatsoever. They most certainly don’t feel the need to denigrate English the way we do here. French Canadians have made tremendous contributions to world culture and should rightly feel proud of themselves without having the need to hammer down anglophones in order to do so.

    6. I agree. And I think, as a francophone and part-French-Canadian, that it's high time that ALL of francophone Quebec get over the supposed insecurity we feel at having to share public space with English. We've been neighbors for centuries, and that's not likely to change anytime soon. We are the minority on this continent and shouldn't delude ourselves into thinking that excluding this landmass' lingua franca from public view is actually going to help us "survive" at all. If anything, it is up to our French-language institutions -- institutions we CHOOSE to patronize of our own free will -- to ensure the survival of French, not petty sign laws or linguistic pogroms and witch-hunts organized by permanently insecure/offended overgrown children looking for something to rebel against.

      I look at this...

      ... taped less than a year before René Lévesque's death (a quarter century ago) and I hear the same recriminations along with nearly identical emotion- and pride-based demands coming form the separatists today.

      While I find the argument he makes about workplace progress still needing to be made a bit questionable (if not disingenuous) for the late 80's, the idea of social and economic equality with English-Canadians has, most francophones will agree, largely been reached (if not surpassed, in many instances) today. The social disparities which made the Quiet Revolution both just and necessary have now largely disappeared.

      Time, together with the emergence of a new business class, have proven that French-Canadian capitalist pigs are just as revolting as their most revolting English-speaking counterparts. Frankly, I fail to see what all the fuss in rushing to be exploited by people who speak our own language is about (some, including myself, would argue our history is littered with examples of being controlled by our own!).

      It's time for a new chapter in French Quebec's relationship with its English elements and neighbors. If people like me can deal with two languages on a sign (or in my head) without any complexes, I'm sure that four to seven million others can too. (And then maybe thirty million more).

    7. Wow... thank you, Apparatchik, for highlighting this video of René Lévesque. He was so eloquent! It reminds me of the time I was having dinner with friends on the Grande-Allée in Quebec City back in 1984, when someone walked in to eat (René, évidemment), everybody feigned ignorance of his presence there.

      While his then-radical ideas now appear quaint, they also highlight the dearth of intellectual capital (allô, Pauline !) in our politicians today.

    8. "It's time for a new chapter in French Quebec's relationship with its English elements and neighbors. If people like me can deal with two languages on a sign (or in my head) without any complexes, I'm sure that four to seven million others can too. (And then maybe thirty million more)."

      All well and good...then, why does Quebec have laws such as 101 that "attempts" to elevate the French (joual) language above the other official language of Canada. Of course in the ROC due to the accomodations of the French factor, we have the OLA.

      Rather interesting, don't you think?

    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    10. "Where did you get this notion that Quebec attempts to elevate French (which is not the same as joual) above the other official language?"

      Do any of the other provinces have language laws such as Bill 101?. Restrictons on commercial signage, OQlF etc. Need I say more? Do they have Poutine flavored Whiska's in Quebec?

    11. >[...]why does Quebec have laws such as 101 that "attempts" to elevate the French (joual) language above the other official language of Canada.
      Frankly, I don't agree with elevating one language over the other, so the idea of legally enshrining some kind of linguistic supremacy is repugnant to me. And to me at least, legally-enshrined supremacy is a world away from rehabilitating the language and prestige of a group that historically got the short end of the stick. As far as I'm concerned, "progress" stops when the two groups have achieved socioeconomic equality. The language element is an increasingly irrelevant proxy for an economic battle that has been all but won. The playing field, economically at least, has been leveled.

      In my opinion, any residual responsibility we have to our centuries-old struggle for linguistic/cultural survival should be fought by each of us individually supporting the French-language institutions (universities, media, etc.) that today make such survival possible. Forget getting offended over bilingual signage or the deliberately-generated mass hysteria over an occasional unilingual holdout; pragmatism dictates that this vestigial form of jealous and vindictive nationalism is a luxury we can ill afford.

      >Of course in the ROC due to the accomodations of the French factor, we have the OLA.
      First of all I agree with Cat's rhetorical comment about all provinces being "bilingual". At the same time, I would also argue that the accommodations exacted by the OLA are far less intrusive in your (I assume monolingual anglo) life than the much more meticulously-legislated minutia provided for in the Charter of the French Language.

    12. "I would also argue that the accommodations exacted by the OLA are far less intrusive in your (I assume monolingual anglo)"

      The OLA is applied across Canada at a very dear cost to the taxpayers who happen to be majority English. I cannot comment on the Charter of French Languague but would assume it must be quite intrusive (in your words) to the anglo minority, given the provisions of Dr. Lauren's legacy.

      Assumptions can lead to misguidance, in the same fashion as loose lips, sink ships. ;)

    13. Malheureusement, la grande part des 2.4 milliards dépensés pour "les langues officielles" (selon le doccument officiel d'ou ce chiffre provient) sont dépensés pour l'éducation primaire et secondaire.

      À moins que vous vouliez enlever à plus d'un million de francophones hors-Québec leur éducation en français, vous devriez changer de tactique.

    14. Yannick

      I have heard over and over from Quebec French supremacists how English schools should be banned in Quebec. They complain that their taxes pay for anglo schools and hospitals. Wouldn`t you agree that is just as ridiculous as taking away ``leur éducation en français``?

    15. The money spent on bilingual services for the English speaking minority in quebec is $84 a head. Bilingual sevices for minority french speakers across the country average out at $652 each. In some locations, like the territories, it's up to $1400 per french speaker.

    16. Laurie :

      Certainement, 100%. C'est raisonnable d'offrir des services en anglais aux Anglos-Québecois, non?

      Anon 9:15 :

      How much are services to anglophones a head in the North-West territories? What percentage increase does the 1400$ represent? What is it being spent on? Does the francophone population not deserve access to the services that are costing that 1400$/head (e.g. education).

      Those are the questions you need to examine; otherwise those numbers are meaningless for me.

  19. To both Apparatchik and "the Feline".

    You just don't get it do you. The French and English simply don't have any mutual respect for each other. As a matter of fact, they don't really like each other and have little in mind for accomodation.

    Sorry to burst the bubble of your little utopian dream.

    Come on out west and see what they actually say about Quebec in the coffee shops of rural Alberta, BC and SK. About the same tolerance as those in Quebec have for the "TAR SANDS" which provides a great deal of their social benefits via equalization payments.

    Language is a small factor in the equation as it really has no relevance outside of Quebec.

    You are as disallusioned as your comrades you live with. Cut the pseudo-intellectual BS and face the actual realities of the situation as it is.

    Both factions dislike and distrust one another. Simple as that.

    In all likelyhood Canada would be a much stronger country without Quebec. Tell me why this wouldn't be the case? Please don't go into the false rhetoric that without Quebec, Canada would just be a clone of US culture. (Self importance felt by the Quebecois) . For one, I am tired of that line of absolute crap.

    1. Wow! Thank you, Mr. Anonymous, for your misspelled commentary on what may or may not be happening outside of the West. My family and I personally happen to be half-and-half English and French, so permit me to scoff at your notion that we dislike and distrust one another. I do, however, find it a tremendous shame that you do.

      Canada as we know it would not exist were it not for Quebec. Are you Westerners not even aware of Canadian history whatsoever? The French were here first. Perhaps it should be you who tells me how Canada would not be a clone of U.S. culture were it not for francophone culture?

    2. "Canada would just be a clone of US culture."

      Une troisième génération de clone.Une photocopie d'une photocopie.Vous ne représentez que le garde-manger des amerlocs...Un back store,une réserve à bon marché et en plus il semblent vous trouver plutôt drôles (voir canadien dans sitcoms américains.

    3. "The French were here first."

      No, actually it was the "first" nations people who were here well before the French or English. Canadian history...would that be the real history or the revisionist history as taught in Quebec?

    4. > You just don't get it do you. The French and English simply don't have any mutual respect for each other. As a matter of fact, they don't really like each other and have little in mind for accomodation.
      Maybe things are like that where you live, but in my very mixed cross-section of acquaintances, there is either complete indifference (which is different from lack of mutual respect and even hatred) to living an extremely happy and sustainable bilingual existence.

      >Sorry to burst the bubble of your little utopian dream.
      Is it still a "bubble of a utopian dream" when so many people are actually living it as a reality?

      >Come on out west and see what they actually say about Quebec in the coffee shops of rural Alberta, BC and SK. About the same tolerance as those in Quebec have for the "TAR SANDS" which provides a great deal of their social benefits via equalization payments.
      If the comparison is as apt as you claim it is, I'd say the loud redneck militants on both sides are talking from both sides of their mouths and shouldn't be taken at their word either way.

      > Language is a small factor in the equation as it really has no relevance outside of Quebec.
      I agree language is a comparatively small factor in the equation in that the bigger challenge is achieving a lasting and peaceful integration (which would need to be done irrespective of Quebec and Canada's respective governing constitutional structures). Western civilization might have little immediate relevance to traditional Chinese culture, for example, but at least a pragmatic appreciation of reality has led to a fusion of values and integration within the wider world abroad.

      > You are as disallusioned as your comrades you live with. Cut the pseudo-intellectual BS and face the actual realities of the situation as it is. Both factions dislike and distrust one another. Simple as that.
      I'm nowhere near as disillusioned as you claim. Sooner or later, factions need to come to a working arrangement. Along with a large number of my contemporaries, I happen to believe we ought to skip a lot of useless wrangling and arrive at an integration model that allows both groups to coexist not just within the same territory, but ideally within the same people. It's really not that hard (especially in a place like Montreal where both groups have strong institutions), and it's been a fact of life for most of us here much longer than the separatists care to recognize.

      >In all likelyhood Canada would be a much stronger country without Quebec. Tell me why this wouldn't be the case? Please don't go into the false rhetoric that without Quebec, Canada would just be a clone of US culture. (Self importance felt by the Quebecois)
      I guess I differ with your assessment of what constitutes a "much stronger country". While I'm aware of Bosnia as an example of communal strife, I don't think Switzerland or India are "less strong" because they have multiple language and ethnic groups. Similarly, I'm not convinced a largely homogeneous population (or even aspiring to such) is key to strength. Just look at Italy, Egypt, or (gasp) Israel.

      I think our never-ending constitutional whining is just a back-story we give a lot of importance to in order to distract the public from how much it's getting screwed. Not to put paid to your U.S. culture comparison, but I do believe there is an overlap between how our language tensions are exploited in Canada and how homosexuality/abortion/immigration/gun control are used as needlessly polarizing issues south of the border.

      >Une photocopie d'une photocopie.Vous ne représentez que le garde-manger des amerlocs...Un back store,une réserve à bon marché
      Merci Seppie. Je sais que je peux compter sur toi quand vient le temps de faire des commentaires complètement inutiles, répétitifs et qui n'aident en rien la discussion...

    5. Dans mon expérience, ceux qui viennent de l'Ouest passent plus de temps au primaire à apprendre à propos de Louis Riel que de Samuel de Champlain et la conquête; c'est normal car ça les concernent plus directement, mais ça peut jouer sur leurs perceptions.

    6. 2 of 2

      I’ve been busy and thought I’d skip this post, but there you were practically alone explaining to the red necks on both sides what makes Canada work. I was prompted to at least remind you that there are MILLIONS who agree. I re post an exchange I had on the previous Editor’s post because it really fits:

      Anonymous (From USA) Apr 3, 2012 05:24 AM

      I agree with this post. Much of my family is still in Quebec. Those of us on the US side of the border still refer to ourselves as having French Canadian roots, since the whole quebecois name is not yet embraced and we see no reason to embrace it. When I was growing up as the first generation in my family that learned to speak english as well as french, we actually looked down on the French Canadian side because it seemed devoid of content. This wasn't just us being rebellious kids dazzled by America, this was taught to us by our own relatives. If you wanted to learn real french culture, you would go to France. But there wasn't a need to do so, since in America we have access to a global english speaking civilization.

      It's only recently that I have looked into the French Canadian side of things and have come to terms with my roots without the childhood sense I once had of looking down at it. There is a lot of wonderful things culturally in Quebec, but I am interested in mainly the folk music, much of which is now branded "Celtic" because it is a mix of french, scottish, irish and english folk traditions. My family taught me that we once had a Canadian rebellion in 1837 and it was never spoken of as a french versus english fight, it was Canadians together against the British. And yes ALL Canadians.

      How did it get to be the way it is now with an over-reactive bunch of nutters running around whining about seeing an english word being used? This is an embarrassment to me. As a bilingual who can wear either a francophone or anglophone hat, it outrages me. (Wonders if I will be jumped by a militant on here now for choosing to write my post in english.)
      Anonymous (GensDenis) Apr 3, 2012 07:34 AM

      Dear Friend,

      Your interpretation is right on. As a Francophone originally, I must say that I’ve seen many changes in the lexicon. What was once French Canadian has been hijacked by one of the most xenophobic group of operators of North America to become Québécois. Québécois, which use to identify someone from Québec City now means Québécois Nation (no offence intended to the Great Canadian City of Québec). Québécois, a Nation that rejects being French and that rejects being Canadian. A new Race, a Québécois Race. A Race that the great majority will never identify with.

      There is no reason for you to feel embarrassed of your French heritage because of the All English Hate Machine the Québécois Taliban has become. They are a special interest minority that will fade as French Canadians call them out and expose them as the bigots they are.

      Your reference to the Canadian rebellion in 1837 is one event among many that my Separatists Factory Québécois Taliban Schools omitted to teach me about. There are many others, such as the fact that after more than 130,000 French and English soldiers fought and died as brothers in the trenches, Vimy Ridge was taken by Canadians, the inventers of the shock and awe battlefield technique. I can continue probably for hours since our Québécois “schools" systematically omitted and revised most of our history, but I’ll leave you with this:

      200 years ago and 25 years prior to the Canadian rebellion of 1837 came the War of 1812 where Brittan and Canadians successfully defended Canada from the USA. In this war Canadians and Brits mostly wore red uniforms and thus were easily picked off by American riflemen. To protect against that, in the tradition of the great French Armies of the past, Canadians pierced their uniforms with bayonets and placed MapleLeaf branches in the holes for camouflage.

    7. 2 of 2
      The world knows what the American Flag represents, but few Canadians, let alone the world, know how Our Flag came to be. The red Banners on each side represent the blood spilled by Canadians of All origins for freedom in each of the world wars, and that Glorious MapleLeaf, is not there for le sirop d'érable. It represents the blood of those who saved Canada in the War of 1812.
      Cool Flag eh?

      Now you’d think that such a cool thing as that would have been taught in school, right? No way! 

Concerned citizens on this blog conduct these daily battles because we want to show our English Brothers that we are not all part of the English Hating Taliban. As time goes on, the haters will give up trying to make haters of one of the most welcoming people on earth, The French Canadians of Québec!

      Salut à toi…

      And to the racist above, I remind that your hateful actions that you’ve been brainwashed to believe in, will only serve to help French Canadians to form the 11th Canadian Province of Montréal!!

      Edward J. Cunningham Apr 3, 2012 05:26 PM

      @ Anomynous 7:34

      I owe you an apology.

In an earlier post, I referred to French-speaking people of Quebec as "Québécois" since for better or worse, Quebecker only applies to English-speakers. I didn't think any native French speaker would object to that. After reading your post, I'm thinking that maybe "French Canadian" or "francophone" would be better, since you've proved that not all French-Canadians in Quebec consider themselves to be "Québécois."…

    8. That's 1 of 2 and 2 of 2

      Joyeuses Pâques...

    9. @Yannick

      I hope you realize that by referring to the Seven Years' War as La Conquête, you too are expressing perceptions of your own.

    10. Plus ou moins - le Canada a bel et bien été conquis, non? Quoi que j'y réfère néanmoins comme "La guerre de sept ans" et non pas "La guerre de la Conquête". Je vois l'attrait, la guerre de 7 ans ne commençe qu'en 1756 tandis que la guerre était déjà commencée en Amérique du Nord depuis 1754.

      C'est un peu comme la deuxième guerre mondiale, en principe on conçoit qu'elle commence en 1939 mais en Chine, il y avait guerre depuis 1938.

  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  21. Editor:

    Vous semblez confondre deux choses.

    1. Les relations privées, c'est-à-dire personnelles, qu'entretiennent francophones et anglophones entre eux.

    2. La dimension sociopolitique de la dynamique linguistique au Québec.

    En tant qu'individus, je suis d'accord que dans l'immense majorité des cas, nous nous entendons à merveille. We get along just fine, indeed. D'ailleurs, je parle anglais au quotidien avec mes amis et mes collègues, sans pourtant me sentir diminué ou dominé linguistiquement. Nous ne passons pas non plus notre temps, entre anglophones et francophones, à nous chamailler en joutes singulières sur la question de la langue. Cela ne signifie pas pour autant qu'il n'y a pas de problème. Je m'inquiète sincèrement pour l'avenir du français au Québec, notamment dans ma ville qui est Montréal. Je vote Bloc et PQ et je suis pour un durcissement de la loi 101. Yet, that doesn't prevent me from getting along superbly with many, many anglophones, and having very good friends who call English their first language.

    Bref, ce sont les grandes orientations de l'État et les grands mouvements de société qui sont en jeux ici, pas les relations interpersonnelles. Vous ne pouvez nier qu'il existe un compétition, pas seulement un cohabitation, entre les langues françaises et anglaises à Montréal. Il s'agit de déterminer laquelle est la langue commune effective. Pendant longtemps ce fut l'anglais. Depuis quelque décennie cela a changé. Je ne souhaite pas retourner en arrière. Mais ça n'empêche personne d'être amis et de se parler dans la langue de leur choix.

    1. Damien I have to react to this because I think it hits at the very root of what I think the problem is. I understand the difference between les relations privées and la dimension sociopolitique, but I think we're dead wrong to pretend as though the two are completely distinct monolithic entities. Private relationships are the backbone of any family, neighborhood, city, province, and country. Comme tu dis pourtant si bien: on ne passe pas notre temps à se chamailer sur la question linguistique entre amis et même entre voisins. Alors à quoi bon être amis et alliés au plan interpresonnel mais des ennemis à couteaux tirés au plan politique? Pour moi, il s'agit de la définition même de la folie.

      I also infer from your post that you think there ought to be a single langue commune effective. Anybody who was raised in a mixed/immigrant background knows a thing or two about code-switching, if not the unspoken complexities that govern which language is used in which context (même en famille). Pourquoi une seule? Et à plus forte raison, pourquoi avoir comme SEULE langue commune celle qui nous distancie de nos voisins? I don't see the ideal situation as a literal "retour en arrière" to monolingual English at all, mais on ne peut non plus se comporter en assiégés linguistiques tout en faisant comme si la réalité linguistique qui nous entoure ne devrait pas engager une grande part de notre responsabilité collective envers nous-mêmes ainsi qu'envers nos voisins.

      I've said it before and I'll say it again. The Quebec government is not what "saved" French. A language is only as strong as the will of its speakers, and qui se ressemble, se rassemble et forme des institutions à son image. Fortunately, we have the institutions we need to keep French alive, and rather than fixating on equally bilingual advertisements and stop signs (AU SCANDALE!), we should be celebrating the existence of our vibrant media, entertainment industry, and educational institutions. Quoique ta partisanerie péquiste et bloquiste me désole (à la fois pour des raisons partisanes et idéologiques), ce que je trouve le plus blessant, c'est le fait que tu veuilles endurcir la loi 101. C'est (pour moi) comme si tu croyais que toutes ces institutions qui sont pourtant les vraies garantes de notre avenir linguistique ne suffisent pas. J'y vois chez toi une insécurité certaine, mais une insécurité que tu cherches à pallier en soustrayant des droits et des libertés d'autres gens qui eux aussi ont, toutes proportions gardées, une certaine insécurité quant au respect égal de l'anglais au Québec et au respect de sa pérennité comme membre à part entière de la famille Québécoise.

      As far as I'm concerned, what we need is less of big government legislating what language my boss talks to me in and more understanding between me and every one of my colleagues, clients, neighbors, and relatives. As far as I'm concerned, the government needs to play a moderating role and give everybody equal chances to achieve whatever they want, dans les limites du possible. With regard to specific language policy, let the government set a nominally egalitarian ideal and let le peuple faire ses propres aménagements.

      Once this is done, our own droite nationaliste québécoise should take a page out of the hard Right's playbook and swallow that the government which governs less in these matters is the one which governs least.

    2. >[...] the government which governs less in these matters is the one which governs least.
      désolé... faute de frappe et erreur de grammaire en même temps, tout ça en beau milieu d'une phrase idiomatique anglaise en plus (I *swear* I'm bilingual!)...

      [...] the governement which governs best is the one which governs least.

    3. Apparatchik

      Your response reminds me of visiting my in-laws. My spouse is 3rd generation immigrant and sitting around their kitchen table is nothing less than enchanting. The elder grandfather who speaks Italian and some French, my spouse, his parents and his cousins who speak 3 languages, French brother-in law, English sister-in law, etc. etc. The conversation flys around the table in 3 languages, it is animated and lively. Nobody cares and nobody feels left out.

      This is the real Montreal....and then, you hear of those petty people who make complaints to the OQLF and those that praise them, the ones who want to wipe English of the face of the city, harassers who tell you that "au Québec on parle français".

      I presume they are just ignorant.

    4. @Number7:

      How ironic it is that people can speak different languages and yet understand each other perfectly.

      Perhaps I'm not too far off the mark when I say that language isn't really what divides us.

      (My own extended family's dinner table, by the way, speaks four different languages, over a half-century years post-immigration. If anything I feel blessed to have been brought up in this environment. It's leaps and bounds ahead of any monolingual ideal pushed by separatists and my own upbringing in this environment informs my own perpetual resistance to the idea that a multilingual Quebecer -- IN PUBLIC! -- is a bad Quebecer.

    5. @Apparatchik

      Once again, your post is the voice of reason.