Readers I'm out of town and still loafing around, enjoying family, especially my grandkids in Brooklyn.
In such a happy frame of mind, it hard to turn attention to the dismal affairs of state back home.
Instead of a blank, I'd like to reprint some pieces that I wrote early in the history of this blog, pieces that most of you haven't read and those that I am most proud of.
This one was written almost four years ago and it is a personal favourite.
Not many of you read it, as the blog was new back then and had few followers.
As one would expect, each of these societies use their own unique and particular manner of communication. Some use telepathy, some speak orally and others use touch. All have their own unique language.
It's also discovered, that when planetary societies interact with each other across the universe, one common second language is employed.
That language is determined to be 'KLINGON.'
The explorers return to Earth and report their findings. Contact with the Universe promises unparallelled advancement. The world is moved to action.
If Earth is to communicate with the universe, Klingon needs to be adopted as the secondary common language of Earth.
The nations of the world react. Comprehensive programs in Klingon language instruction are initiated in all the nations of the world.
Everybody is excited to embrace the new language, nobody wants to be left behind..... well almost nobody....
In the obscure and sparsely populated province of Quebec, in Canada, the common consensus amongst intellectuals, educators and political leaders is that speaking Klingon is unnecessary. In fact, they hold that learning Klingon represents a threat to the preservation of the indigenous French language.
"While it's nice to speak other languages, it's certainly not necessary" they say.
'A Quebecker doesn't need to speak Klingon to work in Tim Hortons or to be mayor of Montreal, or even Premier of Quebec for that matter! We can live quite nicely in French alone!"
But there's a minority who object, they remind the French language zealots that the whole world has embraced Klingon.
The naysayers are dumbfounded."Doesn't it make sense to do the same?"
"Non! Non!" answer the zealots" Those who want to interact with us, can learn French as easily as we can learn Klingon."
"But that makes no sense! What if we want to travel around the universe? What if we want to sell our products to other planets? How will we communicate?" French is a small language and Klingon is universal, do you really believe that the onus is on them to learn French, rather than on us learning Klingon?"
"MAIS OUI, BEN SUR!!!"
Louis Prefontaine is a Quebec blogger who typifies Quebec French language radicalism, those who share a common and dangerous philosophy- "Better to be mediocre in French, than successful bilingually."
Mr. Prefontaine complains in his blog about the students of a French language university in Montreal, the Université du Québec à Montréal(UQAM), who created a video sensation on YouTube.
The students produced a humorous and catchy one-take tribute video that has recently gone viral. The video is a takeoff of the Black-Eyed Peas song "I Got a Feeling
I first became aware of the video when I saw it touted on CNN, where commentators raved. To date close to a million people have viewed it on YouTube. Not bad.
You'd think that Mr. Prefontaine would be happy for the Quebec students' international success, but if you thought that, you'd be wrong.
Here's what Mr. Prefontaine had to say about the video;
"Even our university bred elite of the future are infatuated with English, as proven by this video created by students of UQAM with it's bilingual presentation, English song and text in English. We need to restore a French complexion to the city."Grrrrrr.!!!!......The students of UQAM appear to be more realistic and worldly than Mr. Prefontaine. They wanted to make an successful video and chose a catchy tune by a popular music group for maximum impact. Judging by the results, it seems that their decision was right, notwithstanding the annoying braying of French language militants.
"Même notre future élite universitaire s’entiche de l’anglais; à preuve cette vidéo de l’UQAM, avec présentation bilingue, chanson anglophone, textes anglophones… Il faut redonner un visage francophone à la ville."
The students understood intuitively what Mr Prefontaine and other French language militants fail to understand or accept, that artistic success on a word-wide level, means singing, dancing or writing in English.
That's the way it is. Tough luck.
Ask Celine Dion.
I imagine that Mr. Prefontaine would have preferred that the students sang 'Allouette, gentile Alloutte' I'm not sure that it would have gone over quite as big......
Should the mayor of Montreal speak English? Perhaps not, but Klingon, ah, that would be nice....