Thursday, November 30, 2017

In Quebec the Customer is Never Right

Reading the outrageously stupid reaction of Quebec politicians to the contrived BONJOUR/HI  controversy I am reminded of Shakespeare's eloquently descriptive line from Hamlet.

A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.

Which roughly translates as; being more sad about a situation than angry about it.

That pretty much sums up my feelings over the moronic and Kafkaesque debate in the National Assembly with politicians decrying the use of the familiar phrase by store clerks in greeting customers.
"The National Assembly is formally asking Quebec’s merchants to “warmly” greet their clients with the word “Bonjour,” and drop the old standard “Bonjour-hi.”A resolution to that effect, sponsored by the Parti Québécois, sailed through the legislature Thursday morning following a short debate over semantics.
The vote was 111 for and no opposition, which means the Liberals, Coalition Avenir Québec and Québec solidaire MNAs all endorsed it." Link
It goes to the nastiness that pervades the language debate whereby petty linguistic slights are elevated to absurd heights by thin-skinned Anglophobic politicians who pretend to encourage Quebecers to be bilingual but don't really want them to express themselves in the language of the oppressor. Sadly this includes politicians of all political stripes including the Premier who called "BONJOUR/HI" an 'irritant.'
Couillard who is acting more and more bizarre as the next election approaches, offered up this nose-stretcher when he noted that it was never the intention of the father of Bill 101, Camille Laurin, to impose French as the exclusive language of the workplace.
Really?????  Are you kidding me!!!!!!
Camille Laurin was a despicable anglophobe who wished nothing less than to chase every anglophone out of the province and worked with a measure of success to do so, successfully contributing to the decimation of the anglophone fact in Quebec.

So let us dissect what is so offensive about "Bonjour/Hi."
It is a phrase used in the downtown and western part of Montreal and in some malls in Laval. Those areas account for at least 30% anglophones and so the use of the phrase in greeting customers signals that the server or clerk is bilingual and happy to serve customers in the language of their choice.
This is what is so offensive to these politicians, the serving of anglophones in English, an outrageous scenario that in their mind mocks and diminishes the French language in Quebec.

Now you won't find the term used by clerks in Abitibi, Lac-St.Jean or Trois Rivieres, because there are few if any English customers and few bilingual employees able to speak English anyways, but in the Montreal area, clerks and servers offering English is a customer service issue that fosters happy clients, a concept that quite frankly these politicians cannot fathom.

Jean-Francois Lisée the leader of the PQ is tilting at windmills in a stupid but sadly successful attempt to drive language divisions in Quebec to restore a measure of relevance to the moribund PQ.
The PQ leader has supported Quebecers learning English but is wary of increased English courses in public schools. He thinks that it's a horrible idea to speak to your boss in English or for that matter to use English in the workplace. He also believes that its wrong to speak to customers in English and that watching English television or movies hurts the French language.
In essence, he and just about all Quebec politicians believe that everyone in Quebec should speak English, but not use it in Quebec.
How's that for stupidity?
And so the English that francophones are supposed to learn should only be employed in that two-week vacation in Old Orchard Beach, never at home!!
This is sadly Quebec.

And the French anglo-bashing media is no better...

We all know that gaining proficiency in another language is no easy task and I'm reminded of the old Jack Benny joke which tells of him being stopped on the street in Manhattan by a tourist asking how to get to Carnegie Hall, to which Benny offered his now famous rejoinder,
"Practice, Practice, Practice!"

If francophones don't practice English by either speaking it or watching English media how will they ever become proficient?
Lisée wants everyone to be bilingual, but never use the language inside the province. Bah!

The great lie is that as much as we are told by politicians that they love and respect anglophones and English, it just isn't true and they are quick to throw us under the bus in response to stupid language attacks.

I'd like to comment on an item in the same Gazette article about the Bonjour-Hi controversy.

"In 2012, a poll commissioned by the Conseil supérieur de la langue française found that 79.8 per cent of those surveyed disapproved of the expression and would prefer just Bonjour."
I am more than familiar with polling having worked as a political organizer in charge of internal polling for many years for various political parties and various candidates. I know how to run an honest poll and how to run a dishonest poll. I've done both.
The above poll is nothing more than an infamous "Push Poll," an ostensible opinion poll in which the true objective is to sway voters using loaded or manipulative questions.

Let me explain this concept by stealing from the brilliant physicist Werner Heisenberg' whose famous 'Uncertainty Principle,' states that simply observing a situation or phenomenon necessarily changes that phenomenon.
In polling, just asking a certain question or asking a certain question in a certain way may necessarily change the results.
"Do you believe that man really landed on the moon?"
This is an example of how asking a stupid question will push some to believe the absurd by legitimizing the question.
Here is a classic push poll.
"Do you believe that if democratic candidate John Doe had an affair with his daughter, he should be allowed to serve in Congress?"
And so readers, asking if the public preferred Bonjour to Bonjour-Hi, is just a push poll, a blatant attempt to sway public opinion. 
Whenever you see a poll, first look at who or what organization commisioned it and ask yourself if the organization has a hidden agenda.
Would you really take seriously a poll commissioned by the tobacco institute that asks the question; "Are smoking risks exaggerated?"
The organization that ordered the above poll is a French language lobby group with an agenda. The Montreal Gazette should never have published it.


  1. It boggles the minds that are politicians in Quebec have nothing better to do than to argue about whether or not Bonjour-Hi is offensive..I mean you just cant make this stuff up.
    Its as if anglophones are not allowed any courtesy whatsoever..its got to be french first all the time and in this case it is french first..its bonjour and then hi. Even int he west island where most people are anglophone we often get addressed as bonjour hi..I mean who cares..thats just another reason why anglophones should not support Couillard..he just threw us under the bus again like the Liberals always do. I get the CAQ and the PQ but the Liberals are supposed to be the great defenders of anglos and they never do in the end. I am voting CAQ and I hope but doubt that many anglos do in the next election.

  2. How come it's always the dominant language that gets so crazy about this kind of shit? You don't see Afrikaners making a fuss that there's not enough services in their language over in Africa. You're not gonna hear Bhojpuri speakers in Fiji going nuts about having to speak another language for services over there. It's always the majority Dutch in Flanders, majority Catalan in Catalonia, and in this case the overwhelming French majority in Quebec. What do they think is going to happen? French is just going to disappear into thin air because we're allowed to use other languages in public? You want to talk about real languages under threat talk to a Mohawk or Cree dude about how often he gets to speak one of the languages that's actually from this place

  3. Mr. Sauga here. EDM: You're wrong! The Afrikaners were looking for their own jurisdiction in South Africa back in the 1980s and 90s. One Eugene Terreblanche (paradoxical name) led a party called the AWB, a white supremacist group that sought Afrikaans as the only official language of South Africa, but of course never succeeded on that goal. I get the impression you don't know what happened in Catalonia less than two short months ago!

    To think there was some septuagenarian who used to contribute to this blog (forget his alias) that was writing how Couillard was going to be some kind of savior. I imagine he is too old to care, perhaps has passed on or is too embarrassed to get the "I told you so!" he so deserves.

    Complicated: You have returned! What happened to playing the role of the devil's advocate you were with me a few commentaries ago? Are you a Quebec politician? Your comportment is coming across as pro French one time and pro English the next? Do you have a third face, Yves?

    Simply put: QUEBEC IS A LOSER STATE! Every time, every effing time, this government passes laws, they are increasingly insidious! The worst thing is those quisling kapos, i.e., English speaking MNAs serving predominantly English constituencies yet voting against oral and/or written use of the English language, so those kapos are the LOSER STATE'S BIGGEST LOSERS.

    The rest of you are simply fools, YES, FOOLS, for allowing this to continuously happen! Since you make up 40% of the tax base and only 20% of the population, why the hell do you idiots keep putting up with it? This can be solved one of two ways:

    1) Leave the loser state to the losers. If 40% of the tax base leaves, what will they have to live on? With any luck, another referendum will be called and this time they'll separate. You'll be out of there, so you won't be affected. Their ridiculous "entitlements" will be lost as nobody outside Quebec in their right minds will be interested in making $10 billion "equalization" payments to a foreign loser state. Bilingual packaging will no longer be necessary. Neither will dubbing movies, an Official Languages Commission in Ottawa, the French SRC, TFOntario and other provisions will save the rest of us a fortune!

    2) Partition! If the minorities make up 40% of the tax base, they should fully benefit from their taxes in services and let the rest of Quebec go its merry way on a 60% tax base serving 80% of the population.

    YOU'RE MORONS! Rant all you want! It seems the so-called federalist parties, like the one in office now, pass the most oppressive laws. Bourassa started to put the screws to you with his Bill 22; Camille Goëbbels tightened the screws with his version and little by little Bourassa did it again (Bill 178), John James "Goldilocks" Charest threw in his two cents will Bill 104 among others, and now Couillard who is becoming increasingly bizarre by the day!

    EITHER PUT UP AND SHUT UP, LEAVE, OR PARTITION. There is nothing else to do after 43 years of this crap! If you choose the first alternative, you have NO right to complain! None whatsoever!

  4. MG: "The Afrikaners were looking for their own jurisdiction in South Africa back in the 1980s and 90s. One Eugene Terreblanche (paradoxical name) led a party called the AWB, a white supremacist group that sought Afrikaans as the only official language of South Africa"

    What I respect about Afrikaners and American white supremacists in the south is that at least they are not wolves in sheep's clothing, but come right out as wolves. Their goals are clearly stated and not sugar-coated so that we all know what we are dealing with. This is unlike the pequistes who tend to cloak their supremacism in progressive rhetoric.

    EDM: "How come it's always the dominant language that gets so crazy about this kind of shit"

    A local majority which is at the same time a continental minority, and this allows pequistes to present their KKK-like supremacist views as left-wing progressive. When they push the right-wing narrative too far (like Mathieu Bock Cote often does in JdeM) and accusations of supremacism start to emerge, they immediately flip to the "we are an endangered minority" defense and bring affirmative action overtones into the discussion (restitution for past injustices, making sure we don't disappear in the sea of English,etc...) The cunning aspect of pequism is that easily floats between KKK-like view point (we are the hosts, we are the majority, you are a guest, you will do as we say) to progressive victimhood-based rhetoric (let's right the wrongs of the past, let's save an endangered culture) not unlike feminism, gay-rights thing, black lives matter, or saving an engendered owl, etc...Snd so they flip from right-wing supremacists to social justice warriors with extreme ease.

    Strangely, I think I would respect pequists more if they dropped the progressive facade and came out as who they really are - wolves.

    The beginnings of it can be seen in some mainstream commentary, as with Mathieu Bock Cote stating in one of his recent articles that "defense of French" in Quebec might assume a more right-wing posture soon. Why not now? Why delay this coming out of the closet any longer?

    Un jour, défendre la prédominance ou la simple présence du français à Montréal sera assimilé à une position d’extrême-droite. Et ce jour est proche

    1. @adski

      i think it's good that you also read french commentary. the main reason why angryphones don't understand why many french canadians would opt for quebec's independance is they get only one side of the story from gazette, national post, globe and mail, cjad, etc. it just never happens in these media that someone reminds the readers that it's legitimate for a nation to prefer having control of its destiny.

      but this time around you misunderstood bock coté. he doesn't think defense of french should assume a more right wing posture. not at all. on the contrary he decries that defending french is portrayed by dishonest politicians or media outlets as being far or even extreme right activism. of course defending french, bill 101, etc. has nothing to do with left and right. right wing caq and left wing quebec solidaire both do it. he thinks the day will come that defending french presence in montreal will be badged as a far right thing. but he says this raise awereness about the angryphone's and quebec liberal party's cheap tactics, not because he wishes for it to happen.

      do you understand now?

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. "i think it's good that you also read french commentary"

      Pequiste commentary, which just happens to be in the French language. On know-thy-enemy basis, and as an anthropological project to gain a fuller understanding of a very sophisticated political cult and mass-scale enchantment.

      "defending french, bill 101, etc. has nothing to do with left and right"

      Cultural nationalism is a right wing ideology in general which just in Quebec happens to have a unique specificity of being adopted across the spectrum, from right to left. Even socially and economically left-wing groups are right-wing when it comes to culture. Bock Cote is being dismissive of it and critical of people who may view it as right-wing (or even, go-forbid, extreme-right wing), but that's what it is once you deconstruct it.

    4. @adski

      no wonder you consider "pequistes" your enemies if you misread bock coté to the point of considering his fear of being badged far right as a wish for said badge.

      once again thumbs up to you for taking the time to read his articles. i also recommend jacques lanctot, richard le hir, michel david, josée legault, antoine robitaille. and if at some point you misinterpret what they say and think of them as your enemy please tell me, i'll gladly translate for you and the rest of our community.

    5. No wonder I consider pequism an "enemy" as I'd consider any cult an enemy, regardless of which "wing" it is. That one day pequism might be associated with far right is irrelevant. Pequistes shouldn't fear such an association, it's not their biggest PR issue.

      Don't pat me on the back for reading pequsite literature. As I said, my aims are more anthropological than anything. No help needed - I wouldn't ask a cult member help me understand his cult. If I need help, I'll find it elsewhere. No worries.

    6. @adski

      "I'd consider any cult an enemy, regardless of which "wing" it is."

      what about the no cult cult? isn't it a cult too?

      "As I said, my aims are more anthropological than anything."

      i hear you, i'm doing the same here. the angryphone is a an interesting thing.

      "I wouldn't ask a cult member help me understand his cult."

      we don't agree here, as i prefer asking angryphones rather than anyone else to help me understand their crap. for example i think sauga is the best one to explain why he's so mad.

    7. "i hear you, i'm doing the same here. the angryphone is a an interesting thing."

      A word of advice then from one anthropologist to another, I would recommend more observation, analysis, and reflection, and less compulsive trolling. Unless you combine two functions, one of an anthropologist and one of a paid troll. But those two are contradictory. While analyzing a curious and strange tribe, anthropologist doesn't go in the village and starts rattling everyone's cage.

      "what about the no cult cult? isn't it a cult too?"

      You can do better than spinning other known pequiste retors, like the one that if nationalism is a secular religion, then so is anti-nationalism.

  5. Mr. Sauga here: Wowzers! So far I'm unscathed this blog. Oops, maybe I shouldn't write so soon! Bill 22 was the one that really started this ball rolling going on 44 years ago. That's half a long lifetime. I won't read the attachment because it's déjà vu raised exponentially to the infinite degree!

    Gripe gripe gripe! Enough griping--EEEEE-NOUGH! This endless griping, whining,'s cheap! It's USELESS! It's INERT!

    Wadday'all gonna do about it? Hein? WHAT? Endless diatribes, including yours truly. Whaddaya gonna do about it? The French speakers aren't on your side! The minority MNAs you keep voting for election after election after election, save for 1989 (Equality Party).

    YOU'RE ALL THE IDIOTS, not them. They KNOW what they can get away with because you keep handing them free passes all the time. They're QUISLINGS! KAPOS! Quislings that keep betraying you time after time after time after time, and you keep voting them in time after time after time after time.

    YOU are the numpties! YOU are the nincompoops, not only because you tighten the noose every time you simply make noise and rant rant rant! YOU ELECT THEM! Over and over and over again!

    Worst of all, YOU, the minorities, have all the power and YOU DON'T EVEN EXERCISE THAT BEAUTIFUL CLOUT! You make up 20% of the population and pay 40% of the taxes so they can hang you and hang you and HANG YOU AGAIN! Geoffrey Kelley is going to get a big, fat pension once he's finished and YOU, the 20% minority who pays 40% of the taxes, are going to give him the lion's share of it so he can amply afford to sit on his ass the rest of his life.

    I wrote it above and I'll write it again. You can do one of three things:

    1) The status quo: PUT UP AND SHUT UP! No more rants! No more complaining! Wasted energy!
    2) Leave Quebec for better places. The brain drain right there will kill those lazy dumbasses!
    3) Give yourselves the benefit of the 40% tax base that so few of you make up. The ratio of tax contributions for the minorities vs the Franco majority is 8:3. For every dollar you're putting in, they're averaging 38 cents. YOU live in the DOLLAR world. THEY live in the 38 cent world.

    Isn't there something to be said for "those who pay have the say"? GET THE HELL TO WORK!

    1. By the way, if you didn't get that third alternative above, it's P-A-R-T-I-T-I-O-N. Fight fire with fire. Put up a big wall at rue St-Laurent!! Use the Decarie Expressway for a moat! Do something, but take the West-Central and western half of Montreal and leave them the slums of Pointe-aux-Trembles, St-Michel, Montreal Nord. Slums west of rue St-Laurent? GENTRIFY THEM! You have the tax base. YOU have the wealth. YOU HAVE THE CAPABILITY! Let their slums dilapidate! They can then vote for separation of what's left and have to live on what's left 'cuz the rest of us ain't gonna give them anymore equalization and other undeserved federal largesse.

    2. Mr.Sauga;;

      The problem with you is you see everything black and white when in reality its all shades of grey. You want to polarize french and see all french as bad and all english as good when any sane person can see there are good and bad on both sides. Thats why I have always drawn a lot of scron from both sides on this blog because I am not fitting into the simnple narrative of choosing french or english. Obviously as an anglophone in general I am more in line with most anglophone views about the state of Quebec and language but its never that simple.

      You are literally a broken record that honestly doesnt add any real value other than repeating insults at Quebec and Quebecers..its a good thing you left. What amazes me is how angry you still are after all these years..sad for you to still waste so much energy on a place you left 33 years ago..its quite sad that you cant just move on. You should talk to a therapist about it. You should be happy yet somehow are not..I guess you never accepted that the anglos didnt retain total power.

    3. Mr. Sauga here: last, the scathe. I knew you weren't too far behind there, you complicated ol' boy!

      It was not I who made things black and white. That went to the ethnic majority (who really aren't ethnic at all...just a bunch of Roman Catholics who speak Joual (not French).) It was not I who has done the polarizing, that's your people, or if not you, those for whom you endlessly advocate. How the hell do you know what "most Anglophone views" are? Did you contact every Anglophone and get responses?

      If I were to see a therapist, it would be due to far more important things. I thought I made it clear why the "Quebec problem" still sticks with me. While I escaped Quebec, I still pay taxes for its existence, at least within the confines of Canada, tax benefits Quebec gets that are far beyond what you and your fellow Québécois put into the federal coffers.

      If Quebec only got in benefits what it puts into the coffers, I'd by far, far more satisfied. The secondary irritant is you are the moron minority that is putting far more into Quebec's coffers that what the French speakers put in, and in gratitude, the hands you keep feeding those loser with is bitten again and again and again and again and again...for the last 40+ years. They're like little children. If you keep rewarding kids for not misbehaving, they're going to misbehave again and again and again and again...until you teach them there are no entitlements for misbehaviour. Too bad in real life too many parents are too stupid to understand human behaviour.

      Finally, the Anglos never had total power, and if they did, why was that so? It was so because they worked hard and had ambition. They didn't have families the size of a dozen children or even two! Who the hell had the resources to have kiddies by the dozen like stray animals? They listened to corrupt fanatics of the Roman Catholic church constantly telling them God will provide? What did God provide? Starving people who had a pittance to feed themselves and their families, and were expected to provide for the tithing? Children where the few who entered the Church were considered honoured?

      Don't you dare throw the naïvté of those who were led by their genitals onto the shoulders of Anglophones or anyone else other than their Church! It took those dickheads 200 years to figure out they were being duped and duped big-time! Finally, they came into their own and realized they were being duped, so they needed scapegoats to blame for the tribulations of their naïvté. In typical fashion, they blamed the Heenglish! Jacques Parasite typically blamed his referendum loss on the Jews (à la Adolf Hitler, King Antiochus and a cavalcade of others) along with the Greeks and Italians. You constantly hear from the author of this blog how the police treat minorities of colour.

      All this has been my side of the argument today, 40+ years ago, until my dying day, and beyond. Maybe you should keep this response in a file.

  6. Thought I'd chime in on this 'Bonjour-Hi' nonsense.

    First and foremost, as I've said countless times in the past, the whole Quebec debate about "protecting the French language" is a thinly veiled guise. When you scratch below the surface, it's not about protecting a language, it's about elevating one segment of the population above the rest. Race superiority and dominance are the key here--it's not about whether you speak French to be accepted in Quebec society, it's whether you ARE French. And in Quebec, it's not that simple, that definition of "French" also extends to being white, Catholic and the use of the local dialect/accent. When it comes down to it, what message are these debates giving to the population? I'll tell you what: Nothing more than who is not welcome in this province. No different than Bill 62, another so-called "protection" act in Quebec meant to do nothing more than pit one segment of the population against the other. Again, who is not welcome here. The whole nationalist/separatist movement in Quebec is no different than white supremacist groups. They'll always try to justify their cause as righteous as it fights to "protect" x, y and z. In reality of course, it's just a cowardly excuse to hide the real reason. Hatred of Les Autres. Hey, Quebec even has its own white supremacist group now: La Meute.

    As for the Quebec Liberals, I cannot help but laugh at their sheer hypocrisy. Appointing up an English Language Affairs minister, with Couillard stating the government respects, acknowledges and welcomes Anglophones with open arms, and will stand up for our rights. Then just days later, calls Bonjour-Hi, and I quote, "an irritant"?! As the saying goes, fool me once...

    And speaking of which, long before the Liberals were voted back in, I predicted they would back stab the English community. Why's that? Well, just like the CAQ, the Liberals are a merely a different flavor of the PQ. Unfortunately for this province, we are just playing musical chairs with the SAME EXACT party, just going by a different name.

    Mr. Sauga: The guy you're thinking of was named "Ed". I'm assuming he passed away, but I'll never forget how gullible he was, gushing about the Liberals as the saviors of the Anglophone community, if only we'd vote for them. I sure didn't (they only fooled me once!) but he was just a microcosmic of the naiveitivity of Quebec voters. We need a party that actually governs, states once and for all everyone is equal (ALWAYS! not just at election time or when it's convenient!) and accepts Quebec is a province in Canada, not its own entity that can do as it pleases and ignores Canadian laws and values. Though that's dreaming. I've been watching decades of this merry-go-round of crap, forever spinning in circles and going nowhere but down, faster and faster. Only sane thing to do is jump off and run as far away as you can. Thank you for stating it so well, Quebec is indeed a lost cause, a loser state! I just wish the rest of Canada would wake up to that fact and cut off all ties to it (p.s. - Good to see you here again! Always look forward to reading your take on things!).

    1. Mr. Sauga here. Good to hear from you again, Apple IIGS. Good to have a supporter to counteract my detractor, the complicated one! Thanks for pointing out Ed. I wish Ed well, and perhaps he has reached that age where what happens in Quebec is of no matter to him anymore. Ed wrote a few times when the Liberal guard was changing how Couillard would be this Great Savior. I, of course, cautioned him big-time, but I guess some people have false idols, and that's that! As usual, I was right.

      Sadly, Ap, the minorities endlessly vote for the PLQ that I think has screwed the minorities more than the PQ. The only time something smart was done was in 1989 when the Equality Party fielded candidates in several constituencies and won four of them. This crap about "split the vote and the PQ will win" is exactly that: CRAP! If it proves to be true, so be it. Why should the minorities vote in the party that has screwed them over more than any other party in Quebec? It's utterly and completely foolhardy to vote PLQ! Now that butt ugly creature from one of those fringe parties has made minority constituencies larger in size and marginalized the minorities even more.

      I guess for those who want to remain in Montreal, partition at least the Western half of Montreal and perhaps other regions in the Montreal area, if possible annex the constituencies of Veaudreuil and Soulange to Western Montreal to give a clear corridor to the Ontario border. Not willing to put in the effort to do that, simply leave Quebec. Simple as that!

    2. I'm hoping that Ed and Cutie aren't forced to speak French wherever they are.

  7. The straw that broke the camel's back. Too bad Weil isn't bothered in the least.