Ok, so PSY, le gars du Gangnam Style, a une nouvelle chanson et un nouveau vidéo et même si tout le monde va en parler cette semaine sur les réseaux sociaux, on peut tout de suite s’entendre que l’improbable tornade médiatique virale qui a brièvement transformé le chanteur coréen en popstar planétaire en 2012 ne se reproduira pas.
Cela dit, le fait que les médias de l’Ouest et des États-Unis parlent du lancement d’une chanson en coréen est un évènement en sois.
On s’entend, Gangnam Style est une aberration. Tout est possible une fois, mais il est un peu tôt pour affirmer avec le très sérieux magazine d’affaires publiques Foreign Policy que le succès de Gangnam Style prouve que « les schémas d’échanges commerciaux et culturels nord-sud qui ont dominé le monde depuis l’ascendance du colonialisme européen cèdent et font de la place à un soft power inattendu. »
Cela dit, s’il n’aura fait que ça, PSY aura au moins démontré que contrairement à ce que tout le monde a toujours dit et répété, l’anglais n’était pas une condition non négociable du succès pop planétaire.
En fait, la suite des choses dépend peut-être moins de PSY que de CL, une autre chanteuse coréenne qui va lancer son premier album aux États-Unis cet automne.
Contrairement à PSY avant Gangnam, CL est déjà une authentique star internationale. C’est la plus grande vedette K-Pop, voir la plus grande vedette pop non anglophone, a tenter d’entrer sur le marché de la musique des États-Unis depuis Gangnam.
Est-ce qu’elle va s’en tenir au modèle de Céline Dion qui dit que pour avoir une carrière américaine et authentiquement planétaire il faut reprendre à zéro avec produit exclusivement en anglais, ou est-ce que le succès de Gangnam va lui donner le droit de se présenter aux Américains avec une chanson dans laquelle on entendrait aussi du coréen?
Pour lire la SUITE
Les Coréens ont inventé l’imprimerie moderne au moins un siècle avant les Européens. Il y a dans les coffres du Département des manuscrits de Bibliothèque Nationale de France (cote : IFN-6300067) une copie du Pulcho chikchi simch’e yojol, une anthologie d’enseignements bouddhistes aussi connue comme le Jikji, qui a été imprimée avec une presse à caractères mobiles de métal en 1377, deux bonnes générations médiévales avant la bible de Johannes Gutenberg i.
Le Jikji de la BNF est le plus ancien exemplaire d’imprimerie coréenne connu, mais nous savons que ce n’est pas le premier document imprimé avec la technologie. Les premiers livres imprimés en Corée, comme le souvenir de cette invention, sont perdus, inconnus des curieux qui s’émerveillent devant les trois copies sur vélin parfaites et complètes de la bible de Gutenberg en exposition à la BNF, à la Bibliothèque du Congrès américain et à la British Library. Pour des raisons administratives et économiques, l’invention de l’imprimerie par les Coréens n’a pas eu le même impact en Asie qu’elle aura en Europe à partir de 1440.
Parce que c’est impossible d’exagérer la violence du choc politique, économique, culturel, social et religieux provoqué par la machine de Gutenberg. Vingt-cinq ans après l’impression de sa première bible il y a déjà des presses dans toutes les grandes villes d’Europe. Un autre quart de siècle plus tard on a imprimé 20 millions de livres ii. L’imprimerie précipite la fin du Moyen-Age, la prise du pouvoir par la bourgeoisie et le début d’une ère de progrès scientifique comme l’humanité n’en a jamais connu. L’Église catholique ne va jamais s’en remettre. La monarchie non plus.
L’imprimerie c’est aussi le début de la fin du latin. C’est très important de le comprendre si l’on veut essayer d’imaginer l’impact que l’internet va avoir sur l’anglais global et l’ordre politique international.
La suite sur Medium
Just two weeks ago the Sith’ari of the Conservative Party of Canada, the University of Calgary’s Tom Flanagan, explained to La Presse’s Patrick Lagacé that his boy Stephen Harper had pretty much filled up on all the Québec votes he was going to get.
« Stephen Harper has made some big efforts. But he’s not a native son. He faces Gilles Duceppe, who is a native son. Is there an example in Canadian history of a party leader able to win Québec when his main opponent is Québécois? I don’t think so. It might be an impossible burden. » (My backlation of Lagacé’s French translation)
If you can crunch that quote into 140 characters, you might want to tag a #FAIL to it. According to the latest polls, Jack Layton’s New Democratic Party is ahead of the Bloc in Québec with 36% of the votes to Gilles Duceppe’s 31%. Even with the all important Francophone demographic Jack Layton is in the margin of error at 34% compared to Gilles Duceppe’s 38%.
Not only does the NDP not have a Québec or Francophone leader, it doesn’t even have a decent token Franco. The NDP’s only Québec MP, Outremont’s Thomas Mulcair, is also a Maudit Anglais. It apparently hasn’t stopped them from a formidable surge in Québec.
Of course the NDP will not win much more than a handful of seats on May 2nd. The very poll that puts them in the lead might spook voters back to the old parties, the NDP doesn’t have the political muscle to get the folks from the retirement home to the voting booth and many voters might change their minds when they see unfamiliar names instead of « Clayton » on their ballot.
But this latest poll once again challenges the tenacious Canadian myth that Québec voter base their democratic decisions on obscure tribal loyalties.
This idea that the Québécois vote ethnically is more a cop-out than a myth, really. Instead of actually trying to come up with policies and a vision of Canada that the Québécois could buy into, English-Canada’s politicians have wasted three decades in grooming Frenchie Saviors willing to sell their agenda to « his people ».
It’s that kind of thinking that led the Liberal Party to choose Stéphane Dion, against the loud opposition of its own Québec caucus, as leader. Native son or not, Dion was trounced in the 2008 election.
So now I have a question for Tom Flanagan. When was the last time the voter of Alberta voted for a Québécois when there was a Albertan on the ballot?
I had to spend 27 minutes on the phone with a CBC producer last week to realize I had no real opinion about the upcoming federal election.
This of course is one of the great universal truths of our lives in this valley of tears: we know nothing, indeed are nothing, until we’ve got someone else to bounce off.
I had no idea what a America could possibly be until I went on my first trip to Europe. I can’t even count how many of my unpoliticized friends became sovereingtists in Spain, Belgium and BC. As a matter of fact the AngryFrenchGuy was born in the USA and the first post written in a Volvo 630 with Ontario plates parked at a Flying J somewhere near Wilkes-Barre in Pennsylvania.
Think about it, what could Canada possibly be if it couldn’t not be the United States?
And then, just as I was reflecting on this the Universe hooked me up with the Québec Redneck Bluegrass Project, drifters from the Lac Saint-Jean now based Kumming in the Yunnan province of southern China who sing in French, English and some southern chinese patois about the universal truth that we are so much cooler when we’re drunk.
AngryFakeLeaks presents: The Senate’s Standing Commitee on Official Language’s lost report on Nunavut’s Anglos
The myths of the white man of Canada’s North as a wealthy adventurer backed by wealthy European powers and natural resources companies still plague the English-speaking minority of the Canadian territory of Nunavut, according to a report by the Senate’s Standing Commitee on Official Languages.
Research for the report titled “From Baffin to the 21st Century: The endangered vitality of the English-speaking minority of Nunavut”, was conducted by the same senators that published another stereotype-shattering study tittled “The vitality of Québec’s English-speaking communities: from myth to reality.” In both reports the senators describe an official-language community that often lacks access to many federal services most Canadian take for granted.
« People assume that because the white Anglos who come to Nunavut are all under government contract or working for mining companies that they are a privileged minority », explained committee chairwoman Andrée Dawson-Duplessis. « The reality is that sometimes in Nunavut you come in contact with people who don’t speak English. That can be very disorienting for some people. Especially the elderly. »
The Senate committee’s report recognizes that the situation of Nunavut’s English-speaking community is unique. All of Nunavut children go to English schools, English is the working language of federal government institutions and of the rapidly growing natural resources industry. 100% of immigrants and 36% of natives of the territory adopt English as their home language.
Yet the senate committee has found that these statistics hide the reality of a community whose vitality is in jeopardy. For example, it has found that in numerous small communities stretching from James Bay to the arctic circle, English-speaking Canadians have little to no access to health care, schools or vocational training in English. « If you take an airplane from Iqualuit to Igloolik, and then you take a snowmobile and head north for 3 hours, you will find small communities where there is no English-language vocational training», explained Dawson-Duplessis, adding that the Official Languages Act requires the Federal government to actively promote the development of minority Official-language communities everywhere in Canada.
« That situation make it very difficult for some people », she added. « Especially the elderly. »
In all the committee tabled 27 recommendations for the federal government, including the creation of programs to promote English-language literature, movies and television and introduce Inuktitut-speaking inhabitants of Nunavut to the richness of Anglo culture. It also recommend’s the direct financing of Anglo institutions. “It can be very confusing for some people to deal with a territorial government run by non-English speaking people”, said Dawson-Duplessis. “Especially for the elderly.”
“Canada’s image is a diverse and multicultural country”, said the committee chairwoman, “and the high birth rate of Nunavut’s natives, the highest in Canada, challenges that diversity.” For that reason the Senate recommended that the federal government encourage and facilitate English-speaking immigration to help the Anglo community maintain it’s demographic weight.
Nunavut’s English-speakers repeatedly told the senators they were very supportive of Inuits culture and that they wished that the English-speaking culture could be seen as an integral part of Northern life. In the word of Bernard Ross, chairman of the Nunavut Community Network: « To survive and thrive Nunavut’s English-speaking community must grow. That doesn’t have to happen at the expense of other communities. They can join us and grow with us. It’s win-win. »
A couple of years ago I was hired by Vanier College, an anglo CEGEP, to take some students on a field trip for what was either an architecture or religion class. It wasn’t exactly clear. Anyway me and the kids spent the day driving around Montreal, stopping at various synagogues, churches and temples.
The teacher seemed like a very nice, and from what I could hear from behind the diesel engine, knowledgable man. He was your stereotypical CBC/As things happen fellow with glasses and toast crumbs in his beard who made it a matter of principle to address me in French even though on that day he was the paying customer.
Just before noon we stopped at St.Joseph’s Oratory in Côte-des-Neiges. The teacher gave the students a brief introduction to the story of the not-yet-saint Brother André, the lowly doorman who was commanded by God to build a big-ass church on Mount-Royal and to dedicate it to Jesus’s dad.
Then, before letting the students out of the bus, he informed them that catholic tradition demands that visitors to a church uncover their heads.
« Of course », he added, « if your religion requires you to cover your head, you may keep your hats. »
All of the sudden, all was made clear. That day, on the mountain, the lord came to me in the shape of that small man in a plaid shirt who looked like someone my dad would hang out with, and gave me the kabbalistic key to the split-level logical architecture used by the English Canadian media when discussing issues religion and law. Here was the wisdom of Younge Street used to solve conflicts between different incompatible religious requirements in all its simple clarity:
The rules of men with hats trump the rules of men without hats.
Everything made sense now. This was how MacLean’s Martin Patriquin could write an article about tensions between Outremont’s Hassidics—a hat and whig-wearing sect that openly enforces ethnic purity—and their secular neighbours, and portray the latter as the intolerant ones.
This was how Montreal Gazette could simultaneously argue that the religious paraphernalia of Sikhs (a hat people) is so holy that our democratically elected legislators are not qualified to even have an opinion about it AND that Christian (a hat-less faith) prayers and crosses do not belong in the civic space and that MNA’s are not only allowed, but required to legislate.
The rules of men with hats trump the rules of men without hats.
Dear Mr. Singh,
It’s with great interest that I read your letter in Thursday’s Gazette in which you attempt to school the « culturally ignorant » members of our National Assembly about the Sikh kirpan.
First of all, I want to congratulate you for your willingness to go beyond murky statistics and to boldly dare to make up numbers on the fly when you write that there is an « extremely high » probability that none of our lawmakers « would be able to provide a coherent answer » if asked explain the significance of the kirpan.
Most people are not willing to admit that the statistics they pull out of their asses are solely based on prejudice and ignorance. Your self-awareness is commendable.
Your brief historical primer on the kirpan was very informative. I’m sure the democratically elected members of Québec’s National Assembly will be relieved to learn that the self-appointed clerics of Amritsar, Punjab settled this matter in their name all the way back in 1922.
Indeed, why indeed should Québec, Ontario, American Homeland Security or the United Nations for that matter, have any laws regarding the kirpan at all since the wise men of Amritsar have proclaimed that the dagger is not a knife. Someone should also tell Manjit Mangat.
But as McGill’s chaplain and the president of the Interfaith council of Montreal I trust you are familiar with the many other laws of our province that violate the religious commandments of our fellow citizens. Think of the religious rights of all these poor Catholic children forced to learn about evolution, the ultraconservative Muslim clerics forced to send their daughters to school and the Mormon men prevented from marrying multiple underaged girls.
Men like you need to speak out and explain to the lawmakers and people of Québec that in today’s multicultural world, the rules of unelected religious leaders override the laws of our democratically elected legislators. Because. Just because.
I was profoundly moved by the story of the kirpan as the symbol of the Sikh’s determination to not let others impose their religious tenets upon them, and impressed with the way you use that story to argue that Québec must let Sikh’s wear their kirpan’s anywhere they want to. I was also impressed by your splendid demonstration that not giving special treatment to Sikhs who visit the National Assembly was a double standard. Remarkable.
But what truly blew me away me was your boldness and courage in choosing to lecture Québec’s political class about their need to « educate themselves about new cultures that are coming to the province » in English, a language the vast majority of your fellow citizens do not speak, read or understand!
Speaking of cultural ignorance…
God bless you, Manjit Singh.