AngryFrenchGuy

Phoque Paul McCartney

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Paul McCartney eating meat

Paul McCartney eating meat

Québec City is know for being old, boring and white. A pretty place with a glorious past but whose recent contributions to art, history and culture are far and few between. It’s a wonder anybody is surprised Québec City would ask for (and obtain) a special show by Paul McCartney, the world’s most famous has-been and the idol of old white people worldwide, as it’s special treat for it’s 400th birthday.

Hey, it’s their birthday…

The controversy over Paul McCartney’s show on the Plains of Abraham as part of Québec City’s 400th anniversary celebrations has been erroneously portrayed in the media – this includes Québec’s French-language press – as another fight between bitter Québec separatists who object to an Englishman signing in English in Québec and open-minded federalists who have moved on.

That’s not at all what it’s about.

To understand the controversy properly you need to know two things about Québec City; the first is that Québec City is Québec’s most pro-Canadian town outside Montreal’s English-speaking enclaves and the Outaouais. The second is that it is one of the worlds biggest markets for very very bad music.

Legend has it that the young Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins were about to give up on their pretentious nerd rock band Genesis until they started selling tickets in, of all places, Québec City. The loyal public they found there allowed them to live off their music a little bit longer, until other college students who don’t date started buying their albums.

Québec City is and has always been a place where retired Quebecers and tired music went to wait for death. To this day it is common to hear Rush’s Tom Sawyer and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon between Usher and Avril Lavigne on Québec’s commercial radio stations. Genesis cover band The Musical Box is another one of the summers headliners who will play the Battlefields Park and Elvis Story, a musical revue of the King’s life and music had a near 10 year run at the Capitole, Québec’s historic theater in the heart of the old city!

Just take a look at the headliners of the Festival d’été de Québec this summer: Van Halen, Stone Temple Pilots, Primus, Wyclef Jean… Wasn’t that the lineup at Lollapalooza 98?

That’s Québec city for you…

Nor is it surprising that the people of Québec City did not anticipate that the symbolism of the leader of the so-called “British Invasion” playing on the Plains of Abraham where Britain conquered New France just maybe might offend some people in Québec.

You see, contrary to widespread belief in Canada, Québec City is a conservative and federalist bastion, with even the local chapter of the ultra-nationalist Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste still on the fence about national unity. In the 1995 referendum on sovereignty, Québec City’s francophones (that is to say everybody) were among the least favorable to independence in all the province.

Hey, when the Parti québécois offically designated Québec City as Québec’s “National Capital”, the only opposition came from Québec City itself!

Now imagine if the the big finale of Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations in Ottawa in 2017 was Bruce Springsteen singing Born in the USA! Canadian nationalists would be setting themselves on fire on Parliament Hill! The issue would not be the talent of The Boss or the “open-mindedness” of Canadians. It would just be the wrong event at the wrong time.

It is, however, a little more surprising that organizers did not anticipate that the victims of Paul McCartney’s very visible and dishonest campaign against seal hunting, the only livelyhood of many native and remote communities in Québec, would not seize the occasion to take a shot back at him.

But hey, contrary to what Stephen Harper, Pauline Marois and Paris Match have tried to tell you, this summer’s celebration is not about Canada, the Québec Nation or New France. It’s about Québec City.

And Québec City and Paul McCartney deserve each other.

Written by angryfrenchguy

July 19, 2008 at 2:55 pm

82 Responses

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  1. The most popular bands and singers don’t go to Quebec City anyway. It’s normal for the city to settle with older artists who are past their prime.

    Seb

    July 22, 2008 at 8:14 pm

  2. @ Dave:

    “Shit, Johnny Halliday coulnd’t fill a church basement in the suburbs of Paris. Comparing him to McCartney is a little rich.
    For argument’s sake, I could see Charles Aznavour performing at your concert without putting anybody’s nose out of jount.”

    You’re missing the point completely…
    Johnny Halliday was just a purely random example I came up with off the top pf my head.
    You can pick any famous French singer you like, it doesn’t much matter which.
    Try to focus on the big picture, if you can focus at all.

    @ Anonymous:

    “English-speaking Montrealers don’t see themselves as a single homogenous group that can trace its history back to a
    single origin.”

    Why not? Can you prove it?
    In fact, the connection between English Canada to the British Isles was much stronger and more intimate than the
    almost non-existant connection between Quebec and France.
    A contact between the two took place on July 14, 1855 – following 95 years of almost complete isolation.

    “The thing is, your comparison doesn’t work, because a great number of Quebec’s residents are not just familiar with
    McCartney, but have been life-long fans. If a non-english speaking artist had that kind of a connection with the
    english-speaking population of Montreal, I don’t think there would be an issue at all.”

    It’s not about how popular the artist is or how many records he/she has sold, it’s about the relevance and significance
    of that artist to that audience, and ultimately, to that event.

    A discipline such as “Event Planning” exists for a reason.
    A successful event is a successful combination of many factors, but the essential ones among which are things like:
    theme/motif; geographical location; audience; and most importantly, the main attraction. The latter could be an abstract
    thing like a painting, a sculpture, a video clip… etc. or it could be a speaker, a performer, or an artist.
    All of these things should harmoniously connect together and relate to each other, to form a memorable experience.

    You wouldn’t choose an artist like Avril Lavigne to perform at an event like the Montreal Jazz Festival.
    Similarly, you wouldn’t choose an artist like Charles Aznavour to perform at an event like Pop Montreal.

    Cancerous

    July 23, 2008 at 7:16 am

  3. Cancerous

    You picked Halliday at random to make a point that somehow Quebec shouldn’t celebrate by inviting an Englishman just as English Mtl wouldn’t celebrate by inviting a Frenchman. I countered with Aznavour just to point out that nationality has nothing whatsoever to do with popularity. Aznavour is very popular amongst English Mtlers just as McCartney is with French speaking Quebeckers. Thats the big picture.

    You can focus on being a victim of the British for another 200 years and it wont change the reality. The whole so-called controversy over McCartney has blown up in the faces of Pierre Curzi et al.

    Dave

    July 23, 2008 at 9:11 am

  4. Someone ought to ask him, but I suspect that JF Pauzé, who writes most of the songs for les Cowboys, was probably more influenced by Paul McCartney than AFG thinks. For instance, the lyrics of “Banlieue,” JF’s great reflection on his childhood, cover the same sort of subjects as Paul deals with in his masterpiece “Penny Lane,” which is set “beneath the blue suburban skies.”

    littlerob

    July 23, 2008 at 4:32 pm

  5. @ Dave:

    “You picked Halliday at random to make a point that somehow Quebec shouldn’t celebrate by inviting an Englishman just as English Mtl wouldn’t celebrate by inviting a Frenchman. I countered with Aznavour just to point out that
    nationality has nothing whatsoever to do with popularity. Aznavour is very popular amongst English Mtlers just as McCartney is with French speaking Quebeckers.”

    First of all, I never said that nationality was an issue. Instead, I was refering to cultural significance, of which language is a component.

    By the way, the Aznavour example doesn’t serve your case very well because the only reason he became popular among some Anglophones was due to his English songs!
    Otherwise, he would’ve been another gem that the Anglosphere would have never known or heard of, just like many other cultural contributions from Europe and around the world.

    If Anglophones decided to attend Aznavour’s hypothetical concert, it’d be only to hear English being sung.
    There would be no way for you to convince me that they’d spend that 250th anniversary listening to someone singing in “Gibberish”… or should I say, “non-White”?

    “You can focus on being a victim of the British for another 200 years and it wont change the reality.”

    I’m sorry to thwart your insightful theory but I’m actually an Anglophone living in Toronto.
    Nice try, nevertheless.

    Cancerous

    July 23, 2008 at 6:20 pm

  6. “English-speaking Montrealers don’t see themselves as a single homogenous group that can trace its history back to a
    single origin.”

    “Why not? Can you prove it?
    In fact, the connection between English Canada to the British Isles was much stronger and more intimate than the
    almost non-existant connection between Quebec and France.
    A contact between the two took place on July 14, 1855 – following 95 years of almost complete isolation.”

    I’m not sure how one proves such a thing. I guess you could look at census data to see what percentage of the english mother-tongue population identifies themsleves as of british or english origin. But really, I didn’t think it was that that controversial a statement. You suggested that 1760 has some significance to english Montrealers. I just don’t buy it. 1760 means nothing to me nor anyone I know.

    “The thing is, your comparison doesn’t work, because a great number of Quebec’s residents are not just familiar with
    McCartney, but have been life-long fans. If a non-english speaking artist had that kind of a connection with the
    english-speaking population of Montreal, I don’t think there would be an issue at all.”

    “It’s not about how popular the artist is or how many records he/she has sold, it’s about the relevance and significance
    of that artist to that audience, and ultimately, to that event.”

    Well, I did write about a “connection” with the audience, whatever that means, but really, it is about popularity. Say what you will about anglos and their aversion to listening to “non-white” being spoken (we could discuss this topic at length) the french-speakers of Quebec don’t appear to have much problem with hearing english lyrics.

    You may believe that the theme of the event ought to have been exclusively the celebration of french in North America, but really it is a celebration of the founding of a city. French, of course, is going to be a major theme, but the belief that the entire event should be organised around the french language is but one opinion.

    RoryBellows

    July 24, 2008 at 12:41 am

  7. “If Anglophones decided to attend Aznavour’s hypothetical concert, it’d be only to hear English being sung.”-cancerous

    How presumptuous of you to assume you know why people like someone, did you say you were from Toronto? Virtually all Montreal anglophones under 60 are bilingual.

    NB I didn’t even know Aznavour sang in English, thanks for the info.

    Dave

    July 24, 2008 at 7:11 am

  8. @ RoryBellows:

    “You may believe that the theme of the event ought to have been exclusively the celebration of french in North America, but really it is a celebration of the founding of a city. French, of course, is going to be a major theme, but the belief that the entire event should be organised around the french language is but one opinion.”

    The theme of the event is exactly that, the celebration of French in North America!

    Yes, it is the commemoration of the founding of Quebec City, but looking at the big picture, it is that city that became the centre of New France and French culture in North America. The two themes you mentioned, the founding of Quebec City and the existence of French in North America are mutually inclusive.
    If Quebec city was not founded, French wouldn’t have existed in North America, and retrospectively, French exists in North America because Quebec City was founded.
    So, frankly, I don’t understand why you fail to see that the entire event should be organised around the French language…

    @ Dave:

    “Virtually all Montreal anglophones under 60 are bilingual.”

    Sure, they might be… but it’s mostly because of necessity.
    I doubt that it stems from genuine interest in French language and Quebec culture.
    Go ahead and call me presumtuous, it still doesn’t change the fact that this is indeed the case for the vast majority of Montreal’s Anglophones.

    I just don’t understand how someone can live within a couple hours flight from 6-7 million fellow Canadians, yet doesn’t feel the need or curiosity to communicate with them and understand their culture… let alone someone living among their midst!

    Cancerous

    July 24, 2008 at 9:44 am

  9. There are exceptions for sure (generally among “artsy-fartsy” types), but it’s not really going that far out on a limb to say that generally English-speaking people aren’t really interested in anything “cultural” that’s not in English. This applies to the UK, the ROC, Anglo-Quebecers, the US, Australia, New Zealand, etc.

    Everyone in the global entertainment industry from movie producers to recording artists knows this, which explains why when they make movies on Anna Karenina, Eva Peron or a lady who opens a chocolaterie in a small French town, they make them English. Because in the English-language markets, dubbing or subtitles is the kiss of death, and reduces your potential market by three quarters or perhaps even much more. That’s also why Hollywood has to remake every single foreign movie hit (rather than just bring in the original, which is usually better than the U.S. remake). The list of these is so numerous it boggles the mind, but just off the top of my head:

    My Father the Hero (France – Mon père ce héros)
    Three Men and a Baby (France – Trois Hommes et un Coffin)
    Edtv (Quebec – Louis 19)
    Point of No Return (France – Nikita)
    City of Angels (Germany – Wings of Desire)

    The list could go on and on. And I’d say even your typical North American armchair movie buff probably doesn’t even know these (and many others) are remakes of foreign films.

    This is also why Shakira redoes/redid all of her Spanish-language hits in English, as do many other non-anglophone recording artists. People in Sweden, Germany, Romania, Italy, France and even Quebec will generally listen to music in any language as long as they think it’s good. But people in English-speaking areas of the world will not, except for the very exceptional “novelty” song like the Macarena or the Lambada.

    By the way, I don’t believe that makes anglos bad, evil or even narrow-minded. But it’s still the way things are – no question about it.

    Acajack

    July 24, 2008 at 10:50 am

  10. “This is also why Shakira redoes/redid all of her Spanish-language hits in English, as do many other non-anglophone recording artists. People in Sweden, Germany, Romania, Italy, France and even Quebec will generally listen to music in any language as long as they think it’s good. But people in English-speaking areas of the world will not, except for the very exceptional “novelty” song like the Macarena or the Lambada.

    By the way, I don’t believe that makes anglos bad, evil or even narrow-minded. But it’s still the way things are – no question about it.”

    For the most part Anglos dont have to listen to music in a foreign language or watch a foreign language movie for the exact reasons you have given. Thus, they dont need to learn additional languages because there is really no reason to do so other than for perhaps interest. Some might call it narrow minded but, if 90% of the world spoke french or could converse in french you would have the same situation with the native french speakers. as you do with the Anglos now.

    Of course I already know what the answer will be to this. I will wait to see if I am right.

    ABP

    ABP

    July 24, 2008 at 12:38 pm

  11. “Some might call it narrow minded but, if 90% of the world spoke french or could converse in french you would have the same situation with the native french speakers. as you do with the Anglos now.”

    I think you meant northern North America here. Only about 20 or 25% of the world’s population has a decent knowledge of English.

    1 – But I agree with your points about English’s global dominance as a significant factor.

    2 – Also note that self-serving conditioning from Hollywood plays a big part. The entire anglo entertainment/cultural industry basically ignores anything that isn’t in English, so people often don’t even know that other stuff (that might be interesting) exists out there.

    Combine 1 and 2 together, and most English speakers (no matter where they live in the world) are pretty convinced in their minds that anything that’s not in English isn’t worth paying attention to, ‘cause if it was in any way worth their time, it would have been done in English in the first place.

    Acajack

    July 24, 2008 at 12:57 pm

  12. @ Acajack:

    I completely agree with everything you just said.
    The cultural polarization between the Anglosphere and the continent (and for that matter, the rest of the world) is undeniable.

    Unlike you, I actually find it a little disturbing.
    It’s as if nothing else is valid or worthwile until it’s blessed and baptized in English. It’s haughty, condescending, and ridiculous.

    Cancerous

    July 24, 2008 at 12:59 pm

  13. “Unlike you, I actually find it a little disturbing.
    It’s as if nothing else is valid or worthwile until it’s blessed and baptized in English. It’s haughty, condescending, and ridiculous.”

    Maybe so, but thats the way it is and from what I can see with english schools in the orient etc, its actually becoming more dominanant. Of course one could argue that this is good thing as it will provide a common method of communication in the world which it defacto has done. More communication equates to better understanding and more harmony between nations.

    The losers may be the anglos themselves in that with the commonality of their language precludes them from learning any other language out of need or necessity.

    Another argument could be made that if a language becomes universal is there really any need for any other language as the fundamental need for communication has been satisfied (highly hypothetical).

    ABP

    ABP

    July 24, 2008 at 1:15 pm

  14. Thanks Cancerous.

    We actually discussed this topic here a few months ago on this thread:
    https://angryfrenchguy.com/2008/04/24/the-glorious-bilingual-montreal-of-the-1940s/

    It starts around the fifth comment and is sometimes interspersed with comments about other issues.

    Acajack

    July 24, 2008 at 1:21 pm

  15. Why is this important ? Why is it disturbing? Everyone has a choice in life. You can watch a remake, the original, or the nth version of Rambo. The Romans expected everyone to speak Latin. Eventually even they disappeared and Latin morphed into 8 new languages. Its like discussing the next Ice Age. Even if we knew the precise date, there’s not a lot we could do about it when it comes.

    BTW Bollywood produces many more films than Hollywood

    Dave

    July 24, 2008 at 1:54 pm

  16. Ah, Acajack, there are exceptions that test every rule. I am as insular an anglophone North American as there is, but I love stuff in languages other than English, not excepting Québec popular music en français. And I don’t think I’m alone, especially as the music goes. Highly recommended to other anglos, btw.

    littlerob

    July 24, 2008 at 3:22 pm

  17. Littlerob:

    I took care to mention when I started commenting on this that there were exceptions (guess you must be an artsy!).

    But surely you are not suggesting that there are significant numbers of English-speaking North Americans (even Canadians! And even Anglo-Quebecers!) who are “up” on Québec popular music?

    Heck, even most Franco-Ontarians I know aren’t “up” on Québec popular music (or anything in francophone popular culture, for that matter).

    Actually, my knowledge of the Franco-Ontarian community is one of the factors that formed my view on this. Since they are almost all bilingual, they have access to both francophone and anglophone culture, but with few exceptions (once again, there ARE exceptions, just not that many), once they get a taste of Hollywood, they’re not interested in anything else.

    You even see this today among a small minority of francophone Quebecers, who will proudly tell you that they ONLY watch American TV, for example. Everything else, without exception, is crap!

    Acajack

    July 24, 2008 at 3:42 pm

  18. Acajack–that is indeed what I am suggesting. I base my assertion on a shaky foundation, it is true: the number of comments in English (many from Canadians, apparently) and in broken French to the songs that two of my favorite groups, Les 3 Accords and Les CF, have had posted on YouTube.

    Most of us here in our little English speaking islands have historically found pop music in French insipid; I know I did/do. But I don’t think that Québécois pop is insipid at all; to my (un-artsy) ear, a great many Québec artists have not only mastered rock and roll, they have added elements to it. I didn’t know Marie Lépine from Julien Poulin a year ago, but I know rock and roll violin and accordion when I hear it. Paul McCartney may have invented rock and roll violin in “Eleanor Rigby,” and Brian Jones was probably the first to use and accordion in a rock song (“Back Street Girl” by the Rolling Stones) but if you ask me, Ms. Lépine has perfected the use of both instruments in rock tunes.

    littlerob

    July 24, 2008 at 6:49 pm

  19. “The theme of the event is exactly that, the celebration of French in North America!

    Yes, it is the commemoration of the founding of Quebec City, but looking at the big picture, it is that city that became the centre of New France and French culture in North America. The two themes you mentioned, the founding of Quebec City and the existence of French in North America are mutually inclusive.
    If Quebec city was not founded, French wouldn’t have existed in North America, and retrospectively, French exists in North America because Quebec City was founded.
    So, frankly, I don’t understand why you fail to see that the entire event should be organised around the French language…”

    Frankly, the only thing that I fail to see is how either you or I are in a position to decide what should and shouldn’t be the theme of the celebration. I acknowledge that your view is shared by some, but for some reason you can’t see how the support from the public for the McCartney concert alone is proof that not everybody agrees.

    RoryBellows

    July 24, 2008 at 7:00 pm

  20. Acajack, mon amour: “You even see this today among a small minority of francophone Quebecers, who will proudly tell you that they ONLY watch American TV, for example. Everything else, without exception, is crap!”

    Right, so it’s a shared problem between the anglosphere and the other -sphere’s. A ton of money goes into those American shows and Hollywood movies, which even the best non-American productions can’t hope to match. And hoi polloi are easily beguiled by the latest explosion; not to mention by the cutthroat professionalism that grows up around a thriving industry like the USA’s.

    If fr-Quebeckers and franco-ontarians are seduced by that dark side in considerable numbers, how can you blame the anglosphere for the same thing?

    In raw statistical terms, btw, it’s a bit unfair to class us worldwide English-speakers with, say, German-speakers. There are a hell of a lot more of us, and “we” are producing in every genre. If Germany could afford to produce huge explosion-filled blockbusters à la Bruckheimer, and do so in sufficient quantity, the German appetite for Angelina Jolie would dry up pretty quick.

    hoo-boy

    July 24, 2008 at 7:18 pm

  21. Geez Hoo boy, you’re going to make me blush! Welcome back, by the way…

    Reading your post, I couldn’t help but think: which came first, the chicken or the egg? Did the anglo entertainment mega-industry create this situation or did they just simply tap into an insularity that was already there?

    In any event, they have been so successful and built up such an uncontested juggernaut in their home base that they can now effectively make incursions elsewhere in the world, which is why this type of mentality is showing up all over the globe, albeit almost always as a minority view.

    Good that you mentioned Jerry Bruckheimer-style explosions. On this, I wonder if eventually the increased accessibility of digital film-making technologies won’t ultimately allow many other countries to challenge Hollywood’s global stranglehold on action-packed blockbusters (and science-fiction as well).

    Acajack

    July 24, 2008 at 8:55 pm

  22. “Good that you mentioned Jerry Bruckheimer-style explosions. On this, I wonder if eventually the increased accessibility of digital film-making technologies won’t ultimately allow many other countries to challenge Hollywood’s global stranglehold on action-packed blockbusters (and science-fiction as well).”

    Really quite simple really.. the technology will advance….ahead of the others to maintain a competitive advantage…as they always have.

    Who put the first man on the moon…who developed the first computer technologies…apple, IBM and others…who developed the first semicondutor which revolutionized electronics.

    Answer the above and the answer will by yours.

    Technology will also solve the language debate..imagine a transducer which can comprehend all the world langauges being implanted and also connected with the body…At this point..different languages will no longer be and issue and any debate will be over.

    Might sound like science fiction. but then again look back 10 years and see what was science fiction at that time.

    ABP

    ABP

    July 24, 2008 at 9:35 pm

  23. @ RoryBellows

    “Frankly, the only thing that I fail to see is how either you or I are in a position to decide what should and shouldn’t be the theme of the celebration. I acknowledge that your view is shared by some, but for some reason you can’t see how the support from the public for the McCartney concert alone is proof that not everybody agrees.”

    I agree, there was definite public support for the McCartney concert. Absolutely.
    However, from my perspective, I never thought of it as just another concert for people to rock on to.
    Given the chronologically unique event, I thought it ought to have strong significance and connection. We could’ve brought in Paul McCartney any day of the year…

    Anyways, I guess we just have to henceforth respectfully disagree with each other, you are certainly entitled to adhere to your opinion, and me mine.

    @ Acajack:

    Thanks for providing me with the link.
    As a new member, I’ve been trying to catch up and read all previous blogs and comments.

    @ AFG:

    C’est génial ce que vous écrivez parfois.
    J’espère que vous continuerez de faire ça… on l’a besoin. Merci d’avance.

    Cancerous

    July 24, 2008 at 9:44 pm

  24. “Acajack–that is indeed what I am suggesting. I base my assertion on a shaky foundation, it is true: the number of comments in English (many from Canadians, apparently) and in broken French to the songs that two of my favorite groups, Les 3 Accords and Les CF, have had posted on YouTube.”

    I base my totally unscientific impressions mostly on people in Eastern Canada, since this is the area where I’ve lived my entire life (in four different provinces).

    Even here, with Quebec right in the middle of the region, there is a good chunk of the population I’d say that has no real idea that there is a distinctive, indigenous francophone “national” culture here that covers everything from pornography to slapstick humor, to musical theatre and classical music. This segment of the population is the one most likely to think that Quebec’s “différence” is totally overblown, and that the Frenchness/uniqueness thing is just a façade designed to extort more money/power out of the ROC. Deep down, a lot of these people suspect that so-called (in their minds) francophone Quebecers trot out their French only to keep up appearances, but that when they’re just between Quebecers, it might just be that seductive English language that they’re speaking. The 270,000 people that attended the Paul McCartney concert in Quebec City only serves to reinforce their view. (Although these people don’t see the tons of other stuff that takes place in French across Quebec every day, because the CBC, CTV and the four American networks never talk about that of course.)

    The second group, larger that the first, knows Quebec a bit better than the first and is fully aware that Quebec’s “différence” exists and is genuine. They just can’t be bothered to take any interest in it. Interestingly enough, this is the group that most bilingual anglos in a province like Ontario (and even most Anglo-Quebecers) would fall into. In theory, the bilingual ones at least can listen to Les Cowboys Fringants and understand pretty much all of the lyrics, but what’s being offered by the anglosphere cultural juggernaut on the other side of the coin is just so all-encompassing that they don’t have any room for what’s being produced in French, and won’t even give it a
    look no matter how good it might be.

    These two groups capture upwards of 95% of the English-speaking population in Eastern Canada I would say. The small remaining portion would be made up of some anglophones of French-Canadian descent whose main language is English but who wish to maintain ties to their cultural heritage.

    Which leaves a tiny group of cultural thrill-seekers who are probably mostly driven by and tickled by the idea that there can exist a viable all-encompassing (from porn to classical music as I mentioned) cultural alternative to the Hollywood juggernaut, in French, in northern North America.

    Acajack

    July 25, 2008 at 9:28 am

  25. ABP “Who put the first man on the moon?”

    Wasn’t it a bunch of expatriate German scientists led by Werner von Braun that allowed the United States’ space program to develop and flourish?

    Acajack

    July 25, 2008 at 9:32 am

  26. “Most of us here in our little English speaking islands have historically found pop music in French insipid; I know I did/do. But I don’t think that Québécois pop is insipid at all; to my (un-artsy) ear, a great many Québec artists have not only mastered rock and roll, they have added elements to it.”

    One of my best friends in university was a born and bred Anglo-Montrealer, who was very, very knowledgeable in modern music genres. He once told me quite assuredly that francophone Quebec had not produced one single musically significant work. Not one. As a francophone totally disconnected from my own heritage at the time, I didn’t really pay much attention to this statement.

    But it certainly did come to mind in later years when I reconnected with francophone culture and got to know Harmonium, Beau Dommage, Paul Piché, Robert Charlebois, etc.

    Acajack

    July 25, 2008 at 9:36 am

  27. “Wasn’t it a bunch of expatriate German scientists led by Werner von Braun that allowed the United States’ space program to develop and flourish?”

    Actually this is somewhat true, and the Canadians who, after the Conservative Government axed the AVRO Arrow program, moved on to NASA.

    But, say what you will, it was NASA and the US who financed the space program and made the “man on the moon” a reality.

    Hmmm, Quebec’s indigineous “national” culture. I certainly think so. The reference to Pornography is interesting, how does Quebec porn differ from the mainstream??, me not being a connosuire of porn?? I didnt think there was many variations or “undulations” in that industry….:):):)

    ABP

    ABP

    July 25, 2008 at 10:11 am

  28. Porn was just an extreme example I was using to show how Quebec’s culture expresses itself at all levels. I am not a consumer of porn either but I do know that there is Quebec-produced porn out there. It differs from, I dunno, U.S. porn in the exact same way that a Quebec sitcom differs from an American one, or a Quebec rock music album differs from U.S. stuff.

    All of this stuff from Quebec is generally for local consumption and predicated on the fact that it will make money in the local market only. In this sense, it differs greatly from so-called “Canadian” movies like Porky’s or TV shows like Stargate SG-1 that are Canadian in name only, and are really American stuff more than anything else.

    Acajack

    July 25, 2008 at 10:25 am

  29. You are correct in the Quebec produced programs are for thier local market. I find them with my limited french definately different. The Quebec sense of humor and that of English Canada is markedly different. Certainly a lot less conservative for sure, which I find kind of entertaining.

    OK on the Porn. I dont know, this might give me a reason (for academic purposes only !!!) to view some of it to determine if there is substantial difference :):) I saw on a TVA documentary ( I think TVA) that Quebec has a rather well developed porn industry.

    “Je viens , Je viens” meme chose comme “I am “c##ming” en angalis. :):)

    Avoir une bonne fin de semaine Acajack.

    ABP

    ABP

    July 25, 2008 at 11:07 am

  30. “One of my best friends in university was a born and bred Anglo-Montrealer, who was very, very knowledgeable in modern music genres. He once told me quite assuredly that francophone Quebec had not produced one single musically significant work. Not one. As a francophone totally disconnected from my own heritage at the time, I didn’t really pay much attention to this statement.

    But it certainly did come to mind in later years when I reconnected with francophone culture and got to know Harmonium, Beau Dommage, Paul Piché, Robert Charlebois, etc.”

    No offense, but I don’t like any of those acts, and yes I have listened to them. That doesn’t mean that I hate French music in general; far from it.
    Quebec Francos aren’t the only producers of French culture in the world, and if a Quebec Anglo doesnt’ particularly care for Robert Charlebois that doesn’t mean that he will only listen to Anglo music. That’s just a baseless assumption.
    Yes I believe that Quebecois culture is unique and diverse at the same time, but just because someone prefers to watch the Simpsons undubbed or Bravo instead of artTV that doesn’t make him a cultural chauvinist.

    VM

    July 25, 2008 at 2:14 pm


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