The New Conservative Cultural Policy

A nice commentary on the Conservatives’ recently announced changes to government support of the arts. A phoque is not a phoque

Eso sería bueno-- Si hablé Francés.

A nice commentary except for those of us (most) who can’t speak fucking French. But, hey, bummer about the arts (or something). Those dicks!

It’s not a nice commentary. It’s an embarrassing attempt to denigrate English Canadians, including me. (Although I studied French in high school and understood most of the script.)

This is a disingenuous piece of BQ propaganda shit. Nothing else. If a similar anti-French piece of shit existed it would have major repercussions. But apparently making fun of the English in Canada is now OK.

Phoque you. Assholes.

You can get English subtitles by turning on Closed Captions in this link.

I took it as not denigrating the English but the Conservative/ex-Reform “Family Values” types that prompted the policy change in the first place.

What is the point of this except as Leaffan said to insult Anglophone Canada for our dastardly lack of speaking French, and to feel sorry for the poor, down-trodden Francophones?

Only an attempt? Jeeze, I manage to SUCCESSFULLY denigrate Canadians, English AND French speaking, all the time. What’s wrong with those losers? And why get all a-flitter about it? They’re just Canadians. Be like an American and ignore them. (BIG :wink: )

Blah blah blah, Stephen Harper is just like the Americans, blah blah blah. It’s pointless and dumb. And I understood every word.

Sadly, this is what passes for political debate these days. There’s no discussion of issues, priorities, and facts. It comes down to “Harper is a Nazi,” “Dion is a wimp,” “Layton is a jerk.”

So . . . he sings a song about a seal (phoque) and the government people think he said fuck, because they (inexplicably, since they were all presumably nine-year-olds at one time) don’t know that the French word for a seal sounds like fuck in English.

Sorta dumb.

But nicely filmed.

Jesus Murphy ! is everybody having a humongous brain fart or did you get up this morning and left your brain on neutral ? It is NOT a French-English thing ! If the ad was made for the English market, I would have no problem if instead of Michel Rivard, you had Rick Mercer or Margaret Atwood and if all the bureaucrats were French-speaking. It is about decisions being made by incompetents, affecting the competents.

Huh. I guess if they wanted to obviously make it about something, they shouldn’t have made it so that it looked like something that is, was, and forever will be a hot-button issue in Canada.

Did anybody notice the prominently-displayed pictures to the rear of the horn-rimmed glasses bureaucrat that showed Stephen Harper against a backdrop of American flags? Look closely at 2:38 and 2:52 of the video, and you’ll see them.

This video is disgusting. I can only hope that it was produced by a fringe element in Quebec that is unaware of contemporary Canadian mores; or is aware and just trying to stir up stuff. It certainly doesn’t portray the Canada I’m familiar with.

That’s what I understood, as well.

Le Ministre already linked to this video (the shorter version actually; I linked to the long one) in a [thread=484905]recent thread[/thread]; there was some discussion there. Needless to say, this is a hilarious video and if you don’t like it, you have no sense of humour. Sorry to say so, but you just don’t. And if you think it insults English Canadians, you don’t know what an insult is. Sure, it brings to light the fact that for Quebec artists, trying to get subventions from organizations based in the rest of Canada and run by people who don’t know anything about Quebec culture other than poutine and Céline Dion can be a difficult process – notice the complete lack of reaction by the judges when Rivard says he’s a well-known artist, he certainly is in Quebec but who knows who he is in the rest of Canada; and if I want to bore you I could tell you an hilarious and recent anecdote about Claude Dubois – but you can make the argument that any Canadian artist can face these difficulties. And see how the judges get angry when Rivard mentions The Beatles? Is anyone claiming that Quebecers love The Beatles but English Canadians hate them? Of course not! It’s the Conservatives – or an hilariously exagerated portrayal of “conservatives”, anyway – this video is mocking, not English Canadians. (Also note the portrait of Josée Verner, who certainly isn’t an English Canadian, in the back.)

Yeah, well, this is the only thing that bothered me a little with the video, since it does look a bit anti-American. But you know what? Even though I consider myself pro-American and the anti-Americanism is one of the things I dislike the most in the Canadian (and Quebec) political left, I didn’t let this ruin my appreciation of this video. In fact, even though I’m personally happy with the result of this election, I agree with the Conservatives on many points, and I’m not even sure the federal government should even be giving subventions for culture (which is a provincial responsibility), I still thought the video was great. It’s possible to enjoy great political satire even if you don’t agree with the politics.

I’ll reiterate what I said in the other thread: people who have made Don Cherry into a national hero (isn’t he the second greatest Canadian of all time, according to the CBC?) have lost the right to complain that they’re being mocked. Especially when they aren’t.

My sense of humour is just fine, thank you. This video is divisive and horribly rude. Maybe it plays a lot funnier in Quebec.

This could have been political satire if such a large component of it wasn’t the language issues. Turning the English speakers in the video into arrogant, bumbling idiots elevates it into a little gem of racism rather than just political satire. You may notice that most of the Anglophone Canadians responding here are disgusted by this video. You might want to consider why that is, if it’s just the hilarious little political satire you think it is.

I should thank the person who brought this to my attention, though. I knew there was still a lot of division on language issues in Canada, but I didn’t realize that Francophones hated Anglophones so much.

I’m glad I decided to post this in the Pit :rolleyes:.

Look, I’m an Anglophone living in Ontario. I don’t agree with the “The English hate us and want to destroy us” attitude of many Francophones. I DON’T see that here - I see a Francophone produced satirical commentary on a blinkered mindset towards the arts, a mindset that doesn’t even recognize that proper evaluation of a song in a different language might require a panel that actually speaks the language, rather than one that exemplifies “right thinking” moral values as all that is required for good judgement. The language confusion is used as only one element to highlight the lack of awareness of the panel.

And it’s damned funny!

There’s one thing that I’m willing to concede to you: there is a reason why the judges in the video speak English instead of French, and it’s not just because it’s funnier to have people who can’t understand what Rivard is saying. To a lot of people on the Quebec left, social conservatism, and more precisely the Evangelical Protestant religious right, is an ideology that is not native to Quebec, but being imposed on us from outside. And when you’re in Quebec, “outside” is of course in English. So I would argue that the anglophone judges in the video don’t represent “English Canada” per se, but rather Alberta.

Like it or not, featherlou, your province will always be seen by non-Albertan Canadians as redneck heaven, full of yee-haw cowboys, creationist fundies in the best tradition of the American Republican base, and filthy rich oilmen who think culture is for fucking pinkos. Yeah, I know it’s unfair and Alberta isn’t really like that, but that’s what a stereotype is and humour plays on stereotypes. Do you think an English Canadian comedian who made a skit about Quebec being this haven of ethnic and cultural toleration populated by hard-working people who are a strong asset to Canada would be funny? Of course not. In stereotype-land, francophone Quebecers are French-Canadians, and French-Canadians are lazy, drunk, poor, semi-retarded and racist Catholics. That’s what funny, and the fact that Quebec is currently a have-not province economically speaking certainly doesn’t help dispel the stereotype. But I accept the existence of the stereotype (and presumably its use in humour, and even in serious discussion judging from the comments on the blogs and message boards I frequent) even if it’s far from gratifying for my people.

Of course the video isn’t politically correct. But what good humour is? I find it surprising that conservatives such as you and Leaffan are “disgusted” by this video, especially since it’s usually conservatives who complain that political correctness is destroying our society. I guess that doesn’t work when people are being politically incorrect against them.

Not Bookkeeper or Le Ministre de l’au-delà, however.

“Hate”? You have a wide definition of hate. I certainly don’t hate anglophones, but judging from the same comments I often read on blogs and message boards, and even in the mainstream English Canadian press, I think it’d be understandable if I thought that English Canadians hate francophone Quebecers. But I don’t even think that. I just think you’re irritated by the fact that we’re not being what you think we should be in your “ideal” little version of Canada.

Anyway, I don’t see any hate here, just humour. And don’t tell me your people don’t do the same thing with us because I know it’s wrong.

Oh, no, you don’t hate us. You like francophones outside of Quebec all right, since they act the way francophone Canadians should act. Francophone Quebecers aren’t being the little poutinethnics that they should be, though, with their claims that they’re a majority (one of the constituent nations of Canada, even) and that they’re a multicultural society, and you don’t like that, but that doesn’t rise to hate or wanting to destroy us. Except that if francophone Quebecers were what you want them to be, I’d probably say that Quebec is “destroyed”.

Oh, and two more things:

I already said that the anti-Americanism is sort of a turn-off to me, but in this video it’s just part of the stereotype that’s being lampooned so I find it funny anyway. But given the amount of English Canadian humour that’s based on mocking Americans and especially their ignorance of (English) Canada, I don’t think you have the moral high ground here.

What does the Bloc have to do with the price of tea in China? This is certainly an anti-Conservative message, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the Bloc; Jean Charest, the premier of Quebec, even said he was okay with it as part of the political dialogue in this election, and you know he certainly isn’t a Bloc sympathizer. Heck, you could argue that it’s a piece of NDP propaganda if you wanted.

Hypnagogic Jerk, maybe this would be more in line with what they expect from Québec ? (BTW I’m Francophone and I think this video is hilarious, so who has a sense of humour now ?)

I agree with this, to an extent, except that I would say that the judges are meant to be Conservatives, rather than specifically Albertans.

I’m an Anglophone from Alberta, born and raised. It has been my experience that the stereotype is occasionally (maybe even frequently) spot on, just for the record. But, I don’t think that’s the issue here, as again, in my view, the video was about the mindset regarding arts and culture exhibited by the current Conservative power base.

As well, I do believe it could be difficult for anglophones from around the country to fully understand québécois culture. I also think that there are those who erroneously believe québécois culture is virtually identical to anglophone culture, just en français. That’s why I thought the video was an important commentary on the folly of the cultural policy.

Hey, now. There are anglophones who believe the above claims, and have no problem with them, thank you very much. Please don’t assume that just because someone speaks English that they believe exactly the same things as all other English speakers.