Bury the Lede
December 15, 2010 1 Comment
And so the debate continues…
Was there enough Francophonie content or not enough?
The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games Opening Ceremonies are under fire, yet again. Because some dude named ‘Graham Fraser’ said a few people complained there wasn’t a proper representation of French Canada. It wasn’t bilingual enough.
You kidding me, right?
You spent how many millions of hard earned Canadian tax dollars in hard economic times to come up with a report that said the majority of the complaints (36 of the 48 allowable complaints) you got about the Olympics were that the Opening Ceremonies didn’t have enough French Canadian content?
Seriously now: FUCK OFF.
I am left bouche-bée honestly with such political idiocy.
Because the people who are doing most of the bitching… are the Canadian politicians.
“… Premier Jean Charest and other politicians were quick to criticize the event, angry comments flooded online news stories and one newspaper headline declared: French as Rare as Snow in Vancouver…
…Federal Heritage Minister James Moore said: “there should have been more French, just period, full stop …“
And a few French speaking people who may have chosen to ignorantly not speak English as a reflection of their ‘individuality’ and cultural identity.
What pisses me off is that no one actually can say what wasn’t FRENCH enough.
No one is giving examples.
They just claim “the cultural content didn’t reflect the host country.”
That’s because the cultural components were mostly in English.
Let me ask you a question:
Do you know who these artists are?
Les Cowboys fringants?
Les Trois accords?
Do you recognize any of the above artists as CANADIAN having any international acclaim on the world scene? Would you want unknowns to represent you?
But the world knows the names of …
… who are easily identifiable as Canadian.
There was plenty of bilingual content during the Opening Ceremonies, where all formalities were in the two official languages, satisfying the IOC mandate and the official bilingual mandates of our country. World audiences complained the cultural content was dry as it is… imagine having to make the world listen to a bunch of Québecois version of French? Even most of the French speaking world have a hard time understanding Québecois. Not saying some of their artists aren’t any good (because there are some great French artists) but if already had the attention span of the international audience members holding on by a string… surely we would have lost them.
Sorry though, the entertainment didn’t have Québec front and centre… as they like to think they are THE only province deserving any notoriety in Canada. The fact is: Québec pissed off that artist Garou was the last performer of the evening/Opening Ceremony… rather than the first. Deal with it. Sorry you didn’t get the international ego boost you so desperately crave in order to justify your need to separate from Canada. The Olympics was not the platform to do it, nor showcasing your artists as top-notch goods the way to go. Know your audience. Choose your platform. Marketing 101.
The Opening Ceremonies were closely watched by La Francophonie, an international organization who was there to monitor French at the Games. Their whole mission is to promote the French language as an international language AND the promotion of worldwide cultural and linguistic diversity in the era of economic globalization.
In a separate report from La Francophonie’s Pascal Chouchepin (former Swiss President) stated Canada’s performance on bilingualism at the Games set a new gold standard for the Olympics.
Couchepin said he was pleased with the amount of French, and said he wasn’t bothered by the opening ceremonies. Still, he said he could understand why Canadian Francophones were offended, and chalked up the controversy to Canada’s struggle with its dual French and English cultures. “It is an internal and political question, revealed by the Olympic Games, but having nothing to do with them,” he wrote in French.
To finish this all off, I couldn’t agree more with this journalist’s opinion of the issue in this published article which are in line with Couchepin’s view, shared by many, including myself:
“(…) Canada’s bilingualism policy is for Canada to decide, not to be judged by playing to the motley chorus of world opinion. Self abnegation may pass for serious purpose in Ottawa, but it finishes out of the medals in everyday Canada which found unity in the Vancouver Olympics. The only golden opportunity missed was in not cancelling Fraser’s funding for this report.”