Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A message to the Anglo Community


Right now, I should be doing one of two things.

One, I should be working on a certain screenplay, because I am in negotiations to option it to a producer.

Two, I should be getting some sleep, because I have work in a few scant hours.

Instead, I am doing something out of a sense of civic duty. It is an unwholesome feeling and I cannot recommend against it enough.

There are some among us, including myself, who have recently been banished as fringe elements, from the ranks and privileges of the Facebook group of the Liberal Party of Canada.

Our expulsion was due for many reasons. These included posting the simple facts as seen from the front line on Quebec’s War on Anglos. This underreported and ongoing campaign of ethnic cleansing by attrition has continued to be ignored by the Liberal Party. They have ignored us and they have denied us, by silencing the voices raised in dissent of that Official Party Line.

Sit back and contemplate that Machiavellian concept a moment, then we shall continue.

The Liberals have long since become our alleged last best hope. But let us face the truth: neither in the ranks of the Provincial nor the Federal Liberals are there any Anglophone Quebecers to be seen nor heard. If they are there, they are silent, token chair moisteners for the most cynical of reasons. Beyond these harem castratos, we have no voice in government.

Nor have we any true presence of note in Federal or Provincial civil service, though we do come close with a few Ottawa transplants living in the City Formerly Known as Hull.

The death of Hull for the rise of Gatineau is one of the most flagrant examples of the cultural erasure of the Anglophone Communities of Quebec. Our schools, our churches, our temples have been closed. Our municipal services have dried up, and good luck finding much English text at the UQAM Library. Oh, it may be available, but it’s certainly not available to nous, les autres. We would be auslander—I’m sorry, I meant l’etranger, and not in any Bohemian Paris Anais Nin kind of way.

How many of our neighbourhoods have buildings where our parents and grandparents once went to school, where they played, where they grew up and fell in love, buildings that are closed to us and our children? How many of these buildings still retain any benefit to our community? Sun Youth, to be sure, but who else? How many of us have alma maters that no longer exist? How many of our schools have been erased? How many of us didn’t even get to graduate from one school because it was closed and we were shipped off to another school?

After the 1995 referendum, how many of our hospitals were closed in unnecessary reprisal cuts? What is often never said about the goddamn health care crisis in Quebec is that it was Parizeau, Landry, Marois and Harel who created the crisis to begin with, laying off nurses, forcing doctors to retire or move out of province and closing scores of hospitals.

And let us not forget Louise Harel’s language Gestapo, what she turned the Office de la Langue Francaise into, that saw attacks on Greek, Jewish and Chinese businesses in their respective communities. The response from our so called community was pathetic, at best: a bunch of mumbling passive aggressive yuppies banded together to strut and fret their hour for the camera and sound-bites on CJAD.

What we need, ladies and gentlemen, is true leadership. Not the blunt aggressiveness of Howard Galganov, and certainly not the passive aggressive smile-for-the-camera-boys photo op of Alliance Quebec.

What we need is to unite our diverse communities, Black, Jewish, Muslim, Italian, Mohawk, Innu, Greek, Asian, Catholic, Protestant, Irish, Scot, English, Polish, Ukrainian, Hindu, Sikh, and all those I have failed to mention, to get each and every English-speaking natural-born and immigrant citizen of Quebec, starting in Montreal and growing outwards to all our community strongholds, and join together to speak—and vote—with one voice.

We need to do this with plain talk about hard facts. We need to do this by putting truth to the lies told to cover up our ongoing deletion. Oppressed minorities the world over have only ever garnered sympathy or attention when they united, when the cried out with one voice. Even as our heritage, cultures, histories and communities continue to be eroded by the Franco-supremacist laws and attitudes, there are groups who compare the Francophone Quebecer to the Tibetans and the Chechens, even to the Palestinians and Darfur.

Not only is that attitude insulting to the Anglophones of Quebec given the scourging of the last 40 years, but it is extremely offensive to the Tibetan, Palestinian, Chechen and Darfur refugees, and all those who have suffered under such brutal oppression.

In no way can we compare ourselves to these communities, either. However, in no way are we the best-treated minority in the world, as the Separatists like to claim. What outreach to the English-speaking Quebecers have the Francophone communities ever made? What outreach from either successive Liberal or Pequiste governments have we been offered? We have been wholeheartedly rejected by the Power Elite in Quebec.

Likewise, what has been offered us from Canada? What have the Federal Liberals done for us? The last constitutional crisis in Canada was set off by the ineptitude of the Conservatives under the flailing Lyin’ Brian Mulroney. His disastrous and patently absurd Meech Lake accords were the genesis of the Bloc Quebecois, who broke away from the Tories.

It is time we united our communities and did the same. We will offer the hand of friendship to those in Francophone Quebec who offer it. We will likewise do the same for those from the so-called Rest of Canada who do the same. But it is time to rebuke those who have rejected and denied us. It is time to stand up against all those who have failed us in Ottawa and in Quebec City.

We must unite our communities under the banner of our own political party, both Provincial and Federal. We must strive to take enough votes away from the other parties to ensure that no majority government can be formed, and that our so-called “traditional allies” in Parliament and Provincial Assembly cannot hope to form a coalition without us.

Our democratic rights have been stolen from us. We must therefore seize them back, and the best way to return democratic force to our communities is to elect enough representatives to office to ensure our voice is heard and our rights and heritage protected.

All it took to defeat Meech Lake were a handful of no votes. That’s all that kept the separatists from stealing the referendum in 1995. Let us make our voices be heard, again.

But how? Oh, I have read that phrase in all its splendid forms these last several hours, as I read group messages and message board threads, wall posts and weblogs. Thou fools, you cannot see the forest for the trees!

We have Facebook groups. We have weblogs. We have message boards, we have email. We have Google, Wikipedia, we have radio-bloody-phone-in shows, newspapers, spraypaint and blank walls, printers, faxes, stores and shops, schools and churches, and yet you all scratch your heads and wonder how to do it?

We are the voices of our community! Join Montreal Hellenic Society Facebook groups. Join Montreal Jewish Facebook groups. Join the Asian groups, the Black groups, the Queer groups and every other goddamn English-speaking Montreal or Quebec-oriented internetz group you can fucking find! Talk to people who are ready to speak to their communities! Talk to students at McGill, Concordia, at Bishop’s, at Dawson and Marianapolis, at John Abbott; talk to people at the fucking Fairview Mall parking lot if that’s what it takes!

The price of failure to act is nothing short of our erasure from Quebec culture and history. They’ve already taken away most of our topography. How long before Valleyfield is renamed, or Sherbrooke Street overwritten? How long before another school closes, another friend or family member moves west, or south?

Our communities must unite, and take back what is ours. But it starts with us reaching out to one another. It starts with us.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The long awaited update on everything, well almost.

So, this was to have been a very busy weekend for me, originally. Certainly, it was to have been a better one.

CONFRONT Magazine was supposed to have a staff meeting / house party, hosted by Angel and me. I would have gone to the Cafe for a day, as usual, to work on and hopefully finish the second act of the screenplay adaptation of Oh Well, Whatever, Nevermind. I was also supposed to finish going over the option agreement and draft up a list of my proposed conditions, and I was supposed to finish transcribing my interview recordings with Empire Isis, for CONFRONT Magazine, as well.

Yeah, none of that happened.

At some point in the last seven days, I got infected with a particularly nasty strain of the flu. Since Thursday I've been sick, with Friday and Saturday being particularly hellish. I'm still sick, still not feeling well, still need at least another day's bedrest, but tomorrow I've got to be back at work, at the paying job.

The problem with the paying job right now, is that I'm STILL the only fucking person there who has full knowledge of the general operations software now running our sales and sales finance departments. For the last three months I've come in no matter what, because there's never been time to train anyone else (Christ knows why no one else was trained when I was--that was a colossal error in judgment). Now in all that time, I've thrown my back out three times and alternately I've been progressively sick, sicker and sickest. Still, I've dragged myself in to work. The one time I tried to show initiative and advance the training myself, I was reprimanded for "acting unilaterally". I stayed home one day the last time I was sick and spent most of the day asleep--except for the two times people had to call me because they couldn't figure anything out despite the detailed instructions I had written months ago, as a precaution.

But, I digress.

I've not managed to get anything done this weekend other than cough, sneeze, blow my noze hack up scary looking shit, freeze, be too warm, sleep fitfully and pop cold tablets that did sweet fuck all. The one time I did manage to try and focus on getting work done, I was in too much pain to maintain.

And tomorrow I'm supposed to go in to work?

I need sleep.

More soon...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Say "Good Morning!"

I will post about the progress with the screenplay this weekend. For now, here is a word from the DAAQ:

Press Release: March 12, 2009

Say Good Morning!

The D.A.A.Q. is encouraging Anglophones province wide, to say "Good Morning!"

Despite the provincial government's continued disregard of Quebec's Anglophone population, and its disposition toward Anglophones as an inconvenience, we will not be saying say "Bonjour" in our communities. It is not our language. Until Quebec society as a whole accepts our equal and inalienable right to not only maintain but to perpetuate our language, our multiple cultures and our shared heritage as part of Quebec, we of the Anglo Community should protest in the most effective way possible: by refusing to use the sole official language of Quebec, except with our own Francophone families, or when professionally necessary. Until we enjoy our full and equal rights under the law we must reject the French-Language Charter. This civil disobedience is the best way to demonstrate our presence, our unity and our demand for our rights.

Despite thirty years of the best efforts of linguistic xenophobia and state-sponsored discrimination, our community will not go quietly into the unending night. Quebec is as much our birthright, our home, as it is our Francophone neighbours. We are as much a part of Quebec society as you. You expect your language, culture and heritage to be respected; respect is a double-edged sword. For generations we have done our utmost to respect you, as our neighbours, as our fellow citizens. It is you who have continually rebuffed us.

As we said, respect is a double-edged sword. We have shown you the utmost respect. You have shown us none. The Anglophone Community must therefore respect ourselves and reject you, until we are accepted as an equal partner in Quebec Society, with all the rights and privileges that the Francophone Community expects for itself.

We have embraced the language of our neighbours, and are overwhelmingly bilingual. In all of Canada, we are the culture with the highest instance of bilingualism. We will not be shamed out of speaking our language. Nor will we be intimidated. We have integrated into Quebec Society, but we will not be assimilated.

We will send our children to English school. We will not allow the government to deny us the right to educate them in the language of their birth. And we will fight, not just for our children, but for the right of all to be educated by the system that will allow them the greatest chance of success.

We will not allow the language we speak to be used to deny us our full rights as citizens of Canada and people of Quebec. Nor will we be made to fear speaking our language publicly. We will defend ourselves against the ethnic cleansing by attrition that has withered our community for far too long. And if Quebec Society refuses to accord us all that is our due as taxpayers and Quebecers, and if the Canadian Government refuses to defend us in the face of such blatant and criminal denial of our rights, then we will shame Quebec, and we will shame Canada to the world; we will denounce our mistreatment before Washington, before the capitals of the European Union, with our trading partners in Asia and the South Pacific. We will expose the bigotry and the state-sponsored ethnic cleansing of Quebec.

To the Nationalist Elite, to the Linguistic Hard-Liners, to our so-called leaders both Provincial and Federal, we will greet you with a happy smile and open heart. But we will greet you by saying “Hello”, or “Good Morning”. We will offer you a “Good Afternoon” and “Good Evening”, but we will not say “Bonjour”. Until now we have shown you all the courtesy you have not shown us. From now until it is reciprocated, we will instead show you all the courtesy that you have shown us. We are open to change, but only once we are met as equals. Until then, “Have a Nice Day.”

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Report to the Reader(s)

So, I should have written this update a week ago, but I've been busy. I'm putting all other projects on hold right now, you see, in order to concentrate on adapting Oh Well, Whatever, Nevermind for the screen.

I'm talking with someone about the screenplay...hopefully about to settle the contractual details. As soon as I've something to present, I'll be looking for someone to start hyping the project up (and helping me wade through the various Canadian and Quebec grant applications, and the like. It is my intention to help see the movie made.

Everyone knows I'm a huge sci-fi geek at heart, and to be honest that is what I would like to ultimately do: see a Genre story of mine up on the screen. Not necessarily "The Unearthing"; in fact I'd rather see an entirely different Genre project of mine put onscreen.

I've been having marathon writing sessions at the Cafe, and trying to squeeze in writing every night. Tonight's the first time this week I'm not going to at least scratch out a few lines before bed. I've wanted to update the weblog for quite some time! The only reason I'm managing to get to it now is because I know damn well that tomorrow I'll be gone writing.

However, last week I killed myself wiping out on ice and sluge on Metro stairs. In the process I really, really sprained my ankle...and threw my back out. So, going to work and commuting by bus and metro, most of the time as a Human sardine, I've been in all kinds of pain. Well, I started taking something new for my back (and as I refuse to endorse a pharmaceutical I will not name any brand or chemical name) and that helped almost immediately. Sadly, my ankle, which had had little attention paid to it all week because of my back, has decided to make up for lost time. I'm hobbling.

But the screenplay, in spit of the adversity attending its birth, is coming along well!