Wednesday, September 05, 2012

How to be a successful journalist in Canada today

Lie and make shit up.  Well to be precise, lie and make shit up that fits in with the existing conventional wisdom that you've already lied about and made up.

So here is the phrase that is ringing in my ears right now and making me want to drive down to the CBC building and mash my cat's droppings into the keyboard of everyone who had any editorial influence on it being written:

"Language tensions are as common in Montreal as warm bagels."

Excuse me for a moment while I go attend my primal scream therapy class.


Okay, aside from the super-lame and cliched reference to bagels, this statement is just flat out wrong. Language tensions are extremely rare in Montreal.  We pride ourselves on being a mixed-up bunch of polyglots.  There is tension about traffic on the bridges.  There is tension between cars and bikes.  There is tension about parking and snow removal.  When I think about it, Montreal is just not a very tense city.  That's one of the reasons I like it here.  Sure there are little conflicts here and there over language and culture, but no more than in any other Canadian city.  I've seen way more acts of overt racism in Vancouver than I've seen here.

So first of all, this statement is wrong.  It's just made up because it's what the CBC wants the rest of Canada to believe.  But that's not even what makes it so bad.  What makes it so bad is that some nutcase killed a person last night and yelled out "Les anglos se reveillent" (in a québécois accent by the way).  His statement than ties his horrible, insane act to the issue of relations between anglophones and francophones in Quebec.

We still don't know what was going on in this guy's brain, but it is conceivable that he wants to exacerbate these relations.

We don't want this.  We want to get along and exist peacefully with all the different cultures and languages around us.

Don't we?

Well judging by the conversations I have had with my workmates, my basketball buddies and a bunch of people on Twitter, the answer is yes.  The hundreds of people, anglophones, francophones and allophones marching in a candlelight vigil in front of the Metropolis tonight seem to further confirm the desire for us all to live in a peaceful society.

The media doesn't seem to have this same desire.  No, they seem quite excited to take the words of this nutcase and amplify them by making up a version of Montreal where language tensions are a common part of the daily existence.  A teacher friend of mine that I play basketball told me that many students of his 4th grade class asked him if Quebec was going to separate now.  This is what you are doing, Canadian media.  You are freaking out little children by making shit up, sending that message to their parents and then freaking them out.

That is one phrase that I heard while making the mistake of listening to the CBC for 5 minutes.  I can only imagine the bullshit I could have heard on the even more stupid anglo news stations here and god only knows what the rest of the country's shit media is saying.  I already saw an editorial in the Globe and Mail that suggested that it was now Harper's move to counteract the PQ in order to get ahead of them in this big new conflict that was for sure going to happen (at least in this case the majority of commenters called bullshit on that).

So if anyone is reading this out there, please, please, please stop listening to the mainstream media.  CBC, Global, CTV.  All purveyors of lies.

We're doing just fine here.