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Alexandre Champagne June 11, 2012
Original French Text: http://urbania.ca/blog/3150/labsurdite-du-conflit-en-6-points
I am a big fan of absurd things. Humor, moments, people, places, stories. My first reaction facing the things raised by this phenomenon is to laugh. However, for some time the absurdity that rages in the social crisis we are presently experiencing doesn’t make me want to laugh at all. It’s boring, I like to laugh. Here are six examples of things that make me smile.
Madame St-Pierre, you dared to say loud and clear that the red square is a symbol that signifies violence and intimidation. Unfortunately, you are mistaken. It saddens me to see that the person who represents my fellow artists and myself should be caught in a passing, yet easily avoided, moment of stupidity. Open your eyes, patron of the arts, and observe to what extent the majority of people who wear the red square are peaceful. Come take a look around Montreal too and you will discover without a doubt that, more often than not, the unnecessary force doesn’t come from the side of the people who, in a legitimate way, display the symbol that signifies compassion, social awakening and union against the current trouble: your government.
To say that the people who wear the red square incite violence and intimidation, it’s a generalization that comes from a mediocre intellectual level, which is not generally desirable in a minister.
“It’s worse in Syria”
Fuck yeah, it’s worse in Syria. According to experts, this would constitute a reason to stop protesting. According to the same experts, the people who support the movement are terrorists. Sadly, it’s a matter of deficient logic. I would like to see these same experts go explain to the people in Syria that a person protesting peacefully, casserole in hand is a terrorist. To the Palestinians as well, while they’re in the neighborhood.
The concept of terror is subjective. Maybe it takes less for one person to be terrorized than for another, which justifies (moderately well) certain people crying terrorism these days when they see people break windows during a protest. On the other hand, when you are intelligent and you possess a bit of a mind, you know separate things by applying nuances to these matters and you don’t compare the mother of a family beating on a pot to a religious fundamentalist blowing herself up right in the middle of a crowd full of innocent victims.
Grand Prix in Montreal
I love cars in life. Races too. F1, particularly, since I was very small. I’m interested in the speed, the cars’ performances, and the drivers’ skill, the force generated by it all. Deep down, I like it all, except for the cheap commercial circus that comes along with it. But I don’t have deep hatred for it, its just “part of the game”. Let’s say that I don’t think this event pays the most tribute to women either, but, well, that’s another debate.
What makes me want to vomit is the fact that access to any site associated with F1 for the weekend was forbidden to anyone wearing the red square.
That’s not a society that says it respects freedom of expression.
It’s not a society that says it is open, fair and listening to its citizens either.
To privatize a public space and treat inoffensive people like potential terrorists shouldn’t have its place in 2012.
Montreal, you are pitiful when you kneel down in front of the thieves who don’t pay income tax (Bernie Ecclestone) to protect their interests.
Worse that I don’t see anyone say that public security is threatened because the big kids who drive idiotically all around the city during F1 weekend (I know, I’ve lived in Montreal for 26 years and every year it’s the same thing) are really more dangerous than a 56 year-old Louison who wears a red square. Though for them, zero arrests and no one dares to talk about it.
What to say as well about the prostitution network that was squarely imported for the weekend that must pump (lol) cash to finish likewise and this in front of the whole world’s eyes? No arrests, no searches, no inquiry, of course not. Young Mathieu, 19 years old, 120 pounds soaking wet, him, wearing a red square. Quick, let’s associate him with terror.
I would like our next mayor to have a set of balls so he can use them once in a while. That would do some good.
Laurent Proulx fought against the student strike and had the courage to go in front of the tribunals in order to have a court order allowing him to attend one of his courses. The whole pretext that for him it was vital to have access to education for which he had paid money. Legally, it’s passable. I regret that, morally, it isn’t for me.
To top it off, he had to cancel his class due to a lack of time. He would prefer to spend more time working, to be able to make money, to pay for his things, like his studies and acting as the spokesperson for MÉSRQ. Totally legitimate.
The guy has a right to his opinions, he has the right to make the choices that he wants and I respect that but, hey, Laurent, imagine a Quebec without the hike where education is really accessible for everyone. Do you see at which point you won’t have to leave classes because you have to work? Think about that and write to me, if you want, I would be happy to chat amicably.
You compared the student movement the acts of Luka Rocco Magnotta.
I don’t know what to add but I want you to know that I am presently standing on my computer desk applauding you and offering you a statue that I sculpted in your honor because your comparison is majestically ridiculous. More like a white swan that spreads its wings while making love to a multi-ethnic marriage proposal. That’s fucking majestic, dude.
The silent majority
This group of people, who have neither a voice nor a face, whose intentions we sometimes presume to know. Like for example, “That’s what the silent majority think”, “The silent majority believes that…”, “The silent majority has spoken”.
No way. The silent majority is nothing. It’s some wind. It’s a shitty argument that arrives at the moment when there is nothing intelligent or concrete to say. The silent majority, these are the people of who profit from the advantages won during battles delivered by a minority against “the establishment”. Like vultures who wait to settle down for a feast that the lions have arduously hunted for hours under a blazing sun. But we don’t care, we do it for you. You will thank us tomorrow.
The silent majority, it’s like the special law, we don’t give a fuck.
What delights me is seeing people taking a position, talking, exchanging, discussing. As much on one side as the other. We oppose ideas, we try to go somewhere more interesting than now and that’s nice.
What keeps me optimistic in the face of the conflict is that instead of opposing reds and greens in my head I prefer to imagine them in the same boat, rowing in every direction with all their might to escape the liberal storm ready to descend upon their heads.
It’s a little hippie, I know. But it’s my father’s fault. I am sure that if he had enrolled me in hockey I would’ve been a little less soft.
Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.
*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English. These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at email@example.com. Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.