Le Monde Selon Le Kount Kazmier
My time has come to an end in Montreal and I just want to pontificate
My take on Montreal is that it is a very interesting city with a very interesting history. While studying a new area I am always amazed with my ignorance of history especially concerning other countries.
I think the most wonderful thing about Montreal is the French and English-speaking folks basically get along even though their history has not. They have found ways to put things together against tremendous odds. Oh yes there are still problems which I will speak of here shortly but overall Montreal is a perfect example of what America is about. A multicultural salad where ideas and beliefs can be exchanged to grow into a vibrant creative society.
Canadians seem to me to keep themselves separate from the US but realize they can't help but be culturally dragged along with us. Even the Francophones get dragged along with us. The only strong criticism I heard from the Canadians about the states was concerning our (US) gun laws They are very proud and I was surprised to find out how many famous entertainers/musicians were from Canada. They certainly know who is Canadian and who is not. (I guess someone has to keep track)
The French controlled government is trying very hard to legislate culture. It is only effective in creating a French Façade in a bilingual city that is quite charming to visiting Americans but really cost them a lot of money. For instance they have a language police that insures all signs in the Province are in French. They have even gone so far as to trying to have companies change their names to some thing French. (See the picture I sent) I wonder if the culture they are trying to save is French or French Canadian I don't know
When I was in Quebec City studying a bit of Quebec history it was evident by they way they presented the history that they still feel occupied by the English and want their autonomy. I really think that if the French culture were to be destroyed in a big bang it would have happened two hundred and fifty years ago. But it seems their argument is that their culture is getting watered down. I think there is no other option. All cultures are going to get watered down and will someday melt into the one culture of the world. Granted it will be a very long time from now. With the age of Information in its infancy, the world's cultures are already starting to melt into each other. And one can spend all their resources trying to save a complete culture but ultimately it won't work. If parts of a culture are not viable those particular parts will be transformed into a new ones. I have to admit I don't really like that idea but I don't think I have a choice. The really strong points of a culture will always exist I can't imagine a world without certain cultural ideas but the culturally weak ideas will just fade away in some deconstructive vapor.
I really like the French Canadian thing but hey I am not paying for it personally the bilingual thing fascinates me and wish I were part of it.
A la prochaine,
Le Monde Selon le Kount Kazmier part 2
It's 1:28 PM Sunday June 4, 2000 Wichita Kansas
The above statement has created some controversy and I feel
like I need to modify my stance concerning my statement, "All
cultures are going to get 'watered down' and will someday melt
into the one culture of the world."
I am not a fortuneteller so I really can't guarantee the latter statement. But I do need to clarify that I believe the human condition has this tendency That is to water itself down. The separation of cultures creates a natural force, which enables cultures to evolve in very disparate ways. Culture follows the same rules of evolution as "the species". We can see that separate ecosystems like Galapagos and Mozambique have evolved dramatically away from the mainland. Culturally speaking if you can maintain a separate culture then you can evolve in your own direction. This is exactly what Quebec is trying to accomplish (An impossible task do to the physical location of their culture)
The question is do we culturally water our self down? When I was younger I would have asked you, "what are you talking about? No everything seems new and fresh to me." But as I age, I have a different vantage point and see ideas much more in terms of its genealogy. And although new things are created, I personally am a bit frustrated with most because I am able to trace its origins. Only the extreme creative things obscure their influences. So unfortunately I see things being 'watered down.'
A toast to culture,
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