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Tonight’s 2014 Bye-Bye Celebration (#132)

This will be a quick post…  (Lots to get ready for New Years tonight!  Just drove back 5 hours from Banff and Calgary, things to arrange here in Vegreville, then off to Edmonton in a few hours for New Years, taking buddies to the airport tomorrow morning, then I fly back to Toronto on the 2nd… Phew!   The next post may not be for a couple more days).

It has become a huge tradition in Québec to watch the annual Bye-Bye comedy celebration on Radio-Canada.  It’s a comedy show which people watch in the hour running up to midnight.  When people are celebrating New Years at home with family and friends on New Years Eve, it’s almost a guarantee that the Bye-Bye will be playing on the TV screen (if not taking centre-stage in the room, it will at least in the background).  Everything comes to a full-stop the seconds before midnight for the final countdown as everyone turns their heads to the TV and raises their glasses of bubbly (just as many people in the US watch the apple drop in on TV in New York, or others in Anglophone Canada watch the major fireworks live on various stations).

In 2013, almost 4,000,000 people in Québec (and elsewhere in Canada) watched it (with over 5,300,000 overall viewers, including later re-broadcasts on the web, etc.).   That makes it one of the most watched annual television programs in Canada.

It’s in French, of course.  If you’re a learner of French, the style of speaking might be a little quick, and a little bit “slangy”, with fair doses of Joual.  But even if you’re a beginner learning French, give it a shot… the comedic scenes which you can watch sometimes carry the punch-lines in and of themselves.

There are going to be some major cast changes in this year’s Bye-Bye.  Louis Morissette and Véronique Cloutier will not be part of the cast, but Morissette will nonetheless be a producer of the show (so it’s guaranteed to be funny).

Here are some links to articles with info on tonight’s show:

The last link above has Radio-Canada’s entire New Years Eve line up (I’m providing the Radio-Canada line-up since it’s watched more on New Years Eve than the TVA line-up… plus everyone in Canada, regardless if you live on any of the three coasts, all gets Radio-Canada and the Bye-Bye).   Check out the last link… there are a number of New Years specials you can watch all evening.

  • The Bye-Bye starts tonight at 11:00pm in your own time zone (regardless of which of Canada’s five time zones you live in).
  • There are re-runs on January 1st at 9:00pm on Radio-Canada.  
  • If you’re not in Canada or are not in front of the TV, you can watch the Bye-Bye live online at the official website (Canada’s Ontario/Québec Eastern Standard Time zone, same time as US Eastern Standard Time, ie: New York).

The official Bye-Bye website is:  http://ici.radio-canada.ca/tele/bye-bye/2014/

I’m unfortunately not going to be able to catch it tonight (I have four different house parties in Edmonton tonight), but hopefully you’ll have the chance to check it out.   If it’s you’re first Bye-Bye, you’ll be in for something very special and quite unique.   Enjoy it!  It has become a BIG part of Québec’s and Canada’s culture — and thus yours’ too!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Will see you in 2015!


Patrice L’Écuyer (#118)

This is the 5th post in the series “Qui êtes-vous?”.  I continue to write this series while on the road (I left Montréal this morning after meetings and catching up with a few friends for a couple of days, and I just arrived in Québec City where I’ll be for a few days for work stuff).

I lucked out with an Amazing 26th floor hotel room view of Québec City; great views of the old city, the St. Lawerence and another view looking West. 

Htl vw 1 Htl vw 2

… and a perfect perch in Place Royal Square from where to write this post (this is the spot where Québec City was founded in 1608, and where Canada’s first government was established, as well as for all of New France – from here down to Louisiana).


Back to the post at hand…

Patrice L’Écuyer is a famous television game show host, variety show host and actor.  He used to even have his own late night talk show, named “L’Écuyer”, in a David Letterman-like style (from 1995 to 2002 on Radio-Canada).

For Anglophones, his last name might be a little more difficult to pronounce.  “L’Écuyer” is pronounced Lay-Cwee-Yay.

As part of his acting career, he was a co-actor with a couple of other people mentioned in this same series of posts; with Marina Orsini in “Lance et compte”, & “Filles de caleb”, and with Dominique Michel in “Le Bye-Bye 1988” (the annual televised New Year’s send-off comedy show).  He also appeared in other Bye-Bye celebrations (one of the most-watched television programs of the entire calendar year).   He is one of the main actors in the very popular TV drama series Unité 9 (it was this past year’s most watched TV drama series… click here for the former post on this subject).

Being a game-show host has added to his notoriety (think of him as being the Drew Carey, or Alex Trabec of Montréwood).  He hosted the game shows “Détecteurs de mensonges”, “l’Union fait la force”, “Qui l’eût cru” (this last one is a good grammar sentence if your French is at an intermediate level 😉 )… and he’s currently hosting the after-school game show “Des squelettes dans le placard” (Squeletons in the Closet) on Radio-Canada.

If you want to work on improving your listening skills of informal street-level French, perhaps check out “Des squellettes dans le placard” on weekday late afternoons (currently in its 9th season).   The idea of the game show is to have several celebrity guests each tell an absurd, and sometimes difficult-to-believe story.  But out of all the stories, only one is actually true – you have to guess who is telling the true story (those who have the most correct guesses then win).    See if you can follow the stories – sometimes they can be quite funny (I would assume this could be a great way for you to practice your French if you’re at an intermediate level – and the show airs across Canada).  The show’s website can be viewed by clicking HERE.

Another game show he currently hosts is “Le moment de vérité” (The Moment of Truth), again on Radio-Canada (currently in its 5th season).  This game show has more of a reality-TV element to it.   Participants are grouped into teams, and they are given a week to accomplish difficult tasks.  At the end of the week, they are brought into the studio and have to finish the tasks during the final taping.   The show’s official website can be viewed by clicking HERE

Patrice l’Écuyer’s latest variety show is “Prière de ne pas envoyer de fleurs” (Please Do Not Send Flowers).   Celebrities are invited to the program so they can “die”… well… not really die, but fictitiously die.   Their friends, colleagues, and loved ones are then invited to the show to eulogize the newly-dead celebrity.  In their last testimony to the deceased, people say the craziest things about the celebrities, and it can become quite funny.   The show’s official website can be viewed by clicking HERE.  

All these roles make L’Écuyer one of Radio-Canada’s flagship stars.

Back to the family roots program “Qui êtes-vous?”, Patrice L’Écuyer found out that he has a forefather born in France in 1634, but who immigrated to Montréal as a young adult.  This began his family line in the New World – 10 generations.   He even had a family member who was involved in the Patriot Rebellions of the 1830s.   L’Écuyer travelled to France to investigate his roots.  Interestingly, his family came from the La Rochelle area of France, which, out of all the areas of France which sent colonialists to New France, the La Rochelle region had one of the greatest influences on Québec, Ontario and Western Canadian French accents (hmmmm, perhaps his direct ancestors spoke much in the way we speak today).   Just a quick anecdote on this subjet… I knew a person who was from La Rochelle, France, and some of the unique ways they speak today in La Rochelle (different from the rest of France) still very much resemble ways we speak here in Canada (but are not spoken elsewhere in France, only in the La Rochelle region of France and Canada)– they are shared remnants of dialects which existed in the 1500s and 1600s.   Examples:  “Que c’est que t’as (fait hier)?”,  “Où ce qu’y est allé?”, etc.).

Dominique Michel (#115)

Although I wasn’t born yet, I, like most people, know that Dominique Michel was one of the two main actresses in the 1966 to 1971 sitcom Moi et l’autre (the other actress was Denise Filiatreault, also a very famous personality).   The show was kind of the like the 1960’sThelma and Louise of Québec — and thus has gone down in pop-culture history.

Since then, Dominique Michel has never left the public eye.  She was one of the main figures on television when I was growing up, and I would often see her doing stand-up comedy, acting in movies, or staring in various sitcoms.    Like most actresses of this league, anyone with such a far reaching career by default becomes a regular figure on the talk-show circuits, award gala ceremonies, and interview programs.

She acted in the very famous movies Le Déclin de l’empire américain and Les invasions barbares, and I specifically remember her as one of the main actresses in the early 2000s television sitcom Catherine (however, she acted in many other famous sitcoms, as well as other famous movies, such as Un zoo la nuit). 

She garnered much attention when she appeared a number of years back on Tout le monde en parle, after having lost her hair due to treatment for colon cancer.  I think it took a lot of people aback because society was used to always having Michel in the background when growing up – she was just always there – and then all of a sudden her illness was apparent and real.   Fortunately she has recovered, and at 77 years old, she is appreciated by everyone as being one of the central “rocks” of modern Québec and Montréwood pop-culture.

In the recent genealogical show “Qui êtes-vous?” she traced her roots back to France, and found out that her ancestor discovered Wisconsin (now part of the USA), and a descendant of one of her family lines is now the president of Bombardier.

Marc Dupré (#112)

There’s a twist in Marc Dupré’s background (I’ll let you in on it at the end of this post).

Marc Dupré has made quite a name for himself over the past few years as a famous chart-topping singer in Montréwood.   His songs have been chart-toppers and he’s done the concert circuit.

In his earlier public life, he was known as a comedian – doing comedy as far back as the 1990s (and he still does stand-up at the Juste pour rire festival).  His acts are a combination of jokes and imitations of other famous Québécois singers, such as Éric Lapointe and Kevin Parent.

In interviews, he often speaks of his family and children with pride.   Dupré had a very public touching family moment brought him to tears on television, when his young daughter, Stella, performed an Adèle song on the Radio-Canada program En direct de l’univers.

He was one of the coaches on La Voix which boosted his presence to a new level in Québec.

Dupré can often be seen in various high-profile appearances, be it talk shows (the likes of Le mode Salvail and others), or major events such as the Festival d’été de Québec (the Québec City summer music festival).

Some of his more well-known songs include:

  • Nous sommes les mêmes.
  • Être à toi
  • Voyager vers toi
  • Si pour te plaire
  • Qu’est-ce que t’as fait de moi
  • Entre deux mondes

He has won best artist and song awards of various types.

Now for the twist I mentioned at the beginning of the post :  His wife is the daughter of René Angélil (Celine Dion’s husband).  He has performed with Celine and she wrote the song Entre deux mondes for him.

His work is available for sale through various venues.  Please do not pirate and stick to official sites (our artists are part of our cultural fabric).

Sugar Sammy – People generally love him, yet some others… well… (sigh).(#103)

You’re going to get quite a dose of insight with this post.  But I’m going to keep this one pretty informal and I’m going to shoot from the hip.

I knew I was going to get to Sugar Sammy sooner or later – but considering what has been happening since around June, I’m going to do this post now instead of later.

No matter where you turn, all you hear is the Sugar Sammy controversy – and, under most circumstances, you wouldn’t think it should be a controversy — but here’s where language politics come into to play.  For many readers who do not have much interaction with French on the ground, this might be your first insight into language politics.  It’s something that comes up once in a while, usually in flare-ups, with this being the latest one (the prior bout was during the debate surrounding la Charte des valeurs québécoises – which spawned loosely-unrelated discussions trailing off in all directions, such as proposals to force Federal institutions, CEGEPS and small companies to adhere to la loi 101).  I’ll try to be as general as I can in this post to give you a sense of what is happening in this latest bout involving Sugar Sammy.  I will say upfront that I can see both sides of the fence — there are always two ways to look at something — so read this post with an open mind.

So here’s the story…

Sugar Sammy is the story of the remnants of what is left of Language Politics in Montréal.  I’ll give you a bit of background on what Language Politics are, because Sugar Sammy is being associated with it at the moment.  In large part, Language politics is a notion I think people are getting tired of, and they just want to move on (I’m not speaking for myself – I’m speaking about what I’m seeing and hearing)..

Language politics is a term for the supposed tensions between Anglophones and Francophones – over the use of English in Québec as a lingua franca in public, sometimes in private, sometimes in school, and also sometimes in business.  It used to be a major issue.  Up until the 1960s, Québec was a very unequal society – Anglophones controlled the business spheres and lived in their own world, imposing English on Francophones in any business interactions.  Francophones were agrarian, labourers and elected officials, dominant in other occupations (such as law & accounting, as well as education via the church), and had little opportunity to change their lot.  If you economically wanted to get ahead, you couldn’t do it in French (you had to speak English) despite Francophones being a majority in Québec.  Even though the governments were Francophone dominant, there was little desire to upset this strange balance.  They would rather grant large influence to the Church to care for many day-to-day ground level programs, and simply bring in the resulting tax money.  Occupations such as modern-style farming and many blue-collar jobs were out of the question for anglophones, even if they wanted them.  The Two Solitudes were alive and well.  If people wanted to mix (as some dared to do on both sides), society didn’t take kindly to the idea. It was very strange: it wasn’t forced segregation in the sense that we know the word today (it perhaps was a type of self-imposed segregation of the willing on both sides), nor was it an inferiority/superiority complex (both sides felt superior on their own side of the linguistic lines), and it really wasn’t a caste system.  It was just that people didn’t mix on the streets, and they fell back into comfortable zone, demarcated by positions and occupations in life which fell along linguistic lines.  But such a societal structure could not last forever, and as the world changed, things were bound to reach a breaking point when change must occur.

It was such a different place.  I think if any of us were to travel back in time to that period, nobody would recognize it – the way of life and the people of the period would be as foreign as alians.  I know we all learned about it in school across Canada, and we’ve all seen the videos from the period, but I’m not sure that truly gives an idea just how much both sides kept to themselves and kept themselves self-segregated on the home front.   It’s amazing to think how much the country has changed and moved forward since that period, both Anglophone and Francophones, both Quebec and all other provinces.  This transformation, too, has shaped out collective values as a nation – and these values never seem to get enough attention.  It was a tremendous change we underwent, as all people on both sides, in all parts of the country.  It should be talked about and celebrated.

Legal advances and rapid changes in attitudes brought changes to this equation during the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s.  It was a period of rebalancing (Francophones were the majority, and thus French became the legal and public language – enforced by law).  It was a very difficult transition on both Anglophones and Francophones, and lots of sour politics and bitterness were involved.   However, the heat of it occurred a couple of generations ago — which, actually was a long time ago, considering the pace of change today.

In today’s modern society, French and English has achieved a balance point and people have moved on.  For the most part, language politics (in the sense of how it used to be known) has been reduced to the odd isolated flare-up.  Sometimes the flare-ups can be a bit “larger”, even artificially created for the purpose of scoring political points.  But for the most part, society has achieved a happy balance, and language politics have been mostly relegated to the past.

French is healthy and secure as society’s lingua-franca – and people don’t feel threatened anymore by English.

Here is some context from the ground on how we’ve moved beyond language politics…  There are still some sensitivities, and I am conscious of it.  I suppose if you can speak French, but (heaven forbid) you ardently refuse to and you obstentiously demand service in English, yah, that could get someone’s nose out of joint… just as it could get anybody’s nose out of joint in any part of Canada.  (Imagine if someone demanded service in German in Kamloops, BC, and then had a fit or became even more demanding if they didn’t get that service in German … what would you think if you were the employee having to deal with that person?).  So yah, I try to use tact and politeness in public, and I speak French when I’m in Québec – that’s reasonable and normal.  I’ve accompanied visiting friends in Québec on numerous occasions; friends who don’t speak French, and I’m not always acting as their translator.  But I don’t need to be their translator because when those friends approach someone in English in a restaurant or store or elsewhere, my friends are polite and considerate, and staff are very polite, open, and helpful when they realize these are visitors who don’t speak French – again a very reasonable situation.  And most people I know, when they reach the end of their trip, leave with a feeling that Québécois are some of the nicest, most polite, most sympathetic people.  There you go!  So you know what?  If someone in the service or transportation industry in Québec cannot speak English (and that definitely does happen ), they’ll simply tell you, just like that person in Kamloops would tell you they can’t speak German.  There’s nothing unreasonable or unfriendly about it – it’s just a fact.  You just use common sense, empathy and manners, and you won’t have any problems.  People are nice if you’re nice.

I am going somewhere with this, so just bear with me for an instant – and I’ll tie this into Sugar Sammy in a few moments…

For the most part, the modern way Québec treats and views language seems to be along two lines:

  1. Owing to the success of language laws and a rebalancing of society over the last 50 years, Francophones regard English more as an international tool than as an adversarial threat, and
  2. Québec Anglophones, for the most part, tend to be very bilingual and don’t hesitate to use French as one of their two lingua-francas when going about their daily lives in public.

However… there are rare exceptions to both of the above (ie: there are a few Anglophones who live in Québec who refuse to speak or learn French… and there are a few Francophones in Québec who do view anything English as the ultimate threat, either to French, or to certain political aspirations – it’s the old Two Solitudes, but a highly politicized one).   It’s when these two “small” worlds meet that we see the odd flare-up of language politics.  By “flare-ups”, I mostly mean certain political commentators and specific politicians – usually the same very vocal ones – tend to have super-sensitive nerves when it comes to language.  If language laws are not followed to the letter, of if language and nationalistic politics are even joked about, you would think it’s the end of the world for these few people.   Even though these types of people are few in numbers, every society, every country, every province has these types of people (I’m sure you can think of some who live in your backyard, regardless where you live in the world).  The issues may be different, the context may be different, but you know the type of person I’m talking about (they’re sensitive and they easily make a mountain out of a mole hill).  In Québec, however, due to the insular structure of media, these very sensitive people have a disproportionately large, easily accessible microphone (sometimes through networks and talk shows friendly to their cause, sometimes through newspaper columns, other times as lime-light politicians) – and you hear them, even you if you don’t want to.  Where you notice that times have really changed in Québec is how the public is reacting to them;  most people seem to just tune them out.  If this was 50, 40 or 30 years ago (or even 1995), the public would probably be taking up the banner of this very vocal group.    But they’re not anymore.   So the public hears them, but just takes it with a grain of salt.

So how does this all fit in with Sugar Sammy?

Sugar Sammy is a widly popular comedian.  His stage name is Sugar Sammy (a nickname from university), but his real name is Samir Khullar.  The closest, best known Anglophone comedian who I think best fits his style of humour would be the stand-up comedian Margaret Cho, and the type of acts she performed 15 to 20 years ago (perhaps you can you already guess where I’m going with this and why I’m talking about “Margaret Cho“ and “certain sensitivities”??).  Don’t get me wrong, Sugar Sammy is very much his own man, but there are similarities with Cho – and this kind of self-depricating, figer-pointing, un-PC humour is making him widly popular.  Yet there is a small, but extremely vocal group of people, those who I described above, who have their shorts in a knot about his comedy acts.

It’s important to understand the context of Sugar Sammy’s background and humour in order for this whole post to come together.  He was born in Montréal in 1976 to Indian immigrants.  This was right about the time that the children of immigrants in Québec had to start attending school only in French (Bill 101, or la Loi 101, made it mandatory that the children of immigrants could NOT attend school in English – it was viewed as a question of rebalancing society).  Apart from a brief time when he took his comedy acts to the Middle-East, he has lived his entire life in Montréal.

He grew up in the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood, which is one of the major immigrant-receiving neighbourhoods.  This is significant to the overall context of this post.  There are various neighbourhoods in Montréal which receive immigrants, and there are three types of overall immigrants which Québec attracts:

  • Immigrants who already know French (ie: from Francophone countries, or countries with populations that have French speakers, such as many Maghreb, Middle-Eastern, Caribbean or African nations)
  • Immigrants who know English, but not French (South Asia, East Asia, the US and UK),
  • And Immigrants who know neither French nor English (often East European or Latin American countries).

Various neighbourhoods in Montréal attract immigrants along the above three lines.  Côte-des-Neiges attracts many immigrants who do not have a prior knowledge of French, but who often have a knowledge of English.  Therefore, despite the fact that Sugar Sammy grew up in the French education system, and grew up fully integrated into Francophone society, his friends and family, and many of the people in his neighbourhood spoke English when he grew up.

Therefore, he’s fully bilingual, he feels Québécois, and he IS Québécois (I mean, if he isn’t, then who is?).  But…  he has an English accent (which plays into this overall story, because this small vocal group, the one who has it out for him, is labeling him as a troublemaking outsider… hence the “sigh” in the title of this post).

Now back to his humour… He does stand-up comedy.  Most recently, he’s been doing stand-up in French for Francophone audiences all over Québec.   It’s self deprecating humour (making fun of oneself and one’s own society).  He “plays the role” of the “outsider” Anglophone (he purposely accentuates the notion of Two Solitudes for comedic effect), and then cracks political jokes at the expense of mostly sovereignist Francophones.  He also cracks jokes at Québec’s language laws, and at his own ethnic background.  He’ll sometimes do it in an accent, either English or Indian, just as Margaret Cho does her Korean accent.  His jokes are very un-PC.   Basically, he doesn’t spare anybody – his jokes are at his own expense just as much as they are at others.

Francophones and Anglophones alike can’t get enough of him and they are flocking to his shows… thousands and thousands of people.  His fans (which is by far much of Francophone Québec) adore him, and they consider him to be one of their own (just as Sugar Sammy seems to adore them) — he’s really the talk of the town right now.   They’re going to his shows because they want to hear him laugh at Québec’s politics.  They want to hear him poke fun of Language Politics.  It really is a reflection of how society has moved so far forward compared to even 20 years ago.  People can, and DO WANT to laugh about these things.  It’s almost like we’re living in, and seeing a new relaxed Québec… one that has been waiting for some breathing space for a long long time.   I don’t know what it is or how to describe it, but things just seem different – like a content balance has been achieved.

But Sugar Sammy’s humour has not gone unnoticed by an ultra-sensitive group (those who I described earlier)… and some them are (figuratively) out for blood.

Sugar Sammy knows this, and has exploited it to attract even larger audiences.  When this small ultra-sensitive group barks and complains that he’s bashing Francophones and Québec society, the complaints backfire and the public comes out in droves to Sammy’s shows.  They want to see what all this rigmarole is about – and they don’t want to miss out on the laughs.

So then guess what did Sugar Sammy did… he upped the ante!   This summer he decided to pull a few stunts to get a bit more attention.  He flaunted the language laws (a very sore topic for this small vocal ultra-sensitive group) and published his advertisements in English only (which is against language laws in Québec… you can publish in English and French together, but not English alone).  That infuriated the vocal few.  And I mean really infuriated them.  But Sammy’s audience numbers then shot through the roof!!  He became the hottest thing of the entire summer and fall.

When I’m at work, I sometimes stream radio stations from Vancouver to Halifax.  The other day I tuned into a French-language radio talk show in Québec City.  I won’t name names, but a very famous, very nationalist, very sovereignist political guest commentator was invited onto a radio show to give his views of Sugar Sammy.   I thought he was going to have a heart-attack… really.  He couldn’t control himself.  He was yelling… I think he was having an emotional breakdown at the same time, he lost coherence in what was saying… basically, he couldn’t take Sugar Sammy’s humour.  In his eyes, it would be fine to joke about Federalist Anglophones or Federalists in general, but for him, French language laws, and Sovereignist politics were off the table and a hands-off no-go zone.  The host tried to calm him down and bring some reason to the issues by pointing out that Sugar Sammy is as Québécois as they come.  The host pointed out that the shows are self-depricating humour by a fellow Québécois and that there are very sovereignist comedians who make similar jokes about Anglophones and Ottawa politics (Yvon Deschamps is one I can think of off the top of my head — but I think he’s absolutely hilarious!! A joke is a joke when it’s in the right context).  The radio host was making the argument (in line with the thoughts of the majority of society) that we need to distinguish a joke as being just that, and that we sometimes need to just laugh at ourselves, otherwise we risk taking ourselves too seriously – and that can cause problems (hey!! That’s why we have places like Théatre St-Denis…  It’s not like Sugar Sammy was randomly going up to strangers on the street, poking fun of them and making jokes in their faces).  But this guest wouldn’t have any of it, and viewed Sugar Sammy as public enemy #1.   In the end, the host (who I think is actually a friend of the guest, because I’ve heard the guest reguarly appear on this particular radio show quite often over the past few years) pretty much had to tell the guest to start breathing again, try to control his blood pressure — and then guess what happened — the host actually hung up because it was getting too much out of hand (I had never ever heard the host hang up, mid-sentence, on anyone before, after years of listening to this particular radio show!)

I was shocked.  I was not shocked that there are those vocal few who seem to get upset about this stuff (after all, we’re used to seeing these same few people all the time, being recycled as guests from one talk show to another, from one blog to another, from one newspaper to another).  But I was shocked at the degree to which these few people are getting upset.

On the flip side (and this will put things into perspective… It did for me)… a good number of high-profile sovereignsts came out and defended Sugar Sammy, telling this other group to take a chill pill and cool it!  They can see comedy for comedy, and they know how to separate it from reality – just like the rest of the public.  Denise Bombardier was one who came out against what could be considered the unreasonableness of these vocal few.  She defended Sugar Sammy – and yet she is  considered very nationalist (but now you can see why I mentioned a couple of times in earlier posts that I respect and like her… she keeps things in perspective – even if you don’t agree with the end means of her politics).  My respect level for her shot up by 50 points right then and there.

So, that my friends, is Sugar Sammy and the hoopla that’s currently surrounding him.  He’s hilarious.  He makes us laugh at ourselves.  And he gives everyone breathing space.  Tension is released when you can laugh, and it really is the best medicine.  He’s doing something very good.

In the end, the public bashing of Sugar Sammy by a vocal, ultra-nationalist, super-sensitive few is allowing the public to see that politics and extreme emotions and extreme viewpoints do not mix – and the public has been turned off because of it.  It’s good to see that people just want to chill.

Now you have a little bit more knowledge on how society is dealing with, and viewing a whole a host of issues — stuff you can’t get from textbooks.  Hopefully you’re finding it insightful and interesting.

ADDENDUM:  2014-12-04

Something important which I neglected to mention… Sugar Sammy, for the most part, has been doing his comedy acts in French (only on rare occasions, such as annual comedy festivals, and trips outside Québec does he do his shows in English).   Thus his shows mostly attract Francophone audiences, for shows done in French.  I’m not sure that the same jokes would go over as well if they were done in English (which is probably why Mike Ward also does his acts in French).  I’m not sure I would even find the same jokes funny if many were done in English (the audience would be different, and at that point, yeah, the jokes would have a different meaning).