Happy New Brunswick Day!

And a bunch of other civic holidays. Well, it was actually yesterday, but we got the day off today. So celebrate one and all by staying at home and doing geeky things. What else is there to do?

You know, my province has a lot of problems, usually bottoming out in all the good lists and topping the bad ones in everything from economy to education to health. And then there are the tensions between the three main cultures, peaking recently. And yet, I love it. It's not just where I was raised and live, it's where I CHOOSE to live. I love an underdog. I love a place that's so small you can actually make a difference if you choose to. And I like the cultural dynamic and what it has yielded (other than the linguistic racism, of course). Not forgetting this blog's mission statement, I will pay homage to NB the only way this blog can, with the 5 geekiest things about New Brunswick.#5 - That time Wolverine came to a totally fictional town of Harbordale in New Brunswick (the Free Comic Book Day comic Wolverine: Origin of an X-Man #1, May 2009). Come on, Marvel! I thought your heroes existed in the real world!

#4 - Donald Sutherland was born here!
Go, go, 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers!

#3 - My friend Bauble's complete Spider-Man comics collection! (Had to throw one item that wasn't in the south of the province or the north gets all defensive.)

#2 - Snake Eater was filmed here!
Where would Lorenzo Lamas be without his cult classic (kinda) hicksploitation action franchise? (Don't answer that.)

#1 - I'm here! (You gotta admit...)


LiamKav said...

Just out of curiousity, what do you mean by "linguistic racism"? I know vaguely about the French-English split, but not what it actually results in.

Siskoid said...

Well, there's a 40% francophone minority in the province (of which I am part, but I'll try to give you the unbiased view), with some areas damn near 100% of either, but others, especially the south-east where I live, representative of the 40/60 split.

Francophones tend to be bilingual, and anglophones tend not to be. I think there are differences in the school system, but it's probably more due to the omnipresence of English in the media. Since the province and country, and in fact, my city are officially bilingual, many government jobs have bilingualism as a requirement (still too few, as some unilingual people must still interact with the public and thus force a client/citizen to speak off-tongue, and of course businesses have no such policies). Many anglophones (or probably a vocal minority) resent that and claim that "frogs" are stealing their jobs. Of course, I'm of the opinion that French is a skill just like plumbing is. If you don't know plumbing, you can't become a plumber, but you CAN learn that skill. Same with bilingual jobs.

Lately tensions have risen over the adoption in at least one town of bilingual signage by-laws and other cities looking into it (or publicly refusing to do it). It's all a little silly, especially since the bylaw is toothless with its grandfather clause. I think the debate has shown that we're not ready for regulation, we need a lot more awareness work to be done so that businesses realize that it's good business sense to advertise in both languages, if only for the tourism that comes from the north and Quebec. Still, is it a good idea for a mom'n'pop shop to advertise in French when they can't offer bilingual service? That's just asking for more tension. I'm really not "all or nothing" about these issues.

And then there's the fringe that resents the Acadians (that's the French culture here) having their own holiday (August 15th), flag and celebrations. So demonstrations where they wipe their bottoms with the Acadian flag, etc. Or wanting their own "Anglo flag" (if at least it was a Union Jack, but it's the invention of a committee) to fly at City Hall and declaring the day Quebec surrendered as their holiday. It was fine until you made it about beating the French, guys. Stupid hick stuff.

If I really want to get angry, I can just go on the local paper's forums on these issues. There's some really outrageous reverse logic in there and plenty of racial slurs.

It's not the 70s when we told to "Speak white", but it can still be offputting. Hope that answers your question.

LiamKav said...

Gotcha. It doesn't matter how people do it, but they always manage to create an "us" and "them" catagory.

I do secretely believe that if everyone in the world spoke the same language you would solve an awful lot of misunderstandings and issues that can occur between different people. Not eliminate, obviously, because there are loads of other catagories people would leap on. But I suspect that if everyone in, say, China spoke English then it would be harder for the government to keep out "outside" opinions.

And, of course, if there's going to be only one language, then it should be English. Because I speak that and I am lazy. Likewise, all countries should adopt GMT, and the whole world should get a holiday on David Tennant's birthday.

Sleestak said...

Amazing that Lorenzo can hold a rifle with that messed-up hand.

Siskoid said...

Sleestak: Yes, mustn't have been easy to do all those action scenes.

Bill D. said...

It's mostly a function of growing up in Maine, I know, but NB is the Canadian province I've visited the most, and I've enjoyed it every single time. I don't remember the names of a lot of the towns I visited - the wife and I did a lot of weekend wandering around NB when were dating back in college - but they were all pleasant.

Plus, even though we have Tim Horton's in the states now, the donuts and coffee taste better in Canada. And man, did we visit the hell out Tim's whenever we'd go.

Siskoid said...

Come by anytime, Bill!

Bauble said...

As well as my vast Spider-Man collection (which I challenge ANYONE out there who claims to have a greater collection to step right up), I think I'm the only guy in New Brunswick who bought all 43 VHS volumes of the Twilight Zone collection offered by Columbia House a few years ago. Paying $35 per month for 43 months turned out to be the worst waste of money since the Louisiana purchase, especially when you take into consideration that I bought the entire series on DVD last month for only $140...

LiamKav said...

I had similar pain with the Star Trek VHS tapes. They sold them two episodes a volume for between £12 and £13.. Each season therefore cost me at least £72 and took up a huge amount of space. Fast forward 10 years and the season DVD box sets cost £17 each. Grr.

Siskoid said...

My great video expense for nothing was Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Bauble said...

Damn you Columbia House, at the time I think we all knew it was a rip off, but that was the only way we could own our favorites shows. I hate the way they edit them down on TV.

I also recently bought the entire Benny Hill series and they are the originals as shown on Thames, not the botched up versions we got here in Canada, where Benny aged 10years between sketches. I'm sure glad I didn't commit to Columbia House, which also offered that series.


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