Go fuck yourself Eric Amber (UPDATED)

      The shows listed were in english and therefore so is the message.
      You obviously can't read in english because you are an
      uneducated bigot.

      estce que vous comprenez l'expression anglophone: Go Fuck Yourself?

On behalf of the local news industry, I’d like to offer my thanks to Eric Amber of Théâtre Ste. Catherine, which despite its name is an anglo venue.

You see, despite the people in space, the huge investment scandals and the giant rocks falling on people’s heads, it’s kind of a slow news period right now. Hockey is in the offseason, politicians are on vacation, and most of the people who would make serious news are instead outside enjoying the summer.

Perhaps subconsciously sensing this, Amber decided to do the following things to ensure coverage in the local media:

  • Be an asshole
  • Be an asshole on a language issue
  • Be an asshole on a language issue in writing
  • Be an asshole to someone who didn’t provoke him
  • Create a PR crisis for one of the city’s biggest festivals right in the middle of it
  • React childishly when called on about his behaviour
  • Refuse to apologize

For those who haven’t seen the news in La Presse, the Journal, Le Devoir, The Gazette and elsewhere, francophone group Les Sages Fous was receiving English-only messages on TSC’s mailing list about Zoofest shows related to the Just for Laughs festival. They sent a rather matter-of-fact email asking that they be removed from that list unless the messages are sent in French. A bit snarky, but not unreasonable. Amber responded by calling the guy an uneducated bigot and telling him to “go fuck yourself”.

Louis Préfontaine was the first to break the email on Wednesday, and it spread from there (including the requisite Facebook group). Préfontaine also has a follow-up and the raw text of the back-and-forth.

It’s happened to everyone. Maybe you’ve just been dumped, fired or made to wait on the phone with Bell to fix a billing issue. You’re frustrated and tired, and someone sends you an email that sounds snarky. It’s the last straw and you let them have it. Realizing your mistake, you later apologize.

Amber, unfortunately, didn’t do this. Instead, he told Le Devoir and the Journal about other emails he got from francophones which relentlessly attacked him. The emails weren’t from Les Sages Fous, but Amber made the mistake that far too many make in this unending language debate and painted everyone on the other solitude with the same brush, as if one is responsible for the actions of everyone who speaks the same language.

Which brings me to this: On behalf of the anglo community, go fuck yourself Eric Amber. You’re the last thing we need right now. Because those idiots who comment on Patrick Lagacé and Richard Martineau’s blogs will start painting all of us with the same brush, and that makes us responsible for your behaviour.

To bring this drama to an even higher level of absurd assholity, Amber has been sending the following message to those emailing him to condemn his comments or ask what the hell he was thinking:

Due to the overwhelming racism and bigotry in French society toward minorities and non-french cultures, Theatre Ste-Catherine will be closing in protest. Effective immediately TSC will no longer be accepting bookings and will closed permanently Dec. 21, 2009.

I’ll assume you mean francophone Quebec society and not the society of France (though you could make such an argument about racism in the motherland). But let me get this straight: you’re going to shut down the venue over this? Either TSC has been on the financial ropes for some time (which is certainly plausible) or you have the thinnest skin on the planet.

I don’t agree with some who say that TSC should be sending emails in French. I don’t see why, any more than I would see why The Gazette would advertise in French (except when it wants to, like it’s been doing the past few Sundays). But that’s irrelevant now, because you had to be an asshole.

No matter how long this goes, it’s going to end eventually by you eating a truck full of crow. Better start now before more has to be shovelled onto your plate.

Somewhat sincerely,

Fagstein

P.S. Fuck you.

UPDATE: Just when you thought this ridiculousness couldn’t get any worse, it seems the Jeunes Patriotes and their ilk are doing their best to prove Amber right about bigotry in Quebec. Amber says he has been receiving death threats, and the JPQ are organizing had a protest at 4pm Sunday30 people showed up. Josée Legault also turns this into a language issue, painting all anglos with the Eric Amber brush.

And apparently someone has setup a Twitter account for the sole purpose of calling me an asswipe fascist.

Patrick Lagacé has a follow-up on his blog. Hour complains how this is unworthy of newspaper coverage … with an article in its newspaper.

UPDATE (July 22): Crow special, Table 1! Amber also speaks to The Gazette’s Pat Donnelly where he takes great pains to prove he’s not a bigot. He also does an interview with Radio-Canada where he says he never expected to start up such a shitstorm.

His apology (also on Donnelly’s blog), which you’ll note is in both languages:

To whom it concerns,

There has been much media activity in recent days that began with an email that I sent to the theatre’s mailing list. Les Sages Fous were upset after receiving an all-english message regarding Zoofest programming as part of the Just For Laughs festival.

I reacted inappropriately to their request to receive emails only in French and for this I would like to apologize. However, I would like to explain that I did so not simply due to this one response, but rather because I often receive a disproportionate amount of negative feedback whenever I promote English events that are hosted at Theatre Ste Catherine.

Although it is true that I lost my temper, it must be said that it was in no way an attack on Quebec or French-speaking Canadians as was implied by some of the media covering this story. As I myself am French Canadian and a francophone from La Beauce region of southern Quebec, to hate French culture would be to hate myself.

I truly regret offending any of my French brothers and sisters, however I do not believe this would have become an issue if certain media had not sought to create discontent. As such, this situation has been blown out of proportion to the point where it now stands. Unfortunately, not only has this resulted in negative publicity for both Theatre Ste-Catherine, Zoofest and the Just For Laughs Festival, but as my personal information has since been released, I have received hundreds of hate letters including several death threats.

Due to the actions of certain individuals who fanned the flames of hate within a community of extremists, a great hurt was inflicted upon me personally that I fear could threaten the harmony of Montreal. I am upset with the intolerance that I receive on a daily basis as displayed by the many hateful emails that have been written. I also believe that the French language and culture is alive and strong, and need not be afraid of others.

When I first opened the theatre five years ago, which I myself built in what was a very troubled neighbourhood, my intention was to create a venue for people of every culture to come together for the celebration of art and unity. It would be regretful to have to shut the doors to those who have come to make Theatre Ste-Catherine their home and meeting place.

Again, I would like to sincerely apologize to Les Sages Fous, The Just For Laughs Festival, Zoofest, all of Theatre Ste Catherine’s company members as well as anyone who has been affected by this situation.

I wish I had addressed this issue sooner because of the hurt it has caused.

Sincerely,

Eric Amber

Theatre Ste. Catherine

À qui de droit,

Depuis quelques jours, bien des médias et sites Internet s’attardent sur un courriel envoyé récemment par moi-même à un inscrit de la liste d’envois électronique générale du Théâtre Ste Catherine. Je répondais alors à un message provenant de la troupe Les Sages Fous, qui protestait avoir reçu un courriel en anglais concernant la programmation anglophone du Zoofest dans le câdre du Festival Juste Pour Rire.

Ma réaction face à leur demande, de recevoir une version française de ce même courriel, fut inflammatoire et non justifiée et pour cela je voudrais sincèrement m’excuser. Ma réplique très agressive s’explique en partie par le fait que Le Théâtre Sainte Catherine est toujours ciblé par des messages francophones très négatifs et diffamatoires concernant nos évènements anglophones et ce, tout au long de l’année.

Malgré l’important manque de jugement dont j’ai fait preuve, il se doit aussi d’être clarifié qu’en aucune façon, mes remarques visaient le Québec ou la Francophonie, tel que certains médias l’ont laissés entendre cette semaine. Étant moi-même francophone ayant grandit et provenant de la région de La Beauce, dans le sud du Québec, d’émettre de pareilles insultes envers la Francophonie serait contradictoire et impensable.

Je regrette sincèrement avoir offensé mes propres frères et soeurs Francophones, mais suis tout à fait convaincu qu’une couverture médiatique alarmiste et sensationnaliste n’a fait qu’aggraver la situation. Cette réaction incroyable de la part des médias provoque non seulement une publicité extrêmement négative pour Le Théâtre Ste-Catherine, mais engendre également une campagne négative envers le Zoofest et le festival Juste Pour Rire. Il est aussi important de noter que je fais personnellement maintenant face à des menaces de mort et insultes personnelles très inquiétantes.

Il m’attriste donc de constater que suite aux actions marquées de quelques individus qui avaient pour but précis d’encourager la haine et l’extrémisme, l’harmonie culturelle de notre ville de Montréal est affectée. Je suis déçu par le niveau d’intolérance présent dans les centaines de courriels et de lettres que nous avons reçus cette semaine, surtout parce que je suis profondément convaincu que malgré ces incidents isolés, la culture Française est essentiellement forte et inclusive au Québec.

Lorsque le Théâtre Ste Catherine a ouvert ses portes, il y a cinq ans, un théâtre que j’ai moi-même fondé et bâti dans un quartier très désavoué de Montréal, mon rêve était de créer une scène, un endroit où tout le monde pourrait se réunir, quelle que soit leur culture, pour célébrer l’art et la communauté. Aujourd’hui, ce théâtre est bel et bien vibrant et il serait dommage de devoir fermer ses portes au public et aux artistes qui le fréquentent maintenant en si grand nombre.

Je souligne donc à nouveau mes excuses sincères envers Les Sages Fous, Le festival Juste Pour Rire, Zoofest ainsi qu’envers tous les membres de la communauté du Théâtre Ste Catherine et tous ceux et celles qui sont affectés par cette situation.

En regrettant de ne pas m’être prononcé plus tôt sur ces évènements importants,

Sincèrement,

Eric Amber

Théâtre Ste. Catherine

UPDATE (July 23): Amber just couldn’t keep his bloody mouth shut. He sends another email to Les Sages Fous taunting them.

UPDATE (Aug. 4): The Mirror weighs in.

127 thoughts on “Go fuck yourself Eric Amber (UPDATED)

  1. JF Villeneuve

    I just hope this story is not another viral marketing campaign and/or someone trying to steal the TSC administrator identity, since everything was exchanged by emails.

    Because those answers by Eric Amber are so childish that they are almost unbelievable, coming from someone in charge of a theater linked with the Just for Laughs festival. That organization must be pissed off as hell at him, now…

    Reply
  2. BruB

    As much as is there Séparatiste that makes the others of us look really bad, it looks like there is Anglos that make regular Montrealer anglo look as bad.

    There is extremists in every culture.

    Reply
  3. Léonard

    ” * Be an asshole
    * Be an asshole on a language issue
    * Be an asshole on a language issue in writing
    * Be an asshole to someone who didn’t provoke him
    * Create a PR crisis for one of the city’s biggest festivals right in the middle of it
    * React childishly when called on about his behaviour
    * Refuse to apologize

    Good summary!!
    This whole issue is absurd. It would have been so simple to just take Les Sages fous off the mailing list politely. But no, he had to treat this group as scapegoat for all the previous idiots that did indeed insult him. Anyways, why closing TSC afterall – I don’t think TSC was profitable… and you know what, now francophones like me are aware of the existence of that theatre! C’est de la merde

    Reply
  4. Maria Gatti

    Oh dear. What a silly person this Eric Amber is. I feel sorry for the people in his troupe; it is never easy trying to earn a living in the arts.

    I guess Louis Préfontaine is good for something after all, despite the vile misogny infecting his blog. (And no, Steve, I certainly don’t think all or most men are women-haters or anything of the kind).

    A selection of Préfontaine’s hate literature about women on his site:
    http://louisprefontaine.com/category/enjeux-sociaux/relations-hommes-femmes

    Reply
    1. DAVE ID

      Anyone so pretentious to say “J’écris avec un seul but en tête: vous faire réfléchir.” will never get my readership. But don’t mistake the need for men to knock down radical feminism a few pegs misogyny. Radical feminism which views masculinity as a treatable disease have for too long influenced the media and its consumers with biased scare tactics depicting men as monsters to a point where men will no longer help a lost child in a mall for fear of being seen as a kidnapper or a molester and there are very very few men joining the educational workforce anymore for fear of accusations of pedophilia and/or statutory rape.

      So let’s not make blanket accusations of misogyny every time some dude examines the rights and wrongs of feminism (not that I read all his articles on feminism) because that in itself is misandry – something that has become acceptable in the mainstream and that many men who were never the chauvinist pigs of 40 years ago are tiring of.

      Reply
      1. Maria Gatti

        Dave ID, a lot of the women Préfontaine attacks, such as Françoise David, have absolutely nothing to do with “radical feminism” of the Andrea Dworkin, Catherine McKinnon school. I don’t have much use for the latter myself. David was best known as one of the driving forces behind the Bread and Roses march – about poverty and violence (in particular women’s poverty and violence against women, but not excluding men at all in their demands). This has given rise to a world movement that has absolutely nothing to do with the radical feminist current, on the contrary, it has put the feminist movement back on very egalitarian demands and rallied women in many different cultures.

        Personally I don’t think the extreme nuttiness about pedophiles etc is related to feminism; it is a derivative of the culture of fear – a culture most prevalent in the safest societies, that has banned a lot of playground equipment when the greatest danger facing our children is a sedentary lifestyle, not a fall. I can’t imagine feminists not wanting men working as teachers or childcare workers.

        No, I certainly don’t think misandry or stereotypes about men are any more acceptable than misogyny, but I think Mr Préfontaine is a bit of a reactionary contrarian who feels threatened by women. I don’t exactly like what he writes about immigration either – it is true that cultural clashes and poorly-integrated immigrant groups can give rise to problems (though often the cure is simply a good job), but he doesn’t seem to appreciate the cultural wealth immigration has created and how different Québécois society has become for this reason especially post Law 101 (I’ll annoy anglos now, as in general I support that law, as a form of affirmative action).

        Of course Préfontaine is the owner of his blog and can delete any comments he wishes, but it is odd to delete comments in English for that reason, even if one is a Québécois nationalist.

        He did show good jounalistic skills finding the exchange, though as Steve says it is getting play mostly because these are the slow news days of the year, during the construction holidays when everything is quiet except for reports about festivals, roadwork and unexpected deaths.

        Marc, there are so-called allophones, francophones and anglophones in my family as well – not at all rare.

        Reply
        1. DAVE ID

          Maria, I agree that Prefontaine is quite the pretentious douchebag. Just to say he wants to make his readers think, like he has some morally superior advantage over his readers is an insult and high-level douchebagery. I have no illusions about him but he’s part of a crowd of men who notice that somethings wrong with the way men are being portrayed. He’s just a dick about it to get attention sorta like Martineau.

          I wont deny the great works accomplished by women and feminists and there’s still more work to be done because I see overt and subtle sexism still very much alive today. Especially towards women who become pregnant and go on maternity leave… so many have been “sent to Alaska” over that one, it’s disgusting.

          But lets not be blind to the radical feminists media indoctrination that have attempted to socially neuter men. I’m not gonna look up the links to the news stories (from reputable news sources) of a man that was put under arrest for taking pictures of his own kids in a park because the mothers all panicked and called 911. Another, same story, was arrested for holding hands with his 5 year old daughter while walking. Similar ads from a Mother’s group (sorta like MADD but for pedophiles) where parents are prompted to call the police if they see a man with a child in a park. (If I’m not mistaken this was in Florida – the crazy state – big surprise).

          A large poll was held in England asking men what they would do if a child was found lost crying for his parent in a mall or public place. The majority said they would keep away from the child because they were afraid of being pointed at as a molester or kidnapper. Studies showed that men stay away from teaching jobs for similar reasons. And all this fear and loathing comes from a media driven fear campaign from feminist to portray men as predators and monsters. Like when they hijacked the CHANGE IN SPOUSE ASSAULT RATES FROM 1975 TO 1992 in the media way back when and focused only on the women getting the beat down and portrayed men as wife-beaters and woman haters and made the Oprah generation jubilant. Yet if your read it (http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/V55.pdf) you’ll see that spousal abuse is pretty much reciprocal and evens out (Page 4).

          I could go on with a myriad example where radical feminism, which I’ve read some of there lit and gee, penetrative sex for them is automatic rape no matter how consensual – and demonstrate how they are having some influence on the mainstream and it goes terribly wrong. One of my favorites are sports teams for men being canceled in American colleges because there are not enough women joining the women’s teams. Women don’t WANT to play, so men have to be deprived of it. Ain’t that sweet?

          Reply
      1. david lemieux

        Wow! This is not the exception. Montréal and Québec alike should function in french only just like Toronto and the rest of Canada function in english. And just like any other well balanced society. The anglos are a big part of our identity, just like the arabs and the italians or the jews. it doesn’t deter the fact that french is the only official language. But the anglos never accepted to loose their supremacy. And so there is this ongoing war. This fellow Amber came to Montréal thinking he could do without french. How arrogant. Now he painfully realizes that he was misled by the anglophonoe community. Even without generalizing, there is this trend to consider Montréal as a bilingual if not anglophone town. It is a big mistake. Misleading everybody that comes here and leading to frustration. It is more confusing than anything. Montréal is not anglophone, nor arab. There is this unifying language. That’s it that’s all. Still you can speak the language you want. But not when adressing public issues. Otherwise most people won’t understand properly. That’s why an official language is necessary. Just like in every state. Canada is a confederation of nations, therefore bilingual. Québec is not. It is a unilingual state. To David complaining about not being able to post in english on a francophone blog… I don’t get your point. Why not in swahili and chinese then? Why do you pretend that english is a passe-partout. it is not. And it’s q question a pure respect. I could well here post in french, since it is a Québec blog. And even so I wrote in english. Out of respect for the anglophone minority. I think you could do the same no?

        Reply
        1. Hugo Shebbeare

          David, Montréal est bilingue depuis des siecles. Si la langue Anglaise n’est plus officielle, comment est-il possible qu’il existent autant de villes bilingues? voir: http://blog.fagstein.com/2009/03/15/french-above-all/comment-page-8

          I am a Champion for Canada, et Le Québec est Inclus dans Mon Pays
          http://www.sqlservercentral.com/blogs/hugo/archive/2009/07/14/i-am-a-champion-for-canada-et-le-qu-233-bec-est-inclus-dans-mon-pays.aspx

          There have to be solutions, there are certainly enough smart people around for us to find some.
          Quotas for working within the govt. (at any level) should be enforced, b/c Anglos are shut out – taxation without representation is condition of tyranny by means of the majority. Landry, and the PQ types who want to ethically cleanse us from a province we have been living in for hundreds of years, must be denounced, as I have done: http://www.sqlservercentral.com/blogs/hugo/archive/2009/03/15/weeding-out-racism-in-the-workplace-a-letter-to-government-institutions-in-quebec.aspx?CommentPosted=true

          Reply
          1. Jean Naimard

            Basically, what Hugo wants, is to live in Québec without having to bother with that pesky french language, like the english have been doing for centuries, and to dominate us. That’s it, that’s all.

            Reply
  5. Jean Naimard

    When I say that the english clearly are unable to understand how delicate the protection of the french language is for us, people laugh at me. When I say that the english do not care about the french, people laugh at me.
    Who is right?

    Reply
  6. Marina

    Oh man, I’m working there right now and this whole thing sucks so much. :( But apparently the reason he said “you’re an uneducated bigot” to the french guy was because the french guy had said to him first “go back to israel”, so that was his response to that. :S

    Reply
  7. Pingback: In Montreal People Who Don’t Speak English Are Uneducated Bigots « AngryFrenchGuy

  8. Maria Gatti

    Well, if the francophone fellow said that – don’t see any written evidence. Obviously anti-Semitism (if it was indeed the case) is as deplorable as all other forms of racism and bigotry.

    But the whole kerfuffle is really bad for people in small theatres. I work a lot in arts-related fields and it is so hard to ensure funding and support and make sure things move ahead. You really, really don’t need that – hope Théâtre Ste-Catherine can stay afloat.

    Reply
  9. tacosburritos

    Pourquoi les anglophones peuvent pas juste apprendre le français, l’utiliser à Montréal et être contents comme ça? Comme moi?

    -un anglo

    Reply
    1. Gina

      Because Quebec is a PROVINCE in Canada and Canada is a BILINGUAL country… I speak English where I chose to, French where I need to and my mother tongue with my family… that is called been integrated and not having French shoved down my through… I work with francophones you should hear what they say behind anglo and allophones backs … Count your lucky stars you don’t speak German…

      Reply
      1. DAVE ID

        I work with francophones you should hear what they say behind anglo and allophones backs …

        Oh Gina. I run undercover as an Anglo so many times until my cover is blown as a dirty fucking frog and the SHIT I have to hear from Anglos about the French is no better. This finger pointing leads to NOTHING. If instead of crying like a five year old that the other one started it people made an effort, this means you and me and everyone, things would get better. Everybody always likes to Quote Ghandhi’s “Be the Change you wish to see in the world” I prefer to quote a Zen master who said “If you want to change the world, start by cleaning your toilet”

        Count your lucky stars you don’t speak German…

        Was that the subtle invocation of Godwin’s Law?

        Reply
      2. Marc

        …Canada is a BILINGUAL country…

        Umm, no. I don’t think so. You should travel around the country a bit.

        Reply
      3. Jean Naimard

        Because Quebec is a PROVINCE in Canada and Canada is a BILINGUAL country… I speak English where I chose to, French where I need to and my mother tongue with my family… that is called been integrated and not having French shoved down my through… I work with francophones you should hear what they say behind anglo and allophones backs … Count your lucky stars you don’t speak German…

        Canada may have all the languages you want, Québec is unilingual french, as prescribed in the british north america act of 1867, and reinforced by the 1982 constitution.
        As a german, your attitude is typical of an immigrant who came here only to see the french treated like blacks in the US, and not wanting to become a second-class citizen, chose to become english as prescribed by the federal government who has been using the immigrants to minorize the french for centuries.
        And finally, we all know the legendary tolerance and understanding the germans have historically displayed for minorities (especially for religious minorities) so your attitude is not really surprising…

        Reply
          1. Jean Naimard

            So there were French slaves in Canada?

            Yeah, the cheap labour we abundantly provided for english industrialists was treated just like post-civil-war blacks are treated in the US.

            Reply
          2. Steve Jacobs

            Dont ever compare yourselves to black people, not even close to what they went thru, There is a huge difference between slavery, and exploitation of cheap labour. You need a serious head shake, and a shame on you!

            Reply
          3. Jean Naimard

            Are we a bit racist here?

            Of course, “all our predicaments were self-inflicted; all we had to do to avoid being cheap-labourized was to espouse the ‘protestant work «ethic»’, become english, and dump the scatholic religion”.

            Segregation against the blacks was used by the ruling classes to divide the proletariat and prevent them from organizing and securing their natural rights.

            Up here, we did not have (much) blacks, the indians were sufficiently a different civilization to not matter much, so the french were kept separate.

            Just like the blacks in the US.

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      4. Maria Gatti

        Perché non parlare la lingua tedesca, Gina? I’m happily learning German these days (speak French, English, Italian and Spanish). You know EVERY group talks behind the backs of others; I’ve heard snarky comments from certan narrow-minded members of all of the above who assume that I agree with them.

        Actually, I’m sad that you have so little appreciation of living in a place that is unique in monolithic North America, predominantly French in language and culture – though I’m happier living in the cosmopolitan area near the Jean-Talon Market than I’d be in Québec City, despite the beauty of the latter. Québec is very different from English-speaking Canada, where I’ve also lived. It is a province, to be sure, but also a nation, just as Scotland and Catalonia are – whether or not it should ever become a sovereign State.

        Steve, please don’t leave because of some silly internet comments – you know how internet debates take on a life of their own, unrelated to the “meat world”. I was cycling round Parc Jarry the other day, as I do whenever it isn’t raining, and real life includes a rather thrilling amateur footie match or two, with many supporters, a cricket match between South Asian fellows in their smart whites, people running with dogs or babies in jogging strollers, lots of cyclists of all ages – and ethnic origins, and even the 1960s throwback of a guy strumming on his guitar under a tree on the little “peninsula” in the artificial pond (though the park really was crossed by streams and had a farm pond or two, which was the original reason for the “water feature”). There are many interesting things going on here that have nothing whatsoever to do with such debates.

        Of course if you are leaving due to a better job offer in another interesting city, then go for it!

        Main micro-local controversy poste 35’s attempts to expand the station in the Park via some very silly greenwashing….

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      5. PHIL-EVIL

        Thank god your family is here and did not stay in Italia, you would have to work like those peasants in Sicily!!!

        Reply
  10. tacosburritos

    Calling Préfontaine’s unorthodox opinions “hate literature” is doing a disservice to discourse in a democracy by conflating actual hate with mere statements you disagree with — and this of course numbs us to perceiving actual hatred.

    Reply
  11. Serge

    That first e-mail that Eric Amber sent was pretty stupid. The outrage of a WASP stung by misfired antisemitism does not quite provide a licence. Still, I think you’re right that it was heat of the moment. So, reading this, it is hard not to feel like the real depths of assholishness are reached by the folks who snark with “give me French or give me nothing”, then gleefully pepper contacts at all major press with the heat-of-the-moment reply.

    Reply
    1. JT

      ”So, reading this, it is hard not to feel like the real depths of assholishness are reached by the folks who snark with “give me French or give me nothing”, then gleefully pepper contacts at all major press with the heat-of-the-moment reply.”

      I ask sometimes to be spoken in french at the restaurant in Montreal and I don’t see that as irrelevant. Why should we cheat in business. Quality of service is important and if you don’t want to give some, don’t be surprised of the consequences. Facism, extremism, etc are words used as scapegoat by them who are too lazy to make business without cheating. In the case of TSC, Mr Amber didn’t have to insult people. He’s cheating when he’s accusing every francophones of everything bad in this world and this city.

      And I’m still amazed to see English speakers be happy by the quality of life in Montreal until you don’t talk about language. So where is the truth. Happiness is in the city until french is not mentionned or francophone have some responsabilitie in this happiness.

      Reply
  12. DavidC

    So he made a politically incorrect comment – big deal? I say, good for Amber for speaking from the heart. I hear these typical comments directed towards Anglophones and minorities from Francophones all the time and no one in the French media makes a big deal. But when 1 Anglophone says something stupid against Francophones – boy the whole world is falling down! I think it’s the French media, not Amber, that has the thin skin.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Amber’s statement wasn’t directed against “francophones”, it was directed against someone who asked that he be removed from a mailing list.

      The idea that Amber is representative of all anglos or that Les Sages Fous are representative of all francos is the point that everyone seems to be missing here.

      Reply
  13. Maria Gatti

    Tacosburritos, have you read what he has written or the caricatures he has posted? His misogyny runs very deep; it is not just a “difference of opinion”. Would you say the same thing about racist rants? Calling racism, sexism, homophobia etc “unorthodox opinions” is worthy of the likes of Jeff Filion.

    I didn’t call for him to be banned nor would I unless he made direct threats or made life impossibly miserable for a woman or women, as for any other group of human beings.

    David C, sorry, I disagree. Francophones are a historically oppressed group; perhaps there is some degree of “turnaround” nowadays, but anglophones do speak the dominant language in North America.

    Reply
  14. GMartin

    To Marina who works at TSC: So he said people told him to “return back to israel” ?

    It doesnt make any sense. First is there any place where he say he’s jewish, that’s not the kind of things you can guess just by looking at someone (unless they’re wearing a kippa or something) ?

    Amber claims about people calling him “sale anglais” or “sale juif anglais” before this story came to medias, are simply made up to justify his own sick behaviors. He doesn’t feel as guilty this way… what i found dramatic, is that he didnt apologize after this.

    Thanks to my sister, South Miller for schooling that d*** !

    Reply
    1. Frank

      It doesnt make any sense. First is there any place where he say he’s jewish, that’s not the kind of things you can guess just by looking at someone (unless they’re wearing a kippa or something) ?

      Ask Norman Jewison how often he was thought of being jewish…

      Reply
      1. Pierre JC Allard

        @ Frank I can’t resist sending you this quip from famous french stand-up comic Coluche, who was not a racist by any strech of the imagination, but quite fast on the draw: “Sir, your jeans are so tight, that I can see your religion”… It is probably because I find this hilarious that we are two solitudes… But I like you, neighbours, really like you. If you understand French, you are more than welcome to my blog. The only reason I do not do it in English also is thatt I am more than a little lazy

        Pierre JC Allard

        Reply
        1. Frank

          Salut bien Pierre,
          I’ve bookmarked your site and look forward to reading your articles, thanks
          I’m somewhat familiar with Coluche; 2 cousins having worked for his charity (1 nearly beaten up when confronting a merchant who was in the process of tossing out loaves of bread.)
          Cheers

          Reply
    2. Marina

      Don’t ask me how the guy thought he was Jewish, I don’t know. You’d have to ask him. But saying it “doesn’t make sense”, is quite ignorant, we don’t know what was going through this man’s head or why he told Eric to go back to Israel, there could be millions of reasons why he said that.

      Either way, Mr. Amber does NOT hate francophones. In fact, his mother is francophone and I ALWAYS see franco friends who come in all the time to talk to him.

      Reply
  15. GMartin

    Fagstein: Still Amber would have answered that to anyone who was asking for a french mailing. It’s clearly not targeted at “Les Sages Fous”, but more at the fact that they were asking for a french version of the mailing list. I would have received the same insults, if i had request a french mailing.

    I’m not asking mailings in a foreign language like mandarin, i’m asking them in french, which is the national language. I don’t see why i’d feel bad about asking communications in French when i’m in Québec. Like i wouldn’t feel bad to ask for services in english when i’m in NYC (my fav american city) or Toronto.

    What would it cost to have a “preferred language” option in the mailing list ? It could really have helped his business to make promotion in french… it would add about 2.5 millions people to his potential customers.

    Now his business has a bad reputation, doesn’t make money, and gonna close eventually. Really bad call.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Keep in mind this isn’t a coffee shop. These are promotional emails for English productions. If you don’t understand the language, why would you want to receive promotional material about the shows?

      I’m not saying I necessarily agree with this being an English-only operation (I’d certainly have the website be bilingual at least), but I’m playing devil’s advocate here. This is a special case.

      Reply
      1. PHIL-EVIL

        Huh… TSC actually exists because of the taxes from Quebecois, 80% of them being the evildoer and racist francos. Its not a coffee shop its true, cause it sucks my money more than a coffee shop. No theatre in canada can survive without public funds, so Amber not only insulted the francos, he insulted the people he sucked money from. And for that I didnt even get a coffee!!!!
        There is a lot of cities in North America where you only need to speak english…huh…or spanish. Amber can try to go there if he feels some danger for his life…strange that those people complaining about French are usually people that can easily go elsewhere but stay here and complain and grab our money. I dont go in vancouver and I dont want them to serve me in french, they can speak English there…or cantonese. Quebec is 80% franco, Montreal 50%…only 18-20% with english as a mother tongue, the rest are allophones…its like going in Morrocco and complaining about the arab language. Yes, lots of morroccans can speak very good French, but the official language is arab and you will need to use it more often than not.
        The fact he can speak French and could have been polite, but choose to insult violently some fellow artists (one of which…an anglophone!!!) proove two things: hes a bigot himself (but I dont really care about that)…and hes a bad and lazy businessman not using the public funds wisely (thats more condemnable)…

        Reply
  16. Tony Kondaks

    Fagstein writes:

    “Because those idiots who comment on Patrick Lagacé and Richard Martineau’s blogs will start painting all of us with the same brush, and that makes us responsible for your behaviour.”

    With all due respect, Fagstein, how and why are you responsible for someone else’s words? Because may share the same mother tongue as they do? If “those idiots”, as you describe them, will paint you with the same brush as the ones making the alledged nasty comments, how does that make you and other anglos responsible for their behaviour?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      It doesn’t. That’s my point. But whether we deserve it or not they will make us responsible, just like Amber made Les Sages Fous responsible for the behaviour of some other assholes he’s been dealing with.

      Reply
      1. Tony Kondaks

        Fagstein responds:

        “…whether we deserve it or not they will make us responsible.”

        I think that’s pretty scary if “they” were to do that. And as reprehensible as Eric Amber’s comments may have been, the idea that “they” would make “us” (i.e. Quebec anglos) responsible is a thousand times more scary than anything Amber did. After all, Amber is one lone voice out of 575,000 or so Quebec anglos. You’ll always find a nutcase and a loose cannon out of half a million people to say or do something nutty. And as you yourself say: no reasonable person can or should hold the many responsible for the actions of a few or one individual.

        But this is NOT the reasonable response that you are suggesting would be forthcoming and I submit to you that this is a very, very serious issue if, indeed, you really believe that.

        And the first thing I would ask you is: who are the “they” that you are referring to?

        A few nutcases on the francophone side?

        A majority of Quebec francophones?

        Enquiring minds want to know…

        Reply
  17. Qatzel Ok

    Eric Amber stated emphatically what many Anglophones think in their hegemonic heart of hearts.

    And since it’s so rare that people working in public relations are fed truth serum, this is an important story.

    Reply
    1. qatzelok

      A lot of things happened on the days leading up to June 24.

      I think what you meant to write was that I don’t “remember” what the media reported a few days before that date. And in this, you are correct. The media isolates insignificant events in order to further the owners’ agenda – which is usually a commercial one, or a political hegemonic one.

      Reading Montreal’s anglo media is bound to manipulate you in some way. It’s so politically isolating and polarizing, and always has been – just like Rhodesian White media or Venezuelan Rich media.

      Reply
  18. walkerp

    I don’t condone Amber’s behaviour. I think his story demonstrates a certain anglo newcomer mentality that makes the dangerous assumption that things operate here the way they do in the west and if they don’t, they should. I did hear (second-hand, so take it for what it’s worth) that he had some other rough things happen to him, including some police brutality and tough times getting along with some of the large events organizations, so he probably was already at a high level of resentment and frustration when he received that email. His attitude and words are still inexcusable, but that might give you some context for why he is acting as he is.

    Reply
    1. Jean Naimard

      I did hear (second-hand, so take it for what it’s worth) that he had some other rough things happen to him, including some police brutality and tough times getting along with some of the large events organizations,

      Well, if it is so, the guy is obviously a first-class douche, which he confirmed with his GFY answer…

      Reply
  19. Jean Naimard

    Pourquoi les anglophones peuvent pas juste apprendre le français, l’utiliser à Montréal et être contents comme ça? Comme moi?

    Because anglo-saxons are culturally unable to understand other cultures, and it would be demeaning to learn french, the language of the hereditary ennemy.
     

    Calling Préfontaine’s unorthodox opinions “hate literature” is doing a disservice to discourse in a democracy by conflating actual hate with mere statements you disagree with — and this of course numbs us to perceiving actual hatred.

    It’s an old trick to heave infamous accusations on something relatively trivial in order to stick the culprit into denying the infamous accusation rather than defend his viewpoint. Jews are pretty good at it, they answer any critic with the cry of "antisemite", so in the end, not only no one dares criticize them, but you’ll find plenty of goys willing to battle for jews.
     

    That first e-mail that Eric Amber sent was pretty stupid. The outrage of a WASP stung by misfired antisemitism does not quite provide a licence. Still, I think you’re right that it was heat of the moment. So, reading this, it is hard not to feel like the real depths of assholishness are reached by the folks who snark with “give me French or give me nothing”, then gleefully pepper contacts at all major press with the heat-of-the-moment reply.

    And, pray tell, what is wrong in demanding french in a country that overwhelmingly french? If the asshole had not said GFY, nothing would have happenned.
     

    So he made a politically incorrect comment – big deal? I say, good for Amber for speaking from the heart. I hear these typical comments directed towards Anglophones and minorities from Francophones all the time and no one in the French media makes a big deal.

    That’s because it’s no big deal. It is a given that in any place, people will have to talk with the language the most people speak. But somehow, it seems the english are exempt from that rule in Québec…

    But when 1 Anglophone says something stupid against Francophones – boy the whole world is falling down! I think it’s the French media, not Amber, that has the thin skin.

    That’s because it’s a big deal. It is a given that in any place, people will have to talk with the language the most people speak. But somehow, it seems the english are exempt from that rule in Québec…
     

    Amber’s statement wasn’t directed against “francophones”, it was directed against someone who asked that he be removed from a mailing list.
    The idea that Amber is representative of all anglos or that Les Sages Fous are representative of all francos is the point that everyone seems to be missing here.

    I really like the way you go up in arms, denouncing an english who speaks his mind against the french, because that would rock the boat. In reality, what it does it wakes up the people to the sad reality that most english think exactly like Amber does, but they keep a stiff upper lip about it. After all, the english are world-famous for their hypocrisy: they will smile at you then stab you in the back.
    Really, it’s just crocodile tears.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      In reality, what it does it wakes up the people to the sad reality that most english think exactly like Amber does, but they keep a stiff upper lip about it. After all, the english are world-famous for their hypocrisy: they will smile at you then stab you in the back.

      What evidence, other than your own bias, do you have for this ridiculous generalization?

      Reply
      1. qatzelok

        Than Anglos vote overwhelmingly for the Pro-Anglo parties is evidence enough for me.

        They’re a one-issue group, and the issue is their own dominance of the Francophone majority.

        This will only change with independence.

        Reply
    2. Serge

      Nothing is wrong with demanding French in a province that is overwhelmingly French-speaking. Similarly, nothing is wrong with asking to use the bathroom in a restaurant.

      But if I did either by snarling at someone rudely, used a digital camera to take a picture of their annoyed face having to deal with my snarling, then posted the photo all over the Internet, that would be pretty irritating of me. Don’t you think?

      Reply
  20. Léonard

    ” Amber’s statement wasn’t directed against “francophones”, it was directed against someone who asked that he be removed from a mailing list.

    The idea that Amber is representative of all anglos or that Les Sages Fous are representative of all francos is the point that everyone seems to be missing here. ”

    That’s the whole problem in here, it was directed using the scapegoat idea, which is ridiculous! I mean, when you do customer service on behalf of a company, whatever, no matter what the customers say you have to stay polite.

    Reply
  21. Gabriel

    Yeah, but Amber wrote two emails (the second is not reported here, why Fag?) And neither in the second one, neither in the quotes in medias, did Amber seem to have any sense of how stupid his “heat-of-the-moment” comment was. That Amber guy must be in the heat of the moment 24h/24h I guess…

    Reply
  22. DAVE ID

    Best P.S. ever and the Twitter account isn’t mine, when I want to give you the one finger salute I just blog about it.

    But I see nothing wrong in requesting corporate communications be done in French. Would you insist that Koreans in Korea receive their business communications in Mandarin? I think not. I’ll most likely never be a separatist but I recognize that Quebec is a nation of people of which the vast majority are French and to request to have French transactions is not radical. It’s a mild irritant to do everything written twice but it keeps everyone happy. I see nothing wrong with that.

    Reply
    1. Youppi!

      I can’t believe some people think an English theatre should send out emails in French. There’s no common sense in this town. The comparisons people are making to this and other business communications are non-sensical.

      Reply
      1. DAVE ID

        Youppi, Having worked in the “theater” or Cirque business I have no illusions that it’s just a business like any other offering a product like any other (I know the bleeding hearts don’t like hearing that about their production but it’s still a product – hence PRODUCTion) and when you want to do good business you open your doors to ALL available business by being a savvy business person, this means in a French province you send out your business communications in French also to attract as much business as possible because the desired end result of any business is PROFIT and THAT’S Common Sense.

        Reply
          1. DAVE ID

            Because Free-Market works out great socially for Americans. I don’t agree Josh. Unregulated Free Markets don’t work, unless you are at the top of the financial market.

            Reply
          2. Jean Naimard

            If only people in Quebec *would* let the market and PROFIT sort these things out, Dave!

            Typical english cluelessness and inability to grasp other cultures.
            It so happens that we **DON’T** trust the market; after being shafted and screwed by those free-market advocates (Price, Molson, Allan, Redpath…) who came here to plunder our ressources and our manpower, we grew a healthy dislike for the economic freedom that is most responsible for our economic backwardness, and that dislike is further reinforced by the collapse of the U.S. Economy, thanks to the über-free-market principles that were shoved down the throats of everyone for the benefit of a very small élite.
            We don’t trust free-entreprise, we don’t trust the free-market. We don’t trust freedom because unabashed freedom means a little bunch will take advantage of the majority.
            No, we prefer to have a strong government that has a heavy hand and a hefty involvement in the Economy, so make sure that everyone gets a good life, and so much the better if it’s at the expense of a few greedy profiteers. And that keeps those greedy bastards out; we don’t need their investment if it results in poverty and grief.
            In a nutshell, we didn’t have a magna carta; so we don’t think the State is bad and evil so we like and trust big government.

            Reply
      2. Jean Naimard

        (Yay! Nested comments work! Thumbs up to Mr. F!)

        I can’t believe some people think an English theatre should send out emails in French. There’s no common sense in this town.

        We, the french, don’t have common sense. Only common decency and politeness…

        Reply
  23. Caroline

    Why the hell is it that every time some anglo calls a frenchie names and/or vice versa, it has to be turned in some province wide linguistic war / pissing contest? So some anglo told some frenchie to ”go fuck yourself”… so what? that is between them and it can easily be resolved there, why does it have to mean that ”ZOMG english people are like mean. boohoo wah wah” Grow the effing up…

    And in that vein, why is it that when some men calls a women an ”educated bigot” and then he tells them to ”go fuck yourself”, why is it that there’s not some humongous feminit protest? Why isn’t every woman in the province starting to scream the almight injustice?

    Oh right, not the same thing, gotcha!

    Reply
      1. JT

        Language is an important issue in this province. It’s just basic. Everybody would like to avoid the question. But it’s there. It’s childish to think you can ending a debate just by closing your mouth. If the matters of the dipute are not cleared, this debate will reappear.
        The same thing is coming again and be sure will come back again and again. It’s not a menace, it’s a fact. Be adult would be avoiding insults and talking seriously. Talking about racism, bigots, etc. won’t help.
        French is part of the identity of quebecers. We don’t talk about alphabet and grammar, we’re talking about the heart of people. It’s maybe funny but it’s there.

        Reply
      2. Pat

        As an addendum to my last post, I suppose that what outrages me most about this blog is that it perpetuates the same distortion of the truth that forms the basis of Les Sages Fous’ argument. In short, there’s nothing in Amber’s admittedly impulsive and unnecessary GFY reply that suggests it was directed at either Francophones in general, or Francophone culture. Rather, it was directed at Les Sages Fous themselves, and they alone. By all accounts, LSF are the one who’ve elected to politicize the exchange (not that there’s any publicity to be gained by doing so…), and by jumping in the “Eric Amber set linguistic relations back 30 years” bandwagon, you, Steve Faguy, are complicit in the sensationalism. Surely it can’t be that slow of a news day?

        Reply
  24. Simon

    Enfin, un exemple tangible de l’ignorance crasse des anglophones. Depuis des années je tente d’aborder rationnellement et calmement la lutte linguistique. Mais face au manque flagrant de sensibilité des anglophones, j’en ai marre. Et fuck la politesse. Je vais lancer des oeufs à la vitrinne du Saint Catherine Theatre. Enculés

    Reply
    1. Brush It Off

      “Enfin, un exemple tangible de l’ignorance crasse des anglophones. Depuis des années je tente d’aborder rationnellement et calmement la lutte linguistique. Mais face au manque flagrant de sensibilité des anglophones, j’en ai marre. Et fuck la politesse. Je vais lancer des oeufs à la vitrinne du Saint Catherine Theatre. Enculés”

      “Enfin” eh Simon? Boy the Anglos in this city must be real dinosaurs if it took you this long to find a “tangible” example of Anglo ignorance. Some nobody is rude in an e-mail, and now you can pronounce judgment on an entire community. Why don’t you sit on your eggs, instead of throwing them at windows?

      Reply
      1. Line

        What really is sickening is all Anglos being painted with the same brush…Doesn’t matter how rude, ignorant and arrogant some Francophones are to Anglos…that’s excusable but one Anglo in what? 900,000 sends an unacceptable e-mail and now we’re all the same???!!! So does that mean we’re to believe all Francophones are the same??? Grow up people!

        Reply
        1. Jean Naimard

          What really is sickening is all Anglos being painted with the same brush…

          Funny that you don’t decry the same thing done to the french…

          Doesn’t matter how rude, ignorant and arrogant some Francophones are to Anglos…that’s excusable but one Anglo in what? 900,000 sends an unacceptable e-mail and now we’re all the same???!!!

          Well, a lot of english think precisely this but they don’t say it (which is consistent with their well-proven hypocrisy).
          This is why you are pretty pissed-off at it, because it exposed the truth. You’re just having crocodile tears.

          Reply
  25. Antonio

    Fagstein,

    I agree with you on Amber.

    However, what was so wrong about Jossée Legault’s article on this issue. I see nothing there that states that she thinks that ALL anglophones are like Amber, just that MANY anglophones do think like Amber. Do you think that Amber is alone among anglophones that think that way?

    Is this like when you and federalists think that Parizeau was painting ALL ethnics with the same brush in the 1995 referendum and that he hates them whereas Parizeau actually meant that a lot of ehtnics voted NO (the vast majority of them), which was true?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      “I see nothing there that states that she thinks that ALL anglophones are like Amber, just that MANY anglophones do think like Amber.”

      What would be the point in saying that if not to perpetuate a stereotype? I’m sure MANY people think Elvis is still alive. You can say that about just about any opinion held by any person. It is devoid of information.

      Reply
      1. Antonio

        Fagstein,

        “What would be the point in saying that if not to perpetuate a stereotype?”

        But it is true. There are many anglophones who think like Amber.

        Reply
  26. Rigo

    The best thing about this story is that most of it doesn’t have as much to do with the language issue, as it has to do with assholes, on both sides of the fence. Basically it’s just a classic case of a complete douchebag getting his ass handed to himself by Internet vigilantism (which itself is a form of douchebaggery). This happens all the time, all around in the world : An asshole does a dumb move on the Internet. Someone decides to react by spreading the story around. Next thing you know, hundreds of trolls flood his inbox with bullshit threats, attempt to find his personal address and phone number, attempt to contact his relatives or business contacts, or perform any other kind of (un)called for revenge on him. The language/racism issues here are just part of local folklore. Of course, you can count on the media to pick this story up as yet another follow-up to the Battle of the Plains of Abraham and to blow the whole thing out of proportion. Same thing for the Jeunes Patriotes, SSJB or any other organization of that kind that would go out of business if they couldn’t jump in controversies like this one every once in a while.

    I bet Eric Amber is wondering right now why he didn’t resend the schedule in French. Or take that obscure Trois-Rivières theatre group of its mailing list (not like they’re going to drive to Montreal to see a show in English if they want to get the French schedule, right?). Or if he really wanted to piss them off for sending him a silly request, just ignore those two options that were given to him and simply delete their message without giving them a reply or taking any action. I doubt Les Sages Fous would have sent all their friends a message saying “Boohoo, this guy won’t take us off his English-only mailing list, now we have to update our spam filter!”

    Reply
    1. Jean Naimard

      The best thing about this story is that most of it doesn’t have as much to do with the language issue, as it has to do with assholes, on both sides of the fence. Basically it’s just a classic case of a complete douchebag getting his ass handed to himself by Internet vigilantism (which itself is a form of douchebaggery). 

      An argument toted by U.S. gun nuts is that "an armed society is a polite society", the theory being that if you are impolite or double-plus ungood to someone, he will shoot you, so people behave themselves.
      Well, the Internet has enabled ordinary people to gather a wide audience without having to own an expensive printing press and a ruinous distribution network (and having to sollicit advertisements and pay reporters and columnists). Now the slightest slight can be magnified, and the tiniest slip-up from any company (often caused by a clueless employee) now are exposed for all to see. The positive thing out of this is that companies can no longer count on public ignorance to provide sloppy goods and slipshod services for any length of time, because there is a limit to what marketing can cover-up.
      Score one point for douchebaggy in the field of consumer protection.

      Reply
  27. Laura Roberts

    When people ask to be taken off your mailing list, no matter how rudely, all you have to do is take them off. Period, end of story. Yeah, it’s annoying to have people bitching at you or sending you rude messages when, undoubtedly, there’s an “unsubscribe” button right on the mailing, but honestly, who cares? Why must everything in this town devolve into a language issue? It was stupid and childish for Amber to respond the way he did, but given the fact that his theatre only produces English-language shows, I have to agree with your question concerning why he’d bother trying to advertise those shows in French. And now he’s going to shut down the theatre over his own tantrum? Wow. Now that’s taking it to another level. I’m sure all the evil francos in town will be thwarted by this bold new maneuver!

    Reply
    1. Marc

      I’m sure all the evil francos in town will be thwarted by this bold new maneuver!

      Nice stereotype. I’m sure the French half of my family will feel great about that comment.

      Reply
  28. Enkidu

    Thanks, Fagstein, for writing this piece. It’s important to avoid over-generalization (from one side or the other) and your post helps showing that anglophones like Mr Amber are more the exception than the rule.

    Regards

    Reply
  29. Steve

    I just got an out of town job offer, and wasn’t sure what to do, until I read this page of comments. I can’t wait to leave these never ending arguments behind.

    Thanks for helping me make up my mind.

    Reply
    1. Jean Naimard

      Thanks for helping me make up my mind.

      You’re welcome and good riddance. We’re in a free country, so you can leave anytime and bring your money with you; we certainly don’t want people who’d be unhappy here (why does the U.S. Constitution has a clause about “the pursuit of happyness” and not ours???).

      Reply
        1. Jean Naimard

          You’re the one in the island; the english come from an island, and they will always be insular.

          If we want to separate, it’s also to be open to the world, without the blinders of anglo-saxon diplomatic hangups.

          Reply
          1. Jean Naimard

            My roots are not “English”, and I speak four languages. But thanks for trying.

            Hey, look! A PC immigrant that sucks-up to the english!
            Can’t you see you’re a tool of the english??? They are using you like one uses a hammer. Isn’t that humiliating? Oh, no, it’s not because it gives you money, eh???

            Reply
      1. DAVE ID

        Those who wrote ours weren’t fans of John Locke who gave birth to political Libertarianism. Though “Life, Liberty and the pursuit oh Happiness” may well be the greatest contribution to democracy made since the Greeks conceptualized it, it lead to a massively individualistic notion of citizenship in America – you know the whole “American Dream” crap which is total BS and never works as a philosophy because it premises that a person is completely and singularly responsible for her state and future. Which is why we have/had social programs instead and they have poverty the likes of which makes Native reservations in Canada look like Club Meds.

        Both Anglos and Francos need to let go of the past. Our mutual dislike trails back to the Brits and Francs beating each other on the head with sticks long before they set foot on America. This is ridiculous to me.

        Reply
        1. Jean Naimard

          Those who wrote ours weren’t fans of John Locke who gave birth to political Libertarianism.

          LOL! Actually, those who wrote ours were the very redcoats the yankees were going away from… :) :) :)

          Though “Life, Liberty and the pursuit oh Happiness” may well be the greatest contribution to democracy made since the Greeks conceptualized it, it lead to a massively individualistic notion of citizenship in America

          Not only individualistic, but the broken notion than an individual can accumulate power without any limits; the Gilded Age being a prime example of those excesses (and the brain-damaged notion that croporations have the same rights as humans beings).
          It’s really the same thing right-wingers keep complaining about: rights without responsibilities; the right of being super-rich without the responsibility of making sure you don’t ruin everyone else around you.

          – you know the whole “American Dream” crap which is total BS and never works as a philosophy because it premises that a person is completely and singularly responsible for her state and future. Which is why we have/had social programs instead and they have poverty the likes of which makes Native reservations in Canada look like Club Meds.

          Personal responsibility is just another excuse that lets the rich blame the poor for their predicament.

          Both Anglos and Francos need to let go of the past. Our mutual dislike trails back to the Brits and Francs beating each other on the head with sticks long before they set foot on America. This is ridiculous to me.

          Er, no. It’s not exactly that. The brits are really french who split from France (norman conquest); the english/french conflicts were mostly royal family squabbles (the picture got muddled after the Reformation). Britain is a poor little island, and France is a bountiful country. When Britain had her ressources depleted, the brits had to go abroad to get what they needed; that’s why they developped their empire. The french only followed suit because it was fashionable at the time; France never really needed it’s colonies anyways (witness the désinvolture with wich Canada was abandonned to the hereditary ennemy — if France was piss-poor like Britain was, it would not have squandered such a rich country [and with a french Canada+Louisiana, the USA would not have stood a chance]).
          The best proof of that is that following Word War II, when both France and Britain lost their empires, France had a record economic growth for 30 solid years (the 30 glorieuses) whilst Britain sank further and further into bankrupcy and decadence (they had strict currency exchange controls for more than 20 years following the war!!!).
          What we are battling against is the inferiority complex anglo-saxons feel in front of the french, which are more than successful while doing things their culture tells them are bad* and who have a vastly richer culture. Another thing that doen’t help is our staunch determination to remain french, even though that determination dragged us through the most abject poverty, submission, dependance and humiliation.
          * Like loving big government and distrusting private entreprise — to this day, americans cannot fathom why the French Economy is #5 in the world and why they have 95% of the US’ per-capita GDP with 1 month vacations, tasty & healthy food, smelly cheese, fast trains, alcohol in Mc Donalds‘, universal health-care, small automobiles, big-government and only 21% of their population…

          Reply
  30. Tony Kondaks

    For some reason, yesterday’s Henry Louis Gates incident with the Cambridge police reminds me of this Eric Amber incident.

    Two communities continually in conflict with one another; yet another excuse to fan the flames of controversy.

    Reply
  31. Josh

    How it is that I write one sentence and all of a sudden I’m in favour of “unregulated” financial markets is beyond me. My point is that on a small-scale, if you let the market sort out things like this, it works.

    If the majority of people in a place don’t like how a particular establishment does business, it won’t survive. Period. If people do like it, it will, as it should.

    Next time try not to project quite so much onto me, Dave and Jean.

    Reply
  32. PHIL-EVIL

    The anglophones always seems to think that the language issue is a funny one, probably because right now (right now yes!) English is the international language that everyone is learning (or maybe its the cyber-ebonix language).
    Soon it will be spanish (or cyberlatino probably!!) …dont laugh…english is the international language only for less than a century, before it was French, and before latin, etc…these things change so rapidly. Not long ago, Portugal was an Empire! really…
    Wherever I go, everytime I see someone complaining about language issues: a North american. In Japan, they were complaining that Japan airlines staff didnt speak a very good english, in Thailand I saw some black dude from the US making fun of a waitress trying to serve him IN ENGLISH, other tourist in France complaining about those pesky French that cant speak Ze English…
    Actually, those unilingual (an often ‘unicultural’) north american anglophone will get a big slap in the face in about 30-50 years where English will not be the first language spoken in…the USA! nor in Vancouver and Toronto…no habla espanol senior? por que?

    Reply
  33. PHIL-EVIL

    Amber also said that unilingual francos are uneducated ignorant…
    he probably forgot the words of Somerset Maugham : “..that French is the common language of educated men”!

    Reply
  34. Becks

    so we don’t think the State is bad and evil so we like and trust big government.

    bigger fool you are jean

    Reply
    1. Jean Naimard

      so we don’t think the State is bad and evil so we like and trust big government.
      bigger fool you are jean

      Thanks for proving my point that the english (and those who suck-up to them) do not understand other cultures.

      Reply
  35. Line

    Thanks for today’s update Fagstein. I think they summarized it well in their opening line, “Someone call Dr. Phil”. This is now taking ridiculous to a whole new level! He just couldn’t leave well enough alone, unreal!

    Reply
  36. Becks

    Sorry Jean but I do understand other cultures.
    As far as francophones likeing and trusting big government…no surprise there…the UQaM and the Ude M and Mcgill collaboratted on a study about how the Francophone and Allophone/Anglophone communities viewed government and the role it should play in our lives about 1999…
    As you said ..the Francophones trust government and want it to play a more paternalistic, more controlling role in society and the individuals life…in other words..”gimme, gimme”

    Anglophones want government to be more distant, not as controlling and they prefer to be more self-reliant

    I guess the state pitiful state of our infrastructure and health care system as compared to other juristictions paints a pretty clear picture of how competant our Quebec government is..NOT…not to mention the provincial debt and to add insult to injury we are the highest taxed people in North America

    Reply
    1. Jean Naimard

      As far as francophones likeing and trusting big government…no surprise there…the UQaM and the Ude M and Mcgill collaboratted on a study about how the Francophone and Allophone/Anglophone communities viewed government and the role it should play in our lives about 1999…
      As you said ..the Francophones trust government and want it to play a more paternalistic, more controlling role in society and the individuals life…in other words..”gimme, gimme”

      Ah, the usual anglo-saxon demonstration that he doesn’t understand the french.
      It’s not "gimme gimme", but simply to have the biggest bang for our taxpayer buck. And we manage to proportionally get much more than residents of Ontario, or even Alberta.

      Anglophones want government to be more distant, not as controlling and they prefer to be more self-reliant

      No. The rich want government to be small, and nonintrusive, so they can do their business unimpeded and they want to pay less taxes. This is what it really boils down to.
      And the poor are being gullied in believing that if they work hard, they can be rich, so they will think like the rich when it comes to vote, without realizing that it is connections that matters, now how hard you work.

      I guess the state pitiful state of our infrastructure and health care system as compared to other juristictions paints a pretty clear picture of how competant our Quebec government is..NOT…not to mention the provincial debt and to add insult to injury we are the highest taxed people in North America

      The pitiful state is the result of taxes not sufficiently following the increases in cost, not an effect of the competence of the government (although the liberals, being good minions of the english, have significantly decreased the government’s competence).
      As of about being highly taxed, you conveniently avoid specifying from how much. Our tax rate is pretty competitive; it has to be, otherwise we would not have all that high-technology sector.

      Reply
    2. Line

      I agree Becks. You forgot to mention the $40 billion missing from the CDP also. However, others argue the Liberals changed the “rules”. Lest we forgot who hired the idiots who lost our pension money (PQ) and the CDP was losing money prior to the liberals changing the “rules”. But this is perfectly acceptable! They were also advise NOT to invest in certain markets but continued to do so anyway…hmmmm….let’s blame the Liberals and hope that the PQ get in next election so they could lose more of taxpayers hard earned dollars!!!!

      Reply
      1. Jean Naimard

        I agree Becks. You forgot to mention the $40 billion missing from the CDP also. However, others argue the Liberals changed the “rules”. Lest we forgot who hired the idiots who lost our pension money (PQ) and the CDP was losing money prior to the liberals changing the “rules”. But this is perfectly acceptable! They were also advise NOT to invest in certain markets but continued to do so anyway…hmmmm….let’s blame the Liberals and hope that the PQ get in next election so they could lose more of taxpayers hard earned dollars!!!!

        The liberals are the englishs’ minions: best proof is that 99% of the english vote liberal (how’s that for ethnic voting???) Jean Charest has got one mandate from Bay Street: make Québec another province like all the others. So he is endeavouring to dismantle all the great things our government has done over the years.
        But he is not doing it outright, only very subtly by corrupting the institutions. Cutting budgets, so roads are not fixed like they should be, by giving private-public “partnership” to his little friends, like the highway 25 bridge that was doled-out to some liberal companies with the promise that there would be no commuter train line nearby in Laval to insure that people are going to ride their cars. Or by changing the rules to have the Caisse de Dépôt lose it’s original mandate to develop Québec’s economy.
        The next step is to stop enforcing law 101, and eventually, getting rid of the civil code, so that Québec is just like another anglo-saxon province in Canada, so the big corporations can do business without having to bother with those pesky french.
        This is what the liberals want. And when Charest will have done that, he’ll be rewarded with the fat plum he’s been after all his life: being the prime minister of Canada, while Bay Street goes laughing all the way to the bank.

        Reply
          1. Jean Naimard

            The electoral results where the proportion of liberal votes closely follow the proportion of english people.

            Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          the highway 25 bridge that was doled-out to some liberal companies with the promise that there would be no commuter train line nearby in Laval to insure that people are going to ride their cars.

          Setting aside the fact that there are already two commuter train lines serving laval, if you look at a map of the area, it seems clear that the proposed bridge would be most useful to people living in north shore Terrebonne and Mascouche, since eastern Laval is mostly unpopulated. And the next proposed train line will terminate in exactly those communities.

          Reply
          1. Sid

            How is Autoroute 25 “doled out to liberal companies”? The contract was awarded to an Australian bank. Are the Quebec Liberals very popular in Australia?

            Also, what is this thread about, again?

            Reply
          2. Jean Naimard

            Setting aside the fact that there are already two commuter train lines serving laval, if you look at a map of the area, it seems clear that the proposed bridge would be most useful to people living in north shore Terrebonne and Mascouche, since eastern Laval is mostly unpopulated. And the next proposed train line will terminate in exactly those communities.

            If the line to Mascouche passed through eastern Laval, it could have been implemented in a matter of months, instead of the current boondoggle where a new rail line will have to be built, and special seldom-seen before (so very expensive) dual-mode locomotives along with totally new rolling stock ordered.
            Not to mention operating in a busy rail corridor (CN mainline to northern Québec) as opposed to a lightly used line.

            Reply
  37. Enkidu

    Jean, plus je te lis, plus tu me fais honte. Tu es plus borné et bourré de préjugés que ceux que tu dénonces. Que fais-tu ici? Va troller ailleurs…

    Beck, it’s not as simple as that. Any simplification of a people culture is a GROSS simplification. I wouldn’t do that to anglophones, and I’d expect anglos to be more nuanced as well… Anyway, we are more alike than different, it would be more obvious if we were not at each other’s throats all the time…

    Reply
    1. Becks

      Enkidi..please clarify, what simplification did I make that you refer to…

      Jean…you can deny its “gimme gimme” by claiming we get a bigger bang for our buck but the state of our roads alone belies that statement. And it is a fact…Quebecers, as individuals, are the highest taxed population in North America….and we aren’t getting much bang for our buck…again I point out our infrastructure is a mess.

      Reply
      1. Jean Naimard

        Jean…you can deny its “gimme gimme” by claiming we get a bigger bang for our buck but the state of our roads alone belies that statement. And it is a fact…Quebecers, as individuals, are the highest taxed population in North America….

        Unlike the anglo-saxons, we are not much annoyed by high taxes, because we don’t believe that government is bad (no magna carta, remember?)

        and we aren’t getting much bang for our buck…again I point out our infrastructure is a mess.

        Our infrastructure is fine for the amount of money we put in them. It is just that we are unable to tax the trucks that run through Québec to the amount required to pay for the damage they cause to roads.

        Reply
    2. Jean Naimard

      Jean, plus je te lis, plus tu me fais honte. Tu es plus borné et bourré de préjugés que ceux que tu dénonces. Que fais-tu ici? Va troller ailleurs…

      Connais-tu bien les anglais? J’ai travaillé et vécu longtemps avec eux, et mes observations sont dérivées de mes expériences.
      La plupart des français qui s’offusquent de ce que je dis ne connaissent pas les anglais du tout.

      Reply
      1. Enkidu

        Je connais beaucoup d’anglophones, de toutes origines, vivant dans un arrondissement plutôt bilingue, où règle générale, les gens se respectent.

        Je ne fais pas de généralisation abusive à l’égard des anglos (comme tu le fais). Il y a du bon monde dans toutes les cultures, ainsi que des gens qui ne font pas très bonne figure, pour diverses raisons. Caricaturer les gens d’une autre culture, c’est ne pas réfléchir, c’est avoir une pensée grossière qui ne mérite même pas d’être débattue.

        Reply
        1. Jean Naimard

          Je ne fais pas de généralisation abusive à l’égard des anglos (comme tu le fais). Il y a du bon monde dans toutes les cultures, ainsi que des gens qui ne font pas très bonne figure, pour diverses raisons. Caricaturer les gens d’une autre culture, c’est ne pas réfléchir, c’est avoir une pensée grossière qui ne mérite même pas d’être débattue.

          Il faut savoir faire la différence entre les individus, et les agissements collectifs d’un groupe. Je ne décris que les agissements du groupe, car les individus varient immensément.

          Reply
  38. Line

    Yes Enkidu,
    Do you know the english very well? The ones that come from Britain or who reside in Britain? You know, them money hungy, anti-french, can’t put one sentence together in french SOB’s? You’re right Enkidu, we are more alike than many would believe. Thank goodness we’re all Quebecers/Canadians & not them bloody red coats!
    It’s ok, we know Jean is ill Enkidu, there’s no need to be ashamed of him, he does not represent the majority of Francophones we know…thank goodness… :)

    Reply
    1. Jean Naimard

      It’s ok, we know Jean is ill Enkidu, there’s no need to be ashamed of him, he does not represent the majority of Francophones we know…thank goodness… :)

      Yeah, thank goodness because if all were as rabid as I am, there would have been no english in North America for centuries!

      Reply
      1. Line

        Errr, I think it would more likely be safe to say that if Anglos were as rabid and evil as you portray them, there would have been no Francophones in North America for centuries…

        Reply
        1. Jean Naimard

          Well, it’s not like the english haven’t tried… 1855… the deportation of the acadians… 1880’s, turning Manitoba in a english-only province… 1912, closing the french schools in Ontario… 1867: 50% of french in Canada, 2009, less than 25%…

          Reply
          1. DAVE ID

            Le Grand Derangement was in 1755 not 1855 and was perpetrated by the British. This Acadian remembers.
            And 1867 some thing happened soon after that. It’s called the industrial revolution which was quickly followed by MASSIVE immigration. There was also the potato famine in Ireland (which gave NY City it’s police force)

            I’ll be the first to point out the wrongs but let’s be real also.

            Reply
    2. Enkidu

      I guess (and hope) you are being ironic.

      People from the UK are no worse than anybody else. (And they have the BBC, great shows!)

      Reply
      1. Enkidu

        @ Line my previous comment apply to yours

        @ Jean Bof, des indépendantistes comme toi qui prétendent être agressifs et prêts è se battre pour la “nation” ne m’impressionnent pas. Vous seriez les premiers à faire dans vos culottes dans un contexte de guerre. Vantard va!

        Reply
        1. Jean Naimard

          @ Jean Bof, des indépendantistes comme toi qui prétendent être agressifs et prêts è se battre pour la “nation” ne m’impressionnent pas. Vous seriez les premiers à faire dans vos culottes dans un contexte de guerre. Vantard va!

          You would be surprised how, all along Canada’s military history, how much the frogs kick arse.

          Reply
      2. Line

        Yes Enkidu I was being sarcastic. I just kid about the hate Jean spews. Have to joke about it sometimes. :)

        Reply
  39. Pierre JC Allard

    There’s really no end to it… because it is so gross, therefore so simple… and thus so popular. Thanks to God, English which invented “fuck you” provides us with the perfect attitude ” Fuck off ! ”

    I think that all of us lackadaisical sesquipedalians should just fuck off this subject until next year, when the great void of July comes to us once again…

    Come to my blog in French. You will learn and, like I used to say : Vous aurez beaucoup de plaisir a avoir ma langue dans votre bouche.

    PJCA

    Reply
  40. tayana jacques

    It would be nice if people knew the whole story before running their mouths.

    None of you guys know what really happened so none of your opinions are worth anything.

    I, for one, know the entire story, and I am good friend of Eric’s. I read all the emails, there was so much miscommunication, it’s not even funny.

    People really should stop putting so much stock into emails and start having conversations with eachother, like, back in the old day, when we SPOKE to eachother instead of post inane comments on a fucking idiot’s website.

    Et au passage, je suis complètement bilingue, née et éduquée dans une école de souche française à Montréal, alors ne commencez même pas avec vos histoires dànglos avec le cul coincée.

    Merci et aurevoir.

    You should learn to earn respect instead of assume it will be given to you.

    Reply
  41. Steve Jacobs

    I have known Eric longer than most people. I have known Eric before he became an Amber. He is a proud francophone, his family are proud francophones, and French Canadian is Eric.
    He is being sincere in his apology.

    Reply

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