Tag Archives: parody

Why get news when you can hear what some random know-nothing thinks?

With the recent comment moderation scandal at the CBC (yeah, I’ll just go ahead and call it a scandal there), some people have asked whether we’re all that interested in hearing uninformed comments from random people attached to news stories.

I’ve argued before that high-traffic websites (like CBC) should be more stringent with moderation, because nobody is going to read through hundreds of comments for the few that are actually worth reading. At the very least, some sort of comment ranking or “featured comments” system should be put in place to make the quality ones stand out.

I also argue against so-called “reverse publishing”, where anonymous or pseudonymous web comments are republished in offline media.

This video, spotted on Nora Young’s Spark blog, is a good (and funny) example of the pointlessness of filling the airwaves with comments from random people who don’t know what they’re talking about. (I could have also posted a video of CNN’s Rick Sanchez reading Twitter comments, but that’s more sad than funny.)

RBO et al need to understand anglos better

Patrick Lagacé put this video up on his blog (so if you read his blog, don’t bother watching it again). He didn’t add much commentary, so I guess he just found it funny.

It’s an old sketch from RBO, which makes fun of anglo TV news, specifically Pulse News (what CFCF’s newscast used to be called before CTV decided local brands were a bad thing).

But much as I admire RBO, I don’t find it funny. Instead, it seems ignorant, bitter and sad.

Part of being able to do a good caricature is knowing your subject well. They got the logo right, and that joke about people in Ottawa going to bed at 8:30 was funny, but that’s about it.

There is plenty of stuff about anglo TV newscasts in Montreal that is very worthy of caricature: Ron Reusch’s pronunciation skills (though they won’t be an issue soon), Todd van der Heyden’s over-the-top gravitas, Lori Graham’s wardrobe, Frank Cavallaro’s zucchinis, Tim Sargeant, Global Quebec’s green-screen studio-in-a-box are just a few examples. A lot of these references are contemporary, but I’m sure there are plenty of similar examples from back when this sketch was made.

And sure, the anglo media is predominantly federalist, fears sovereignty and many people have trouble pronouncing French names. And, as a commenter on Lagacé’s blog points out, it does tend to discount most of Montreal east of St. Laurent.

But instead of understanding the target and eviscerating it where it is most vulnerable, RBO made the same mistake that Culture en péril did: put anglo Montrealers in the same boat as anti-French Albertans, franco-incompetent Ontarians and gun-toting southern U.S. rednecks (it even calls one of its reporters “John Redneck” as if this is somehow funny). It’s insulting name-calling (“Brian Britt” becomes “Brian Twit” – oh, how my sides are splitting).

And yet, it was a hit (a “classic”, even) among other uninformed unilingual anti-English francophones which form their target audience, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

When I watch these sketches from RBO and Prenez Garde Aux Chiens (another group I greatly admire when it does media criticism right), and I see people with incredibly thick francophone accents pretend to be anglos who can’t (and don’t want to) speak French, it seems painfully obvious that they are completely unfamiliar with what they’re targetting, beyond the ill-informed caricature that makes no sense in the first place.

I find it somewhat ironic, at the same time, reading another post from Lagacé in which he says the government shouldn’t be teaching francophones English. I’m fine with that. I’m more than happy to take the job of a unilingual francophone whose government put ideology over proper education in an unavoidably globalized world.

But I just wish some francophones would learn to understand the anglos a bit better. We might find some stuff in common. For example, we both know what it’s like to be a linguistic minority. And they might find we agree on a lot of non-sovereignty-related economic and social issues.

More importantly, anglo TV news is in desperate need of really good satire.

(Plural nouns) matter

From Readers Matter (overamplified and distorted sound warning):

A spoof on the Gazette’s “words matter” TV campaign (not the first one either), to get people to pay attention to what’s going on in contract negotiations and sign a petition (now with over 5,000 signatures) put forward by the union. A Facebook cause has also been setup with 343 members.

UPDATE: Another video has just been posted.

Meanwhile, CTV News Montreal covered the Gazette union situation last night during its noon-hour and evening newscasts (Windows Media video). It includes an interview with Bernard Asselin, the VP of marketing and reader sales, who says that pagination is a “technical” job, and so it shouldn’t matter if it’s centralized in another city. He also says that “our goal, which is the same as the union’s, by the way, is to protect local content.”

Your Habs playlist

UPDATE: See the 2009 version here, and the 2010 version here.

OK folks, this time they really need us. The Canadiens today sit on the brink of elimination. Down three games to one in the series, the team has to win three games in a row to survive in the playoffs. One loss in three games, and they’re going straight to the golf course.

Super Cauchon is doing his part, but that’s not enough. We all need to contribute.

To help warm up your fan muscles so you’re in top shape tonight, I’ve compiled some Habs-related songs from local radio stations. (Local radio stations being as useless as they are, hockey-related parody songs are one of the few things left that they can do pretty well).

I had a larger collection, but sadly most of them refer to a victory off the back of Cristobal Huet (or worse, José Theodore). So I had to scrap those.

Here’s what’s left, in no particular order:

They Made Us Believers

by Willy Nilly
Parody of The Monkees’ I’m a Believer
via Q92

25 Feels a Little Like 93 (Video)

by Annakin Slayd
samples Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’
via Q92

On Va Faire Les Séries

by Rick Hugues
via Radio Énergie

On est plen dans les séries (Video)

by Ruck Hugues with Dominic et Martin
via Radio Énergie
(UPDATE: thanks bebehabs for the link)

On veut la coupe Stanley (excerpt)

by France D’Amour
via Rythme FM

Je déteste les Flyers

by Justiciers Masqués

GO HABS GO (on va gagner)

by Justiciers Masqués

La Fièvre du CH

by Alain Dumas
via RockDétente
a parody of I will Follow Him, which in turn is the English translation of Petula Clark’s French song Chariot (you learn something every day)

Bring the Cup Back Home

by Daniel Iorio
via Team 990

Go Habs Go (Montreal has gone insane)

by Christopher Pennington

Go Habs Go (J’entends crier)

by Christopher Pennington
via Team 990

Bleu Blanc Rouge la chanson

via CKAC

Chanson de Halak

via CKAC
Parody of Brown Eyed Girl

Les Canadiens sont là (Game On)

by Daniel Iorio
via Team 990
Parody of Celebration

Ghosts of the Forum

by Bob Olivier and Sylvie Choquette
via Team 990

I’m too sexy for this team

by Daniel Iorio
via Team 990
Parody of … well, isn’t it obvious?

Go Habs Go

by Speedhair
via Team 990

(Go Go Go Go) Go Habs Go

by Tag Radio

Go Habs Go (Allez la Coupe Stanley)

via 98.5fm

Any other suggestions? Or more detailed information on some of the songs linked to above? Let me know in the comments.

Jon Lajoie

I’ve spent the last hour watching Jon Lajoie videos after being reminded of them by The Domster.

I talked about one of his videos in December, but really they’re all good. I hesitate to recommend any specific ones because that would imply others are less good, but Everyday Normal Guy has a sequel for a reason:

Did I mention he’s a Montrealer? You can see some hints of that in some of his videos.

UPDATE (Feb. 22): More info from Cyberpresse.

Sports parody songs

I’m a fan of parody songs in general, and sports parody songs (at least the funny ones) specifically. Some are musically enjoyable in addition to lyrically entertaining. Others take annoying songs and make their topics infinitely more interesting by tying them to sports teams.

Sadly, I can’t find any central repository for them (nor any links to some Montreal-based ones created by local radio stations I find particularly funny). But to demonstrate, I’ll show you this one (via), a song by Ryan Parker that makes fun of the Boston Bruins (in contrast to the success of that city’s other major sports teams):