Tag Archives: Prenez Garde Aux Chiens

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.

On s’en fou un peu

You know, every time I see Prenez Garde aux Chiens, I wonder: What are these people doing on VOX?

The video above is a good parody of the whole TQS situation with the CRTC that I found on Richard Therrien’s blog. (Incidentally, there are some people – mostly male – who wonder if Bleu Nuit will return to the airwaves.)

Also be sure to check out member David Lemelin’s interview with Christiane Charette on Première Chaîne.

Welcome Daybreak listeners

(or, at least, those who hear about a website in the morning and make a note to visit a half hour later)

In case you missed it, I was invited by CBC Daybreak to come in and give them an analysis of blog coverage of the federal election campaign (my super-secret project). I was originally supposed to go on yesterday, but with the debate going long I was bumped to today.

Unfortunately, in the first time in months (years?) that I’ve taken a metro train during morning rush hour, I experienced four separate delays (one of which had me stuck in the tunnel). I practically had a heart attack, knowing full well that radio deadlines aren’t flexible by even a second.

I gave up at Laurier metro as the lights went out in the train, and hurried outside to let the producer know I wasn’t there. They quickly decided to do the interview by (pay)phone. (One thing payphones still have over cellphones is that, because they don’t have to compress their data into compact wireless streams, the sound is much clearer and more radio-friendly. Not as good as in-studio, but desperate times…)

As I told host Mike Finnerty, I don’t blame the STM for the delays, which were due in part to technical problems and because of the traffic tie-ups those problems create. But I wasn’t thrilled with the transit corporation this morning, that’s for sure. (And, of course, the trip back home was entirely uneventful)

Anyway, we talked about this blog (it’s really a place for any opinions I like to give on anything, though I focus specifically on the media, public transit, stuff going on in the news, blogs, and of course myself. You can also read what I’ve written about the federal election so far.

We also got into the meat of the matter (though six minutes goes by so fast when you’re talking about stuff), discussing blogosphere reaction to Elizabeth May in the debates, as well as a video by Justin Trudeau (and the parody of that video by Prenez Garde Aux Chiens, whose season premiere is tonight at 10pm on Canal Vox) that has been making the rounds in the blogosphere recently.

I’ll try to get a clip of the segment up soon.