That dislike grew when she started to write her hideous gossipy lunch columns. Where she lulled a procession of third rate celebrities into a false sense of security by plying them with wine and scampi. And then bit them like a piranha. Jan could you please pass the pepper? Is it bigger than a bread box? Yes. Gottcha. Ouch!!
By the time she wrote her monstrous opus about how hard it is to be a maid, I positively loathed her.
The thought of that little Red Guard scrubbing away and then being chauffered home to her palatial quarters drove me to distraction.Made me think of places where she should stick her broom, that I'd rather not mention.
But her latest journalistic atrocity... Where she blames French Quebecers, and their culture and language laws, for the Dawson College tragedy, and other mass murders. Well that one just makes me vomit.
"What many outsiders don't realize is how alienating the decades-long linguistic struggle has been in the once-cosmopolitan city. It hasn't just taken a toll on long-time anglophones, it's affected immigrants, too. To be sure, the shootings in all three cases were carried out by mentally disturbed individuals. But what is also true is that in all three cases, the perpetrator was not pure laine, the argot for a “pure” francophone. Elsewhere, to talk of racial “purity” is repugnant. Not in Quebec."
Her idiot story has created quite a fuss in the province. If you read French you can read more about about it here Jean Charest was quick to demand an apology. Along with the blowhards from the St Jean Baptiste Society And now so has Stephen Harper. Even though many of his supporters, and sadly many other Canadians, agree with Wong's twisted view of Quebec. But I sure don't.
Maybe there is something about Quebec that can contribute to the alienation of certain new Canadians, caught between the old ways and the new ones. Maybe as Francine Pelletier said the other day it's harder for some new immigrants to Quebec to find their place, when the society they live in is still looking for its place. But I think it could happen just as easily in Toronto or Vancouver because English Canada is still looking for its identity as well. It's part of our common new immigrant story.
But one thing I'm sure of is that the killings in Quebec didn't have anything to do with the efforts of Quebecers to hang onto and develop their rich and beautiful French language and culture. Nothing to do with the so-called "language police." To suggest that they did is outrageous. To suggest that Quebecers are obsessed with racial purity is disgusting and unforgivable.
And she's done it before many times. She's a repeat offender. She once made a big deal of a quote from an Ethiopian cab driver who said separatists didn't give him any tips. I could go on and on about that, and get really angry.But I'd rather tell my little immigrant story.
As I've mentioned before I arrived in the magical city by the St Lawrence when I was a young teenager. And I have to admit I was kind of shocked at first. I knew that there were supposed to be a lot of French people, but I didn't realize there were that many! Tabarnac. Ooh la la.
But when I did realize the situation I made every possible effort to get to know them and learn all about their culture. I think it was love at first sight, but I quickly realized that I would never really know them, or love them, or feel like I was in my home or chez moi as we say in Quebec, until I busted through the two solitudes, learned their language and made their culture part of mine. So I did.
I learned their language, I studied their history, I listened to their music, I read their newspapers, watched their movies. I watched the news and hockey games in French. I learned their great swear words and joualisms, and all the sexy words too. And boy did it pay off. It opened up a whole new world. Made me all kinds of new friends. And one very special one. It didn't diminish my own identity one bit. It just made it richer,
I'm not going to pretend that it was always easy. In a group of French guys I still sometimes feel like the English one. Sometimes we disagree about politics. I want to be both a Quebecer and a Canadian. Most of my French friends don't. Although if Quebecers ever vote to separate I'll support them because I'll know Canada wasn't big enough to deserve them.
But I can truthfully say that never ever has a French Quebecer shown any hostility towards me because I'm an anglo. Or for that matter because I'm gay. Oh and in case you read this post and wondered who the bullies who bullied me were. They were Portuguese not French. Like the guy who saved me was.
I might mangle their beautiful language occasionally and my written French still sucks. Sometimes when Sebastien's friends from the Saguenay talk too fast I can't always follow the conversation. But they pick up on that and slow down. And they always make me feel welcome. They know that I am making a real effort and above all that I respect them. Because that's what it's really all about.
You can shout "We love you Quebec" in English all you like. As they did in Montreal during the last referendum.But you can't love anyone, let alone a people and a culture, unless you respect them first.
Unfortunately some anglo Quebecers couldn't do that. They couldn't accept the new Quebec reality. They couldn't bother to learn French. They couldn't leave their anglo enclaves and embrace a larger world. When French Quebecers finally stood up for their language, many Anglos left the province and some of them started building up a myth of Quebec as an oppressive Nazi place. When in fact it's the most socially progressive and tolerant province in Canada, and its people are among the warmest people on earth. Just as Montreal is still the greatest and most truly cosmopolitan city in Canada.
Jan Wong speaks for those bitter exiles. The pieds-noirs as they called them in Algeria. But she sure as hell doesn't speak for me or most anglo Quebecers.
She really should apologize for her false and crass caricature, but I'm not asking her to do that. I just want her to try to learn more about Quebec before she shoots her mouth off again. And spreads false and dangerous myths that could spread like poison, and come back to haunt us all some day.
I want her to write another huge opus magnus. Even bigger than the maid one. Except that this time instead of playing a maid, I want her to live in French for a month, change her name from Jan to Jeanne, and play being a Quebecoise. Maybe she'd finally learn to respect Quebecers, and celebrate them for the amazing people, culture and nation they are. And tell the rest of Canada how great they are as well.
And if she still doesn't get it? Well in that case I suggest the Globe pack her off to a grim re-education camp in let's see ......um.....Chibougamou. For at least five years.
Oh I know it would be harsh. Terribly harsh. But she deserves it.
And I know the Little Red Guard will understand. And go quietly.
Just like the student she turned in...