Cured of Love

I missed Montreal for years but I don’t any more.

Yesterday, we put our guests off their feed when we had to explain that no, we didn’t have this kind of thing in the USSR. Seeing the reaction, N offered helpfully, “Well, we did during World War II.”

12 thoughts on “Cured of Love

  1. What has caused Anglo countries to lose their minds so badly over this? From what I’ve read, France isn’t even that tyrannical in their approach to COVID.

    Just seems like masochism to me at this point.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “What has caused Anglo countries to lose their minds so badly over this?”

      Well I don’t think that I really consider Quebec to be an “Anglo” country in any realistic way (despite the slow-motion trend away from French and toward English begun by non-assimilating internal and external immigrants beginning in the late 1960s or 70s).

      But English speaking countries (where English is the main language at home as well as school, the workplace and government) did have several disadvantages in dealing with a governmental swing toward despotism.

      High social trust – many assumed benign intentions back in March 2020 that were not there. Many (even otherwise really intelligent people) are still struggling to get past their trust of government.

      Risk avoidance – while English speaking countries are not bothered by ‘uncertainty’ (new and novel situations) they are very much bothered by known risks. Where I am, Poland, it’s the other way around – novelty is perceived as inherently threatening but people are pretty comfortable taking risks when the stakes are known.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “Well I don’t think that I really consider Quebec to be an “Anglo” country in any realistic way (despite the slow-motion trend away from French and toward English begun by non-assimilating internal and external immigrants beginning in the late 1960s or 70s).”

        I don’t know. I would have expected way more resistance in French speaking Canada. They may not be Anglo, but are acting even more extreme than the rest of English speaking Canada.

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        1. Quebec is the most leftist region on the continent. By far. Very, very out there politically and always has been. Governmental micromanagement to a degree nobody in the rest of North America can even imagine. Gigantic fines for tiny infractions, like the English lettering on your letterhead not being exactly the # of milliliters smaller than the French lettering. Completely unreasonable, extremely discriminatory practices against groups (like children of immigrants, for example). An extremely closed, ultra censorious core group that admits nobody even a tiny bit different. The in-group policing its borders. A society extremely stratified by class. And by birth. This stratification is ensured through government micromanaging, so high trust in the government. A failing healthcare system, ruinous taxes. All this together creates the situation we see today but it was all there long before COVID.

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          1. “Very, very out there politically and always has been”

            I’m very fond of some parts of Quebecois musical culture (and I like the accent more than that of France…) but overall (and from a distance) modern Quebec seems to have combined all the worst aspects of English and French culture with none of the benefits of either….

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            1. Yeah, this is exactly my thoughts as well. Quebec might be the extreme, but same could be said of all the French post-modern thinking.

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            2. “An extremely closed, ultra censorious core group that admits nobody even a tiny bit different.”

              As a generalization, I think this has been more true historically than untrue. And, perhaps in some ways it is more true now than it has ever been. But one might argue that Quebec was also a pioneer of aspects of multiculturalism through tolerating its minority communities’ often successful growth in the arts and business sectors while at the same time excluding them from la société distincte‘s official Quebec.

              “Well I don’t think that I really consider Quebec to be an “Anglo” country in any realistic way…”

              OK, here’s a way. Politically, French-speaking Quebecers were not products of the French Revolution but came to liberal democracy as British subjects. The Quebec Act of 1774 created French-speaking Roman Catholic citizens in the colony of Quebec at a time when Roman Catholics did not enjoy democratic political rights in Great Britain. Up to a least the 1930s, there would have been very few French-speaking Quebec politicians who didn’t proudly wear their status as British subjects on their sleeves.

              “Risk avoidance – while English speaking countries are not bothered by ‘uncertainty’ (new and novel situations) they are very much bothered by known risks.”

              I’m stumbling over your meaning here. Reducing it to its essentials, the Anglosphere quite literally ruled the world for two centuries. Not risky enough for you?

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              1. The Great Expulsion: Britain booted a whole bunch of Francophone Canadians (Acadians) out of the eastern parts of Canada in the late 18th century, during the French and Indian war. Thousands died. Survivors ended up scattered all over the American colonies, the Caribbean, French Guiana… a group of them ended up in Louisiana (then Spanish) via Haiti, and became the Cajuns.

                It is understandable why the remaining Francophones would be eager to prove loyalty to Britain.

                Liked by 1 person

              2. “stumbling over your meaning here”

                It comes from the social sciences, specifically cross-cultural comparisons.

                Think of safety culture. For example, people in English speaking countries tend to drive more slowly than do those in Southern/Eastern Europe. Italians or Greeks know that it’s dangerous to drive very fast but are willing to take that risk because (for a bunch of reasons that would take too long to explain).

                Think of the 1982 tylenol poisonings. Because of that very isolated case, all sorts of products now have extra cellophane shrink wrapped around the lid.

                When I was just in Malta there were hardly any tourists from the UK (usually they’re all over the place). Apparently there had been a lot of cancelled trips. On the other hand those from Eastern Europe showed up. They know the risks of international travel and…. didn’t back out because of that.

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              3. “It is understandable why the remaining Francophones would be eager to prove loyalty to Britain”

                You are right in this sense. This was the Age of Empires. The conquered colonists of New France (Quebec) calculated that their language and religion would be better protected by British than the American colonists who offered them a seat at their revolutionary table. So if they feared anybody, it was the American Revolutionaries.

                Btw the Acadians had little to no connections to New France and anyway were officially allowed to return to return to the maritimes a year before the Quebec Act was proclaimed.

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          2. Thanks for the explanation. Somehow I thought Quebecois were more aligned with the french way of thinking, which in my mind is more laissez-faire and thankfully not as woke as English speaking countries.

            I have this theory that old puritanical thinking is very much alive today in many Western countries. In the Americas it seems this puritanical thinking has merged with French style progressive thinking to create the monster we have today. Not that the French are angels, but I get the feeling their philosophical ideas have greatly mutated into something that they did not intend.

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  2. This sounds like новогодний розыгрыш but it is not:

    Совсем иноагенты распоясались…
    Из музея украли соху, с которой Сталин принял Россию

    Подозреваемый в похищении реликвии уже установлен. Это один из хранителей, который два месяца назад уволился по собственному желанию. По показаниям сотрудников музея, он неоднократно допускал антисоветские высказывания и призывал провести санацию фондов музея от экспонатов советской эпохи.

    Контроль за ходом следствия взял на себя лично лидер КПРФ Геннадий Зюганов.

    «Есть мнение, что преступник совершил кражу по идеологическим соображениям. Мы опасаемся, что соха — ценнейший памятник становления советской власти, уже уничтожена этим антисоветчиком и его сообщниками. Будем верить в лучшее, на поиски бандита брошены лучшие силовики», — заявил Зюганов

    Кроме того, руководство КПРФ объявило награду в размере миллиона рублей за любую информацию, которая позволит вернуть соху в музей.

    https://storm100.livejournal.com/10264724.html

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