The flags of Quebec, Canada, and Montreal respectively...
Don't be scared off by the big word...it just means "thoughts". There hasn't been too much going on lately around here since everyone is immersed in their projects, which are due on Thursday. Mine is, believe it or not, DONE...I swear. And this leaves me some time for rumination.

One thing that I thought about today, thanks to my granddad (Merci, Granddad!), was the fact that even the existence of Quebec as a francophone region is something pretty remarkable. We have been learning a lot about the history and the reasons for Quebec's continued linguistic and cultural existence, but suffice it to say that they have fought for their continued survival. Hard. Anglophone/francophone relations can continue to be strained here in the "Great White North," but Canadians seem to keep a sense of humor about it...at least some of the time. We had a class on Québécois film yesterday and the professor showed us a clip of a film called "Bon Cop, Bad Cop" which does just that. Essentially, a dead body turns up on the border between Ontario and Quebec, half in one province, half in the other. A francophone and an anglophone police officer have to learn to work together. Check out the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TwhiLUCOwE

We also had a session today on Québécois music, which I was, of course, a big fan of. All except the clips of Céline Dion and her ilk...gag. There are tons of festivals here in the summer, a lot of them centering around music. The night after I got here, some of us went to see the closing concert of the Montreal Jazz Festival, which was the B52's! I don't know what on earth they have to do with jazz, but it was fun. This is my current favorite song by a Québécois artist named Ariane Moffat...she's singing about coming back to Montreal after being away...enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmTFuQ-InWk

Art, or junk??
Since I seem to be on an arts theme here, I'll close with visual arts. We visited the Musée des Beaux-Arts and they had some interesting exhibits...everything from Napoléon's hair (seriously...ew) to über-modern art installations. Some of the contemporary art, I was not a fan of...I just kept asking myself, is this really art?? Maybe my sister, Dr. Laura Evans (PhD in Art Education) could enlighten us? Here is the work in question...

I'm not completely obtuse when it comes to art, though. There are some contemporary pieces that I like. Though I didn't see this in a museum (it was actually in a shopping center), I thought it was really cool how the artist used all recycled materials to create this "pond'...if you look closely, you'll see that they're all water bottles, cardboard and coke cans, among other recyclables. And I guess some people would say this was junk...and now we're right back where I started this commentary! All this rumination is hard work!


  1. Dr. Borb13.7.11

    I was going to try to write something funny and, hopefully, witty but instead I am changing lanes and going to go with the more serious approach of debunking the myth that art is a universal language. As you know, Geegs, with your current situation of learning a different dialect of French, there are just some moments when you hear something and have no idea what was said. It's like that with art too. I don't think art is something that crosses all boundaries and can be "heard" by everyone. I think it is a lot like learning a language where you have to practice and there will always, always be times when you just don't understand what is being said... and that is okay. The exhibit you saw just didn't speak to you.... ca va. One of the exciting and forgiving things about visual art is that you are "allowed" to let your emotions come into the equation of what you think about the work. So, there is always a starting place there; if you can tap in to why you think the exhibit is junk and what makes you feel that way.... you're off on the first steps of the path to making an art interpretation. Good luck, fearless traveler!

  2. Merci beaucoup pour le commentaire très intéressant! Je savais que tu aurais une réponse à ma crise de compréhension :) Merci, Dr. Borbs!