>Welcome to Throwbackville

>I’ve been wanting to write this post since yesterday, but every time I think about it, words fail me. The only words that come to mind are “wow!” and “gees!” But I know those words do not a blog post make. So here I go, trying again.

Ok, how can I jumpstart this thing? How about some background. Well, I saw on the news that the tiny town of Herouxville, Quebec, is making quite a bit of news with a piece of literature drafted up by the mayer and city council. Apparently, they wanted to make sure that any new immigrants knew the standards of their new town before they decided to move to it. funnily enough, they never mentioned in this getting to know you guide that the town was made up of 1300 people, mostly French, white and catholic, except for one immigrant family. That poor immigrant family.

What they did mention, well, sounds like a joke. But no one is joking. Here are some choice pieces.

Our Women

We consider that men and women are of the same value. Having said this, we consider that a woman can; drive a car, vote, sign checks, dance, decide for herself, speak her peace, dress as she sees fit respecting of course the democratic decency, walk alone in public places, study, have a job, have her own belongings and anything else that a man can do. These are our standards and our way of life.

However, we consider that killing women in public beatings, or burning them alive are not part of our standards of life.

Lots of news articles say that they make clear that stoning to death, circumcisions and burning of women with acid are also strictly prohibited. But I don’t see that in the nice pdf of the standards thatI was lucky to stumble across. Either it was sanitized after the newspeople were all over it, or those references were removed when it was converted to English. But the point is the same. These people actually thought it necessary to inform immigrants that these things are not allowed. I guess it’s possible to meet an immigrant who moved from a place where this was done all the time and thought this was the way of the world, but I think it’s rare. I also think it was interesting that women got a passage, and so did children, I didn’t include that one because it wasn’t nearly as bad as these others, but men did not get a passage. Are these people to assume there are no men here? But anyway, let’s get back to the words of the townsfolk.

Our Festivities

We listen to music, we drink alcoholic beverages in public or private places, we dance and at the end of every year we decorate a tree with balls and tinsel and some lights. This is normally called “Christmas Decorations” or also “Christmas Tree” letting us rejoice in the notion of our national heritage and not necessarily a religious holiday. These festivities are authorized in public, schools, and institutions and also in private.

Ok, how big of a rock do they think these new arrivals live under? I think it is this town who has been living under a rock. People from other places than “the west” are quite aware of “western” customs because they have been seeping in everywhere. Ug. Let’s get back to the bigotry.

Our Health Care

In our old folks homes men and women are treated by responsible men and women. Please note that there is no law voted democratically that prohibits a woman treating a man and a man treating a woman. In our hospitals and CLSC’s woman doctors can treat men and women and the same for the men doctors. This same principle applies for nurses, firemen and women, ambulance technicians. These responsible people do not have to ask permission to perform blood transfusions or any task needed to save a life. For the last few years men have been allowed into the delivery room to assist in the birth of their baby. They have been with their wives to prenatal courses to help them in this task. In the said establishments the patients are offered traditional meals. There is often music playing in the background. There are magazines or news papers available and any other form of multimedia that shows our community spirit and our way of life.

So no mention of health cards? No mention of universal health care? No mention of getting a family doctor and how to get one? That all isn’t mentioned, but we must insist that men can treat women and women can treat men. and “old folks homes?” Who in christ calls retirement homes old folks homes with any kind of seriousness anymore? and I don’t know about you, but I’d be wondering what a CLSC was before all this other stuff. Yep, this was really designed to educate the newcomers. Sure, boss. Moving right along…

Our Education

In our schools certified men and women teach our children. The women or men teachers can teach boys or girls with no sexual discrimination. They do not have to dress any different to accomplish their tasks. In our schools the children cannot carry any weapons real or fake, symbolic or not. The children can sing, play sports or play in groups. To promote decency and to avoid all discrimination some schools have adopted a dress code that they strongly enforce. For the last few years to draw away from religious influences or orientation no locale is made available for prayer or any other form of incantation. Moreover, in many of our schools no prayer is allowed. We teach more science and less religion. In our scholastic establishments, be private or public, generally, at the end of the year you will possibly see “Christmas Decorations” or “Christmas Trees” The children might also sing “Christmas Carols” if they want to. Many of our schools have cafeterias that serve traditional foods. Students may decide to eat elsewhere. The history of Quebec is taught in our schools. Biology lessons are also given.

With regards to the talk of fake weapons, hey chief, nice reference to the ruling allowing ceremonial daggers at school. and I notice only Quebec history, biology, and briefly, other science, are said to be taught. I find it odd that there is no mention of French, math, art, music, or any other subject that *would* be taught in school. This is certainly and obviously not a comprehensive guide to newcomers by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I get the distinct sense it is aimed at one, and only one, group. You will see, if you just follow me a little further.

Our Sports & Leisure

For the longest time boys and girls have played the same games and often play together. For example, if you came to my place we would send the kids to swim together in the pool, don’t be surprised this is normal for us. You would see men and women skiing together on the same hill at the same time, don’t be surprised this is normal for us. You would also see men and women playing hockey together, don’t be surprised this is normal for us. In our public swimming pools we have men and women lifeguards for our security to protect us from drowning, don’t be surprised this is normal for us. All the laws adopted that permit these phenomenons have followed a strict democratic process. You would appreciate this new life style and share our habits & customs.

Hello there, Captain Repetition. Is everything followed by, “Don’t be surprised this is normal for us?” I think I get the point. And nice insistance that they enjoy our customs and tradditions. I picture someone saying, “Have fun, god damn it! I am ordering you to start having fun right now!” I know that particular little gem is probably an artifact of bad translation, but it’s kind of ironic that it fits with the general tone that basically says assimilate or leave, you filthy Muslims. Woops, the cat is out of the bag. I think it’s aimed at Muslims, and based on horridly out of date stereotypes and myths. I really don’t know what to say, more than, Ug. Next snippet.

Our Security

Our immense territory is patrolled by police men and women of the “Surete du Quebec”. They have always been allowed to question or to advise or lecture or to give out an infraction ticket to either a man or woman. You may not hide your face as to be able to identify you while you are in public. The only time you may mask or cover your face is during Halloween, this is a religious traditional custom at the end of October celebrating all Saints Day, where children dress up and go door to door begging for candy and treats. All of us accept to have our picture taken and printed on our driver’s permit, health care card and passports. A result of democracy.

I love the unflattering description of Halloween. Um wow. And another slap at Muslims. And, I don’t know what having picture ID is a result of, but I can’t make the leap that it is the result of democracy. I believe dictatorships *make* their citizens carry ID cards and soldiers often ask for them. The result of democracy. Allrighty. Now here comes some interesting fun.

Our Work Place

The employers must respect the governmental laws regarding work conditions. These laws include holidays known and accepted in advance by all employees. These work conditions are negotiated democratically and once accepted both parties respect them. No law or work condition imposes the employer to supply a place of prayer or the time during the working day for this activity. You will also see men and women working side by side. We wear safety helmets on worksites, when required by law.

I’m amaized that that wasn’t covered with instances of “don’t be surprised this is normal for us.” It seems like that would fit there. And again, no references to people having the right to a safe work environment, or unionized versus non-unionized workplaces. Oh no no no, the most important things to know are don’t pray at work, men and women work together, we sometimes wear helmets, so suck it up, and you get Christmas off, and not your own holidays, whether you like it or not, you filthy Muslims! Right. Uh-huh. Sounds to me more like they want to keep them away. Let’s see what other gems I can pull from this thing

Our Business

Our businesses are governed by municipal, provincial and federal laws. In our businesses men and women work together and serve the clientele whether they be man or woman. The products sold by these businesses can be of any kind. Food products for example must be approved by different governmental agencies before being offered to the general public. You might see in the same store several different types of meat, eg. Beef , chicken, pork and lamb. Other stores offer their clientele a place and equipment to exercise. These places have windows that their clientele can look outside while exercising and are composed of men and women dressed in clothing appropriate for exercising.

I don’t think the newcomer is going to need to know about windows in a gym right away. I don’t think they’ll care. They’ll have bigger things to worry about, like, oh, say, settling in a whole new country! And again, I think they’re ready to see all manner of food in a store together. I’m sure they’ve heard of that before. Did that section really give them any useful info at all? Can you see one shred? I can’t. Only two more sections to go. I’m getting tired. So much bullshit is sapping me.

Our Families

You will appreciate that both parents manage the children needs and both have the same authority. The parents can be of the same race or not, be from the same country or not, have the same religion or not, even be of the same sex or not. If a boy or girl wants to get married, they may, they have the liberty to chose who their spouse will be. The democratic process is applied to ensure each and everyone’s liberty to choose. In our families, the boys and girls eat together at the same table and eat the same food. They can eat any type of meat, vegetables or fruit. They don’t eat just meat or just vegetables they can eat both at the same time and this throughout the whole year. If our children eat meat for example, they don’t need to know where it came from or who killed it.Our people eat to nourish the body not the soul.

Aww, come on, no reference to prohibition of a herem? I’m amazed! Disappointed even! I was hoping they’d be predictable. And nice imperative at the beginning to appreciate our customs. And that whole part about food sounds eerily like someone who’s trying to tell their child who’s a picky eater that really, your meat can touch your corn and you won’t die. Like gees. And what the fuck department, help me out on that last sentence. I need you. I think the translator is getting about as exhausted as I am. Look at the rising number of errors. Last! Section!

Other

You might still see crosses that tell our past. They are an integrated part of our history and patrimony and should be considered as such.

*That* needed its own section? Come on now, anything would have been more important than that. I guess I lied, there is one last section, the conclusion.

To publish all the laws and standards of Municipalité Hérouxville would be a tedious task. The standards published above are just a sample so the new arrivals to this territory can clearly identify with us before making their decision to move here. Certainly, being the elected members, we would give the new arrivals the assurance that the conditions that they have fled from in their country would not happen again here in our territory.. Consequently, the peace of mind that we live with will always be. It must be very clear that any person or persons, groups legal or not that would like to modify our habits and customs or our general way of life cannot do so without going through a referendum process following all laws put forward by our towns and municipalities. These referendums will be at the petitioner or petitioner’s cost.

Signed jointly by the mayor and 6 city counselors of Hérouxville, all democratically elected.

We have reached the end, and it is good to the last drop, isn’t it? If this is a sample of the laws, then pick a better sample! Pick some things with some more relevance, why don’t ya? And who says everyone immigrating is fleeing horrid conditions? And nice final reference to democratic law and how it isn’t changing…ah hell, they should just say it’s not changing for you, you filthy Muslims! And then these pricks don’t even have the balls to sign it with their names. They’re just some kind of mysterious authority figures floating around.

I wasn’t going to put so much of it up, but it was so laiden with disgusting levels of closed-mindedness that I just had to rip it apart. If you want to read it, including the two sections I left out and without my intermittent rippings, or you don’t believe that such a document exists, you can find the PDF here. If you can’t do PDF’s, feel free to email me and I’ll send you a nnice text version.

What I find especially ironic about this is it is written by a predominantly French town. One would assume, then, that they wouldn’t much like to be told that they must assimilate into English Canadian culture because they are, after all, living in a province surrounded by English Canadians. Even if you put aside the language issue, because in the document, they did say they didn’t care what language people spoke, I don’t think they would be a fan of dropping everything else they hold dear and isn’t English. I don’t think they would much like being told what songs they could sing, what celebrations they could have, whether or not they could be Catholic. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if the town would be predominantly separatist. I know the higher the concentration of French-speakers, the more separatist an area is. So, if they are for separatism, then they are very much anti-assimilation. In fact, wouldn’t you say they are trying to recreate their country of ancestry? And one final thing. I think there would be a revolt if an English politician said that If they have such a problem with the erosion of French culture, why don’t they just move to France?

I guess I shouldn’t be so angry with this town. They’re doing all newcomers a service in urging them to stay far, far away. It would be better for both the seemingly closed-minded townspeople and the poor, unfortunate newcomers.

And if you’re wondering why I chose not to put accents on the e’s in the name of their town and province whenever I referred to them, it is because the English language views squiggly lines as only belonging in music sheets and colouring books. They have no place among alphabetic characters. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous?

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