Saturday, July 19, 2008

Only in Canada you say?

Any other place in the world would be pleased to have a former Beatle helping celebrate an anniversary.

But this is Canada, bub.

In English Canada it may not seem resonable, but expected that booking a British, English-speaking musician to play on the Plains of Abraham, where the French lost the battle for their claim in the New World and symbol of British conquest, for the 400th anniversary of the establishment of Canada's distinct society, provincial nation would be controversial.

From the Toronto Star:
'Earlier this week, Quebec sculptor Luc Archambault issued an open letter denouncing McCartney's arrival because the star is British. The letter was co-signed by several high-profile artists and a handful of Parti Québécois legislators.

McCartney rejected criticism that his concert is an affront to Quebec's francophone culture.

"I'm very friendly with the French people that I know, I'm friendly with people of all nationalities. I'm friendly with German people, but by ... (Archambault's) argument I should never go to Germany again" because of World War II'

Sometimes we like to think we're so superior to the Americans with their quaint customs like for-profit health care, rabid gun ownership and the electoral college, but this controversy may be quainter.

It would be the height of irony if Paul McCartney, an advocate for peace, love and tolerance became the lightning rod of a resurgent sovereignty movement.

It could only happen in Canada.

Related Links
Fêtons nos 400 ans (en Francais) [Official provincial site]
400th anniversary of Quebec City [Official municipal site]
The Beatles [Official site]
Pass the peace pipe and inhale: McCartney [Toronto Star]
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