Quebec and France

When I was 5, there was a 7 year old I saw who had a "rat's tail" in his hair; a little tail of longer hair at the back in the centre. I thought it was SO cool. I couldn't wait to be 7, so i could be cool, and I wanted my own "rat's tail" as part of that.
I was wrong - it was not cool. In retrospect, he was of New Zealand's lowest class of what the Americans call 'white trash'. He was certainly not worth emulating, and I would have diminished myself in the misguided attempt.

So it is with France and Quebec, including here in Montreal - a place where you will get your windows broken for flying the Canadian national flag, even though we're in Canada. Quebec; the little kid copying the older child to be cool. They have their miniaturized versions of Paris buildings, their try-hard art scene, their religious use of the French language, their abhorrence of all things English... But who are they kidding? They diminish themselves in their sycophantic francophilia. They do their children a disservice in leaving them retarded in not speaking English (they live in an English speaking country 100 miles from the worlds largest English speaking country) or at best, scarred with a thick French accent. There are French and English groups in Montreal, and although I generalize, my descriptions are not only my own - I've been speaking to the people who live here and this is what they're telling me. The French are Catholics, have more children, and either speak only French or are bilingual with poorer English. They go to school in French, can only go to the french universities, can't leave quebec easily for work or education nor properly utilize the rest of Canada nor the US, and see Quebec as almost a separate country from Canada. More kids, fewer opportunities, lower paid work, less international and even intra-national flexibility of where to live and work. The Catholic church has a lot to answer for in this, historically. The English are Protestant and have fewer kids. They school in English and are truly bilingual, with excellent French but also English without the French accent. They do their shopping in French, but get better jobs due to their English and the fact that they go to better universities (in English). They can live, work or learn anywhere in Canada, can integrate easily in the US for education or work, and can work in French or English anywhere they like. Fewer kids, better education, more flexibility, better jobs, higher income. The "French" element of "French Canada", and the catholic element that is inexorably intertwined with it, is in fact a hidden but powerful oppressive force in Quebec.