As a Texan, the Province of Quebec’s resemblance to my home state oozes and seeps everywhere. Relative to their fellow provinces/states, both Quebec and Texas:
- Tried once or more to become its own country
- Speak a different language
- Is dominated by a religion which is only a minority in the rest of the country
- Tend to be extremely and perhaps undeservedly proud of provincial/statehood status over nation
- Will not stop talking about how it’s “different here”
- Is more proud of their provincial/state flag than most folks are of their national one
To use another comparison, it’s like the guy in rural Eastern Germany who, over shots of Jack Daniels in his completely Western United States-themed, right down to the John Wayne posters over his personal “bar” and pictures of horse-festooned guest sheets and blankets, guesthaus told me:
“Germany is Germany, and Bayern is Bayern.”
While it’s true neither Quebec or Texas has (yet) become the operational headquarters of anyone like Adolf Hitler, there is a generally silly and not worrying degree that several folks in both Quebec and Texas don’t really consider that necessarily a bad idea. Perhaps the only problem, in this view, was that Hitler didn’t just stick to conquering Bayern (Bavaria) and making it an independent Nazi country.
But I exaggerate, something hard not to do when one brings Hitler into the comparison.
Just to clarify, I am not comparing Rick Perry with his periodic talk/untalk of “secession” (or the Parti Québécois) to Hitler. That would be unfair. Instead, all three (Bayern, Quebec, Texas), a few absolute nutjobs aside, really just want to publicly daydream about being a truly separate country and take as many chances as possible to complain about having to be in a country with people who speak other languages (the Southern German Bayern accent is about 30% toward its own language, too) and don’t “get” that their place is better than any other place in the country, get off my lawn and all that.
Lebensraum, I think it was once called, and I continue to apologize for all the Hitler comparisons.
And there is certainly nothing Hitlerian about today’s provincial, but really “national,” holiday here in Quebec, Fête de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste. It’s just a fun day with parades, billions of Quebecois flags, funny hats with cow horns and inexplicable bonfires. Not to mention, in past years, the occasional separatist’s riot. Yup, just like in Texas, but with Fleurs-de-lis instead of Lone Stars.
I wish I had taken a camera to last night’s pre-holiday bash up at Laurier Park, filled with the flag/cow horn stuff, good bands with button accordions and fiddles, beer and barbecue. All that was missing was Willie Nelson.
And despite the rain today (btw, for your Burqueans who are used to hearing weather reports differently, when the weather forecast calls for a 90% chance of rain here, it means that it will rain 90% of the entire day, not “we’re really joking and there’s really only a 30% chance of any rain whatsoever), I’m going to try to find the parade (its route features, of course, the more Francophone areas) this morning before seeing more, perhaps irrational, national pride in action as Italy takes on Uruguay in a winner-moves-on World Cup fixture.
I’m hoping to see Rick Perry featured as some sort of “open carry” co-patriot Grand Marshall in a float dedicated to Quebec/Texas separatist/secession solidarity. That would be perfect. I’m definitely bringing a camera, just in case.