Monday, October 23, 2006

Just Procrastinating

I still have about 16 more papers to mark, another course to prep, and a gazillion meetings this week before I can relax. I've insanely offered my house as the spot of the next Renaissance Reading Group meeting, which will happen over dinner tomorrow night. The Renaissance Reading group here is made up of MA students and talented undergrads and it was basically created because the students in my senior colleague's class just didn't want it to end.

So I'm opening my house up to students, before I've even opened it up to friends. Crazy, I know. Then there are departmental meetings, a trip to the Rare Books Room with my Renaissance poetry students, and more papers to hand back on Thursday.

I should be doing all of this without a break, but I can't, so instead I took off half an hour to blog and read the new york times.

In the yesterday's times, I found this expose of Montreal. It was pretty much on the mark for what to do as a rich, boring tourist in the city (shopping and eating), though it recommended cylcling in the wrong direction on the Lachine canal and named a lot of the big cliche places to eat like L'Express when everyone knows the smaller "m'as tu vu" places on the side streets are better. But I'm not telling which ones are best. Go find your own.

However, it also said this, which made me snort and almost spill my tea: "With the city’s debilitating 1990’s recession behind it—and the specter of Québécois secession all but forgotten — a lively patchwork of gleaming skyscrapers, bohemian enclaves and high-gloss hideaways now outshines the city’s gritty industrial past." I think a whole lot of people would disagree with that statement about "the specter of Quebecois secession all but forgotten." And what's wrong with a "gritty industrial past" anyway?

For some reason I'm glad it got a lot of Montreal wrong. I'd rather the best things about Montreal remain the purlieux of the cognoscenti. And that's why I'm Not Telling.


Pantagruelle said...

I definitely disagree with the "specter of Québécois sucession all but forgotten". We've been holding steady at just under 49% for the last 10 years, thank you very much, and we're still going strong. Only a few more months (a year max) til we finally kick Charest out on his butt, put a decent government on power, and get to hold a winning referendum. Third time's a charm!

I'm also really miffed with the Times' implication that we didn't have skyscrappers until the specter of sovereignty supposedly receded. Like what did they think, that we were all living in caves until after the 1995 referendum?! (A referendum which, by the way, technically the Yes side one if you discard all the illegal ballots that were pumped into the boxes.) Gritty industrial past? Give me a break. Besides, I'm pretty darn sure that the cities of Montréal (Hochelega) and Québec (Strathcona) were founded long before New York, so our past is actually quite charming and quaint.

Okay, end nationalist rant now.

muse said...

Yay, I *knew* you'd write in! (Well, I was hoping you would . . .)

Many thanks, Pantagruelle!

And it's not just through knowing you that I knew that nytimes article was bullshit.

Still, you've got to give them props for mentioning Casa del Popolo.

Pantagruelle said...

Yep, you could pretty much count on me for that one! :-)

Here's something else that's total bullshit: the mayor of Montréal has unilaterally decided to rename Avenue du Parc! He's going to name it after Robert Bourrassa (total loser PM 1970-76 and 1985-94). There's an editorial about it in The McGill Tribune and a website committed to saving our beloved and oh-so-funky street.

Pantagruelle said...

PS - Please sign the petition on that website!