Note: the following assumes the website miquelon.org is real and not a parody.
The other day I came across this site: miquelon.org. As it’s website states, “Miquelon.org is a watchdog group dedicated to documenting Anti-French activity in news and entertainment. Miquelon.org’s activities are of a purely academic and charitable in nature.”
Purely academic and charitable in nature. See, they are doing the world a favor. Like so many other speech-monitoring groups, they view themselves as helping others in what to say, when to say it, what to think, when to think it. Don’t bash the French, s’il vous plait. Full disclosure: I like France. I took French language in high school. I like hockey and the French-Canadian teams. The French president has a ridiculously hot wife. Consider this post an academic and charitable post in pointing out the silliness of such a watchdog site.
Miquelon.org is a project by Marc Cormier, who I believe is from Canada and/or Saint Pierre and Miquelon (island off of Canada, part of French territory. Note, I’m from the United States so I had to look this up because our schools suck). I’m sure he’s a nice guy, hard worker, etc. The important thing is that he’s an expert on French and North America relations (that means Canada and the U.S.. Stay out of it Central and South America, he doesn’t know shit about you). Good work if you can find it, I guess. If ‘academic’ includes Fox News-link bait, and posts about Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (who, by the way, is a PUPPET), then I guess that makes half of the internet ‘academically-inclined. I think I’ve seen more serious-minded work on ebaumsworld.com. Miquelon.org even have a color-coded threat level graphic:
At least we’re just between Fuck French and Leno/Stern/Talk Radio threat level. I like how they spell FUCK with F*** so as not to offend the children who must be part of their readership demographics. Canadian politeness in action when attempting to limit speech. Say (not ‘do’ or ‘act’, but ‘say’) the wrong thing and the threat level will go up!
As with most watchdog groups, most of the watching is focused on the United States and its citizens. The Great Satan, right? But of course it is. There are hundreds of countries in the world, and only the United States’ flag is posted on the site’s banner. Who knew the rest of the world was so well behaved regarding the French? Bravo, World, for your have learned what the Americans have not – that free speech ends when it comes to enforcing stereotypes. How ever did you do it?
And then there is Jay Leno, one of the site’s targets. I can’t stand the comedian’s humor or show. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, too. But I respect his hard work as a comedian and talk show host. He’s been at it for over 40 years. This country which prides itself on free speech, allowed him to make a career writing and performing stand-up comedy. But miquelon.org doesn’t care for his apparently continual French bashing and have made some type of film called Educating Jay. How nice. They assume he doesn’t know anything about France, because all comedy by Jay Leno must come from ignorance. But I’m sure comedy by their favored writers and performers come from understanding and knowledge . In other words, show me a comedian, and I’ll find you someone who is offended by that comedian. Jay Leno, who works more hours than anybody in Hollywood, and owns 85% of the cars on planet Earth, doesn’t need to be educated – it’s not in his job description. Being thin-skinned doesn’t mean you get to assume to know the intelligence of others and make a documentary. Or, I guess it does.
Brief sample of the academic work going on at miquelon.org – more Conan versus Leno . They get upset with comedians making jokes. According to them, Jay Leno made over 40 anti-French jokes between 2003 and 2006. Wow! That averages to about 1 joke a month that is ‘anti-French’ on a show that runs probably 200 episodes a year. Maybe math isn’t a strong subject in Canada, but that doesn’t seem like very much, compared to other topics. When the OJ Trial was going on, Jay Leno made hundreds of inappropriate jokes about the murder trial. I found it offensive and so my action was to not watch.
Here, individuals are subject to hate speech by a puppet.
Another example: one of the blog posts is titled Conan O’Brien Exports Hate Speech. Read it. It is like something from TheOnion.
I’ll finish with a quote from their site by Edward C. Knox (yes, the Edward C. Knox, the professor nobody knows is quoted on miquelon.org! What a get.).
No other national or ethnic group appears to get the same continually negative treatment in print media reserved for France and the French, with the possible exception of Arabs or Palestinians, and even there, the treatment is not so much cultural as political, linked to a specific context or event.If one were to substitute, for example, “Mexican” or “Japanese” or “Indian” for “French”, what would reader reaction be?”.
Edward C.Knox, May 2002
Really? No other group? No other groups come to mind? Just Arabs and Palestinians? Think a little more. Starts with a J. Ends with -ewish. If anyone, including Mr. Knox, spent some time in the United States, they’d quickly realize that bashing the French doesn’t even make it to the top ten. We, politicians and citizens alike, prefer to verbally bash the Jews, Muslims, African Americans, the Mexicans, the Chinese, the Fats, the Gays, Christians, the Poor, and the Rich. Those are the groups Americans bitch about more than the French, in my informal survey of ALL cable news channels. The French only wish they could make the top ten.
That’s it. Just wanted to post this so this comes up on a miquelon.org search. I’m not a fan of the speech police. I still can’t believe the site is real. I emailed them this morning about the topic of the United States flag being on the site’s banner (I told them how awesome it was that only one country remained before the French were free of bashing!)