Category Archives: télévision

Jeunes francophones au Canada

En réponse à mon billet sur l’émission Les pieds dans la marge (de Radio-Canada), un lien sur l’émission VOLT de TFO-TVOntario. Cette émission ontarienne semble avoir été le lieu de rencontre du trio marginal de RadCan. Les deux émissions se ressemblent dans une certaine mesure mais Volt me fait l’effet d’une émission dirigée vers un public légèrement plus jeune et, surtout, [après avoir regardé On se French, mais est-ce qu’on se connaît?, il me semble clair que le public cible a le même âge que pour Les pieds dans la marge] spécifiquement franco-ontarien. Puisque les Québécois connaissent généralement très peu de choses des francophones canadiens hors-Québec, les liens entre les deux émissions sont plutôt intéressants.

Là où Volt a l’avantage, c’est que plusieurs portions de l’émission sont disponibles en balado-diffusion. Idéal pour un «Canadien errant mais non banni de ses foyers». Ça veut donc dire qu’il me sera possible de voir certains bouts de Volt depuis le Texas, à partir de la fin de l’année.

Si au moins Radio-Canada pouvait faire la même chose avec Les pieds dans la marge et Infoman, rendant ces émissions disponibles en-ligne. Et si Télé-Québec pouvait suivre la tendance en diffusant, en-ligne, des épisodes complets de Pure laine, Méchant contraste et les séries du Rebut Global. À tout bien penser, ce sont les seules émissions que je regarde, à l’occasion.

Dans une certaine mesure, la mission de TFO ressemble à celle de Télé-Québec. Dans les deux cas, l’aspect régionaliste et décentralisateur semble important. Pour le reste, il y a toute la portion éducative, la question de la diversité culturelle, etc. Historiquement, ces deux réseaux de télévision me semblent avoir été fondés dans des contextes socio-politiques assez semblables mais désormais distincts.

Évidemment, à moi qui ne regarde que très peu la télévision, il m’est facile de me méprendre sur le sens de certaines politiques de programmation.

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Les pieds dans la marge

En réponse à: ni.vu.ni.connu / Rentrée radio-canadienne

Suis pas trop télé. Pour dire la franche vérité, ces temps-ci, les émissions qui me plaisent le plus passent surtout à Télé-Québec (y compris Méchant contraste et autres émissions à intérêt social, ce qui est important pour un anthropologue).
Hier, un peu par hasard, ma femme et moi avons regardé quelques émissions radio-canadiennes, dont Les pieds dans la marge. Retonti ici en faisant une recherche pour une comparaison avec Pop Citrouille. Content de voir que c’est une YulBlogueuse qui en parle.
Ça nous a pris quelques minutes pour nous habituer au style d’humour. On savait pas du tout à quoi s’attendre, à qui ça s’adressait. Une de mes premières réactions était que ça ressemblait vraiment à Pop Citrouille, presque une émission-culte de ma jeunesse. Mais avec un peu de Bruno Blanchette (N’ajustez pas votre sécheuse), du Phylactère Cola, du Dans une galaxie près de chez vous, et même un peu de Têtes à claques. D’ailleurs, parlant de TàC, les nouvelles de CBC avait un segment sur le passage possible des vidéos en-ligne les plus connus au Québec (autre que Lynda Tremblay décoration sur YouTube) à la langue anglaise. La lectrice de nouvelles, un peu pincée, qui nous dit que Têtes à claques est… difficile à décrire. Precious! 😉
Pour revenir aux Pieds. C’est très absurde, évidemment. Débridé. Flyé, même. Mais aussi pas mal gutsy. Un petit côté scato, mais pas extrême ni même inapproprié. Ça semble s’adresser à des jeunes ados, mais sans être vraiment puéril.
Ça faisait longtemps que j’avais pas vu des émissions du genre. Et, honnêtement, ça m’étonne un peu de RadCan qui semble se cantonner dans des émissions très structurées, voire stiff.
tk… Tout ça pour dire que j’ai bien aimé et que je suis content de voir que le parallèle avec la mythique Pop Citrouille est bien attesté.


French «Intellectuels» (draft)

[Old draft of a post that I never finished writing… Started it in late February.]

Been thinking about intellectuals, especially French ones. It might have been a long-standing issue for me. To this French-speaking North American academic, the theme is obvious.

More specifically, though.

Was listening to a podcast with French journalist Daniel Schneidermann who, among other things, is a blogger. During the podcast, Schneidermann made a simple yet interesting comment about validation by readers. As a journalist, he has an obligationto adopt strict standards, verify sources, etc. As a blogger, he knows that if something that he says is inaccurate, blog readers will quickly point out the mistake. Again, dead simple. One of the basic things people have understood about online communication since at least 1994. But some journalists have typically been slow to understand the implications, perhaps because it causes a sea change in their practise. So Scheidermann’s comment was relatively “refreshing” in such a context.

Wanted to blog on that issue. Went to Scheidermann’s blog and read a few things. Noticed one about a Wikipedia entry on Schneidermann. While the blogger understands the value of reader validation, he seems to be uneasy with the fact that his Wikipedia entry was, when he first read it, disproportionally devoted to some specific issues in his life. Which leads me to the intellectuel thing.

A little over ten years ago, Pierre Bourdieu was on Schneidermann’s television set for a show about television. Bourdieu had been thinking and writing about television’s social impact. The context in which Schneidermann invited Bourdieu was a series of political and social events centering on an important strike with which Bourdieu had been associated. By participating in the show, Bourdieu had the (secret) intention of demonstrating television’s incapacity at taking distance from itself. Bourdieu had participated in another television show a few years prior and apparently saw his presence on a television set as an occasion to experiment with some important issues having to do with the media’s channeling of dialogue. Didn’t see the show but had heard about the events that followed without following it. A brief summary, from very limited evidence.After appearing on the show, Bourdieu published a short piece in Le Monde diplomatique (Schneidermann was a journalist at Le Monde). That piece was strongly-worded but can be seen as a fairly typical media analysis by a social scientist or other scholar. Not Bourdieu’s most memorable work, maybe, but clear and simple, if a bit watered down at times. In fact, the analysis looked more Barthes-type semiotics than Bourdieu’s more, erm, “socially confrontational” work.

Schneidermann’s response to Bourdieu’s analysis looks more like a knee-jerk reaction to what was perceived as personal attacks. Kind of sad, really. In fact, the introduction to that response points out the relevance of Bourdieu’s interrogations.

At any rate, one aspect of Schneidermann’s response which is pretty telling in context is the repeated use of the term intellectuel at key points in that text. It’s not so much about the term itself, although it does easily become a loaded term. An intellectual could simply be…

[Google: define intellectual…]:

a person who uses his or her intellect to study, reflect, or speculate on a variety of different ideas

[ Thank you, Wikipedia! 😉 ]

But, in context, repeated use of the term, along with repeated mentions of Collège de France (a prestigious yet unusual academic institution) may give the impression that Schneidermann was reacting less to Bourdieu as former guest than to the actions of an intellectuel. Obligatory Prévert citation:

Il ne faut pas laisser les intellectuels jouer avec les allumettes.

(Intellectuals shouldn’t be allowed to play with matches.)

Now, second stream of thought on intellectuels. Was teaching an ethnomusicology course at an anthropology department. A frequent reaction by students was that we were intellectualizing music too much. Understandable reaction. Music isn’t just an intellectual object. But, after all, isn’t the role of academia to understand life intellectually?

Those comments tended to come in reaction to some of the more difficult readings. To be fair, other reactions included students who point out that an author’s analysis isn’t going beyond some of the more obvious statements and yet others are cherishing the intellectual dimensions of our perspective on music. Altogether the class went extremely well, but the intellectual character of some of the content was clearly surprising to some.

The third strand or stream of thought on intellectuels came on February 27 in a television show with Jacques Attali. His was a typical attitude of confidence in being a “jack of all trades” who didn’t hesitate to take part in politics, public service, and commercial initiatives. I personally have been influenced by some of Jacques Attali’s work and, though I may disagree with several of his ideas, I have nothing but respect for his carreer. His is a refreshingly unapologetic form of intellectualism. Not exclusion of non-intellectuals. Just an attempt at living peacefully with everyone while thinking about as many issues as possible. He isn’t my hero but he deserves my respect, along with people like Yoro Sidibe, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Louis Armstrong, Boris Vian, Jan Garbarek, Georges Brassens, Steven Feld, Roland Barthes, James Brown, and Serge Gainsbourg.

A fourth thread came in a departmental conference at Université de Montréal’s Department of Anthropology. Much discussion of the involvement of anthropologists in social life. And the visit of two public intellectuals who happen to be anthropological provocateurs, here in Quebec: Serge Bouchard and Bernard Arcand.. . .

Never finished this draft.

Should really follow on these threads. They have been haunting me for almost a year. And connect with multiple issues that I tend to think about.

My attitude now is that through blogs, mailing-lists, online forums, classes, lectures, conferences, informal and formal discussions, I’m able to help people think about a large set of different issues, whether or not they agree with me on any single point. Not because I’m somehow better than others: I’m clearly not. Not because my ideas are better than those cherished by others: they clearly aren’t. Possibly because I’m extremely talkative. And enthusiastic about talking to just about anyone. There’s even a slight chance that I may have understood something important about my “role in life,” my “calling.” If so, great. If not, I’m having fun anyway and I don’t mind being (called) an intellectual. 😉


Canadian Animation Gone Wiiiild!

What It’s Like Being Alone: The Series

Whoa! Didn’t expect that! Is this what people have been talking about, in my back?

Watched tonight’s episode about an American orphanage opening next door. Man! Funny, creative, technically well-made, even insightful! These guys (Frederic Fuchs, Marc Lougee, Bradley Peyton, and Orphanage Inc.) must have gotten some good stuff growing in their backyards.

Interestingly enough, IMDb votes are mostly at 10 and 1. Not for everyone. You’ve been warned.
Thanks, gang!


Colbert Experiment?

Stephen Colbert recently gave a rather candid interview for The Onion’s A.V. club. Not his first interview, not necessarily more revealing, but it seems as if he’s looking for new things to do on his show, the Colbert Report.

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Nostalgie, quand tu nous tiens

Pense souvent à la danse de chaperonnette à pois, le personnage principal d’une émission pour enfant de la fin des années 1960, début 1970. L’original s’appelait Lupo lupone e cappuccetto a pois. C’était tessinois (de la Suisse Italienne): RTSI – Radiotelevisione svizzera di lingua italiana. Il y en a un extrait (en italien), version RealVideo. Il y a deux épisodes complets sur Veoh.

Et il existe un coffret en français, mais l’image est paraît-il de piètre qualité. N’empêche, ça peut être agréable d’en regarder quelques minutes, histoire de toucher à la nostalgie.

Faut dire que ça vend, la nostalgie.