Thursday, October 14, 2010

LE FRANCAIS DE GIONTA: CA CE FAIT MAL

So, this is what it's come to: the Canadiens are so preoccupied with appeasing linguistic sensibilities that they're willing to risk disrupting their captain's pre-game routine for the home opener by having him introduce his teammates in French during the opening ceremonies. I don't know about you, but my ears are still bleeding. Brian Gionta's French made Stephen Harper sound like Charles Aznavour, and no one knew that better than Gionta - a born-and-raised American who was clearly uncomfortable with the task at hand. Imagine being handed a sheet of paper in a language you've never spoken or even studied and told to read it aloud in front of 21 thousand people. It was like something out of Borat, except that Sasha Baron Cohen would have had the good sense to delete the scene. Gionta deserves better than to be subjected to that kind of embarrassment and borderline humiliation. You can kowtow to political correctness and applaud the team for the idea and the captain for giving it the old college try, or you can recognize the spectacle for what it was: cheap pandering at the expense of Brian Gionta's dignity.

8 comments:

  1. I totally agree.
    Will Gionta gain respect as a captain by showing linguistic prowess or by being a team leader and role model on the ice and off?
    Methinks the latter is a wee bit more important.
    The general francophone public who make such a big issue out of whether the captain of the Bleu Blanc Rouge makes an attempt at language integration should perhaps put their energies elsewhere. Brian Gionta is being paid to play hockey. That's it, that's all, folks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think you're reading too far into it. It was the season opener, a nice gesture and it got the crowd pumped. They're not going to do this every game. I also doubt they just sprang it on him two seconds before game time. Plus I've heard Anglos who have lived here all their lives with worse accents...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't agree, any foreigner who is capable of mumbling something in the language of it's host is a mark of respect. That's why many signers, actors, athlete when they have the gust they will say a copple of words in a language he or she may not understand much. It's the effort in the act, not necessarely the result that make a difference. Will it be a good captain, don't know, but I know he got the guts to try something new, so it cannot be bad.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have to disagree with you on this one Ted.. I simply think it was a nice gesture on his (and the organization) part to please the fan base..english & french. Heck, I'm an anglo and thought it was kinda cute..

    Karl M. Fuchs

    ReplyDelete
  5. I thought it was a nice gesture as well. Like a previous poster said, it's not going to be done at every game and it got the crowd going! But I love the way the media can make an issue out of it - anything to TRY and improve ratings or sell papers I suppose! :o

    ReplyDelete
  6. He has more courage then most..it's a tough task to speak a foreign language in front of over 20,000 people.

    It wasn't cheap, it wasn't gimmicky, it was commendable. I applaud both him and the Canadiens organization.

    ReplyDelete
  7. If it was Gionta's idea - it was indeed a nice gesture. If it was the idea of some PR hack with a separatist itch in his pants, I'm with Mr.Bird on this one.

    ReplyDelete