Monday, March 19, 2007

Thoughts from the Chinese Food Aisle

Why is there some detergents with a "clean laundry" smell? Isn't it the whole point?

Who would buy a regular drain cleaner when you can get the extra-strength version for the same price?

Why so many beverages have weird names? Fruit Integration, Solar Burst, Giggly Grape? That's not original, it isn't hip and nobody cares about those lesser trademarks (We shouldn't care about ANY trademark)! So give me a break!

While on the flavour topic, why do Coca-Cola and Pepsi keep introducing new flavours? I'm not talking about the "healthier" versions, but those special ones. Do they think that the new Meatloaf Coke or the Clean Laundry Pepsi will be inviting to new, non-soda drinking customers? The people that bought Vanilla Coke, Pepsi Blue and Apple and Cinnamon Doctor Pepper (no, I don't think it exists, but it would be good, wouldn't it?) are, in the vast majority of cases, the ones who ALREADY BUY the originals. They usually just want to try something new. In the best of cases, some will switch to the new flavour on a regular basis, but you'll still have the same number of buyers with a more diversified, thus more expensive line of products. This is why those new flavours are usually discontinued within a year, sometimes under the false pretense of being seasonal or limited edition flavours. I know, I worked for Coca-Cola!

There is a major problem with the economic growth model, as not everything can follow this trend. Many products, not only colas, are still desperatly trying to make us buy more and more of the same stuff. Sony introduces at least 30 TV models a year! Home Depot currently have a series of ads where wives will go to any length to convince their husbands to make some changes in the house and replace perfectly functionning, albeit not the most up-to-date appliances.

Then you wonder why nothing lasts...

And to finish with the grocery-themed questions: Why do night-shift and day-shift employess always diss each other? Both groups seem to think that the other one doesn't do anything! Guys, you're not there! It's not because you don't see them doing anything that you must assume they do nothing!

Now on the main topic (yes, this was only an appetizer):

Québec is in the middle of an electoral campaign. It's an interesting one as three partys are practically even right now, but it remains boring as I feel none have much relevant things to say (Well, less than usual)!

André Boisclair, leader of the Parti Québécois(PQ), a sovereignist (or "separatist") party, was recently caught in a controversy in english medias through Canada (The PQ is frequently the target of such attacks, due to their stance on Québec political future). Here's a brief excerpt from one of those articles:

Parti Québécois Leader André Boisclair refused to apologize yesterday for referring to Asians as having "slanted eyes," even as he faced criticism from Asian-Canadian and other groups that the comments were offensive.

Very first of all, let's say that André Boisclair is the least racist of those three leaders. He was the first one to not only take his distances, but to condemn Hérouxville's "Code of Life" (I posted about the subject here). He is always talking against any form of discrimination; sexual, racial, religious and based on sexual orientation (To put things in perspective, Boisclair is homosexual and made a very emotional discourse about the whole subject of intolerance recently), sometimes even to the point of putting on everybody's nerves.

Secundo, "slanting eyes", which is definitely a deregatory term in english, was a translation of his french speech which used the expression yeux bridés. Litterally, it means the same thing, the same way black is translated into negro in spanish. But, just like negro in spanish, yeux bridés doesn't have the highly pejorative weight of it's english counterpart. I'm not saying that there isn't any racist terms for Asians in french, just that this isn't one. My Asian friends use the word and are never offended when someone else is. There's no weight to the word and it was never a debate in Québec. An Asian PQ candidate, responding to the emerging controversy said she considered "slanting eyes" a "reference of beauty" (I agree. I've always been attracted by almond-shaped eyes, regardless of a person's origins).

Tertio, Boisclair's speech was in FAVOUR of immigration, multiculturalism and minorities increasing implication in our society. Talk about taking something out of context!

I don't really like Boisclair, I think he's disconnected from his electorate, snobby and a little stiff. I do prefer him to the two other "main" candidates, as he's leaning more to the right, but my vote will go to a lesser party, Québec Solidaire, as I prefer their political platform.

My riding is a PQ fortress, the current MNA (Member of the National Assembly), Louise Harel is a 25 years veteran who had a minister seat on many governments and got huge majorities in every election. I have a lot of respect for Mrs. Harel, she reminds me of my politically-involved grandmother, a former mayor (and a Liberal Party member).

Despite all of this, my vote for a minor party won't be wasted, as $0.50 will be given to the party I voted for by the Directeur Général des Élections (Chief Electoral Officer), the institution responsible for the administration of the electoral and referendum system in the province.

So I finally can put a value to my voice in the system!

Time to go see what I can buy for 50 cents...

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At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Charlotte rants...

wow. just wow. and then i went back to read some more and ... giggly grape? ;)


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