Updates from October, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:57 on 2022-10-12 Permalink | Reply  

    A man who put up a lifelike – or deathlike – hanging figure outside his house in Ahuntsic got a visit from police, and has had to add a sign saying “fake” presumably to limit calls to 911.

    • Blork 19:30 on 2022-10-12 Permalink

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: realistic scenes of murder have nothing to do with Hallowe’en. That’s not what Hallowe’en is about. Horrors like axe murders and hangings (lynchings) really happen in the world, not just in horror movies. When it’s depicted in a movie you always have the choice to not watch the movie. But when you set up a scene like that in front of your house you can really traumatize people. WTF is wrong with anyone who thinks this is funny?

      …and I’m saying this as someone who does NOT lack a sense of humour.

    • JaneyB 19:33 on 2022-10-12 Permalink

      Yeah, I can see the concern. Ghoulish, supernatural stuff is more the norm. This looks more like a political prisoner. Not ideal for a kid-centric event either. Some of them have enough trouble with oversize spiders.

    • JaneyB 19:37 on 2022-10-12 Permalink

      Now you’ve got me thinking Blork, he’s probably going to have to take that down in the next couple of days. A ‘fake’ sign will not be enough. Another two weeks of a hanging person and the neighbours will not be happy. I would hit the roof if I saw that walking home in the evening, wondering if someone offed themselves in the general weirdness of these days.

    • jeather 07:55 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      Either he’s going to have to take it down or it will be taken down for him shortly. It’s on a city owned tree, it’s overhanging the sidewalk, and there are certainly arguments to be made that it causes a danger to drivers. Or someone will lose patience and cut it down themselves.

    • Meezly 08:52 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      I first saw the photo on FB’s Montreal Then and Now, and you should’ve seen the comments. People who thought the hanging figure was inappropriate or even triggering were called pansies, snowflakes, woketards, and the “you must be fun at parties”. So I’m sure the police got lots of complaints.

      I’m a big horror fan and even though I thought the hanging figure was quite nicely done, I do agree with Blork. The figure looks too much like someone being lynched.

      It’s like the zombie walk I went to several years ago when The Walking Dead was still at its height of popularity. All these guys dressed up as Negan with their Lucilles seemed to be missing the point entirely. It’s a zombie walk, not a zombie-killer walk or TWD cosplay event!!!

    • steph 09:02 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      What is Halloween about? “To scare off spirits” – does ANYTHING really make sense with that meaning? We’re talking about beliefs equal to the easter bunny – I doubt anyone litterally believes any of this. Rattling your bones to the core with some horror isn’t the worst, horrors ACTUALLY happen – maybe Halloween can be a reminder of the reality of horrors.

      Like any misplaced argument of “what about the kids” – the appropriate response is “please educate and talk to your kids instead of keeping them sheltered”. The same applies for Halloween displays.

      I don’t see the big deal. & yes, some teenages will probably cut it down long before the 31st anyways.

    • mare 09:11 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      I’m from Europe, and sometimes insensitive (and uneducated) about issues around North-American racial history, but even I would never do this, and get really upset just seeing this.
      Lynching might not have happened here (I think) but Montreal was one of the destinations of The Underground Railroad. Is that not taught in schools?

    • Blork 10:03 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      It’s not just about lynching in the US context. Stuff like that happens in war zones around the world.

      Goofy Hallowe’en things like skeletons and zombies and whatnot are fine, because they are obviously fiction and fantasy. But hanging someone from a tree (or leaving a beheaded body on your walkway as was part of a similar complaint in the US a while back) is very realistic and disturbing. There’s nothing funny about it. And as I said earlier, it’s fine to put that in a movie, where people can decide not to watch the movie, but it’s different to impose that on anyone who walks down the street.

      And I guarantee there are people in this city who have seen that for real, including possibly recent arrivals from Ukraine. It’s traumatizing to see that in real life and then to see it again because some idiot thinks it’s “fun.”

      How do you explain to a seven year old that the body hanging from a tree over there is just for “fun?” Especially if that seven year old is coming from a war zone or has some other source of trauma to deal with?

    • steph 10:53 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      The explination isn’t that it’s “fun”, the explination is that these thing are not only historically real, but real in our modern times. It’s horrible that humans are capable of this horror if not kept in check, there’s no reason to shelter children from this reality. I say “children”, but many adults need to reflect on how there’s more going on than their little cushy lives. If a hanging figure on the street for Halloween can spark those conversations, that type of “chasing of the evil spirits” is warranted.

    • Blork 11:23 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      steph, it is not up to you to decide when and how I talk to my children about the horrors of war.

    • Blork 11:24 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      …and since when has Hallowe’en been about discussing the horrors of war with your children?

    • Kate 11:31 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      Meezly, I left Montreal Then and Now a couple of months ago. The tone was getting mean, and I realized that while I enjoyed some of the photos, the community had turned sour.

    • Meezly 11:58 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      Kate, yes it has, hasn’t it? and increasingly politically resentful too. I’ve stuck with it as a kind of barometer to get a sense of the hoi polloi and can always keep scrolling if things ever get ugly!

    • steph 12:02 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      @blork, so what is halloween about? (you keep suggesting a ‘humour’ angle, or lack thereof, but I really don’t see how humour fits with halloween in any way. Your posts read equivalent to “santa isn’t funny, so it’s no good, real christmas should be funny”). I’m not saying Halloween is ABOUT discussing horrors of war with children, just that you shouldn’t shield kids away from it and that you can’t control the confrontation (as much as you’d like to. ‘Be a parent, talk/educate to your kids’ is a good adage regardless of the circumstances, don’t depend on the education system to do it.

    • JS 12:11 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      Isn’t it supposed to be about welcoming the dead, not scaring the living? Or is that for Mexico’s Day of the Dead?

    • Kate 13:12 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      Halloween is All Hallows Eve. The first of November is All Saints Day and November 2 is All Souls. But before Christianity, the same time of year was Samhain, about halfway between the autumn equinox and winter solstice. To quote Wikipedia, it is “seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld could more easily be crossed.”

      So it’s not really a time to celebrate violent death, but to acknowledge that the spirits are walking among us at this time – whatever that means to you.

    • Tim S. 13:42 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      Steph: you available to talk kids through their nightmares at 4AM?

      More generally, things are disturbing because, well, they’re disturbing. I would like to think that civilized people aim to reduce the amount of such things in the world, not to mess everybody up by making them commonplace.

      Also, it’s October 13, eighteen days out from Halloween. There are things that might be borderline acceptable for one night, but putting them up in broad daylight weeks ahead of time is something else and we’re allowed to call it out.

    • Blork 13:50 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      Somebody should report his “FAKE” sign to the OQLF.

    • Kate 13:53 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      That crossed my mind too, Blork.

    • Blork 13:58 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      @Kate: exactly. It’s about remembering the dead and thinking about the spirit world, etc. Thus the typical things like ghosts and skeletons and graveyards and whatnot. It’s not about violent murder.

      Or at least it wasn’t until a handful of horror movies went in that direction, but those are movies, not the long-standing themes that Hallowe’en and its equivalents (Día de los Muertos, mummering, Pitru Paksha, etc.) maintain.

    • walkerp 15:13 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      One of the most famous and influential horror movies of all time is called “Halloween” and it is all about violent murder. You can’t dictate what Halloween is and is not about. It evolves with the culture.

      And spare me the “won’t somebody think of the children” lament. They love violent murder in art. When I was teaching, by far the majority of the costumes were Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, that Scream mask.

      That hanging effigy is nasty as hell, though. From a design perspective, it is quite impressive. Maybe stick a pumpkin on its head or something to lighten it up a tad.

    • Blork 15:25 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      @steph regarding “‘Be a parent, talk/educate to your kids’ is a good adage regardless of the circumstances, don’t depend on the education system to do it” I totally agree. But there’s such a thing as the right time and the right place. By the sound of it, kids in your house don’t watch cartoons on Saturday morning, they watch slasher films and documentaries about the Holocaust. Maybe that’s not the best way to start the weekend for a seven-year-old!

      Regarding humour, there’s essentially two Hallowe’ens in North America: the main one is for kids, and it’s about cartoony costumes, trick-or-treating, etc., all around “spooky” themes of ghosts and other goblins. It’s all fun and laughs. Then there’s the lesser-observed grown-up Hallowe’en which is all the stuff about All Hallows Eve, Día de los Muertos, etc.

      None of it is about violent murder.

      Even if there was a franchise of “Halloween” slasher films, that doesn’t make the holiday about violent murder. There was also a slasher film called “My Bloody Valentine.” Does that make Valentine’s day ALL ABOUT MURDERING YOUR LOVED ONES? I don’t think so. Imagine the reaction if someone put out Valentine’s Day cards with the theme of knife-murdering your spouse. That wouldn’t go over well.

    • Daisy 08:31 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

      This hanging figure makes me personally think of suicide, as some people do in fact use hanging as a suicide method. People with suicidal ideation or actual attemps in their past, as well as their loved ones, would certainly not appreciate this “Halloween decoration.” I think it is very disturbing and potentially triggering, and I mean for myself and other adults.

    • jeather 22:00 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

      According to a friend the hanged man is now on a very solid looking brand new scaffold entirely on private property.

  • Kate 14:21 on 2022-10-12 Permalink | Reply  

    The Chamber of Commerce claims that many more people are back at the office in person: compared to this time last year: 81% at least one day per week vs. 47% last fall.

    CBC radio is really pushing “back to the office” Wednesday, often slipping into referring to it as “back to work” as if everyone’s just been goofing off for two and a half years.

    Meantime, Christian Dubé gave a Covid presser Wednesday saying he’s concerned about rising hospitalizations and encouraging us to get booster shots.

    Update: An Aaron Derfel twitter thread about an eighth wave of Covid.

    • carswell 16:32 on 2022-10-12 Permalink

      Have noticed that about the local CBC too. Like so much about the broadcaster these days, disappointing. I wonder if it’s because they all have to show up for work.

    • Kevin 19:22 on 2022-10-12 Permalink

      The reality is that only 7 % are in the office 4 or 5 days a week.

    • walkerp 08:55 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      I went back to the office for the first time since Covid started and it was quite pleasant! I do have complete flexibility to go or not, so that helps.

    • Chris 09:14 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      Kevin, have a citation for that? And how do you define “office”?

    • Kevin 09:28 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      The Chamber of Commerce’s own survey indicates that workers aren’t expected in five days a week. https://www.lapresse.ca/affaires/entreprises/2022-10-12/sondage-de-la-ccmm/la-majorite-des-travailleurs-reviennent-au-moins-une-journee-par-semaine-a-montreal.php

      And I believe ‘office’ is commonly accepted shorthand for ‘working downtown’ when being discussed in this context.

    • Kate 13:30 on 2022-10-13 Permalink

      I would define “office” as any workplace where physical presence is not actually needed to get the job done. Construction workers, chefs and surgeons do not work in an office.

  • Kate 12:30 on 2022-10-12 Permalink | Reply  

    Theatre director André Brassard has died at 76. He’s widely credited as a creator of modern Quebec theatre, having worked closely with Michel Tremblay on many of his works, and putting Quebec joual on stage for the first time with Les Belles-Sœurs in 1968. Odile Tremblay sketches a portrait on Le Devoir; 98,5 spoke to Michel Tremblay and Denise Filiatrault.

    • carswell 16:35 on 2022-10-12 Permalink

      Back in the late ’70s and early ’80s, I hung out with a bunch of francos involved in theatre, including a couple who studied under or had worked with Brassard. To a person, they loved and were in awe of him and, even back then, thought of him as a father figure. RIP.

    • carswell 20:42 on 2022-10-12 Permalink

      To clarify, “father figure” not just to them but a seminal figure in Quebec theatre.

  • Kate 09:51 on 2022-10-12 Permalink | Reply  

    Tony Accurso is down on his luck, having been in a state of bankruptcy since June. His main asset, according to La Presse, is a wine cellar worth a million dollars, which could (ahem) be liquidated to pay off his creditors.

    Tony, if you’re reading this, your parents got my 12‑year‑old mother drunk at their wedding, so you owe me. The least you could do is sock me a dozen Châteauneuf du Pape for my troubles.

    Update: Police think it might be an internal feud that’s bringing misfortune down on the Accurso family.

    • Blork 10:21 on 2022-10-12 Permalink

      That’s $1 million at SAQ prices. Buy that lot in New Hampshire and it will set you back around $140 large.

    • mare 11:28 on 2022-10-12 Permalink

      They were all gifts from ‘clients’ anyway. A case or two of Château Margaux will get you access to anyone.

  • Kate 09:04 on 2022-10-12 Permalink | Reply  

    The city will have to pony up another $6 million to complete work on the paddocks at the circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.

    • Kate 08:34 on 2022-10-12 Permalink | Reply  

      The Journal says that 1700 low‑cost housing units are standing empty, but it’s clear from the brief explanation that these buildings need far more than a lick of paint to make them habitable.

      • Kate 08:27 on 2022-10-12 Permalink | Reply  

        La Presse looks at homelessness since the pandemic as efforts are made to count the people living without permanent shelter in Quebec. But not all advocates for the homeless are in favour of the current census, according to CBC.

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