Pop Culture

What's a Phoque?

By Hervé St-Louis
September 22, 2008 - 19:45

I love the Quebec song, Un Phoque en Alaska ( A Seal In Alaska). So I was surprised when I heard of this viral video created by Quebec artists about the budget cuts the Conservative Government has promised for Canadian artists throughout the land using this classic folk song from the 1970s. Un Phoque en Alaska was created by the singer in the video and is one of those songs guys usually sing real loud when they just got dumped. The seal complains that his girlfriend left him for a circus in the United States to bounce balls on her nose. So the seal complains that he's alone on his ice bank, dreaming about his girl and wishing he could see her show.

The chorus says "Bouncing balloons on your nose ain't worth it. It makes kids laugh, but doesn't last long. Once all the kids are old, no one laughs" - a good song.

The guys in Quebec woke up and decided to protest during the current federal election, against the Conservative's social conservatism and politically influenced cuts to major art funding programs that allow Canadian comic book publishers, such as Arcana, Drawn & Quarterly and Udon Comics to apply for grants to travel to places like the San Diego Comic-Con.

The ad also attacks the social conservatist agenda of the Harper Government and their censuring tendencies. The ad also plays up traditional English/French language confusion and miscomprehension. It's a good video, and I'm hoping English Canada will come out with its own version before the end of the election. Although the producers of this ad are unknown, the actors are well known Quebec humorist, one of them who played in one France's Astérix movies, and of course, Michel Rivard who gave this magnificent song to the world.


Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15

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