Thierry Lindor As I See Him
Over the course of a week, Thierry Lindor went from a local entrepreneur with a ”fiche parfaite’‘ to a national person of interest in the Quebecor machine. We know how it goes, when shit hits the fan, some pick sides, some reveal their true nature but as long the debate exists, we can then ask ourselves the real questions.
I won’t play the judge, jury or the executioner and neither should you. I’m here to tell my readers to keep their eyes on the bigger picture.
Most of all, I’m here to tell you how I came to see and understand a man named Thierry Lindor .
My perspective is based on my few encounters with the man and my presence at different past events produced by Influence Orb.
As recent as yesterday at their Charlamagne Tha God event (July 27th).
I’d like to get it out early in the conversation, I am a black man of Haitian descent born and raised in Montreal.
More specifically raised in the east end of the city where…I mean we all saw the footage of the Montreal-North riots so you know what time it is.
I’m not pulling out the racial card here just yet but this alone shapes how I view and understand who Thierry Lindor is.
For people like me, he’s a man who went above his circumstances to win. Which is respectable in itself.
A guy who did push barriers in the real estate industry and could’ve kept it going. So far not just a bold statement, this is documented.
Perhaps, there are subtleties in life that tell me more about a man’s character than any milestone or material can.
Once again, I’d like to point out that I’m a black man of Haitian descent born and raised in Montreal (trust me I’m going somewhere with this).
I’m not totally unfamiliar with seeing another black man doing it big; actually quite the opposite.
Sadly enough, I’m more familiar with seeing another black man doing it big only to never try to come back and uplift other people.
That being said, in my book, that’s what first caught my attention about Thierry Lindor.
I don’t need to pinpoint what went down this week in the media.
I rather take you straight to the comfort of my home where I had an ”Ha Ha” moment in the shower while reading the headlines.
While my soap dropped for the 5th time because I’m that clumsy, I had an epiphany.
My eyes dilated as the forbidden truth was sinking in. Feeling proud of still being able to hunch so many times as I gave myself a mental pat on the back, I yelled half-happy-half-triggered :
”It Really Doesn’t Matter!”
Whether you subscribe to conspiracy theories.
Whether you type in #theydontwantustowin or #jesuisthierrylindor till your phalanges collapse or even if you’re on the other side of the argument, spreading the ”agent immobilier douteux” headline left and right or sending Dominique Aglande to the lions.
At The End Of The Day, They’re Both Casualties
Of A Bigger War.
Do I need to expand or do you get my point? Did Thierry Lindor do it?
Is he like Oj Simpson speeding through in a beat up broncos on a highway called social media?
Is Quebecor media making him the MLK of our time?
So many questions who shall and will remain unanswered and you know why? Here comes a shocker:
”It Really Doesn’t Matter!”
Let me tell you what does though. Seeing people get together and create long lasting changes does.
Seeing minorities owning their narrative does.
Seeing the have-nots becoming powerhouses in their respective fields does.
The rest is….well it’s called the rest for a reason.
It’s like we were sitting ringside as we watch Thierry Lindor rumble in the jungle with a million dollar media conglomerate.
For some it’s entertaining because the outcome seems uncertain and exciting.
For others it brings out the best or the worst.
For a sad majority, the back and forth wakes up their inner sheep.
Whether you like his approach or not, all I could think of is how nowadays, anyone with a voice has a chance to at least hold their own against the machine.
Yesterday I was at Influence Orb‘s Charlamagne Tha God event.
An intimate session (hundred people and some change) with a man who was just like us not too long ago (bootstrapping while figuring it out).
I saw panels with local success stories that would probably never get to see the light of day if it wasn’t for a platform like this.
I saw people exchanging numbers and social media handles at the speed of life.
The energy was high, people took every word to the chin as if to say : ”Get Up and Get It”.
The energy was so high, that our team decided to capture some glimpse of it right here:
This is not ME being bias because I had a ”media pass”, this is me acknowledging something positive that WE actually need.
This is ME realizing that there is a middle ground between affordable and quality for conferences with sought after speakers that talk to US.
This is ME observing how people need to hear success stories to get that extra push to go about their journey.
This is ME seeing Charlamagne Tha God doing it for the love rather than the check.
Taking his time, having 1 to 1 Q&A sessions with game changers from the city.
Simply put, he was giving us more than some of the conferences I’ve attended in the past.
This is ME telling you that Thierry Lindor and his team made that happen.
This is US growing as a community on a different this scale.
A faster pace is set as a blink of an eye or a viral post can change years and years of being under the radar.
This is YOU realizing that going forward is a process. Sorta like wine, it gets better with time BUT with the right conditions and ingredients.
We need leaders, kingmakers, people who crossover and on top of all it all we need to move in unison.
Thierry Lindor has the right to defend himself and you have the right to be skeptical (and you should always be about everything).
While the comments are adding up at this very moment, we’re losing track of what matters.
What matters to me is to see you, him and her win. I guess, I came of age at a time where benefit of the doubt meant something.
I’m also grown enough to now measure a man’s heart over his impact.
I’m like that disciple who told Jesus to show him his palms. For certain things in life, I need to see it to believe it.
Finally, what I saw yesterday made me believe that we still have a long way to go but as long as there are individuals and groups
to keep their eyes on the bigger picture, we’ll do just fine.
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Isabelle Mugwaneza Desmarais: An Unlikely Journey For An Unlikely Unique Success Story
A Change Is Coming…Finally?
I grew up in the 90’s and although we can only realize it now but seeing people like Isabelle Mugwaneza Desmarais striving in a space where not a lot of us do is what was missing this whole time.
Read More: Lobster Season Has Arrived And The Homard Gaspésien Is Still The Best You Can Find On The Planet
The thing about representation is that you won’t know you need it until you need it. As most of us were just looking at society, we didn’t see ourselves but also normalized it.
I think Isabelle saw something that we couldn’t see in ourselves. The truth is not at the extreme it’s right in the middle. The intersection between being different but also a part of the ecosystem was what she saw.
Representation is not about doing what’s right because it’s right but more so because it needs to be done.
Starting her career in the public sector wasn’t a thrill anymore. Then she did some soul searching and probably came to the conclusion we all come to at some point in our existence:
Life Is A Joke
For her it was literal though. She figured out that humor and the business around it was her calling so what was the first step? Becoming a comedian herself and teach a thing or two to Dave Chappelle?
What about producing your own show with up and coming artists? Well, for Isabelle Mugwaneza Desmarais the start of this new chapter was simple as getting a non-paid internship.
Just For Laughs became her new home and with that started her mission to be at the forefront of what the landscape in comedy was to become.
Through thick and thin, work and dedication, intuition and know-how, she pulled through and the big way too!
Isabelle Mugwaneza Desmarais became the director of ZooFest. With her pulse on the scene, she fought and pushed for upcoming talents that are more than just tanned.
We’re seeing more BIPOCs getting a chance on stage and I would like to believe that this is just the beginning.
Speaking of ZooFest, if you want to see for yourself how this festival has grown in diversity and get a good kick out of it. You still have the opportunity to do so tomorrow as the last day of the celebration
With french performers like Lenny M’Bunga, AZ, Marine Ella, Meryem Benoua, Ayoub Marceau & Hugo.
Live podcasting will also be a part of the last run of the show. In the corner of Jeanne-Mance & Maisonneuve, you can can get a good view, a good potential date, you get to see greatness in all shapes, size or color AND of course a good laugh!
Lobster Season Has Arrived And The Homard Gaspésien Is Still The Best You Can Find On The Planet
The Homard Gaspésien Is What Your Plate Been Missing
2 weeks ago our good people at L’association Des Pêcheurs De Gaspésie sent us the email we’ve been waiting for all year long: The Homard Gaspésien Is Back!
Not only that but for this season, we were blessed not only with 1 but 2 dozens of lobsters from the region. I know what you’re thinking right now? Why would one person do with all those lobsters?
I will answer this question in a bit but while I have your attention, let me tell you all that I’ve learned about the Homard Gaspésien.
First, this is probably one of the few lobsters in the world that you can trace where it was fished at.
Indeed, they add a little tag to their claw that traces the lobsters from Gaspésie to your home so by then you know the authenticity of lobsters at all time.
Gaspésie is also one of the main resource provider in Canada when it comes to lobsters and all kind of seafood. (and yes my taste buds do appreciate the fishermen that went out and got them).
Back to the business. Once I got the email, I felt the need to do something special this year. I wanted something challenging and something where I could share my love for those lobsters.
Then I thought about my good people at Never Was Average and how they usually go about things. They bring people together in a meaningful way.
That’s when ”Meeting Of The Minds” came to me. I like to conversate with my fellow creatives, exchange ideas and compliment them on their artistry.
With the help of Never Was Average we were able to thank those same creatives for their contributions with a special dinner over lobsters and bubbles. Sophia Traiteurs Cathering came through with her magic touch and prepared us a seafood bowl in cajun style.
Since we like to give our audience a glimpse into our creative process, we made it a point to document this entire experience. Those moments that were shared and lived got captured and frozen in time by our collaborator Carl Apollo.
This experience reminded me of two things: We should always take the time to build and celebrate each other more and of course doing it over lobsters is a plus.
As the lobster season is closing on us. Treat yourself and grab your loved ones for an experience you won’t regret.
Renzel Dashington Creates The Line Between Social Commentary & Comedy And We Love It!
Renzel Dashington’s Rise In The Comedy World Is A True Testament Of How Thunder Can Strike Twice
Renzel Dashington to me is a case study in itself when you really think about it. Most men get to be recognized for one specific claim to fame if ever. If you’re lucky enough, you go on to transition in something else in your field and for the most part that’s it.
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Renzel did the unheard, unseen, unbelievable and unorthodox all at the same time. First of all, he started off as a manager for arguably the most iconic and successful black singer this city has ever seen: Corneille.
I know some naysayers might hit me with ”Ouais mais Seul Au Monde was a long a time ago?!”. Technically yes but just like Michael Jordan. Some guys have accomplished things that have never been replicated since and therefore you have to respect it.
That’s where it gets interesting if you ask me. Usually the typical story arch for the manager is this: he gets his or her client to the promise land, they get rich and then usually the artist severs ties due to ”creative differences” or simply for trying something new.
After 20 years of career, a major twist came In Renzel Dashington‘s story. The manager became yet again a sort of manager since he was more behind the scenes when he first founded Bad Boys Du Rire. It was a movement, it told the comedy scene in Quebec that black and brown people had something to say too.
In The process, Bad Boys Du Rire went on to sell over 20 000 tickets, 200 shows and 10 000 minutes were spent on stage by artists that the market initially rejected. I respect people who are able to spot those gaps and make the most out it.
Then a global pandemic hits and something made the artist in him come out of its shell once and for all!
Maybe that’s why in the midst of George Flloyd’s death and the BLM movement, Renzel’s offering was different and needed. On one hand he would let you know what’s going on in society and on the other he would crack jokes about racism, racists, Covid measures and all those different things that were still sensitive and too serious at the time.
It was a relief from your day to day. You knew he would talk about it, make fun of it and you would have a good time. Renzel Dashington was transparent, honest, held no punches and even sparked some interesting debates or rivalry like whatever he got going on with Richard Martineau and Sophie Durocher these days.
Nonetheless it was only right that the comedian give us an official outlet to experiment live his new format that he introduced us to. His one man show ”Yo Les Bailles Sont F*cked Up” is exactly that.
Renzel being Renzel joking on stage about things, topics and people Renzel and the rest of world actually care about. Following the good response he had in Europe with 27 shows back to back shows in 14 days from his material, it was only right that we get some hometown love.
Taking place May 26th at Ausgang Plaza, the one man show is a must if you’re truly a fan of stand up comedy that tackles the real, the crazy, the good, the bad and of course the fucked up.
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