This week in hyperbole

If the first casualty of war is truth, then it seems the second casualty of Quebec’s student skirmish, after so many plate glass windows, is the blessing of understatement. (Un)fortunately for us on the sidelines, the ability to overstate what, exactly, the three-month-long strike represents. Here are two particularly pungent examples from the past week.

Exhibit one, from the left: Referring to this week’s smoke bomb attacks on four Montreal Metro stations, paralysing the system for some 300,000 users, writer François Avard said, “I don’t see these as terrorist acts, but almost like humanitarian action!” Avard—who, it must be said, created the wickedly funny Les Bougons—went on to chastise the Quebec population for “sitting in their cars and bitching without doing anything.”

Exhibit deux, from the right: “Wearing a red square in the Metro this morning is like wearing a burqa in a plane after September 11,” tweeted Éric Duhaime, a right-y commentator. “It makes all passengers around nervous.” (H/T Clique Du Plateau.)

So: the students are freedom fighters. No, they’re terrorists. God forbid they’re just students on strike.