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Rick Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Rick Blue
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is a Montreal-based humorist, singer, and writer. He and partner George Bowser are the famous Bowser and Blue comedy act. Here's his bio from their Bowser and Blue website.

Rick Blue was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in Maine, New Jersey, and Toronto. He has an MA in English from Concordia University. He has been involved in bands and media music in Montreal for over twenty years. In 1981 he won an international 'Clio' award for excellence in advertising.

He once appeared on television naked.

His life had no real meaning, however, until he began to play with Bowser and Blue. Rick plays guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, and sings in a rather pleasant baritone when George will let him.

He is also a columnist for Montreal's outstanding West Island Gazette..

His LCC columns are archived here

Posted 09.10.15

RICK BLUE

D-I-Y equals Madness, I say

MONTREAL | After visiting the Home Depot store just off St-Jean Boulevard in Pointe-Claire, I am always amazed at how deeply the do-it-yourself culture has permeated our lives.

I enjoy looking at all the possibilities I have of becoming a carpenter, a plumber or an electrician, but that's not what I am. To tell you the truth, I don't think I have ever tried to fix anything that I haven't then had to completely take apart and start over. I am really no good at it.

But unlike many of my fellow men, I know my limitations. So I do what I know how to do to make my living and pay someone else to fix up my house.

Oh yes, I can dip into this world by changing my lightbulbs or the dust filters in my forced-air heating system or even an occasional fuse. But plastering or caulking or even painting is beyond me.

I admit it. And I carry no guilt. Call me a traditionalist.

I come from an age when people like me were helped through life by another group of people who existed for that purpose. They were called tradesmen. And that was how they earned their living.

Nowadays, musicians, doctors, lawyers and stockbrokers are building their own decks and fixing their own drains.

Madness, I say!

And more recently, thanks to the computer, this madness has spread to other areas of the economy.

We are becoming a self-serve civilization.

We are expected to book our own flights, make our own hotel reservation, and check out our own purchases at a grocery store. When we telephone any company, large or small, computers answer the telephone. Does any one remember what a receptionist was?

Clearly everybody hates those telephone menus. So I am waiting for the first brave CEO to have an epiphany and remember how important that human touch meant to the people who are supposed to always be right - - the customer.

We are in danger of eliminating an entire class of people who were for the longest time a one of the most important groups in the success of our economy - - a group that made up much of the middle class - - people who worked in the service economy.

Back in boom times here in North America they could make a decent living and have a good life. Now, all these services are being cut by employers and downloaded to the consumer.

Sure you can increase your profit by reducing your staff in the short term, but at what cost for the long term?

People need jobs to make a living in order to be consumers. How are they going to buy the things that companies are selling if they have no income?

People need jobs to be able to pay taxes.

And they need jobs to feel productive and for their own feeling of self worth. Being unemployed takes a terrible toll on a person 's pride. In India, even a tea walla has a purpose and a position in the larger scheme of things.

So my thought for the day is: If companies really wanted to help the economy grow, they should hire more people.

To read Rick Blue's complete column on the West Island Gazette, click here Rick Blue in the West Island Gazette
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