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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 12.14.14

RICK BLUE

Like animals, we are products of our environment

MONTREAL | Most of us are well aware of the shortcomings of our species. History is full of horror and folly. But I prefer to accentuate the positive. We have many accomplishments. And I am grateful for them.

Then again, I live in the suburbs, not the city.

Back in 1969, Desmond Morris published a book called The Human Zoo. He was a zoologist at the London Zoo at the time and could not help but notice how the conditions of confinement affected the animals. They exhibited many unnatural behaviours they would never practice in the wild.

Then he made a leap of the imagination.

His genius was to apply this revelation to the study of humans in the confining environment of cities. And he found that the same thing could be said about us.

At the time I was studying sociology at Sir George Williams University. I had a professor of urbanization who could -- and would -- gladly at every opportunity, point out how urbanization was changing our world. And our view of it.

Then, I transferred into the creative writing program for my master's. I had to absorb all the English lit prerequisites in a qualifying year. It was fascinating. I particularly enjoyed my courses on the romantics, their literature, art and philosophy.

Stick with me, there's a point.

I noticed how romantic poetry was obsessed with the beauty of nature. And I noticed how romantic landscapes had replaced religious ones on the walls of our homes in the modern era. And how this has lead to a general idealized view of nature becoming the overwhelming ethic in our time.

It is often cited that it was a reaction to the industrial revolution. As we became more and more urbanized, we pined for what we had lost -- our connection with nature.

And it has gotten to the point now where it has replaced religion, in the sense that there is a new orthodoxy around an idealized nature.

Today's city dweller will mourn the loss of a tree as they would a loved one, seemingly oblivious of the fact that if they were to venture 20 kilometres outside the city and start walking north they would encounter nothing but trees until they reach the Arctic.

And we see nature as a beneficial entity. Although, in fact, nature will kill us. In fact, nature will kill everyone, eventually.

But no, nature is seen as the nurturer. It is only mankind that kills.

Ignored also seems to be the great strides we have made toward a healthier and happier life. Our life expectancy has never been longer, our health has never been better, our choices have never been greater, as has our ability to maximize our individual and collective potentials.

Sure, there are many problems. There will always be human failures. We are imperfect, ironically, because we are products of nature. There is nothing perfect in nature. Everything that comes from nature contains the seeds of its own destruction.

Some look at the success of our species as being unnatural. Even to the point of becoming a self-hating human. I don't agree. I think what we are doing is quite natural.

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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