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Ricky Blue's Other Life
Ricky Blue
Ricky 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.

Ricky 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.

His columns are archived here

Posted 06.11.05

RICKY BLUE

Let's hear it for an Audible Anglo star

So much has been said about the Gomery hearings in Canada: everyone is mad at the Liberals, separatism is back, and politicians have now fallen even below corporate CEO's on the public's scale of slime. But there is one aspect that no one talks about. And the fact that no one talks about it is precisely what makes it so profound.

That is the striking Anglo accent of Justice John Gomery.

Indeed, he was born in Montreal and went to McGill University, so he is a genuine born-and-bred Quebec Anglophone, and sounds like one. And now he is at the center of the most popular soap opera in Quebec.

This is revolutionary, not a "quiet" revolution but rather a revolution of "sound."

For years I used to watch Radio Canada teleromans and I could always tell who the bad guys were: they spoke French with an Anglo accent. Now we are in an entirely new situation.

The good guy is speaking French with an Anglo accent and the bad guys are the francophones.

Traditionally, a man who spoke French like Ed Broadbent was not to be taken seriously by Quebec's anti-Anglo elite. But because this man is seen to be helping them unseat the arch-enemy federal Liberals, they seem to have collectively bitten their French tongues. And failing any denunciation by their press, most Quebecois have taken him into their hearts.

And so now we Anglos who also speak French with an obvious accent - I was once harangued by an editor of La Presse with: "Yes, you speak French but you obviously don't live in French!" (the "You Anglo pig" was silent) - are encouraged. We have a shining example in our own John Gomery. He has not allowed his Anglo disability, his ethnic and cultural incorrectness, to slow him down at all.

There he is, day after day, speaking French like an Ontario tourist on French TV and everyone is loving it!

There is so much sympathy and government support for "visible" minorities: and the hiring of "visible" minorities, and quotas for "visible" minorities, but there is precious little for "audible" minorities.

We Anglos in Quebec are in many respects one of the world's most classic examples of an "audible" minority.

And in Quebec, rather than supporting us, millions of our own tax dollars are actually spent funding a government agency that hunts down and punishes instances of us using our language - our "audibility."

But perhaps this acceptance of Justice Gomery simply as a man, rather than as an Anglo, is an indication of a coming change among the people of Quebec. Because he seems to be held with such affection, perhaps this accent will one day even become "cool."

Perhaps Quebec companies will display their inclusiveness by hiring an audible minority spokesperson to represent them. Perhaps we will soon hear a person of Anglo audibility reading the news on Radio Canada.

Perhaps one day even an Anglo could be premier of Quebec.

OK, that's never going to happen.

But dare we Anglos dream that not long from now we will be able to hold our heads high and pronounce all those useless extra vowels that come at the end of French words without fear of ridicule?

Will we one day be able to pronounce the "u" in déjà vu as an "oo" sound without an embarrassed hush falling over the room?

Justice John Gomery is leading the way. He is a true Anglo hero!

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