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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 06.14.04

RICKY BLUE

Remember the Alamo, eh? Vote on June 20

While in San Antonio Texas for the American Memorial Day weekend I lived a lifelong dream. I saw the Alamo.

Before I left my kids had asked: "What's the Alamo?"

WHAT'S THE ALAMO?

What do they teach you in school these days? I rushed them to the Kirkland Coliseum to see the new Alamo film with Billy Bob Thornton as a philosophical Davy Crockett.

My son later admitted: "Dad, if it wasn't for Hollywood, we wouldn't know anything!"

When I saw the real Alamo I noticed how small the building was.

"Yes," said the Texas Ranger. "But what it represents is very big, indeed. It was a gesture of defiance against tyranny. The battle of the Alamo might have failed. But its example triumphed and resounded through history."

As I walked through the shrine and museum I asked myself: Why is the Alamo remembered? Is it because those men stood up for what they believed even though it seemed hopeless? Is that what makes it honorable? Is that why we remember it to this day? And do I know what a rhetorical question is?

Surrendering would have been the prudent thing to do. But if those men had surrendered, that would have been the end of it. There would be no cry of: "Remember the Alamo!" There would be no shrine.

There would be no Alamo key chains.

No Alamo playing cards and coffee cups.

No tour buses full of fleshy middle-aged men in short pants clutching digital cameras while lumps form in their throats as they exclaim: "This is where Davy Crockett fell!"

In 1836 a ragtag group of 189 men held off a Mexican army of over 4000 for thirteen days. They knew that without reinforcements they were doomed. Yet they made their stand. Their example inspired Sam Houston to lead his Texan army a month later to victory. And it has been an inspiration to Americans ever since.

And now that I am back on the West Island I realize that we are also involved in an Alamo struggle.

Our Alamo is the de-merger referendum.

Like the Texas version, this de-merger business might seem small - a local issue. But what it represents is very big. It represents ordinary citizens standing up to a dictatorial government.

Santa Anna's armies, er, I mean, the pro-merger forces and their backers have us surrounded. They bombard us daily with warnings about tax increases and losses of power and influence.

"Surrender!" they cry. "You cannot win." We answer with cannon shots. Pata-ping, Pata-poom, Pata-pouf!

And they may well be right. They have managed to rig the whole thing so that we cannot really "Get our towns back."

But we will not surrender!

Because perhaps in the future our children's children will shout: "Remember the de-merger!" As they vanquish some future dictatorial government ramming through some future dictatorial law.

What is glory? It is to fight even though you know you cannot win. To fight for the ideal.

For the principal. (Or at least the vice principal).

And in this case, as with the Alamo, the ideals are freedom and democracy.

That is why you must vote on June 20th. And let us hope that our gesture of defiance in the face of this tyranny will serve as an example to the world! After all, what's a metaphor?

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