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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.

He is also a columnist for Montreal's outstanding weekly The Suburban.

His LCC columns are archived here

Posted 11.29.06

RICKY BLUE

Turning Canadian guilt into good times

MONTREAL | I get the feeling, perhaps you do too, that something big is happening. It's our dollar. It's getting big! And we are getting bigger along with it.

Yes, it's happening to ordinary Canadians. Not just the government. And not just the rich. Everything we own, our real estate, our salaries and pensions, all in Canadian dollars and all worth more.

The Canadian dollar used to be a handicap, but not now. We can throw away our crutches. Hallelujah! We can walk!

Much of this is thanks to Alberta. What a great province. I'd like to see the Quebec "National" Assembly formally pass a motion thanking Alberta for giving every Quebecer in Hollywood, Florida, twenty percent more buying power.

I know. When the North Pole freezes over. The only time the Quebec government makes a pronouncement about any other part of Canada is to bitch about something.

And how about all the environmentalists? How can they ethically benefit by this? I'm sure they are facing an agonizing ideological dilemma.

So let me propose a solution: because this high dollar is mainly due to our oil wealth, all Greenies may show their displeasure by giving the twenty percent increase to me. That's right, me. Send me twenty percent of your income and I will deal with your guilt. By turning that guilt into good times. That is my promise to you.

I have many relatives living in the States. In fact, I have a family reunion to attend in New York City in December. In the past I dreaded traveling to the States. I knew everything would be more expensive. But now I'm looking forward to it. I'll be walking tall: strutting my Canadian stuff.

I know, it is not polite to rub it in. But we've been down for so long. We are like the Red Sox. And they are the Yankees. The curse has been lifted. And revenge is sweet.

Economists say that it is really the weakness of the US dollar and not the strength of ours. But I do not accept that entirely.

Two years ago I attended a symposium in Toronto called Idea City. Conrad Black spoke. He had been forced to return to Canada to deal with some legal unpleasantness. He told us how he had rediscovered our country. He rhapsodized about how we had untold mineral wealth. Of course, oil. But gold, uranium, copper and nickel, too. And enormous fresh water reserves. Also an educated and healthy population. And two languages. And gigantic amounts of geographical space. We have become the envy of the world.

He is right. Conrad might have been caught with his hand in the cookie jar but that does not mean he is stupid; just indiscreet.

We Canadians should realize that we are embarking on a new world order. And even the greatest human catastrophe of our time, global warming, is actually going to benefit us: a milder climate, more arable land and a functioning northwest passage. It's what pre-Suzuki Canadians used to dream about.

If we were in Vegas, sitting at a Black Jack table, we'd be holding aces. There is no explanation. We didn't deserve it. It's simple blind stupid luck. But fellow countrymen, let's not blow it! Let's play our hand. No one ever gets another chance like this.

Much of the rest of the world are not so lucky. They do not have the resources and space and health we enjoy. That is true. But that is not our fault.

Help? Sure. We are Canadians. We will do whatever we can. But let us learn from so many other powers that extended their maternal hands out to other unfortunate nations and cultures only to have them bitten off.

We have lucked into something here. Something big. And it's more than just our loonie.

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