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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 12.03.04

RICKY BLUE

Tongue Troopers off mark with Quinn Farm

Dear workers of the Office Québecois de la Langue Francaise: your load is a heavy one!

Surely it can't be easy to wield the power of the State to persecute an honest, hard-working Notre Dame de l'Ile Perrot farmer who is known for taking children on tractor rides through pumpkin fields for having a sign in his store that reads 'Thank You for Not Smoking' without feeling mean and small-minded.

Are you sure that you get enough vacation time?

It must be difficult to ignore the revelation that you are the front line of a 30-year witch-hunt singling out an entire community simply for being who they are. And when someone points out that all Quebec citizens should have the same basic rights regardless of linguistic or any other kind of identity, we understand when you put your hands over your ears and yell: "I'm not listening!"

Do you get a full medical and dental plan?

Have you ever been told by one of your victims that to discriminate against a community on the basis of language violates article two of the United Nations Declaration of Universal Human Rights? Sure, someone like this is obviously an "extremist." But the whole experience is extremely unpleasant, isn't it?

Are you eligible for early retirement?

You must have terrible moments of doubt. That perhaps to isolate, harass and eventually drive out an entire group of innocent people like you do is to be a small part of the dark totalitarian shadow against which good people struggle all over the world? You can argue that the ends justify the means. But we all know where that leads. And you must know, too.

Is your office well-lighted and well-ventilated?

You must have heard the accusation that there isn't really that much difference between your organization and the group of vandals who attacked Baie d'Urfé town hall. Because you both have a common purpose: to intimidate the English community into submission or flight.

But there is a difference. They only had seven drunken thugs and there are 240 of you - plus a tax-funded $17.8-million annual budget.

Are you adequately compensated at your level of skill and experience?

It must be hard not to get impatient with all the petty complaints that pour in from creepy language zealots. You must have to close your eyes and chant: "They pay me to do this! They pay me to do this!"

I hope the government provides you with free Prozac.

The most difficult task must be to maintain the fiction that you are still necessary when your own statistics prove that 83 percent of the population of Quebec already speak French. By using the same fiction, Canada, where only 73 per cent of the population speak English, is also threatened and should embark upon a campaign of Anglicization right away.

Is your workplace smoke-free and gender-neutral?

Yes, your job is a hard one, brave Tongue Trooper. But it must be done. Bill 101 is the law and laws must be obeyed. As Apartheid was once a law in South Africa and people like you had to enforce it.

So as you measure those threatening signs and as you sign those threatening letters, know that we are just glad that we don't have to do it. Because what you are doing to Elwood Quinn of the Quinn farm is so obviously, inexcusably, and horribly wrong.

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