Since I’ve been writing about Stupidism for the last two weeks, it seems like a good time to bring up Stan Dickie. Stan Dickie is a character–an alter-ego–of sorts that developed, well by accident when I was doing my Masters of Fine Arts degree at the University of Ottawa. He happened because I was stuck. I didn’t know what to do. And when you don’t know what to do in a Visual Arts degree you start writing songs, right? I mean doesn’t everybody? Isn’t that kinda stupid? Even Stupidist, perhaps?
Stan developed alongside the concept of Stupidism, and is the very first iteration of said in an artistic format, although looking back, all my work is pretty Stupidist. The twelfth tenet of the Stupdist Manifesto states: “One of the most important tools in the arsenal of the Stupidist artist is humour. Humour in the guise of satire, parody and absurdity are excellent tools for pointing out the stupidity inherent in human endeavours. Thus humour is helpful in beginning a conversation about said stupidity. It’s also fucking fun to laugh at our own stupidity.” At least in my opinion, Stan Dickie epitomizes this aspect of Stupidism. He’s definitely a satire, also a parody and he’s at least supposed to be funny most of the time. You, dear reader, can decide if he is or not.
Stan began life as a means to satirize a concept that is ubiquitous in North American society, the idea of the ‘real man.’ I won’t explain that because I’m pretty sure everyone knows what I’m talking about. He does so in the guise of a Cowpunk superstar. Side note–back in those heady days of the early 10s, I referred to him as country/rock. It was only later that I realized he was indeed Cowpunk, having been largely influenced by the great Cowpunk band, the Beat Farmers.
So why, you may ask, did I start writing songs? Well, I had been accepted in the MFA program at U of O on the basis of cut-out animations I had done in my undergrad. So naturally, I intended to continue to do something along those lines. But I had moved across the country and I no longer had a friend who helped me with sound. So I decided to try to write a song as the soundtrack for one of my animations. Looking back, I’m not sure that makes sense, but I was able to do so and make a half decent recording of it. And it was generally well-received. So I made animations, and ended up largely focusing on a website and live performance.
But the thing the thing that kept me going was that it was not a bad song (click the image to the left. Warning: some may find this song and video offensive!). And the fact of the matter is, I had always wanted to be a songwriter. There is no creative activity I admire more, but I had never really been able to do it. Then suddenly, I had managed an okay song. And then I wrote nine more. And most of them were, at least in my humble opinion, not bad half bad.
Anyway, ever since I graduated in 2012, I’ve kept the project going. It’s now a side project to my main activity of painting that I don’t spend a lot of time on, but I’ll write a new Stan song when I’m inspired to do so. One thing I decided after completing my MFA was that Stan didn’t just have to satirize masculinity, he could satirize anything I wanted. So I’ve since written songs about his views on Climate Change, the War on Christmas, the Moon Landing Hoax and I’ll do more. Stan is now kind of an Easter Egg on my website. The only place you can find reference to him (besides the blog) is in my bio. I’ll leave you with the video for the Moon Song, which is the most recent thing I’ve completed for Stan (though not the most recent song). And please peruse his website standickie.com, there’s actually quite a bit there.