I remember when AJ and I first sat down to really start hammering away at our podcast. We were trying to figure out who our target audience was. We were having trouble finding our voice and the issue is that we didn’t know who we were talking to. I started rattling things off and AJ’s response was (in summery), “so you want them to be like you?” I thought for a moment and replied, “yes.”
We worked through that idea a little bit more. We started realizing there were quite a few people like us. Folks from a blue collar background that studied topics like philosophy and religion. People who liked common things done really well. People who wanted to better themselves, but were through and through blue collar. That is when we first talked about the Blue Collar Scholar.
This was an idea that has been building in me for a while. One of the reasons I gravitate towards CS Lewis is because of his ability to make complex concepts accessible without losing the integrity of the concept. Mere Christianity was a book that fundamentally changed my religious experience. It spoke to me in a way that no other book has. I asked myself why. I think it is because it was meant for common folks, farmers, the working class. Much of what is in Mere Christianity came from a radio broadcast focused on bringing Christian insight to those who were not able to go to University. The language, intended for the working class of Lewis’s time, fit perfectly with my world view. It took me a while to process this, but this is when I realized I no longer had to sound or act like snooty smart kid. I could keep my colloquialisms as pursed my education and personal development.
Tolkien, the other half of our InkleDeux coin, has a similar impact. He is more of scholar. His writing was genius level, but it was written in the style of folklore. Folklore was how people passed history and lessons through the ages. It is the essence of blue collar. It is was moral lessons and history told by the working people to their children. Folklore is education by the people for the people (as in not formalized education). Tolkien took it to another level. The Lord of the Rings is an epic poem wrapped in folklore. This is the Dr.Pepper of folklore (for those of you who are unaware, Dr.Pepper is the pinnacle of sodas…just wanted to make sure you got that reference). This is something used by common people but taken to the next level. That is very much how I see myself. I am working class, but I’m trying to be the Dr.Pepper version.
As we have continued to develop our personally, and as a company, we have honed in on this idea of people like us. People who are of the working class but like to get deep. We like to work hard. We like to spend long, quality time with folks discussing everything that is important. We like to push each other to be better without ever loosing who we are. That’s really what the Inklings were. It was a group of gentlemen sharing time at a pub pushing each other to be better. Yes they were University professors, so probably not considered the working class. But, they were also drafted into the War and served the same as everyone else.
At our core, that is also who we are. We are Blue Collar Scholars. We work hard to do our jobs well, provide for our family. We also push to be better by starting a business, a podcast, by having meaningful and challenging conversations. We look to the future and see that if we want the next generation to be better, then we have to be better.
If this sounds like you, then please join us. We want to have to a drink and a conversation with you. It is difficult at the current times, but if you enter your email in the subscribe field at the bottom left. Please engage with us. We are also on all of the major social media platforms and provide different content for each.