Squeegee your third eye

To update the motion Stephen Pound put before the House of Commons in England five years ago, today “we note with sadness the 15th anniversary of the death of Bill Hicks, on 26th February 1994, at the age of 32; recall his assertion that his words would be a bullet in the heart of consumerism, capitalism and the American Dream; and mourn the passing of one of the few people who may be mentioned as being worthy of inclusion with Lenny Bruce and George Carlin in any list of unflinching and painfully honest political philosophers.”

Like many people, I was introduced to the work of Mr. Hicks through Tool’s “Aenima” album (yet another positive impact that band has had on my life). At first, his abrasiveness was a little off-putting. I have to admit it’s hard to love a guy that once told an audience that “Hitler had the right idea, he was just an underachiever.” But going beyond that I found a man who, in his comedy and philosophy, had a genuine love and compassion for people. He wanted us to evolve ideas, to go beyond the petty bullshit that makes up much of our daily lives. Hopefully I will live to see part of his dream realized. I doubt it though. So I too will sit in the back and hurl spitballs in my own little way.

The world is a much sadder place without Bill Hicks. But as the man said best, where there is love, laughter and truth, he will be there in spirit.

Another Dead Hero

Another Dead Hero

“The world is like a ride at an amusement park. It goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly colored and it’s very loud and it’s fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question it. Is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, “Hey – don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride …” And we kill those people. Ha ha, “Shut him up. We have a lot invested in this ride. Shut him up. Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and my family. This just has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. Jesus murdered; Martin Luther King murdered; Malcolm X murdered; Gandhi murdered; John Lennon murdered; Reagan … wounded. But it doesn’t matter because it’s just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love.

The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace. Thank you very much, you’ve been great.”

William Melvin Hicks, Dec. 16, 1961 – Feb. 26, 1994

EDIT: So the “open mic night” at the shop is interesting … on the anniversary of the death of one of the world’s most brilliant comedians, a guy decides to do some of the most soul-crushingly and awkwardly bad stand-up. I’m sorry Bill. Dear God I am sorry.

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~ by J on February 26, 2009.

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