Bill Hicks 20th RIP Anniversary
Twenty years ago today, one of my all time heroes died at the tragically young age of 32. We’ve discussed Bill briefly on the Menagerie before, not being strictly speaking a film figure he hasn’t featured often on the spectrum, but obviously I couldn’t let such an auspicious date slip by without some brief mark of respect. Why is he one of my heroes? Well, chiefly because people whom have inspired me to actively change my life for the positive are exceptionally rare, and it was during a particularly intense bought of listening to numerous shows of his that a core executive decision was finalised. Due to the wonders of the eBay-era internet I’d purchased for the princely sum of £5 quid about 100+ gigs and various audio material that some similar acolyte had collected, and like the slow erosion of water drips on granite rock his ingrained resistance to the corporate world, his championing of not accepting the status quo and thinking for yourself finally provided the courage necessary to quit the private sector job at the company I’d worked at since I graduated. This was a potentially rather suicidal mood given that I had no other job offer lined up in the interim, not to mention I doing quite well in terms of promotions and opportunity, but isn’t that always the way when you’re chomping down on that slick corporate cock? Nevertheless I loathed the people I worked with at the time and as the Iraq war was raging I wanted no fucking connection with firms whom were destined to prosper through the literal death of men, women and children, so I fucking quit.
Nevertheless it all worked out and I’m fortunate and persistent enough to have forged a self-employed career in a far more rewarding and complex sphere over the past decade and change, a career I’m exrtremley proud of given the projects, savings and achievements I and colleagues have achieved in local government. An imminent return to the market once the Bexley contract expires next month actually fills me with a slight sense of excitement rather than loose sense of unemployed dread which is usually the case, combined with a bold sense of curiosity for the adventure ahead as it were. Plus a month or so off is richly deserved, and I have some new pastimes to tinker with to keep me out of mischief. Anyway, enough of this tedium, of course much of Bill’s material has aged as you’d expect over two decades, but fundamentally his railing and calling out of the absolute idiocy of the conservative right and religious zealots of all colours and creeds remains volcanic, his spearing of societies hypocrisies remains idolic, and quite simply my politics and ideology so closely mirror his I have no choice but to fall under his dark wing;
32 is just tragically young, can you imagine if he was still around and his attitude toward the Tea Party, reality TV and his propoganda, or individual events such as Katrina, 9/11, Snowden, Assange, Sandy Hook or Utøya might have been? OK, so some of the pontificating about drugs might be a little misplaced (although he’s still 100% correct about a total and universal lifting of prohibition everywhere as the only possible solution) and maybe he sound a little like a proto-Russell Brand with his rather simplistic positions on certain issues political issues, but the guy was only 32 when he died and I don’t know about you but I was still pretty stupid and uninformed at even that age, as opposed to the Buddha like zen of all encompassing I currently personify of course. It was really his sense of fearless ferocity and torching of hypocrisy which still lights a fire, even he had begun a rather unfortunate slide toward conspiracy theorist sympathiser toward the end of his life. Overall I don’t think there has been a man more perfectly born to do what he did, he started performing stand-up at an unbelievable age of 15 in adult clubs, and even then he had such a cocky, index finger raised assurance, an absolute command of the space and fearless confidence which is unique, honestly when you look at what passes for comedy these days in American and Europe I just want to fucking puke. So here are three full sets offered for delerious devotion, I’ve been amused to see The Guardian going similarly adoring in their coverage, I guess in the final analysiss its entirely possible that I also wouldn’t have had the courage (or self-important stupidity) to begin this very entity that you’re reading these words upon if it wasn’t for the his impact upon my life, goodnight again Bill and thanks for the inspiration buddy….