“The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly coloured 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: “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.”
Bill Hicks passed away February 26th, 1994 from pancreatic cancer. On that day, we lost one of the brightest comedic stars of his generation. Bill self-described his style as “Chomsky, with dick jokes.” His humor was often black and bleak in parts, speaking to his dislike of authority, the mainstream media, and the American consumerist culture. He joked about some controversial topics including smoking, drugs, pornography, politics, religion and the first war in Iraq.
The refreshing thing about Bill was that he was an original, and refused to compromise the subject matter of his shows in order to appeal to a wider audience. He mixed the crude with the intellectual. He raised interesting questions, directed light at things that needed illumination, and encouraged people question their given assumptions about what they’d been told. After his passing, Tool dedicated their album, Aenima to him. Radiohead did the same of their album, The Bends.
His material is controversial, offensive at times, and strongly biased to his point of view. His style is not for the many, but for the underrepresented few. During the past 8 years, I really felt like America could have used his voice. Discovering his material was bittersweet, because after hearing it I realized what we had lost and knew there was nothing more to come. Those of us who listened to him, and laughed with him will remember his memory to keep it alive.
Smoke em if you got em.