|Bill Hicks, American Hero|
"We all pay for life with death, so everything in between should be free."
"I'm glad mushrooms are against the law, because I took them one time, and you know what happened to me? I laid in a field of green grass for four hours going, "My God! I love everything." Yeah, now if that isn't a hazard to our country … how are we gonna justify arms dealing when we realize that we're all one?"
"Folks, it's time to evolve. That's why we're troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything's failing? It's because, um – they're no longer relevant. We're supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right? There's another 90 percent of our brains that we have to illuminate."
And most importantly
"This is the material, by the way, that has kept me virtually anonymous in America for the past 15 years. Gee, I wonder why we're hated the world over? Look at these fat Americans in the front row - 'Why doesn't he just hit fruit with a hammer?' Folks, I could have done that, walked around being a millionaire and franchising myself but no, I had to have this weird thing about trying to illuminate the collective unconscious and help humanity. Fucking moron."
Not your standard standup act, right? I'd almost call Bill a stand up philosopher rather than a comedian. Bill was real, and raw, and was completely on the edge. He was also the reason that Denis Leary is famous - Denis stole his "smoking" bit - almost word for word. Bill Hicks famously said,
"I have a scoop for you. I stole his [Leary's] act. I camouflaged it with punchlines, and, to really throw people off, I did it before he did."
And it's true.
|Completely stolen, sadly still true.|
So that's why he is important to Denis Leary. Denis denies it, and tries to play it off as sour grapes, but anyone who knows comedy knows it's true. It's sad, but true.
So why a post about Bill Hicks on a bicycle blog? Because Bill Hicks died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 32. I remember hearing about it when it happened - he died in the first week I was in bootcamp, and I was absolutely floored; I (and almost everyone) had no idea that he even had cancer. I got a letter from a friend breaking the news, and I was very sad. Not too many months later, Kurt Cobain took his own life, and while that was shocking, it didn't have an effect on me like Bills' death did - because Bill's death was not his choice. I only saw Bill perform live once, but his performance had a profound effect on the way I think and the way I see the world. Many of the things that Bill had to say are true today - truth is truth, and Bill had a tap into the collective truth of humankind.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for cancer - but if there were, it's too late for Bill. I'm trying to raise money for cancer research so that we don't have to lose more people like Bill Hicks - though I'm sure there will never be another Bill. I will ask you again to donate to my ride so that we can defeat what took such a bright light from our world.
And I'll leave you with one more quote from Bill - one that resonates with me every day, and one that is appropriate here.
"All matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves."
And if you want to see his standup, watch
"Bill Hicks, Sane Man"
"Bill Hicks, Relentless"
"Bill Hicks, Revelations"
Also, take the time to watch the trailer for the new documentary on Bill. I've watched the doc, and it's good.