Tuesday, August 9, 2011

One of the reasons I am riding to fight cancer.

I'm not sure how many of you have heard of  Bill Hicks, but he was an important person to young Justin Husman - and even more important to Denis Leary. Let me tell you why.

Bill Hicks, American Hero
Bill Hicks was a standup comedian who was born in 1961, and started doing comedy when he was 13 in Houston, TX. Bill was a contemporary of Sam Kinison, but he was actually funny and thought provoking, not a cartoon character. Bill did "bits", like every other comedian, but he also tried to help people expand their minds - and he helped a young Justin to do the same thing. I saw Bill with a friend of mine in around 1991 or so; we snuck into a comedy club to see him, and we were blown away by what he had to say - he was funny, and had jokes, but he also said things like, 

"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.
Dennis Leary's "Smoking" bit is almost exactly the same as Bill Hick's talk about smoking you can see on the special "Bill Hicks, sane man" - down to the line "Kieth Richards outlived Jim Fixx - the plot thickens."

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. 

Donate HERE

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."

Too Short 

More reading; 



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.

No comments:

Post a Comment