|Bill Hicks: "I want you - to think and laugh"|
My favourite comics are the ones that make their audiences think, and challenge their habitual ways. George Carlin is one that comes to mind. Another, and one I am not as familiar with until recently, is Bill Hicks (1961-1994).
When an audience member approached Hicks after a show and complained, "We don't come here to think," Hicks responded by saying, "Gee, where do you go to think? I'll meet you there".
Hicks thought his routine was like "bullets in the heart of consumerism, capitalism, and the American Dream". He was deeply disturbed by the dystopian reality foisted upon the public by big business and governments, and took refuge in "love, laughter, and truth".
A few Bill Hicks quotes highlight why he was a frequent victim of censorship, and was considered a dangerous subversive.
"I do not believe making money in order to consume goods is humankind's sole purpose on this planet. If you're wondering what I believe our purpose on this planet is, I'll give you a hint... it has to do with creating and sharing."
"It's all about money, not freedom. It has nothing to do with freedom. If you think you're free, try going somewhere without money."
"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 keep building nuclear weapons, you know what I mean? What's gonna happen to the arms industry when we realize that we're all one?!"
"I need my sleep. I need about eight hours a day, and about ten at night."
"The less critical one is about various issues concerning the status quo, the more apt you are to become prey to advertising. The more substance and talking points you have in a show, the less attention you'll pay to the commercial break. Your mind would be too busy digesting and pondering the new information that was just received. U.S. media just can't have that."
Had Hicks lived longer he would have been at the forefront of the revolution, although he was also a big proponent of a more natural and peaceful process of voluntary evolution. He knew that if we could turn away from all the distractions and get together in a massive cooperative effort, we would be taking a great leap forward.
May love, laughter, and the truth reign in our lives.