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March 28, 2006 9:12 PM   Subscribe

Nice Bill Hicks video on google video. It's nice to hear such warm, life-affirming humor with all the cynicism these days.
posted by Paris Hilton (193 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
God bless Bill Hicks, thank you Paris! I so miss his blazing tongue, now more than ever...
posted by visit beautiful mount weather! at 9:25 PM on March 28, 2006


humor? dude just shouts a lot. shouts some obvious stuff.
posted by jimmy at 9:29 PM on March 28, 2006


I think this one is called the "Infamous Loses It Show". Funniest standup I have ever seen - I read once that he was actually embarrassed by his own behavior towards the girl but it really shows off his improv talents. I have this on VHS or VCD or something somewhere but I'm not allowed to watch it around my girfriend.
posted by jeffmik at 9:31 PM on March 28, 2006


Good, but way too long. Once I was in it I didn't want to stop watching. If I had realized it was over 50 minutes I would have saved it for a time when I had time so I didn't have to force myself away from the screen.
posted by mystyk at 9:36 PM on March 28, 2006


He is sorely missed, that is for certain.
posted by nightchrome at 9:52 PM on March 28, 2006


I always imagined him very still standing at the mic telling those jokes. I had no idea he was so physical in his delivery. Jumping around stage screaming "she's a drunk cunt" and miming the Kennedy assassination were much more than I expected.
posted by aburd at 10:27 PM on March 28, 2006


I gave it 7 minutes and had to stop. I've heard people speak highly of Bill Hicks for years, but this was my first real taste of his act. I can't say I saw anything funny. Does it get better further in?
posted by evoo at 10:42 PM on March 28, 2006


I've heard people speak highly of Bill Hicks for years, but this was my first real taste of his act.

Get his standup cds on Rykodisc (sorry no links but they should be available just about anywhere) - pure genius, but i love him for his rants.
posted by visit beautiful mount weather! at 10:51 PM on March 28, 2006


This was not Hicks' finest moment. All 53 and a half of them. (Though I still love the "stop smoking so you can get back your sense of smell" joke.)
posted by dobbs at 10:55 PM on March 28, 2006


It's not his comedy that makes him so good, it's his Truth.
If you don't care about that, it's probably not for you then.
posted by nightchrome at 10:56 PM on March 28, 2006


right on, nightcrome!
posted by visit beautiful mount weather! at 11:06 PM on March 28, 2006


Okay, I take it back. He gets his groove about 40 mins in and does the Miracle of Life bit, which is always good.
posted by dobbs at 11:10 PM on March 28, 2006


Hicks is kinda like the Godfather. If they're late to the game, most people are like "So? It's old hat." Except, that was where it *originated* - for the Godfather, sleeping with the fishes and unrefused offers; for Hicks, the disgusting and over-the-top yet cerebral.
posted by notsnot at 11:15 PM on March 28, 2006


Oh, the one in Chicago? With the guy yelling "Free Bird"?

Yeah, that's probably not the best Bill Hicks starter vid. It's funnier if you'd heard a lot of his other stuff, most likely, since his exasperation is more the story on this one.

I'm sure others have good ideas about where to begin regarding the Prophet. "Revelations" maybe? There was a recent DVD that had that performance and a couple of others, all good.

What's weird is that he's been away from this world for a long time now and yet his topical stuff is still relevant, the jokes about Bush and Iraq and whatnot. It's like history got sampled and looped. There are other messages besides those in his work, however, that are much more timeless and universal.

Meanwhile, Larry the Cable Guy's film didn't do too well nationwide, apparently (although it did big business locally). So, hope does abide.
posted by First Post at 11:18 PM on March 28, 2006


It's good to see others referring to him as I tend to.
He's less of an "insightful comedian" and more of an "amusing prophet".
posted by nightchrome at 11:26 PM on March 28, 2006


This is the "I'm a Dumb Cunt" show?
Yup.
Heh. Heheheheheheh.
If you're new to Hicks, you probably shouldn't watch this, it's not a great introduction to the man.
Listen to the discs first, in the order they came out, before watching any vids(And if you really want to watch Ninja Bachelor Party, for the love of pete, DL it, it's not worth the coin).
Seeing Hicks do his thing for the first time, even if you know the routines by heart, is something special. I highly recommend the Bill Hicks Live DVD that came out a few years ago.

My mom got it for me for Christmas. She's the bestest mom ever.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:26 PM on March 28, 2006


As a youth who was turned onto Bill Hicks through the internet by downloading his audio and videos, I have to say he was... amazing and I hope more people get a chance to download his stuff.
posted by Dean Keaton at 11:36 PM on March 28, 2006


Yeah, if you're not a fan already this isn't the show to start with.

But as a fan it was great to see how he handles a bad night.

We sure could use him now.
posted by Bonzai at 11:40 PM on March 28, 2006


stand-up comedy sucks.
posted by dydecker at 11:44 PM on March 28, 2006


I was gonna retort with a well-phrased "Oh yeah? Well, YOU suck, dydecker!!!", but then I clicked the profile and promptly shat my pants.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:58 PM on March 28, 2006


The video "Its Only a Ride" is a good introduction to Hicks,

"The fact that we live in a world where John Lennon was murdered, yet Barry Manilow continues to put out fucking albums... God damn it, if youre gonna kill someone have some fucking taste... Ill drive you to Kenny Rogers place. Come on get in the car - I know where WHAM! lives!!!"
posted by hortense at 12:02 AM on March 29, 2006


I still miss you, Bill

.
posted by matteo at 12:09 AM on March 29, 2006


Here are a couple of radio interviews the second one is said to balance out the Chigago meltdown
posted by hortense at 12:09 AM on March 29, 2006


"Well, folks......uncle."

Wow, he's not kidding. That is comedy hell. What an antagonistic audience. I love how he just fills up the last few minutes of his set with the hackiest "why is the first guy at the green light the last to see it" bullshit material. And then goes on to explain the joke he just told.

He pretty much gives up the ghost about 8 minutes in, right after the second heckler starts in. And then the Freebird idiot(s) just showed him that he made he right decision.

It's great though. The rants between his actual material is what made the man stand out. Like Nightchrome said, it's not his bits (which are still pretty damn good), but his Truth.
posted by quite unimportant at 12:17 AM on March 29, 2006


I have to say that I find Bill Hicks' CD's unlistenable because of the god-awful guitar dreck that some dipshit put behind the actual standup.

I've heard this on more than one standup CD: what's the deal? In the case of Hicks, it's so intrusive that it actually makes it difficult to make Hicks out.

My entire perception of Hicks has been colored by that idiot decision on the part of the producers. If it was Hicks' idea, the man was a fool.
posted by scrump at 12:24 AM on March 29, 2006


Thats Bill on Guitar
posted by hortense at 12:35 AM on March 29, 2006


yes, the dvd. get it.
posted by mr.marx at 12:55 AM on March 29, 2006


I wouldn't want to be a dustbin in Shaftsbury tonight.

Bill's interstitial guitar noodling used to piss me off as well, scrump, but now it doesn't. I just wish the brother was still alive.
posted by milquetoast at 1:40 AM on March 29, 2006


"It's not his comedy that makes him so good, it's his Truth."

He's a comedian. First box to tick should be is he funny. I've always been meh to Bill, love some of his stuff, underwhelemd by others. Found the whole drunk woman abuse to be really, really lame. Not his finest hour by a long way.
posted by ciderwoman at 1:44 AM on March 29, 2006


[nearly the only person not impressed with the post's merit]
posted by NinjaPirate at 2:00 AM on March 29, 2006


lame? fuck you, you cunt bitch.
posted by dydecker at 2:02 AM on March 29, 2006


hilarious stuff.
posted by dydecker at 2:02 AM on March 29, 2006


Ha, nice comeback dydecker.
posted by ciderwoman at 2:19 AM on March 29, 2006


feel the Truth!
posted by dydecker at 2:20 AM on March 29, 2006


*sings* Nobody knows what's it like... to be a dustbiiiiiin in Shaftsbury...
posted by dabitch at 2:45 AM on March 29, 2006


...with hoooooligans...
posted by milquetoast at 3:11 AM on March 29, 2006


So who, in your opinion, is "the next Bill Hicks*"? Who dares try to take on the mantle of Filthy Boy?

My vote would be a colourful mixture of David Cross and Doug Stanhope. The only thing missing would be Bill's inherent spirituality - David is an active anti-theist and Doug Stanhope seems to be Satan (midget fucker that he is).


*not that you need one - I just watched Revelations again the other day and it's disturbingly accurate.
posted by longbaugh at 3:43 AM on March 29, 2006


It's probably a good thing Bill is dead. As apoplectic as he got with Bill Clinton in office, these past 5 years with Bush in office probably would have killed him.
posted by psmealey at 4:33 AM on March 29, 2006


So who, in your opinion, is "the next Bill Hicks*"?

Well, there's always Denis Leary...
posted by TedW at 4:33 AM on March 29, 2006


I've always thought Denis Leary has a touch of Bill Hicks, on the likes of his 'No cure for cancer' live show/album. He even covers a few of the same topics -
"We live in a country where John Lennon gets shot 5 times in the chest. Yoko Ono's standing next to him - not one bullet hits her!" And so on and so forth.
However, that was back in '97 - nowadays he's the stoat creature in Ice Age. Hardly leading the revolution...

On a related note, his comedy albums (ie Lock n' Load) seem to have random, irritating little bits and pieces of guitar/pointless and irrelevant voice samples actually breaking up his stand-up run. Is there some sort of explanation for this tendency among American comedians?
posted by jrengreen at 4:43 AM on March 29, 2006


Or, rather, '93. Damn this preview malarkey...
posted by jrengreen at 4:48 AM on March 29, 2006


If you haven't heard it before, you got to check out his bit about the first Gulf War and Bush Senior. Talk about relevant.

One of a kind.
posted by captainscared at 4:48 AM on March 29, 2006


Denis Leary stole Bill Hick's act almost verbatim.
posted by Optamystic at 4:52 AM on March 29, 2006


Hicks was hysterical, and he had expert comedy timing and style. Over a few years I saw bunch of shows (at least once on every Chicago run at the FunnyFirm, occasionally twice) and the openers always paled in comparison. He knew how to a command a room and could make subtle changes as he went along for maximum effect.

I'm not a fan of most of the post Hicks ranters, because they usually lack the originality of his material and his skilled delivery. It helps if you have some of the same ideological views as him, but I don't think it's essential to enjoying his stuff. I'm a non-smoker, but some of my favorite bits from Hicks are about the joys of smoking and his dislike for non-smokers. In Chicago the place he usually played had a row of tables up against the stage, and Hicks would find the non-smoker table and keep his lit cigarettes in their ashtray throughout his whole set. Always cracked me up.

A few times a year a story comes up in the news that makes me miss Bill even more, becasue I'd love to hear his take on it.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 5:00 AM on March 29, 2006


Thank you so much for this. I've seen some of the more infamous clips from this show but never the whole thing. I love that man. The eighties and early nineties was a time when comedy really did go out on the edge and there sometimes was a genuine sense of danger about some of the acts. In Britain we had Alexei Sayle (seriously, forget the jolly "Young Ones" stuff, his early shows were wild), Jerry Sadowitz, Ian Cognito... but Hicks was the man. Humour shot through with black, righteous rage. The best kind.
posted by Decani at 5:02 AM on March 29, 2006


his comedy albums (ie Lock n' Load) seem to have random, irritating little bits and pieces of guitar/pointless and irrelevant voice samples actually breaking up his stand-up run.

Those guitar and "vocal" bits drive me nuts. To me they don't belong on the records. He was a great comedian, but a shitty singer and mediocre guitarist at best. I think they were added by his brother, who I'm sure wanted to include them becasue Bill loved to play guitar (often traveled with a guitar) and write songs. I think there's a reason Bill never released them on his own when he was a live. I've heard that he mostly wrote sappy romance songs, which seems so out odd compared to his standup, and that he did record lots of demos of these songs, which I hope to never hear.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 5:07 AM on March 29, 2006


Bill Hicks:
Boy, I love talking about the Kennedy assasination man, that's my favorite topic. You know why? Because to me, it's a great architype example of how the totalitarian government that rules this planet partitions out information in such a way that we, the masses, are forced to base our conclusions on erronious... Oh, I'm sorry, wrong meeting! I thought this was the metting at the docks, uh, no? Sorry, that's tomorrow night.
posted by edverb at 5:39 AM on March 29, 2006


Are you guys sure about the guitar thing? I could swear I remember from when the CD first came out, and I had it, it was a friend of Bill's who had gotten permission from Hicks's family to gather together recordings of his shows and put them on CDs. And, the music was by the friend, not Hicks. I remember that clear as day.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:40 AM on March 29, 2006


Ah, I see it was him on guitar. Doesn't make the decision to put music between (and behind, in some cases) tracks the right one. I always hated it.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:51 AM on March 29, 2006


EB - from here

'Hicks worked fast with producer Kevin Booth, all guns blazing in the angriest of shows, recording two albums worth of material. 'Arizona Bay', an album with his and Booth's musical score was what Hicks described as his "comedic Dark Side Of The Moon"'
posted by longbaugh at 5:54 AM on March 29, 2006


Looking for the closest thing to Hicks nowadays? Lewis Black.

And he's funny.
posted by grubi at 6:05 AM on March 29, 2006


Yeah. Second Lewis Black. I cannot open my fridge now without looking inside and thinking of the carton of milk as "Moo Cow Fuck Milk."

Which would make sense if you'd seen Black on Broadway.
posted by TeamBilly at 6:22 AM on March 29, 2006


That's one thing that Black has over Leary -- he's still very funny and he can do the "angry alternative liberal" schtick without seeming like a ripoff of Hicks.

And I say this as a guy who loved No Cure for Cancer.
posted by grubi at 6:28 AM on March 29, 2006


I loved No Cure for Cancer until the first time I heard Bill Hicks do it, and do it better. And first, of course.

Pretty much put an end to my Leary fanboy days.

I'd heard the infamous "Loses it" show long before I ever saw it, but the prancing around the stage screaming abuse at the crowd remains one of the funnier, if less intelligent and witty, moments in Hicks' career, in my books.
posted by ChrisR at 6:45 AM on March 29, 2006


I had gotten a copy of an early version of "Rant in E Minor" while Bill was still alive. (A co-worker was a friend of the producer.) The musical noodling was already in place. I did find it a little distracting at first, but the words and ideas absolutely overwhelm the music.
posted by shecky57 at 6:49 AM on March 29, 2006


I've said it before and I'll say it again: Most Overrated Comic Of All Time. Not fit to carry Carlin or Pryor's mikestand.
posted by jonmc at 6:56 AM on March 29, 2006


(and the ultimate irony is this: Hicks saw himself as an iconoclast [whether he was succesful or not is a matter of taste ultimately], but since his death, his fans' relentless canonization has tried to turn him into a scared cow. I come to bury Hicks, not to praise him.)
posted by jonmc at 7:00 AM on March 29, 2006


Who cares what you need to bury in your own mind? What's the point of all this derision? I need to stop coming here expecting intelligent discussion, everyone is so flippant and ridiculous. Hate on, MeFi hate-squad. Nobody will come to "bury" you or your "sacred" fucking memory.
posted by prostyle at 7:05 AM on March 29, 2006


*marks stand-up comedy off list of Things to Trust Jonmc's Critical Judgment About*
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:05 AM on March 29, 2006


Ah, the infamous "Bill Loses It" show. It's a really bad introduction to Hicks if you've never heard him (I suggest Rant in E Minor for first-timers) and in comparison to the rest of the Hicks oeuvre, this Chicago show is pretty much a terrible performace (due mainly to the heckling) ... but seeing how he fights back and gains control of the room is really amazing if you're a die-hard Hicks fan like me.

My favorite part from the clip:
"Sir, could you put your cock in her mouth please? Oh wait ... it's already in."
posted by tiger yang at 7:10 AM on March 29, 2006


Hate on, MeFi hate-squad.

prostyle, way to make my point for me. I never cared for Hicks' comedy, but that's a matter of taste, but I'll take his stance of iconcoclasm and cynicism at face value for what it's worth. The irony is how wounded and pouty his fans get if you fail to bow down at the altar. Hilarious.
posted by jonmc at 7:10 AM on March 29, 2006


i'm with jonmc on the idol worship...i've always loved hicks because he was so human and somehow fragile, rather than the whirling force of nature that carlin is. i'll give that carlin beats bill on mastery and raw theatrical tallent, but bill's the one i'd want to meet after the show.

i did just see carlin's new hbo dealy last nite, and two things occured:
1) he's getting old and his voice is leaving him, but he's still got an amazing presence.
2) he's finally being as dark on hbo as he is on stage.

in the pantheon, i'll give carlin shakespeare and hicks marlowe.
posted by es_de_bah at 7:13 AM on March 29, 2006


i've always loved hicks because he was so human and somehow fragile, rather than the whirling force of nature that carlin is. i'll give that carlin beats bill on mastery and raw theatrical tallent, but bill's the one i'd want to meet after the show.

And Richard Pryor (easily the greatest comedian to ever draw breath) managed to seem more superhuman and more vulnerable than both of them, often simultaneously.
posted by jonmc at 7:17 AM on March 29, 2006


No, I'm not wounded and pouty, you drama queen. Considering I haven't even given my opinion on Hicks, you aren't even in a position to make that judgement. What I am is absolutely disgusted at how ignorant someone has to be to put so much energy and thought into deriding a relatively successful career - over the internet. I don't care if it's the shittiest music/comic/et al, but the instant you convert shiftless seconds into screed is the instant you've lost all perspective. I suppose I probably made another point for you though, since you're so insightful. Excuse me while I disengage from this soul crushing digital cesspool.
posted by prostyle at 7:20 AM on March 29, 2006


I don't care if it's the shittiest music/comic/et al, but the instant you convert shiftless seconds into screed is the instant you've lost all perspective.

Please. I've had to stomach enough veneration of Hicks here and elsewhere that I feel downright entitled to knock him down a peg. If that's too much for your fragile little psyche to handle, maybe you need to take up macrame or something.

Excuse me while I disengage from this soul crushing digital cesspool.

Hear that? That's the sound of a million hearts breaking. There's that tough, cynical worldview Hicks was about in action, huh?
posted by jonmc at 7:29 AM on March 29, 2006


Your favorite comedian sucks.
posted by psmealey at 7:36 AM on March 29, 2006


psmealey: is it written somewhere in the bylaws of MeFi that we can only say nice things about certain canonized cultural icons?

No? Then I feel perfectly entitled to knock Hicks of the pedestal his fans built for him.
posted by jonmc at 7:38 AM on March 29, 2006


Bill Hicks is more of a stand-up philosopher than a comedian, and it's really philosophy aimed at the spiritually curious adolescent more than it is at the fully mature adult. That's why he's idolized by so many people. Hearing Bill Hick's routines at the age of 17 or 19, when you're experimenting with drugs for the first time and coming to the realization that everything you thought you knew is a lie can be a formative experience.

Once somebody speaks to you that way at that age, it's very hard to get any perspective on it when you're older.

I don't think there's anybody right now who has taken his place, unfortunately.
posted by empath at 7:38 AM on March 29, 2006


is it written somewhere in the bylaws of MeFi that we can only say nice things about certain canonized cultural icons?

Of course it's not; just realize that you're playing to type when you do it.
posted by psmealey at 7:41 AM on March 29, 2006


Hearing Bill Hick's routines at the age of 17 or 19, when you're experimenting with drugs for the first time and coming to the realization that everything you thought you knew is a lie can be a formative experience.

I heard Hicks for the first time around that age, but I'd already been using various drugs for a few years at that point. And I've always tried to go through life with the idea that everything could be a lie. But then of course we turn the iconoclast into an idol. As a wise man once said: Kill Your Idols.
posted by jonmc at 7:42 AM on March 29, 2006


There's that tough, cynical worldview Hicks was about in action, huh?

If you think Bill Hicks was cynical, you're wrong. His comedy, imo, was full of hope. Do you think this sounds like the words of a cynic?

"The world is like a ride at 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. Ha ha, 'Shut him up. We have a lot invested in this ride. Shut him up. Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and my family. This just has to be real.' It's just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn't matter, because – it's just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.

Now, I would never say that he was a breathtakingly original thinker, but he spoke Big Truths in a way that regular people can understand.
posted by empath at 7:44 AM on March 29, 2006


What's lacking in that excerpt, empath, is his delivery, which I found insufferably smug and self-satisfied. YMMV, but I don't feel obligated to join in the canonization ceremony.
posted by jonmc at 7:45 AM on March 29, 2006


Jon, your hatred and distaste for Bill Hicks has been duly noted in this thread and in other Hicks-related threads. Seriously, what do you hope to gain here? We get it. Mmmkay?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:58 AM on March 29, 2006


YMMV, but I don't feel obligated to join in the canonization ceremony.

Hear that? That's the sound of a million hearts breaking. This thread isn't about you, jon.
posted by jsonic at 8:02 AM on March 29, 2006


metafilter: insufferably smug and self-satisfied
posted by empath at 8:08 AM on March 29, 2006


Seriously, what do you hope to gain here?

A place to state my opinion. If I post on someone I admire, I fully expect someone to come along and say 'they suck.' It's the first law of the internet. Or are some people so sacred that they are off-limits?
posted by jonmc at 8:16 AM on March 29, 2006


*marks stand-up comedy off list of Things to Trust Jonmc's Critical Judgment About*

Does likewise. Oh wait! This is a blank sheet of paper!
posted by Decani at 8:26 AM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'll live.
posted by jonmc at 8:28 AM on March 29, 2006


Once somebody speaks to you that way at that age, it's very hard to get any perspective on it when you're older.

Damn, I love being patronised. Being as old as I am, I was almost thirty when I first heard Hicks. What I loved about him then and now had nothing whatsoever to do with, "coming to the realization that coming to the realization that everything you thought you knew is a lie". What it had to do with was hearing an angry, no-bullshit guy verbally grabbing lazy, smug, shallow-thinking cliche people by the lapels and shaking them and their lazy, smug, shallow ideas the fuck around. Christ knows we could do with more of that nowadays. Much, much more of it.
posted by Decani at 8:32 AM on March 29, 2006


Jonmc, I think we get it, thanks. You don't like Hicks and prefer Richard Pryor, for several reasons. Move on. Especially as most of the reasons you dislike him are the reasons we like him.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:32 AM on March 29, 2006


Although I don't really find Hicks that brilliant, I do enjoy reading metafilter threads where people go apeshit about him; I'd like to understand what it is that people find so amazing about him. Which is why I read just about every metafilter Hicks thread.

That said, jon, people got that you don't like Hicks about twelve threads up; I don't personally like him, but I find these threads educational. If I didn't, I wouldn't read them. What do you read them for?
posted by interrobang at 8:33 AM on March 29, 2006


Especially as most of the reasons you dislike him are the reasons we like him.

Which is exactly why I feel the need to state my dissenting opinion, slimepuppy.
posted by jonmc at 8:33 AM on March 29, 2006


Decani: I didn't say that's why everybody likes him. That was just my take on why there's the Hero-Worship aspect to his fan-base that other stand-ups don't have. You can think he's funny, clever and perspective and not think he was the second coming of jesus. I was just trying to give my take on why some people go a little bit beyond the normal appreciation that one would give a stand-up comic when it comes to Bill Hicks.
posted by empath at 8:38 AM on March 29, 2006


What it had to do with was hearing an angry, no-bullshit guy verbally grabbing lazy, smug, shallow-thinking cliche people by the lapels and shaking them and their lazy, smug, shallow ideas the fuck around

By spouting cliches of his own to stroke the ego of a cult that loved having it's ego stroked for beilieving that they were somehow different from the 'lazy, smug, shallow-thinking, cliche people' they despise. This is the big lie.
posted by jonmc at 8:38 AM on March 29, 2006


The other Slave to the Man Productions linked on the Google Video page are fantastic BTW. Hicks is alright for what he does and this isn't the best representation of his work. That being said, between the linked video and the related stuff has more or less killed my day. Which is nice.
posted by Fezboy! at 8:38 AM on March 29, 2006


uh, perceptive
posted by empath at 8:38 AM on March 29, 2006


A place to state my opinion. If I post on someone I admire, I fully expect someone to come along and say 'they suck.' It's the first law of the internet. Or are some people so sacred that they are off-limits?

And now yet another thread has officially become about what comedians jonmc doesn't like... What's the matter, not enough room to cover this topic here?
posted by SweetJesus at 8:41 AM on March 29, 2006


Dude, I'm just amused by the fact that fans of a self-proclaimed 'truth-teller' and 'iconoclast' get so agitated when someone questions the wisdom of their prophet. It hilarious to watch, really.
posted by jonmc at 8:44 AM on March 29, 2006


The thing is, you haven't given a single substantive critique of his work in this thread.

You just said he was over-rated and said that you liked some other comics better. Oh, and you said his delivery was smug and self-satisfied.

So all you've said so far is that he just isn't to your taste. Which is fine. NOW MOVE THE FUCK ON OR SAY SOMETHING INTERESTING.
posted by empath at 8:47 AM on March 29, 2006


Or are some people so sacred that they are off-limits?

No he's not off limits. Jesus himself has taken a beating here. The point is that you've made it quite clear over the years, your dislike for him. I was quite surprised and pleasantly so, that you didn't jump in earlier.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:48 AM on March 29, 2006


A place to state my opinion. If I post on someone I admire, I fully expect someone to come along and say 'they suck.' It's the first law of the internet. Or are some people so sacred that they are off-limits?

No, but if you really don't care about the subject, why even bother commenting?

And "first law of the internet"? Uh...yeah.
posted by grubi at 8:50 AM on March 29, 2006


Carlin == Seinfeld with swears.

"Have you ever noticed how we have all these little foibles in modern life? IT'S FUCKIN CRAAAZZZYYYY!!!"
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:53 AM on March 29, 2006


Carlin == Seinfeld with swears.

I dig. Both are funny. :-)
posted by grubi at 8:54 AM on March 29, 2006


The thing is, you haven't given a single substantive critique of his work in this thread....Oh, and you said his delivery was smug and self-satisfied.

These statements are arguing with eachother. I'd say that an off-putting delivery is a pretty big problem for a stand-up comic to have. Plus, I'm of the opinion that a comic's first job is to be funny, and too often he merely lectured. If I wanted that, I'd get in my time machine and transport myself back to 9th grade detention. And, the nature of many of the comments here (like this gem. One tin soldier rides away....) tells me that most of the admiration of Hicks is political, not artistic, and to me, confusion art and politics is heresy.
posted by jonmc at 8:55 AM on March 29, 2006


The only truth-teller and prophet in this thread is jonmc. Really, the man is a genius. He takes what everyone else says, and then announces the opposite. Everything I've known is a lie! Amazing! What a God amongst men. "Kill your idols?" This is my new mantra.

Wait -- if I'm supposed to kill my idols, then jonmc, being my new mentor and Christ-figure, must be the first to go. Okay...

So jon, fuck you you fucking cunt.
posted by fungible at 8:58 AM on March 29, 2006


Thanks but I'm spoken for, fungible.
posted by jonmc at 8:59 AM on March 29, 2006


By spouting cliches of his own to stroke the ego of a cult that loved having it's ego stroked for beilieving that they were somehow different from the 'lazy, smug, shallow-thinking, cliche people' they despise. This is the big lie.

No Jon, it's the big straw man. Yours. I hope you're very happy together.
posted by Decani at 9:06 AM on March 29, 2006


Whether Bill Hicks was funny or not, it's important that people who can get a platform use it to speak the truth about a whole host of unpopular causes. Hicks did this all the time, on Christians, on Drugs, on the Right to Choose, on the increasing impoverishment of American culture. These things are so rarely said out loud in the culture that those who are prepared to stand up and say them deserve our support whether they're funny or not.

As it turns out, when his stuff worked (and it didn't always) then Hicks was hilarious as well.

What's lacking in that excerpt, empath, is his delivery, which I found insufferably smug and self-satisfied.

I think your read is mistaken, jonmc. My guess is that when you're standing in front of an audience saying things that at least some proportion of the audience are going to loathe, then you're going to start developing a protective shell one way or another. His diaries make it pretty clear that not only was he *not* smug and self-satisfied, but actually painfully insecure that he'd be ever making a living out of what he did, year after year, while watching less talented people steal his material, strip it of it's political edge and make the big time.

In some senses, I can almost see your point, because the thing that I like least about his act is his tendency to wear his emotions on his sleeve while performing. I don't like it because I find it makes me uncomfortable, due to a vulnerability and an oversensitivity that's actually the diametric opposite to smug and self-satisfied.

BTW, you aren't a Judas Priest fan by any chance?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:09 AM on March 29, 2006


BTW, you aren't a Judas Priest fan by any chance?

They're OK.

These things are so rarely said out loud in the culture that those who are prepared to stand up and say them deserve our support whether they're funny or not.

Sure, but they shouldn't call themselves 'comedians,' then. See what I'm saying.
posted by jonmc at 9:12 AM on March 29, 2006


Dude, I'm just amused by the fact that fans of a self-proclaimed 'truth-teller' and 'iconoclast' get so agitated when someone questions the wisdom of their prophet. It hilarious to watch, really.

So you admit that you're trolling. Classy.
posted by jsonic at 9:13 AM on March 29, 2006


*removes hand from nerve*
posted by jonmc at 9:14 AM on March 29, 2006


No, but if you really don't care about the subject, why even bother commenting?

Because by enlightening us ignorant rubes and speaking truth to power, jonmc sees himself as Metafilter's own Bill Hicks.

And there's only ever room for one sheriff in Dodge.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:16 AM on March 29, 2006


last comment before jonmc's next
posted by mr.marx at 9:18 AM on March 29, 2006


Just because every comedian since Bill Hicks has tried to be the next Bill Hicks (just ask them) doesn't mean that he was at all influential in any way...

p.s. jon? careful on the fence there chief.
posted by longbaugh at 9:19 AM on March 29, 2006


Who's this thread about, again?
posted by NationalKato at 9:21 AM on March 29, 2006


Just because every comedian since Bill Hicks has tried to be the next Bill Hicks (just ask them) doesn't mean that he was at all influential in any way...

There's also countless bands who imitated Motley Crue and tons of singers trying to be the next Britney Spears. Influence does not equal quality, neccessarily.

Good lord, hell hath no fury like Hicks fans scorned.
posted by jonmc at 9:21 AM on March 29, 2006


damn you NationalKato!
posted by mr.marx at 9:23 AM on March 29, 2006


Sure, but they shouldn't call themselves 'comedians,' then.

Unless they happen to be funny. Yours is definitely the minority critical view with regard to Hicks on this issue. Not that that in itself makes you wrong, but in a culture that defines you by what you do for a living, what you do is what you are.

See what I'm saying.

I do, but I think you're wrong. But then I think you're wrong about the whole politics and art thing. It's only bad when it's bad -- which is most of the time, I grant you, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth doing. Jon Stewart isn't to my taste, but he seems to do pretty well at it these days.

They're OK.

Only I wondered if this was the reason behind your disdain:

“Let’s see: two kids, big fans of Judas Priest commit suicide—wow—two less gas station attendants in the world. We didn’t lose a cancer cure here, folks. I don’t mean to sound cold and indifferent—but that’s the way I am, so it’s how it comes out. We saved those kids a long, troublesome job search.”
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:24 AM on March 29, 2006


*dances jig on mr. marx's grave*
posted by NationalKato at 9:24 AM on March 29, 2006


And, the nature of many of the comments here (like this gem. One tin soldier rides away....) tells me that most of the admiration of Hicks is political, not artistic, and to me, confusion art and politics is heresy.

Wait a second, art and politics are now separate? What the fuck does that even mean?

Dude, I'm just amused by the fact that fans of a self-proclaimed 'truth-teller' and 'iconoclast' get so agitated when someone questions the wisdom of their prophet.

For someone who doesn't like false iconoclasm, you sure act awfully hard to foster the image that you're markedly different from everyone else on this goddamn website...
posted by SweetJesus at 9:25 AM on March 29, 2006


I find Carrottop funnier now that he's all buff.
posted by horsewithnoname at 9:25 AM on March 29, 2006


you sure act awfully hard to foster the image that you're markedly different from everyone else on this goddamn website...

That's your own perception of me, which I am not responsible for. I am well aware of my own pubic-hair-floating-in-the-toilet-bowl-of-life status in the universe.

But, like a lot of people, lately I only feel compelled to comment when something gets under my skin enough that I have to say it. And the fawning whenever Hicks is mentioned on this site is a bit much. There are plenty of people I admire, but I'm fairly sure many of you would utterly loathe most of them. Vive la differance.
posted by jonmc at 9:30 AM on March 29, 2006


I don't care much one way or the other about Bill Hicks.

jonmc, why do you do this? Every once in a while, you spot something you disapprove of -- burning man, insufficiently jonmc-approved music, bill hicks, whatever -- and then fill the discussion with endlessly repeated "you're wrong, I'm right, ooh, I must've touched a nerve, ha ha, isn't that the greatest, boy, I certainly am more perceptive and intelligent than all y'all."

Most of the time, you're insightful and thoughtful; someone I think I'd enjoy being around. But these periodic flareups. Why?
posted by ook at 9:31 AM on March 29, 2006


Although, that quote on Priest does reveal a snobbish nastiness tat runs counter to Hicks stated political ideals. Sounds like something a fundy preacher or Replubican congressman would say, quite frankly.
posted by jonmc at 9:32 AM on March 29, 2006


I find Carrottop funnier now that he's all buff.

Those are zombie muscles.

But these periodic flareups. Why?

Yeah it's a real tedious drag. But the idolotrous hero-worshipping counter-culture meme that has seized me would force me to say that, wouldn't it?
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:33 AM on March 29, 2006


But these periodic flareups. Why?

One, I'm in a somewhat foul mood.

Two, Hicks is held in ridiculously high-esteem around here by most and I honestly believe it's gotten to be a bit much.

Three, I am not responsible for how you react to what I say. If you think I'm wrong, make your case. Don't pout.
posted by jonmc at 9:35 AM on March 29, 2006


I don't think you're wrong, and I'm not pouting. I just think you're being kind of an asshole.
posted by ook at 9:41 AM on March 29, 2006


ook: sure I'm being an asshole. I'm an asshole a lot of the time. But let's be honest, if I was aiming my rant at, someone most MeFites dislike, like say Carrott Top, I wouldn't be scolded. I'd probably be encouraged. It's not what I'm saying here that's the problem. It's who I'm saying it about. When it's Hicks, or Morrisey, or Burning Man, my screeds are 'trolling.' If I write it about Rush Limbaugh or Carrott Top (whom I loathe, both of them) it's merely being perceptive. This is a double standard, and we all have them. I just wish we'd admit it.
posted by jonmc at 9:45 AM on March 29, 2006


The only Dennis Leary is popular is that there's no cure for cancer.
posted by mrbill at 9:47 AM on March 29, 2006


Fair enough. And, yeah, you're right about the double standard, of course. (But that's not just MetaFilter, man; that's planet earth you're talking about.)

I hope your day gets better.
posted by ook at 9:50 AM on March 29, 2006


When it's Hicks, or Morrisey, or Burning Man, my screeds are 'trolling.'

No. It's trolling when you post for the sake of enjoying the agitation that your posts cause. As you admited earlier.
posted by jsonic at 9:50 AM on March 29, 2006


Hicks was funny. And smart. Deeply cynical and flawed with his drinking and coke abuse. Certainly no role model.

He cut an edge at a time when we were all choking on Reaganism, Cosby's sweater colors, and god-awful Micheal J. Fox movies. Mostly. He came at the right time.

Like Punk - we FINALLY felt like somebody "got" us. Looking back - with his clip- out of the context of the time he wasn't all that great. For me it's mostly nostalgia.

I don't find him so amazing that I turn into a bubbling 14 year old japanese school girl when somebody mentions his name. Nor do I suddenly become a stark raving Taliban when somebody denigrates his name. But why tear the guy a new asshole? He's dead. He made a good contribution. And then he died.

The guy was just a comedian. So. Relax.
posted by tkchrist at 9:54 AM on March 29, 2006


How do prop comedians sell albums, anyway? What's the deeeal with that?
posted by horsewithnoname at 9:55 AM on March 29, 2006


Denis Leary stole Bill Hick's act almost verbatim.

And Hicks just bogarted Sam Kinison. Circle of life, circle of life.
posted by dgaicun at 10:01 AM on March 29, 2006


Bill Hicks > The Dictators
posted by I Foody at 10:02 AM on March 29, 2006


it's really philosophy aimed at the spiritually curious adolescent more than it is at the fully mature adult.

Spot on - I find it a little odd that grown-ups can be so passionate about Hicks. When you're twelve or thirteen and doing acid every weekend, and see him do his bits on how wondrous and enlightening drugs can be, it just clicks so wonderfully, because it is, to the young fried mind, The Truth. Fast forward a few years, and his schtick on those topics is just plain embarassing.

I'll always laugh at the 'back and to the left' Kennedy bit, though, and the 'What you reading for?' stuff.
posted by jack_mo at 10:09 AM on March 29, 2006


You know, what I don't understand is why jonmc hasn't died by his own tall-poppy reaping sword. He's way overrated as a truth-teller and regular guy.

I find Hicks's politics felicitous with my views, but I don't particularly think he's great because of this or the public service he presumably provided. Other people do. That's okay. I like Hicks because he's the funniest comedian I've heard in a long while. I don't like him because it's trendy, I don't like him because I want to be part of the hip speaking-comedy-to-power fandom. I just like him 'cause he's funny.

You know, these presumptions about why people like certain things built around the most-people-are-sheep-but-I'm-my-own-man-you-losers is awfully juvenile for a man in his 30s. One reason why you're occasionally ridiculed on these sorts of matters, jonmc, is because you are breaking the cardinal sin of Cool: you're trying too hard.

Anyway, I happen to agree, somewhat, with jonmc's opinion about politics and art. I don't agree that they shouldn't go together, but I do feel that the crowd that believes Art is political, and that's its purpose, seem to have learned no lessons from the banality which is Socialist Realism.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:09 AM on March 29, 2006


And Hicks just bogarted Sam Kinison.

Hmmm. No. I think they were contemporaries. There were other "Angry" comics before both of them. Like Don Rickels.

When I did stand-up many years back these things came in waves. There were the Observation comics. The Irony comics. The Prop comics. The Punch-line comics. The I'm Fat comics. And the Subversive comics.
posted by tkchrist at 10:10 AM on March 29, 2006


I don't agree that they shouldn't go together

Nor do I. But they usually mix very badly, IMO.

One reason why you're occasionally ridiculed on these sorts of matters, jonmc, is because you are breaking the cardinal sin of Cool: you're trying too hard.

Cool is overrated. And I've said it before: there is no such thing as an average guy, so I don't claim to be one.

Bill Hicks > The Dictators

*loads shotgun*

I'm going to be sporting and give you a 10-second head start.
posted by jonmc at 10:14 AM on March 29, 2006


I like Hicks because he's the funniest comedian I've heard in a long while.

You must mean " I'd heard." Past tense. There are certainly much funnier (and poignant) comics out there now.

I think we are in this period that is almost ghost copy of the Reagan Era. Hicks seem to fit again. It's kind of like "Man. We used to really hate Reagan and it was cool. We should hate Bush like that, man." FI. I saw people wearing eighties day glow tie dye this morning!

The current political reality is — in many, many ways — far more dire than during Hicks's tenure. And I find it hard to laugh at him because frankly he seems naive, rather sexist and adolescent in these times.
posted by tkchrist at 10:19 AM on March 29, 2006


I thought that Cure for Cancer was brilliant until I realized it was all refurbished Bill Hick jokes (and the Asshole song)


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe some semi-successful comedian, I think Jimmy Kimmel called Dennis Leary on it, and Dennis went apeshit.


Speaking of which, when is Jimmyy Kimmel going to do something funny? He produced the Andy Milonakis show, which is alright in a lazy absurdist kinda way, and played a good sideman on Win Ben Stein's Money, but I just don't see what he's done that allows him the chance to fuck Sarah Silverman.
posted by elr at 10:20 AM on March 29, 2006


jonmc, you've officially become the butt of an Onion article. Please shut up now (although you won't, becuase you just can't--you're so locked in to the idea that you can save us from ourselves. Now that's fucking funny).

I came to Hicks late, but really appreciate his comedy. But I guess this is a sign of false consciousness according to Dr. jonmc. I guess I should just stick to my crappy Springsteen bootlegs and the King of Queens.
posted by bardic at 10:21 AM on March 29, 2006


I'm a bill hicks fan so i enjoyed the video (actually I haven't even finished watching it), and some of the stuff I'd never heard (making fun of Arsino, heh. I used to watch that show when I was a kid)

Obviously it's not his best material, by far. In fact it's almost like he's trying to do a bad job.

But it was really interesting to see such a raw performance from him. (like seeing her blow up at that woman!)

If you want 'comedy' comedy there are lots of recordings of him where he's really on the ball. It's quite funny.
posted by Paris Hilton at 10:23 AM on March 29, 2006


Also, fairly unrelated:
Has anybody ever heard Maynard James Keenan's old standup? He worshipped Bill Hicks and the Mr. Show guys seemed pretty fond of him, but I could never find any recordings or transcripts of him actually doing his act.
posted by elr at 10:23 AM on March 29, 2006


the crowd that believes Art is political, and that's its purpose, seem to have learned no lessons from the banality which is Socialist Realism.

EB: this is some kinda specious argument. Art can be political (and much of the best art is intrinsically political because it provides such a sharp rebuke to the status quo), but it doesn't follow that politics is its sole purpose. And bringing up Socialist Realism - which is an excellent example of what happens when the state mandates that art not only must be political but that furthering a particular brand of politics is its primary goal - is kind of the Godwin of art-and-politics arguments.

To bring this back to Hicks: He was a great comedian because he was funny. Great timing, a distinctive voice, the guts to say things that were (in Reagan's America) all but blasphemous. That he chose to talk about politics made his work more political, but the real political power of it was in its pointed refusal to bow to authority. (Kinda like punk that way.)
posted by gompa at 10:32 AM on March 29, 2006



Me: Bill Hicks > The Dictators

Jon: *loads shotgun*

I'm going to be sporting and give you a 10-second head start.


I guess by kill your idols you meant other peoples idols. And when they say money and pussy is what it's all about they are being funny and they are being cute.
posted by I Foody at 10:34 AM on March 29, 2006


I guess by kill your idols you meant other peoples idols. And when they say money and pussy is what it's all about they are being funny and they are being cute.

I was kidding, IFoody.

And I think what they were saying is that in the business they've chosen, it is all about pussy and money. and they don't sound happy about it, but they've realized that's the way it is and the life they've chosen.
posted by jonmc at 10:38 AM on March 29, 2006


Hmmm. No. I think they were contemporaries. There were other "Angry" comics before both of them. Like Don Rickels.

Nooo. Hicks brought original traits to the table, sure, as did Leary, but the tone, the cadence, the rhythms, the substance of Hicks act, quite superficially, have deep influence in Kinison. They weren't "just" contemporaries:
At one club anarchic comedian Sam Kinison introduced himself to Bill by jumping off the stage with a pair of red panties on his head, landing on Bill. Kinison was to prove an inspiration to Bill as they became friends, Hicks taking Kinison's anger and some of his political ideology and shaping it into something more metaphysical.
posted by dgaicun at 10:39 AM on March 29, 2006


I heard Hicks for the first time around that age, but I'd already been using various drugs for a few years at that point. And I've always tried to go through life with the idea that everything could be a lie.

So... Denis Leary is actually ripping you off?

By spouting cliches of his own to stroke the ego of a cult that loved having it's ego stroked for believing that they were somehow different from the 'lazy, smug, shallow-thinking, cliche people' they despise.


That's probably why I'm not as big a fan of David Cross, he is always preaching to the choir. Even when Hicks was playing to a crowd that knew him, you'll still hear a couple of awkward pauses in there, where the audience doesn't know how to take what he said.
Where the audience is actually challenged, and actually thinking.
Hicks definitely stood on the shoulders of Pryor, Carlin, and Bruce, but in a blindfolded taste test against the trinity, he surpasses all but the first. Lewis Black is probably the closest thing we have to him these days. (And don't get me started on that fucking hack Stanhope, or any of the other Sacred Cow shills).

I really do believe you're missing the point, jonmc. While I believe the cult of Hicks has gotten out of hand - mainly due to Sacred Cow's corpse-fucking - I like him is because of the hope and the inspiration I get from his words. Scratch a misanthrope, and you'll find a wounded humanist under the surface. Some folks just want to laugh, and that's cool. Some folks just want to hear their opinions echoed, and that's cool too. But for folks willing to make the investment, Hicks provides so much more than that.

You're 100% entitled to your opinion. You don't have to like him and his stand-up. He's not your cup of tea. I don't like Michael Franti, who is making me want to throw the radio out the window as I type this. He gets on my nerves.
I don't have to intellectualize it.
But to feel compelled to justify that dislike by crouching an opinion in 'Kill your idols' cliches, superficial, tangential arguments, and generally scrambling to disqualify Hicks from inclusion in your personal pantheon reeks of smug, hipster knee-jerk defensiveness, and a fear of losing some sort of amorphous and imagined cred.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:42 AM on March 29, 2006


I know you were kidding, both in the sense that I wasn't expecting to get shot and the fact that I doubt that I actually upset you since it was pretty tame shit.
posted by I Foody at 10:45 AM on March 29, 2006


and generally scrambling to disqualify Hicks from inclusion in your personal pantheon reeks of smug, hipster knee-jerk defensiveness, and a fear of losing some sort of amorphous and imagined cred.

Actually, the strength of my dislike comes from the fact that if you travel in certain circles (both online and in real life), people never get tired of telling you how great they are and acting incredulous when you say you don't care for him. After awhile you just want to smack people.
posted by jonmc at 10:47 AM on March 29, 2006


...after awhile you just want to smack people...

I think we all know how you feel...
posted by SweetJesus at 10:56 AM on March 29, 2006


jonmc, this whole internet thing would go a lot smoother is you'd send us a list of artists and political positions you approve of in advance.
posted by bardic at 10:57 AM on March 29, 2006


well..

*drops pants for paddle*
posted by jonmc at 10:58 AM on March 29, 2006


bardic: why does my approval or lack thereof about anything matter to you? I'm just stating opinions here. Feel free to disregard them.
posted by jonmc at 10:59 AM on March 29, 2006


jonmc, don't play dumb. You've already admitted you aren't just stating your opinion. You're trying to show people how you're tastes are clean and pure like the driven snow, while the rest of us are deluded by our trucker hats and Pitchfork writers. You do this all the time, and I'm curious as to what you get out of it. My sense is that it puffs you up, and gives you the confidence you need to keep to your clearly defined and quite limited artistic horizons. I mean, it would really suck if something recorded/made/performed since 1980 was objectively great, and it would puncture your finely wraught yet utterly shallow Great Mefi Guru persona.

But you're right. We shouldn't care what other people think, jerk.
posted by bardic at 11:08 AM on March 29, 2006


jonmc, don't play dumb. You've already admitted you aren't just stating your opinion. You're trying to show people how you're tastes are clean and pure like the driven snow, while the rest of us are deluded by our trucker hats and Pitchfork writers. You do this all the time, and I'm curious as to what you get out of it. My sense is that it puffs you up, and gives you the confidence you need to keep to your clearly defined and quite limited artistic horizons. I mean, it would really suck if something recorded/made/performed since 1980 was objectively great, and it would puncture your finely wraught yet utterly shallow Great Mefi Guru persona.

But you're right. We shouldn't care what other people think, jerk.
posted by bardic at 11:12 AM on March 29, 2006


bardic, stop projecting. I, one, wanted to stop the relentless Hicks canonization that I've had to endure ever since the guy died. Two, I don't want to cause any kind of response neccessarily, but the one I get on this subject is usually amusing. I think some of you would be less upset if I insulted your grandma.

I mean, it would really suck if something recorded/made/performed since 1980 was objectively great, and it would puncture your finely wraught yet utterly shallow Great Mefi Guru persona.

Your misperception of me is so far off as to be downright comical. But feel free to sputter and rave. I repeat: WHY THE FUCK DO YOU EVEN CARE?
posted by jonmc at 11:15 AM on March 29, 2006


Jon maybe if you got tired of telling everyone that you didn't like Bill Hicks or Radio Head or Arrested Development you would hear orders of magnitude less people telling you how great they are.

I don't like family guy and I'm pretty much surrounded with people that do. If I tell one of them I don't like family guy I will get told that it is such a good show. Cause and effect. I don't feel the need to keep my opinion to myself but I'm not surprised that when I criticize something people like the people that like it defend it. If over the course of a couple hours I said how much I disliked the family guy some 30 times while watching the family guy I wouldn't say that the people defending family guy were fanatics.

No single person in this thread has spent as much time defending Hicks as you've spent ragging on him. People would get tired of telling you how great these people are if you got tired of ragging on them.

What I'm not saying to you: Keep your opinion to yourself.
What I am saying to you: Maybe your impression that people never get tired of telling you how great these things are is simply a symptom of your own inexhaustible need to be a wet blanket.
posted by I Foody at 11:16 AM on March 29, 2006


Speaking of which, when is Jimmyy Kimmel going to do something funny?

Probably the best thing he's ever done is Crank Yankers, which does have its moments. There are some underground prank calls by him I've heard that are alright, too.

I do not get what's supposed to be good about his late night show, though. It seems really bad, but some people really dig it.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:17 AM on March 29, 2006


Jon maybe if you got tired of telling everyone that you didn't like Bill Hicks or Radio Head or Arrested Development you would hear orders of magnitude less people telling you how great they are.

Actually, until everybody I encountered started praising them to the skies, I was quite happy to ignore them.
posted by jonmc at 11:19 AM on March 29, 2006


It’s cool if you don’t like Bill Hicks, jonmc. I'm just kind of shocked, because I actually remember thinking once (from hundreds of posts I've read of yours) that you actually remindme of Hicks in a weird sort of way.
posted by tiger yang at 11:24 AM on March 29, 2006


Actually, until everybody I encountered started praising them to the skies, I was quite happy to ignore them.

Baby, why you gotta make me hit you spill my Hater-Ade all over you?
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:26 AM on March 29, 2006


Your misperception of me is so far off as to be downright comical. But feel free to sputter and rave. I repeat: WHY THE FUCK DO YOU EVEN CARE?

It's not so much about what you don't like, it's more that you feel the compulsive need to tell everyone about what you don't like, all the time.

So It's not so-much that you don't like Bill Hicks, it's more that you've spent 30 posts telling everyone that you don't like Bill Hicks - one is good, we got what you're trying to carry across - loud and clear. Can you understand why it may be, I don't know, a bit repetitive for someone to re-read your opinion 30 times within a single thread?
posted by SweetJesus at 11:28 AM on March 29, 2006


sonofsamiam: let me put it to you this way. There are people I admire, even idolize, like the Dictators or Richard Price, but I figure that one FPP each was enough for anyone who might be interested. We've had at least four Hicks FPP's. It think that warrants an 'Enough Already!'
posted by jonmc at 11:30 AM on March 29, 2006


If the excessive number of posts on the topic is your concern, why wouldn't you take it to...where, children?

ALL: METATALK!!!!!
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:33 AM on March 29, 2006


Although, that quote on Priest does reveal a snobbish nastiness tat runs counter to Hicks stated political ideals.

What stated political ideals would those be? Bill Hicks' work unquestionably has a political content, but it's far from easy to figure out a clear political line that he has on anything.

Sounds like something a fundy preacher or Replubican congressman would say, quite frankly.

I think it most unlikely that a fundy preacher or a Republican congressman would ever say anything that draws any attention whatsoever to their views about the intellectual capacity of people who are so clearly typical of their parishioners and constituency.

But if they ever did become as honest as this, then I'd be watching their TV appearances and listening to their CD's as well.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:35 AM on March 29, 2006


Even if it warrants an enough already it doesn't warrant 100 enough alreadys from one person.

enough already with the enough alreadys
posted by I Foody at 11:37 AM on March 29, 2006


you actually remindme of Hicks

Ahem.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:38 AM on March 29, 2006


At least four Hicks FPPs, out of 50 000+ posts over 7 years?

Clearly, this HicksFilter is getting out of hand.

I blame Bush, 9-11, Oil, Katrina, and Iraq.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:39 AM on March 29, 2006


you actually remindme of Hicks

I'm better looking than Hicks. I also can still breathe.
posted by jonmc at 11:41 AM on March 29, 2006


Tell you what, I'd pay a lot of money to see a Google video clip of jonmc heckling Bill Hicks.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:41 AM on March 29, 2006


I also can still breathe.

What breathes better than a suit of freshly-tilled soil?
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:43 AM on March 29, 2006


better looking

KILL IT WITH FIRE
posted by jenovus at 11:43 AM on March 29, 2006


I think it would be pretty easy to call him an (elitist?) left-of-center Democrat. Probably more liberal than the Democrats, but if you've heard his Barbara Bush-shitting-in-Rush Limbaugh's mouth routine or seen him dance a jig, singing "Ding Dong the motherfucking beast is motherfucking dead" when Bill Clinton beat George H.W., it'd be pretty easy to say he's no Conervative.
posted by elr at 11:44 AM on March 29, 2006


i have this all on mp3's this entire thing. much better audio quality.
posted by stilgar at 12:14 PM on March 29, 2006


but its so nice to see how he dances around, makes the mp3's so much better.
posted by stilgar at 12:26 PM on March 29, 2006


Why is it that when jonmc-heavy threads go horribly wrong, jonmc posts a picture of himself? Is there a meaning? And where are the black people at?
posted by stinkycheese at 12:47 PM on March 29, 2006


They're on vacation. The answer is just as a signal not to take my occasional screeds to seriously. And the off chance that a cute female mefite might see my pic and agree to join me in an ice cream soda.
posted by jonmc at 1:06 PM on March 29, 2006


...yoo hoo!

*blushes*
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:08 PM on March 29, 2006


you're a chick? nah....
posted by jonmc at 1:10 PM on March 29, 2006


That's gonna have to be a BIG ice cream soda, heh heh...
posted by stinkycheese at 1:41 PM on March 29, 2006


This thread has been brought to you by the numbers 33/172 and the letters jonmc.

Sure comedians should be funny. But there's no reason why they can't be other stuff as well. If you want your art in a straightjacket, that's your loss. Enjoy the sights via the magic of TunnelVision (tm)
posted by Sparx at 2:02 PM on March 29, 2006


Sure comedians should be funny. But there's no reason why they can't be other stuff as well.

But if they don't take care of job #1: being funny, then they're not comedians, merely lecturers.
posted by jonmc at 3:47 PM on March 29, 2006


This argument should really die now. jonmc, you've made it abundantly clear that to you Hicks isn't taking care of Job #1 and that's your taste. To you Hicks is just giving a lecture, to others he's a comedian with real substance. This is all beside the point of whether or not comedians can or cannot have a political point.

I used to like Joe Rogan when he was on News Radio. Then I thought he was a douche for being a cheezy host on Fear Factor, but I have a newfound respect for him for calling out Leary like that.
posted by supertremendus at 3:54 PM on March 29, 2006


Holy crap, people. Chill.
It's just a ride.
posted by nightchrome at 4:37 PM on March 29, 2006


jonmc

Mind if I nudge your stylus to stop the skipping?
posted by raider at 4:46 PM on March 29, 2006


Redundant and creepy. Extra style points for jonmc.
posted by bardic at 5:18 PM on March 29, 2006


jonmc takes a lot of shit in this thread, but he asked for it, so it's all good, except for the personal attackery.

Hicks? Well, he was OK. We all have our favorite artists (granting that standup comedy/performance art is actually art), and de gustibus non est disputandum and all that. Humour comes out of pain, the cliche goes, and Hicks' damage was a little too far out front and center, his anger a little too self-directed for me to appreciate his funny jokes as much as I might otherwise. Regardless, I like people who make me laugh, and like 'em even more if they make me think a bit, and he did both, so here's to him.

jonmc, buddy, I get you, I think. I'm on the road and I'm gunning for the buddha too, but most people aren't down with killing their heroes. And that's just fine.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:28 PM on March 29, 2006


"Art can be political (and much of the best art is intrinsically political because it provides such a sharp rebuke to the status quo), but it doesn't follow that politics is its sole purpose."

Well, no. But you come very close to endorsing the idea that it's one of its primary purposes. I don't really agree that "much of the best art [is] [...] a sharp rebuke to the status quo" if that is intended to mean "most of it". I'm happy when it is, just as I'm happy when it's other things.

You call my argument specious, but then much of what you say endorses the idea that art is a form of social activism. I think that common notion is toxic to art, it encourages artists to be social activists who find ways to express their activism via their art. An artwork should be sufficient unto itself, it should not be some functional unit in the service of realizing a utopia. Also, I think this view of art as social activism encourages many bad artists to create bad art because the perceived quality is often in proportion to how much it validates the audience's sensibilities. Artists can be lazy. Maybe it is the case that many examples of the best art are pieces that challenge that status quo. But many people then get the relationship backwards: successfully challenging the status quo is the best art.

Someone upthread seemed to respond to me (or jonmc maybe) by saying that art shouldn't be put in a straightjacket. But that's exactly how I feel and it's my objection. If I had to pick one aesthetic principle I most embrace, it'd probably be that an artwork is its own telos. Art that is created to be functional in some external purpose often seems to me to be inauthentic. To my sensibilities, that's the kiss of death.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:17 PM on March 29, 2006


EB, meet Guernica. Guernica, meet EB.

I actually agree with you to some extent, but given the context here, a popular stand-up comedian, it's important to make a distinction between, say, abstract painting and stand-up comedy. Not to demean either, but Hicks' appeal (for me) is absolutely political. I like my humor mixed with politics. My operas? Not so much--but then again, there's always unintended consequences a la Wagner.
posted by bardic at 7:08 PM on March 29, 2006


That was fucking historic.

Many thanks, Paris.
posted by rougy at 7:22 PM on March 29, 2006


I’ve never heard of him before tonight.

That was a moment.

He said a lot of truth there. ’89 was a tough year, for me, economically. Any one else remember?

That was raw. I identified with him so much. He was in a state of informed agony. His was an awareness of a man who had watched his family drink poison, and he loved his family.

Who was President in ’89?
posted by rougy at 7:33 PM on March 29, 2006


....Art is political, and that's its purpose, seem to have learned no lessons from the banality which is Socialist Realism.

Hi EB.

Are you talking about Fox News?
posted by rougy at 7:35 PM on March 29, 2006


While I take EB's point as an indication of EB's tastes, I feel Art CAN be a form of social activism. In the realm of comedy we're talking satire and parody amongst all the myriad other forms. The minute you say art MUST be something - then you're in the straightjacket. If you take art as some kind of Wildeian "All art is quite useless", "An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style" you're cutting off your arm to spite your aesthetics.

By the same token, I suppose some artists can straightjacket themselves with their own perceptions of what art should be. But there are sufficient numbers of differing artistic perceptions for us to be enriched by experiencing their various expressions. Even if you don't find Hicks funny personally, it's blinkered to say he isn't funny, that he's just lecturing when those around you are clearly enjoying a chuckle, and possibly even enjoying the slight sense of discomfort he so often brought to the table.

And besides, if he wasn't funny, why would so many people nick his stuff?
posted by Sparx at 8:39 PM on March 29, 2006


Well, again, I didn't say it couldn't be something or some other thing. I just really dislike the idea that the true value in art is when it is a form of social activism. I like art that's socially activist, but I like it when it's authentic and not contrived.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:50 PM on March 29, 2006


I like it when it's authentic and not contrived.

Can of worms: STATUS (OPENED)

Heh.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:09 PM on March 29, 2006


I'd only seen (tape of) one Hicks performance before watching this, and that was enough to make me feel a huge sense of loss when he went.

Having just seen the man stick so doggedly to the task of driving his train all the way through that incredible 53 minute wreck, I now miss him even more.

So here's something I never thought I'd ever say: thank you, Paris Hilton!
posted by flabdablet at 10:44 PM on March 29, 2006


Coming in super late on this, but I considered Bill a friend of mine. Back in the day, when we were laying around in pastures watching the sky kailadascope, he would have been astounded by the concept of his being put on a pedestal. Actually, knowing Bill as I did, and knowing jon from all of our years together at Mefi, I'd be willing to bet that he and jon would have gotten along really well together.

Bill was an extraordinary person, who like Kinison, would have made an amazing preacher if he hadn't felt so betrayed by people preaching one thing, and living another. He thought that the unexamined life was not only not worth living, but that it was his moral obligation to try and wake people up and show them the monsters at the gate.

Sure, that's problematic for some people, jon being one of them, because, (and I'm interpreting here), I think they believe that the concept of "waking them up" is in itself an egotistical masturbatory concept. And for them, it may be.

But over the years, I've seen some people's minds be blown wide open by the stuff Bill said, and they've gone off to explore new ideas, new beliefs, new patterns that they might otherwise have never found. And I think that's amazing.

I miss Bill a lot. He was a good friend, he was a brilliant commentary writer, he was a damn fine man. He was a man who had no fear of speaking what was on his mind; something I think he and jon have in common.

That said...the Chicago show is really a cluster fuck. For the uninitiated, I would suggest Revelations.
posted by dejah420 at 7:45 PM on March 31, 2006


I'd be willing to bet that he and jon would have gotten along really well together.

Now that's a night out at the bar I'd really like to see. Seriously.
posted by ook at 8:26 PM on March 31, 2006


Oh wow, am I glad I checked back. Thanks dejah.
posted by dgaicun at 11:36 PM on March 31, 2006


dejah420, you've met pretty much everyone (in my list of The Great). I am a little in awe of you, and wonder how you did it. I hope that someday you can add me to the list.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:11 PM on April 1, 2006


Stav...right place, right time, really. The universe has always plopped me into the middle of interesting times and people. Also, I had astounding access to really good drugs. That helped a lot. ;)

Now, I'm a married mom, I don't have time to be interesting anymore. ;) I leave that to the kids. But you, I'll always have time to add you to my list of "interesting people I have known".
posted by dejah420 at 5:51 PM on April 2, 2006


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