Thursday, December 25, 2008

happy hicksmas

stolen from godhaven part 3, published in 1995

we here at godhaven ink are pleased to announce the inception of a new public holiday..

hicksmas: a sacred time in which to gather our loved ones around us & raise a few substances to william hicks, hereby canonized as patron saint of truth, campaigner against banality & master amusement engineer. the celebrations start on the sixteenth of december, his birthday, and continue for twenty three days. this seems to get rid of that tricky x-tian dilemma once & for all, leaving us free to send toys & drugs & chocolate to our friends at the turn of the year. make your own hicksmas cards. seriously. (we’re not joking – put a bit of effort into it… let’s get back into the pagan spirit of things again.) jesus christ may well have been a good bloke, but the christians stole our festivals.

some of you may be asking yourselves, “gee, why so much fuss over the one guy?”; as well you might. he was only human after all. but people, the man had vision where the rest of the world wore bifocals. if you haven’t seen or heard him yet we think you may just have missed the second coming, folks (started preaching at 13, died at 32; his mothers name was mary… are any bells being rung here? huh? huh?).

bill hicks was born in 1961, in georgia, & died last year, of cancer. he began performing early on at school, where he would steal his class away from the teacher (who would seldom get it back), & at church camp (he had a religious upbringing) where the other boys would report home that the young bill was “the funniest thing they’d ever seen”. then onto selling out comedy clubs he was still too young to drink in, to the surprise & horror of the older comedians.

from the beginning, it seems, he was on a different route from the average comedian – what he ended up doing had so much more to do w/ the role of the shaman than simply entertainment. to him, the stand-up comedy was not just a means to an end (as in a safe career, a sit-com and perhaps a couple of movies), but an end in itself. his idea was not just to make people laugh but to WAKE THE FUCKERS UP, make them THINK & question it all - & yet (incredibly) still be funnier than practically anyone else on the planet – he would summon up caricatures of all our flaws & grotesqueness, our frailties & pettiness; a hall of mirrors that shout back your own weakness; your own blinkered & manufactured “opinions” on war, politics, sex…. whatever. this was not ‘whose line is it anyway’, but true, deep down CATHARSIS. He was “taking on fully the role of the witch doctor”, as eric bogosian would say, later on. & also the fool; the sacred clown, just as the court jester in times of old could get away w/ proclaiming that the king liked little boys, bill hicks could say whatever the fuck he liked about whatever the fuck he liked, tossing hidden fears & incendiary lines into the audience & GET AWAY W/ IT… because that was his job; these people had paid good money to enter this big darkened room & watch the funny man talk. &, as he was always pleased to announce, the best part of his job was that he had no boss (read company//publisher/whatever) to answer to.

as well as being no ordinary comedian he was no ordinary man – he described both on & off stage how he & two friends had been taken up in an alien space-craft – “w/a 5 minute UFO experience i got a taste of holiness i never got in 20 years of religion” – he dealt instead w/ “the inner light that exists in all of our hearts: that middle man stuff;’ it’s wacky, & i appreciate it, but i got to run – there’s a voice ‘a calling me…”

from a young age he explored altered states of consciousness via flotation tanks, meditation & hallucinogenic drugs. these had an obvious influence upon the central theme of his act/life, which was: we are all one… until we realise this we are hardly alive to fight at all. to fight amongst ourselves is to fight ourselves – what we should do is get our shit together, get out there & explore space (both inner & outer) instead. all these petty hates & needless limitations & separations are not only destructive but silly when the possibilities, the potential in humanity is so great. very, very silly.

i wish we had more room to fully explain him but i doubt we could do that anyway (or would even want to). just check him out, that’s all… you will not be dissatisfied. he was a true hero, & there are not nearly enough heroes around these days.. so few people w/any kind of vocation (we’ve herded who we can into godhaven…) “now everyone’s luke-warm & they stick around forever…”
not him, sadly; he dies & bush still walks, manilow still records. perhaps some astonishing cosmic blunder has occurred. there was noone around quite like him before but for lenny bruce &, as yet, noone since.

happy holidays & merry hicksmas.

p.s. for the more devout amongst you, why not celebrate “hickster” too, starting on the 26th feb for five days.
i know what i’ll be doing.

p.p.s. if any of you out there have any bootleg tapes, or videos, or anything else, please send us a copy; we’d much appreciate it & you shall be copiously rewarded.

ppps really do send them hicksmas things. they'd appreciate it :)


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