Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Bill Hicks 10 Year Anniversary
This week is the 10th anniversary of the death of Bill Hicks. I had pointed to a site that had a rich collection of Bill Hicks Bootlegs.
This week, the BBC's U.K. Magazine has an article worth checking out: "Bill Hicks: Why the fuss, exactly?."
The Beeb asks the question within this context: "Bill Hicks - the anti-war, pro-smoking, corporate-bashing American comedian - died 10 years ago this week. What is it about his work that has meant his reputation has grown and grown?"
For those too lazy to point and click, here's an excerpt:
"Hicks remains popular because his comedy taps into a cynical, shoulder-shrugging attitude that is widespread today, where many believe the worst of politicians, corporations and other figures in authority, almost as a knee-jerk response.Go read the rest of the piece . . .
"The targets of his anger were exactly the right ones for his time," she says. "Like 'people who work in advertising', whom Hicks urged to kill themselves. These are not exactly difficult targets."
Fans of Hicks will disagree - though many admit that they are, indeed, drawn to Hicks for more than his funny routines.
Micah Holmquist, a 26-year-old writer from Michigan, US, says, "I listen to Hicks' recordings because they are not just funny, but also embody a lot of the rage I often feel at the world. In the days and weeks after 11 September 2001, I found myself regularly listening to Hicks as an antidote to the hegemonic opinion in the US that there could be no context for what happened that day."
For others, Hicks has become a symbol of authenticity in an era of reality TV, ready-made pop and visionless popular culture. Tom Quinn, a 27-year-old fan from Wandsworth, London, says: "Hicks didn't sell out. He didn't bow to television stations or huge sponsorship deals. And he didn't seem to care about fame and huge earnings."
Bill Hicks: Why the fuss, exactly?
By Brendan O'Neill
BBC Monday, 23 February, 2004, 16:33
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