Bill Hicks Plus 20

From FDL:

Just 20 years ago, to this day, American comedian Bill Hicks passed away at the age of 32. A fierce social critic often mentioned in circles like George Carlin and Lenny Bruce, Hicks was popular throughout his stand-up career.

His work still feels relevant as his riffs on George H. W. Bush don’t feel much different than if he were talking about George W. Bush. His criticism of a materialist culture pushed by marketers (a routine of his was asking them to kill themselves) is just as relevant today with the bombardment of advertisements in all areas of our life that is reminiscent of the “No Space” phrase in No Logo by Naomi Klein.

In a Jan. 1994 interview with Hicks, he stated Congress was “an old boys club that is about as corrupt as it possible could get.” Moreover, it was “getting kickbacks and pay-offs from major corporations and the last thing they are doing is representing humanity.” It’s comical, [20] years later, to find Congress to be a millionaires’ club.

Jay Leno dishononred his memory by not having on, as his final guests, Patrick Duffy and Joey Lawrence.

But, I digress…

Born on Dec. 16, 1961, Hicks grew up in Houston, Texas when he was seven years old after moving a bit in his life. While in Houston, he didn’t enjoy the conditions there as he told John Lahr:

“When I was about eleven, it dawned on me that I didn’t like where I was.”

I’m ashamed to admit that it took me a bit longer than that to come to that conclusion about Houston.

Of course, he didn’t leave when he was 11.  He actually hung around long enough to take a few classes at the University of Houston – and he was there at the same time I took my few classes at Cougar High on Calhoun St.

It would require massive violations of federal law – and general notions of privacy – but nevertheless I would, just on general principle, love to find the student rosters for those classes to see if one of the other Houston-hating people in those giant auditoria for Intro to Architecture or Chem 1301 was one William Melvin Hicks.

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