Bill Hicks succumbed to pancreatic cancer

Bill Hicks

Bill Hicks was best known as an American stand-up comedian and his routines offered a satirical and often angry commentary on social, political and philosophical issues, as well as what he liked to call “dick jokes“. He died of pancreatic cancer aged just 32 and only gained real acclaim years afterwards, but it is widely felt that he made his stamp on comedy early on and should be recognised for the continuing relevance of his work.

William Melvin Hicks (commonly known as Bill) was born in 1961 in Georgia. He lived a nomadic childhood, moving from place to place with his parents and siblings before finally settling in Texas at the age of seven. Hicks was brought up a Baptist and found his interest in comedy at Sunday school where he performed to other kids. His strong opinions on religion as a ‘concept which is no longer relevant’ to us as evolving humans, could perhaps be traced back to his childhood.

The young performer drew inspiration from greats such as Woody Allen and Richard Pryor. In a collection of letters, lyrics and routines entitled Bill Hicks: Love All The People, the comedian talks about how by the time he was 17 his parents had become so worried about his behaviour they took him to see a psychoanalyst who eventually informed him “It’s them, not you“.

At the age of 21, Hicks decided to break from the constraints of his upbringing and began to experiment with alcohol and drugs. Although these gave him confidence to explore new avenues in his work he eventually had to quit, realising that the consequences would compromise his health and ability to perform. Nevertheless the theme of drugs and alcohol features heavily in his stand-up routines and is tied in with his life-long aim to expose the truth, no matter how controversial: “I don’t do drugs anymore, but I want to tell you something. I know it’s not a very popular concept these days, but…I had a great time doing drugs,“ he once told his audience.

Hicks was always very open and forward about his distrust of politicians, “I hope you know this – I think you do – all governments are lying c**ksuckers“ but even more-so those tied up in religion. In a mock address to televangelist Pat Robertson, he once said: “Go back to Virginia, marry your daughter, and stay out of my life, you Nazi hillbilly f**k!”

Bill Hicks

Bill Hicks may have upset a lot of people but he enlightened a whole lot more.

An invitation to appear on the David Letterman Show in 1984 should have been Hicks’ big break but a “handicap joke“ he regularly used on his tours (which was part of a gag aimed at former smokers and in no way offensive towards wheelchair bound people) didn’t go down well with NBC producers and his performance was subsequently cut. Another appearance on the show in 1993 was also cut due to concern over Hicks’ “anti-religious“ jokes. The routine was eventually played in full in 2009, when Hicks’ mother Mary appeared as a guest.

In April 1993 Bill was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer whilst on tour in Australia. He complained of pains in his side and was told that the cancer had spread to his liver. Despite the diagnosis and weekly chemotherapy he continued to perform, delivering his last stand-up in New York on January 4 1994. He died at his parents’ home in Arkansas the following month.

Shortly before his death, Hicks wrote a prayer which he requested to be released as his “last words“ following his death. It concludes: “I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.“

Justin Bieber birthday fever as boy wonder turns 17

March 1st is Bieber’s day apparently. Yup, the pop squirt is 17 today and no doubt mass hysteria will be breaking out in adolescent filled households throughout the world.

Teenage girls will be screaming with excitement as if it was their birthday, high school hallways will be a battlefield where troops of ‘beliebers’ will be annoying the crap out of everyone else and parents will still be scratching their heads in bewilderment at what exactly the fuss is all about.

I was amused to read comments made by hype building, band wagon jumping Bieber acolyte ‘journalists’, in particular one who said that the boy wonder had been alive just 17 years yet had accomplished more than most people do in their entire lives.

Accomplished what exactly? Made some songs which were produced by a team of highly skilled music industry people, marketed by the same and hyped by wet-lipped teenage girls who have nothing better to think about other than that they might one day marry the little whelp and have his babies.

Wonder if he’d still be anti-abortion if that happened?

Oh, he made a film as well, although I doubt he actually had much to do with that either. The story of a brat on tour is about as appealing as using my retinas as pin cushions.

[adsense]No, I’m sorry but on his own Bieber has accomplished very little, and it’s only his mother’s love of income and the huge promotional machine working behind the scenes which allows him to continue sucking the money straight out of children’s pockets into his label’s and mother’s bank accounts.

When you break down the Bieber phenomenon there’s not much to it. His songs have no depth, he’s presented more on squeaky clean image than anything else; his interviews are vacuous and in truth his only involvement in all of this is to have his face, haircut, and make public appearances from time to time.

Bill Hicks had a great line on ‘pop’ stars. There was the involvement of Satan, 15 minutes of fame and some vigorous fellatio as I remember. Read MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice as Justin Bieber and I think we’re on the right track.

Bieber has no soul, he’s just another facade of clever marketing aimed at gullible and easily led children by an unscrupulous music industry.

Anyway; Happy Birthday Justin.

Please share you thoughts on Bieber, or more importantly Bill Hicks by leaving a comment.

Read more about Bieber like his tantrums, new haircut, fans attacking Selena Gomez and Esperanza Spalding, and his abortion remarks.

images: CWD gallery

A review of the Super Bowl XLV… Advertising?!

After weeks of build up the big day finally arrived accompanied by the usual fanfare and party atmosphere. The fans were buzzing and banter was flying back and forth across internet forums and through phone-ins on sports shows.

There’d been big announcements from sponsors, fears over extreme weather conditions and black-outs, red alerts on transportation to Dallas; but by 6pm EST everything had fallen beautifully into place and the Super Bowl XLV kicked off.

Liz Hurley shows off her Brazilian.

For the fans who made it to the game they will have missed out on the bizarre advertising that slipped into the half time segment of the match, while viewers at home will no doubt have been bewildered by the commercials on hand, not least those promoting Groupon.

The company shot three short adverts featuring various celebrities, including Liz Hurley, who began their respective shorts talking about various environmental concerns, like the depletion of whale populations, the plight of Tibet and deforestation of Brazilian rainforests.

The commercials are a little too blasé about these world problems, but perhaps the most offensive element of all is the mental image of Liz Hurley with a Brazilian wax job.

While it’s good that the company is pushing the environmental concerns out to a bigger audience and potentially raising awareness, they shoot them down in the next breath.

“Tibet is in trouble but they still find time to make a great curry.” Hilarious. No really.

No, you’re right, it’s not hilarious; it’s pathetic.

[adsense]The adverts could have been funny and ironic, while still respecting the situations they use to promote their pointless products, but the lack of real intelligence on the part of those responsible is painfully evident. To add insult to injury they chose actors whose careers never went anywhere and are now firmly up on the shelf, gathering dust where they belong.

So here comes the rant; but not from me. I only suggest they follow the advice of the awesome Bill Hicks who once said, “If you’re in advertising, kill yourself.”

Please let us know your thoughts on the Groupon adverts, are they funny, sad, pathetic, clever or what? Leave a comment.

Read about the VW and Audi adverts, the big snow scare, the Black Eyed Peas half time special and Liz Hurley‘s marital separation.

images: celebrity742.blogspot.com, kara.allthingsd.com

Kim Richards enters rehab as TV reaches a new low

The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills season finale is making all the headlines this morning, especially where Kim Richards is concerned. The media are hailing the show as ‘the most shocking episode yet’, as if it needs any more hyping. The claims come after Kim and her sister Kyle had a bust up on the show resulting in Kim being checked into rehab.

The fight occurred at a birthday party and escalated into a frantic, booze fuelled slagging match. Husbands and other onlookers watched in shock as events unfolded, but more than anything it was great for the cameras and the audience. Of course all this really proves is that the celebrity lives so many viewers covet are no different to the lives the average person leads. They get drunk, they argue, they go shopping, they sleep… WOW!

Have our lives become so mundane that the only way we can entertain ourselves is by tuning into ‘reality’ shows and embroiling ourselves in the lives of the so-called ‘rich and famous’?

By putting themselves up for these shows, celebrities (famous for being famous) like Kim Richards are no different to Tamagotchis. Sure you remember the Tamagotchi, a little egg shaped thing with a screen that displayed a digital creature; depending on how you treated it, it would take different forms and behave randomly, most notably bleeping when it pooped.

Reality TV is no different. But what it does is stop people feeling the need to live their own lives. They get the excitement, the highs and the lows from the poor puppets on the screen. Surely Kim Richards is under a lot of pressure living in that goldfish bowl, no wonder she has possibly developed a drinking problem.

The squabbles portrayed on these shows are so pathetic that it’s painful to watch. But what’s even more painful is hearing people talking about it the next day as if they’re related to the stars of the show.

Our lives are ours to live, not to waste away in front of a TV screen getting worked up over this celebrity marriage, or that celebrity rehab case. Kim Richards may well deserve all she gets; she put herself on the auctioning block, sold her soul to the devil as it were. OK, so if you don’t like it don’t watch it; but these days it’s becoming increasingly difficult to avoid this kind of nonsense.

Bill Hicks commented that society couldn’t sink lower than watching American Gladiator. He must be turning in his grave.

[adsense]It all serves to distract us from living, from going and doing the things which truly make us happy and feeling like we have a fulfilling life. Seeing the money and high brow lifestyles of these TV Tamagotchis only fuels our discontent.

If we must be glued to the box, then it’s time the TV companies started giving us wholesome entertainment again, not this low cost, non-escapist bullshit. The days of Big Brother should be an embarrassing and distant memory, like the time we got drunk and tied naked to a lamppost. Whatever happened to The Muppet Show? Give me that over Real Housewives Of Beverley Hills any day

Share your thoughts on the plight of Kim Richards, or let us know what you think of the state of TV these days by leaving a comment.

Read about other rehab celebs like Demi Lovato, David Arquette, Ben Affleck, Charlie Sheen and of course, serial rehabber Lindsay Lohan.

images: allaboutsymbian.com, hotflick.net

47th Anniversary of JFK’s assassination overlooked by the media

The 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated on 22nd November, 1963 while on diplomatic business in Dallas, Texas.  Sat in the back of the presidential limousine with his wife Jackie, he was shot first in the back and was killed by a decisive shot to the head.

Lee Harvey Oswald was accused of killing Kennedy but he too was shot dead by Jack Ruby just two days later, before a trial could be set up.

Many questions have hung around the neck of the Kennedy assassination and the nation is very strongly divided as to whether Oswald was a lone gun man with a vendetta against the president, or that he was a stooge put in place to cover up an inside job.

Comedian and political commentator Bill Hicks often talked of the JFK assassination, in particular the evidence given to “convince” the public that Oswald fired from a sniper’s nest on the sixth floor of the school book repository (now the famous JFK Assassination Museum).  He visited the museum himself and was incredulous at what he saw.

“They have the window set up to look exactly like it did on that day, and it’s really accurate you know, because Oswald’s not in it,”  quips Hicks, “it’s true, it’s called the sniper’s nest, it’s glassed in, it’s got the boxes sitting there and you can’t actually get to the window itself.”

“The reason they did that of course is they didn’t want thousands of American tourists getting there each year going – YOU CAN’T SEE THE ******* ROAD!”

The somnambulant public

Somnambulism; a condition also known as sleep walking.  Sufferers are able to act as if awake, often carrying out normal everyday tasks despite being completely unconscious.  One woman sent a very coherent invitation to friend via email and had no recollection of the event – a common symptom of somnambulism.  The activities carried out while sleep walking can be very dangerous and cases have included driving, cooking, writing, violent gestures and even homicide.

It seems odd that the media aren’t jumping on the JFK story today as his life and death has captured the American public’s attention for over fifty years now.  Perhaps the somnambulant public has forgotten what it means to question anything, especially how the evidence – both circumstantial and scientific – stacks strongly against the Lee Harvey Oswald story.  But then again, the media has put them to sleep.

The only real solution is to look at the evidence yourself and make your own mind up but with so many people disputing the spin from media and officials at the time of his death, it’s hard to ignore the possibility that John F. Kennedy was indeed murdered by a government insider.

What do you think?  Was it an inside job or was Oswald definitely guilty?  Please let us know by leaving a comment.

Read more about Bill Hicks.

Images: wired.com, minecraftforum.net

Bill Hicks died of pancreatic cancer, but his memory lives on

Bill Hicks was an American stand-up comedian. His routines offered a satirical, and often angry, commentary on social, political and philosophical issues, as well as what he liked to call “dick jokes“. Although Hicks died of pancreatic cancer aged just 32 and only gained real acclaim years afterwards, it is widely felt that he made his stamp on comedy early on and deserves recognition for the continuing relevance of his work.

William Melvin Hicks (commonly known as Bill) was born in 1961 in Georgia. He moved around with his parents and siblings before finally settling in Texas at the age of seven. Hicks was brought up a Baptist and found his interest in comedy at Sunday school, where he performed to other kids. His opinions on religion as a concept which is “no longer relevant“ to us as evolving humans, could perhaps be traced back to his childhood.

The young performer drew inspiration from greats such as Woody Allen and Richard Pryor. In a collection of letters, lyrics and routines entitled Bill Hicks: Love All The People, the comedian talks about how, by the time he was 17, his parents had become so concerned over his behaviour that they took him to see a psychoanalyst, who eventually told him “It’s them, not you“.

At the age of 21, Hicks decided to break out of the contraints of his upbringing and began to experiment with alcohol and drugs. Although these gave him confidence to explore new avenues in his work, he eventually had to quit, realising that the consequences would compromise his ability to perform. Still, the theme of drugs and alcohol features heavily in his stand-up routines and is tied in with his life-long aim to expose the truth, no matter how controversial: “I don’t do drugs anymore, but I want to tell you something. I know it’s not a very popular concept these days, but…I had a great time doing drugs,“ he said at one of his shows.

Hicks was always very open about his disenchantment in politicians (“I hope you know this – I think you do – all governments are lying cocksuckers“) and especially those tied up in religion. In a mock address to televangelist Pat Robertson, he once said: “Go back to Virginia, marry your daughter, and stay out of my life, you Nazi hillbilly fuck!”

An invitation to appear on the David Letterman Show in 1984 should have been Hicks’ big break. However, a “handicap joke“ he often used in clubs did not go down well with NBC producers and his performance was subsequently cut. Another appearance on the show in 1993 was also cut due to concern over Hicks’ “anti-religious“ jokes. The routine was eventually played in full in 2009, when Hicks’ mother Mary appeared as a guest.

In April 1993, Hicks was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer during a tour in Australia. Hicks complained of pains in his side and was told that the cancer had spread to his liver. Despite the diagnosis and weekly chemotherapy, the comedian continued to perform and delivered his last stand-up in New York on January 4 1994. He died at his parents’ home in Arkansas the following month.

Shortly before his death, Hicks wrote a prayer, which he requested to be released as his “last words“ following his death. It concludes: “I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.“

Other celebrities who died from pancreatic cancer include opera legend Luciano Pavarotti, jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie, actor Patrick Swayze, Bollywood star Nargis Dutt and Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson.

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