Bill Hicks: The comic is the antithesis of the mob mentality

The Goat Boy Rises is a great Bill Hicks profile from The New Yorker.

Hicks thinks against society and insists on the importance of this intellectual freedom as a way to inspire others to think for themselves. “To me, the comic is the guy who says ‘Wait a minute’ as the consensus forms,” Hicks told me as we climbed the stairs to his dressing room. “He’s the antithesis of the mob mentality. The comic is a flame—like Shiva the Destroyer, toppling idols no matter what they are. He keeps cutting everything back to the moment.”

More on Shiva:

All that has a beginning by necessity must have an end. In destruction, truly nothing is destroyed but the illusion of individuality. Thus the power of destruction associated with Lord Shiva has great purifying power, both on a more personal level when problems make us see reality more clearly, as on a more universal level. Destruction opens the path for a new creation of the universe, a new opportunity for the beauty and drama of universal illusion to unfold. As Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram or Truth, Goodness and Beauty, Shiva represents the most essential goodness.

Destruction that purifies. That sounds like a good way to get the new year rolling.

1 comment:

Joe M. said...

I'm not questioning Hicks's talent as a comic. I do think he was often funny and stuck to what he believed in. I'm just questioning the ability of a group to truly define an outsider and original thinker. Hicks had a reputation of ruffling feathers. Anyone with a strong opinion will earn that. However, where was Hicks ever against the popular opinion of his audience? He didn't like Republicans, corporations, people who told him to stop smoking? Those are pretty popular opinions for a young person in the 80's; as they are today. Maybe they're not that popular with a few network executives at the time but that only adds to it's popularity among the social group Hicks was a part of. People in his social group more likely than not agree with them and see themselves as original thinkers.
Did Hicks really encourage people to think for themselves? It seems to me like he had an opinion and if you didn't agree with him he would attack you personally. For example people who are opposed to abortion are ugly. Does a person who wants you to think for yourself insult you if you don't agree with him? If you don't agree with what I wrote you're ugly. Just kidding.

Moving on/Subscribe to my newsletter

I only post on rare occasions here now. Subscribe to my Rubesletter  (it's at  mattruby.substack.com ) to get jokes, videos, essays, etc...