I have been on ATS for almost 9 years, although granted have increased my participation more in recent times.
When I started on ATS, I wanted to chose an Avatar that I though represented me. I would have been 23 years old at the time.
I was was just gaining an interests into conspiracy theories, and at the time I was big into comedy. One of my favorite comedians was Bill Hicks.
The first thing that drove me to Hicks was his intensity. Their was so much that it was unhealthy at times. He could go from totally calm to berserk
in a few seconds. At times, I wasn't sure to laugh or run away. Some of his performances were such a roller coaster of highs and lows, and some were
calm and collected.
I thought his content was not only hilarious, but shed a lot of truth. To me, comedy is one of the great delivery devices of difficult truths.
George Orwell once said "Every joke is a tiny revolution".
If you have never heard Bill, he is the quintessential conspiracy comic to me. He railed against authority, greed, marketing, hypocrites, the
hateful, and politicians. He would alternate from professing the importance of not being fearful, to screaming for the deaths of those who he felt
made the world a worse place. A walking contradiction, a brilliant schizophrenic.
Perhaps the most fitting bit of his for ATS would be this bit that has achieved fame in conspiracy circles (the first part of it).
He was a wonderful man, and exhibited the best of characteristics available in humanity (in my opinion); individuality, contrarianism, empathy, free
thinking, humor, humility, pride (in the words of the Avett brothers "like my mother had, not the kind that they have in the bible that makes you
bad"), and many others.
So what is this rant about?
I have had this avatar for 9 years. The only comments I really had on it were people saying they assumed it was a picture of me, or that they loved
But recently I have had quite a few people tell me that Hicks would have hated my support of Trump, and various other things I have discussed.
Now let me just first say I don't mind people saying that, its fine by me. But it got me thinking about some things.
The first is, what is the implication here, that Bill would have liked the other side? He would have been cheering for the intelligence community
leaking against Trump? He would have been a fan of nation building Hillary? He would have liked Nobel peace winning, bomb dropping Obama? he would
have been a fan of the SJW's that are the bane of comedy?
No, I am not buying it. I think he would have hated it all. George Carlin once wrote something of the effect that he was ashamed of humans, and
didn't want to be in their group. And if humans fixed all of the problems that made him ashamed, he still wouldn't want to be part of their group.
Thats how I think Bill would have felt, I think. In other words, if you see my avatar, and you think Bill would have disliked my opinions, guess
what; he would have disliked your opinions too.
But none of that even matters to me; its just an after thought.
The real issue is that I think when people point out that Bill would have disagreed with me, they are trying to point out some sort of inconsistency
on my part, or trying to shame me into changing my position based on an appeal to someone I respect.
And that, my friends, its a huge annoyance of mine.
I find that attitude to reek of appeals to authority, and a tribal mindset.
I don't care if my opinions are countered by the people I look up to the most. For example, Christopher Hitchens is a hero of mine, and quite
possibly the best debater I have ever seen. I have no shame admitting that he was smarter than I am. But not for a moment, not even a split second,
would I hesitate to disagree with him.
That mentality is one of the reasons that intelligent debate among people is on the decline; many people are afraid to disagree with their "leader" or
"team". Are people really so fragile that they will shape their positions to exactly line up with the people they look up to?
And further more, Bill Hicks would have been disgusted by this mindset. "I use to think x Bill, but because you are against it, I now am too!"
Something tells me he wouldn't have found yesmen interesting.
I would have loved to have had a beer with Carlin or Hitchens or Hicks. But I would have loved to debate them even more. I would have been honored
to get screamed at by Bill. To match wits and ideas with such powerful individuals would have helped shape me to be an even better person.
So why is Bill Hicks my avatar?
Because we both believe in individuality, contrarianism, distrust of authority, being conspiratorial, a hatred of nation building wars, a sort of
schizophrenic ability to go from peaceful to enraged, and being a fan of comedy.
And more importantly, because I f'n feel like it.
And if you think letting me know he would disagree with me is news to me or will somehow affect me, you are sadly mistaken.
But if any of this bothers you, I just want to let you know that none of it matters anyway, because its just a ride.
edit on 21-6-2017 by Grambler because: (no reason given)
I've always been a huge fan and collected as many recordings as I could get my hands on.
Same with Frank Zappa and he probably would've disliked some of my views.
I see them as artists who's art I enjoy and admire.
Thought provoking and individual.
I don't think those types really follow anyone and if they are occasionally contrarian that shows that they were prepared to look at all things and
not just what they like. That's healthy.
As a fellow Bill Hicks fan, I understand what you are saying. It is as if I am a rapist because I used to respect Bill Cosby. You always get tarred
and feathered by others for the people that you look up to. Like, "OMG, that guy has a picture of Che in his living room!" Not that I do, but people
make the craziest assumptions about you based on things that you identify with. I do not think that Bill would have anything to do with those sorts
of notions. He would probably tell you to keep being you, and be honored by your respect for his work. Either way, since he is not here, I will say
it for him: Say what you have to say, be yourself, and damn the torpedoes!
You can have an avatar that in some what would differ from your own personal values? Weird.
Comedy, real comedy is lost on many minds today. I watched some of David Cross' new standup (last year sometime) and it was cringeworthy. Pot shots
for points is fine if there is a comedic reasoning or satire accompanying, without, it's just rhetoric. Carlin, Hicks nailed this. Murphy, Pryor,
and my personal favorite Jo Coy (non political) are masters at portraying a real world scenarios in pure comedic fashion.
Anywho, good rant. I guess using that avatar brings out the contention I'm sure you so desire!
Anywho, good rant. I guess using that avatar brings out the contention I'm sure you so desire!
This is something that resonates to me.
I love contention, I love arguing and debating. It can be sports, politics, religion, philosophy, anything.
It brings out the best and worst of people. It allows a look at what truly inside a person. But morally importantly, it allows me to look at
People assume that contention is bad, or that somehow having a disagreement is unhealthy.
Its not. I teaches you to be courteous, funny, affable, and most importantly; humble.
I am a punk from a small town in PA. I debated in college against some of the best minds in the university system and held my own and occasionally
beat them. I have been made to look a fool by autistic friends of mine in arguments.
I am a "portly" right wing defender of small government, libertarian values and small government. My debate partner and one of my best friends is a
hippie Buddhist vegan that looks like Jesus. We don't agree on much politically, and have been known to have an argument or to, and we love it.
Some of the people I respect the most on ATS are those that I almost never agree with. (I mean, I guess it helps I always win any argument i have
with them :ham
Anyways I am rambling.
But I think Bill Hicks would respect my enjoyment of disagreement.
I thought his content was not only hilarious, but shed a lot of truth. To me, comedy is one of the great delivery devices of difficult truths. George
Orwell once said "Every joke is a tiny revolution".
Comedians are our modern day street philosophers. The type you would see standing around a greek city talking about life.
The thing is, not everything is completely black or completely white.
I'm highly suspicious of anyone who sees everything in polar opposites.
Bill seemed to dislike "stupid" and that's something that can be universal.
I love what you do. There a few posters I always stop and read when I see their avvy.
Bill Hicks was one of the greats. I dont know what he would have been aligned to.
In my heart I know he would have told those people who think he would be a member of this authoritarian "status quo yet also resistance" nonsense
being proliferated, that they are retards and can go procreate themselves.
One sniff by him of MSM spin as of late and he would be right here with the rest of us. I dont think he liked the whole lying through your teeth
edit on 6 21 2017 by tadaman because: (no reason given)
I'm a big hicks fan as well, I've got all his albums, shows and docs. Know way too much of it by heart and after participating in the same threads as
you Grambler, I can safely say, you picked a good avatar all those years ago. I've read a bunch of your posts and think you channel hicks pretty
You're right if hick's was still alive and still true to his former perspective would no doubt be laughing in hopeless anger, mocking the whole
political scene right now, though I think 911 would've already pushed him over the edge into some full on goatboy psychotic break.
As far as the modern left or right? I think it's blatantly obvious. One's pursuing truth and reason, the other is subverting it.
"I'm just gonna go sit in a field and wait on the rest of humanity to catch up".
edit on 21-6-2017 by rexsblues because: (no reason
You have a very high level of self-awareness for someone your age. I have almost 20 years on you and am still working on it.
I found Bill Hicks long after he was gone. A long time ago, I made a deal with myself that I was going to embrace my partisan nature, but also allow
myself to enjoy art of all kinds regardless of political sway. I don't know of any other way for a conservative to enjoy pop culture otherwise. I
can appreciate pretty much anything if the art is good.
I don't know Hicks as well as you, but he strikes me as the kind of person who would have run screaming from anything involving partisan politics.
Personally, I have never understood people who chose to comment on social or political matters, but won't pick a side. Or even more infuriating,
pretend they're too enlightened to be bothered by politics and mock those who do take a position.
Was Hicks that kind of person?
I don't know.
My gut tells me he probably was, but I did not know him personally and have no idea how much his "art" was an act and how much it was his own
I don't know you personally either, but I'm a pretty good judge of character and know that anyone who is as reasoned, rational, and intelligent as you
is a good egg!
I might not be on ATS much longer. I'm smart enough to know when I've been singled out. At this point I've already written off this account and once
it's gone I won't be back. I've been on and off ATS since 2005 (I forgot my first ID -- long story). But if this is my last hurrah on this site, I'm
good with that. It's been a hell of a ride!
You're right in the idea that he would hate your politics.
But I think he'd certainly support your aggression in telling others what you think without being afraid of what others think about it.
Regardless of how angry, or drunk and verbally abusive, he'd sometimes get, even on stage, I think his message overall was an attempt at bringing
people together. But when people are often so f*cking horrible it makes that seem impossible and I think that is what was so upsetting to him deep
He was accepted more in other countries than he was here in the US because he was often very critical of many aspects of American Culture and
Government. He wasn't exactly gentile in expressing that opinion either which rubbed some the wrong way and kept his career here more limited than it
should have been. But his heart was in the right place.
I think most people that ask you about your avatar are just curious if you knew what his position on things was or not. As he would often speak about
Republicans in a less than fond manner. But I agree with you, he wouldn't like the Democrats any better, nor the SJW's with their safe spaces and
easily offended nature. He'd make a point to offend them as much as possible I'm sure.
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