We have a few gigs which are tentative for 2024, more information will follow. Meanwhile, here’s an ode to Bill Hicks 🙂
Bill Hicks was a stand-up comedian and satirist who died in 1994 from pancreatic cancer. He often tackled controversial topics such as religion, politics, and philosophy in his dark and ironic humour. Some of his great philosophical quotes are:
“It’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love.”
“The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly coloured, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, ‘Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?’ And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, ‘Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.’ And we … kill those people.”
“I’m not really here to make you laugh. I’m here to make you think.”
One of his most famous routines was about life being “just a ride” in an amusement park, where we can choose to enjoy it or be scared by it, but ultimately, it has no consequences. Many commentators have interpreted this theme as a form of existential nihilism, where nothing matters and everything is absurd.
However, others have seen it as a liberating and empowering message, where we can create our own meaning and values, and not be constrained by the illusions and expectations of society. Some have even compared Hicks to a Zen master, who used humour and paradox to awaken people from their ignorance and suffering.
What can we learn from this philosophy? Perhaps we can learn to be more aware of our own choices and actions, and how they affect ourselves and others. Perhaps we can learn to appreciate the beauty and wonder of existence, without taking it too seriously or attaching to it too much. Maybe we can learn to laugh at ourselves and our problems, and not let them overwhelm us. Perhaps we can learn to be more compassionate and tolerant of others, who are also on their own rides. Potentially, we can learn to enjoy the ride, while it lasts.