Thursday, February 26, 2009Would Bill Have Had A Podcast?
Today marks fifteen years since Bill Hicks shuffled off to his eternal damnation/ heavenly reward/sweet oblivion. I am now slightly older than he was when he died, but I've accomplished only a tiny fraction as much as he did. I've lamented before the injustice of it -- how Bill should be an elder comedy statesman now, living in London, on his third wife/mistress/concubine, doing some voice work for Shrek 4, richer than even Robin Williams.
Having spent eight years wondering what Bill might've said about our journey through collective madness, I now have to wonder what he'd have thought about our gradual return to relative sanity. He did a bit a long time ago about the celebrations following Clinton's initial election, but what might he have made of the literal dancing in the streets that followed Obama's election? For that matter, what would he have made of Obama?
(audio only, not safe for work or republicans)
And what would he have done when the anger passed, and social tranquility returned? (For the record, I wonder the same thing about Jon Stewart, who's been filling essentially the same role -- in a much softer, gentler way, but he has still served as the primary filter for our anger during the Bush years. It has to be weird to be relieved of that job.)
But, then again. Even if the man had lived beyond 1994, I find it hard to imagine him surviving the Bush era. No man could have withstood that kind of psychic strain.
However, there's one thing I really, really wish he'd lived for: the modern video explosion. In 1994, everyone had cable, but content wasn't nearly as thinly-spread as it is now, with four hundred channels as well as the entire internet to fill up. He had a few ideas for TV shows, you know. And not "Let's Hunt and Kill Billy Ray Cyrus," although that was a fine idea (and how sickening is it that Bill is still dead, but Billy Ray Cyrus is not only still on TV, but has brought his demon brood along with him?) Every time I see any of the current crop of geniuses and the sheer freedom they're given to create -- that is to say, whenever I see David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, Patton Oswalt, Zack Galifianakis, Ricky Gervais, Eddie Izzard, Tim and Eric, etc. etc., I just wish Bill could've stuck around long enough to join in. The world is finally ready for him, but he's already long gone. The crickets we've been hearing for the last fifteen years were the sound of Bill waiting for the rest of us to catch up, I guess.