Revolution of Ideas: 25 Timeless Quotes from Bill Hicks

Bill Hicks

The brightest flames always burn the fastest, and Bill Hicks was no exception to that rule.

As a comedian, Hicks wielded comedy like a sword in an attempt to slay the “fevered egos” that were screwing us all, every day of our lives. Hicks died at the age of 32, but not before he spent 19 years using his talents to expose the faults all around us. Paul Outhwaite said it best when he said “People use and misuse the word “tragedy” all the time. It seems to accompany the death of anybody famous. But the real definition of tragedy evokes a sense of loss and poignancy, a sense of someone dying before they really gave everything they had to offer. Without hyperbole, Bill Hicks’ death was a tragedy, for there was so much still to come from this creative, imaginative talent. When he died in 1994 the world lost a rare talent, but his spirit and philosophy still live on.

Bill once said, ““Listen, the next revolution is gonna be a revolution of ideas.” So, in the spirit of that mentality: Here are 25 Quotes from Bill Hicks that personify the beautiful, sarcastic, dark, wonderful mind that is dearly missed:

“They lie about marijuana. Tell you pot-smoking makes you unmotivated. Lie! When you’re high, you can do everything you normally do just as well — you just realize that it’s not worth the fucking effort. There is a difference.”
“I’m tired of this back-slappin’ “isn’t humanity neat” bullshit. We’re a virus with shoes.”
“I don’t mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that’s how it comes out.”
“We all pay for life with death, so everything in between should be free.”
“Watching television is like taking black spray paint to your third eye.”
“The whole image is that eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God’s infinite love. That’s the message we’re brought up with, isn’t it? Believe or die! Thank you, forgiving Lord, for all those options.”
“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. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly coloured and it’s very loud and it’s fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question: “Is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, “Hey, don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we kill those people.”
“I loved when Bush came out and said, ‘We are losing the war against drugs.’
You know what that implies? There’s a war being fought, and the people on drugs are winning it.”
“I believe that there is an equality to all humanity. We all suck.”
“Folks, it’s time to evolve. That’s why we’re troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything’s failing? It’s because, um – they’re no longer relevant. We’re supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right?”
“This is where we are at right now, as a whole. No one is left out of the loop. We are experiencing a reality based on a thin veneer of lies and illusions. A world where greed is our God and wisdom is sin, where division is key and unity is fantasy, where the ego-driven cleverness of the mind is praised, rather than the intelligence of the heart.”
“Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn’t the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit …unnatural?”
“The definition of black irony is Pro-lifers killing Doctors who do abortions”
“I get a kick out of being an outsider constantly. It allows me to be creative. I don’t like anything in the mainstream and they don’t like me.”
“I ascribe to Mark Twain’s theory that the last person who should be President is the one who wants it the most. The one who should be picked is the one who should be dragged kicking and screaming into the White House.”
“Oh sorry, I was taking life seriously.”
“I can’t watch TV longer than five minutes without praying for nuclear holocaust.”
“I never got along with my dad. Kids used to come up to me and say, “My dad can beat up your dad.” I’d say Yeah? When?”
“You see, I think drugs have done some good things for us. I really do. And if you don’t believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor. Go home tonight. Take all your albums, all your tapes and all your CDs and burn them. ‘Cause you know what, the musicians that made all that great music that’s enhanced your lives throughout the years were rrreal fucking high on drugs. The Beatles were so fucking high they let Ringo sing a few tunes.”
“Wouldn’t you like to see a positive LSD story on the news? To base your decision on information rather than scare tactics and superstition? Perhaps? Wouldn’t that be interesting? Just for once? ‘Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration – that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There’s no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we’re the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the weather.‘”
“This is the material, by the way, that has kept me virtually anonymous in America for the past 15 years. Gee, I wonder why we’re hated the world over? Look at these fat Americans in the front row – ‘Why doesn’t he just hit fruit with a hammer?’ Folks, I could have done that, walked around being a millionaire and franchising myself but no, I had to have this weird thing about trying to illuminate the collective unconscious and help humanity. Fucking moron.”
“Life is only a dream and we are the imagination of ourselves.”
“I know this is not a very popular idea. You don’t hear it too often any more … but it’s the truth. I have taken drugs before and … I had a real good time. Sorry. Didn’t murder anybody, didn’t rape anybody, didn’t rob anybody, didn’t beat anybody, didn’t lose – hmm – one fucking job, laughed my ass off, and went about my day. Sorry. Now, where’s my commercial?”
“It’s great to be here. I thank you. Ah, I’ve been on the road doing comedy for ten years now, so bear with me while I plaster on a fake smile and plow through this shit one more time.”
and finally…
“I left in love, in laughter, and in truth, and wherever truth, love, and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.”
Thank You, Bill. You are missed.

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