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The Philodoxer
Thoughts on writing and publishing, and the various sources of entertainment...
A weekly column by Abel G. Peña, best known for his Star Wars work.

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THE PHILODOXER for 05/28/2006
The Philosophies of Bill Hicks

I'm telling you man, there's some serious pockets of humanity out there. -- Bill Hicks

Several years have gone by since I discovered the value of audio "literature" when I had to give a presentation in speech class on the tenets of M. Scott Peck's The Road Less Traveled. Nabbing a copy of the abridged audio book, I hammed it up like I know how and aced my presentation with flying colors.

Since then, I've become a sucker for audio lit: books on tape, radio dramas, recordings of stage plays and musicals, and even funky shit like Elisabeth Belile's feminist rants. The Best of Bill Hicks: Philosophy is my most recent foray into this sphere.

Best of Bill Hicks: Philosophy

Maybe you're too young to have heard of Bill Hicks. In the tradition of foul-mouthed satirists like Eddie Murphy, Denis Leary, and Andrew Dice Clay, Hicks was a funny-as-fuck stand-up comedian who was cuttingly observant and candid -- his bane and glory. His lacerating wit and scathing social commentary was partially to blame for his status under the radar; simply, not everyone got the jokes. But those who did laughed their asses off. Unfortunately, at the ripe age of 32, Hicks died of pancreatic cancer.

But the legend lives on! Plenty smart, Philosophy presents a nice overview of Hicks' oeuvre. The first six or so tracks on this compilation are okay, but the following 15 tracks are gut-busting hilarious. Hitting on everything from pornography, to the L.A. riots, drugs, and military politics, and armed with a surprisingly versatile and realistic repertoire of sound effects, this is a good one to guffaw to while going to or coming back from another shitty day at work.

Today, the method of the vulgar satirists has been refined beyond their wickedest dreams by the likes of Dave Chappelle, Eminem, and Carlos Mencia. Check out Hicks to see where they got their inspiration.

Ciao folks. See you next week!

-- Abel

<< 05/14/2006 | 05/28/2006 | 06/04/2006 >>

Discuss this column with me in World Famous Comics' General Forum and at Pop Culture Bored.
Also, visit my website at www.abelgpena.com.


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