In light of the recent tragic events in Libya, I feel that it is time to speak out. For the past few days, I have been filled with profound grief about the death of the American diplomatic staff, and the Libyans who heroically defended them in my beloved Benghazi. Many of you have done your parts to assuage my grief by showing empathy and understanding in your hearts for the Libyan people. And I love you all for that.
Yet sadly, I have seen the flip side, the cynical need for some of you to characterize all Libyans, and the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, as the Other, the monsters and devils lying in wait, ready to tear down the gates of civilization. And to make matters worse, your voices, overflowing with ironclad certainty, utterly drown out the voices of reason and moderation. I spent nearly a year in Benghazi getting to know the true character of the people. And yet my experiences count for nothing to you. And so I write this, half-knowing that it will never reach your eyes. Yet still I write.
When the Libyan uprising first erupted in February of last year, I watched in amazement as an entire population attempted to liberate itself from the crushing yoke of a mercurial tyrant, a God King meant for another century. And when I read a small passage on CNN about an everyman filling his car with explosives and ramming the anti-aircraft gun outside of the great fortress that dominates Benghazi, that was it for me. I just had to be there. I needed to see this people’s revolution for myself. And no, not through the distorted media lens, but through my own eyes.
The decision made, I now had to deal with the lingering specter of terror. What the hell was I getting into? Thankfully I had a good friend already there, but as far as I was concerned, I was still leaping headlong into the void. I still recall so vividly the conversation with an expert on what to do if I was captured. And even more vividly, the discussion with my dad on the code we would use if I was indeed kidnapped. I remember finding it so unbelievably odd how we casually broke up the regions of Libya into the geographical locations of English football clubs in case I was thrust against my will in front of the camera. Driving up to the San Francisco International Airport in the false light before dawn, and blithely talking about the possibility of being imprisoned…or even worse.
Three weeks of frantic preparation passed, and I found myself looking toward the Egyptian checkpoint, patiently waiting for permission to cross the border, and into the midst of the revolution. Then suddenly…I was there. And what a strange sensation it was. So this is how it feels to be in a revolution? No anxiety. No terror. Just a feeling of ever-growing excitement.
As we toured the eastern city of Tobruk, we were greeted with scenes that would become all too familiar to me during the early days. Children sweeping the streets free of debris. Citizens policing the crumbling neighborhoods. And everyone wanting to shake my hand. Men invited me into their houses for lunch. Soldiers guarding forlorn checkpoints gave me tea. And every man, woman and child wanted to tell their story, the tragic price that they paid under the reign of “Brother Leader”.
The more time I spent in Libya, the more I found my own hope, long lost to cynicism and self-absorption, return – and return in waves. And no better reflection of this hope could I find than in the burgeoning music and art scene. After 42 years of boiling under the surface, creative expression burst forth with a ferocity that reduced the walls to rubble. People literally discovered their artistic talents overnight, and they wasted no time. The media center in downtown Benghazi was a veritable beehive of activity. Every room was filled with artists, newspaper editors, metal bands and hip hop groups, all of them determined to express themselves to the fullest. I was floored by this fast evolving Renaissance to such an extent that I decided to harness it into a rocking music festival in the heart of Benghazi.
As the war became mired in an unstable equilibrium, the enthusiasm of those early days would soon fade. But the feeling would return in spades when the God King finally fell from the sky. On that day, October 20th, a day I will likely never experience again, the celebrations were on a scale I cannot adequately describe. As one friend so eloquently put it, there was a complete and total absence of hatred in the entire city. All of our personal chains dissolved, and for that oh so brief moment, we were united in the fellowship of man.
Yet sadly, the feeling was all too fleeting, and Libya soon became mired in post-revolutionary blues. After months of planning, the festival was cancelled at the 11th hour. The music that was such a driving force during the revolution went silent, and the paint dried up. More and more problems came to the surface as stagnation set in. People became truly jaded, and the spirit of February 17th withered.
Yet to my amazement, I still felt safer within the dilapidated confines of Benghazi than in any American city. I could walk anywhere, and the people still wanted to shake my hand, to tell me thank you for documenting their struggles. No, not a trendy revolution thing, but the true untarnished character of the people. For you see it’s Benghazi, the city of the homeless, and she welcomes all with open arms. As my time in Libya came to a close, I felt a deep, profound love for her. She adopted me as one of her own, her native son returned. She fed me, housed me and graced me with the warm company of my long lost brothers and sisters: Hammuda, Dado, Bofa, Moftah, Don, Elli, John, Haitham, Abdallah, Mingo, Hussain, Marrwan, Tawfik, Hassam, Masoud, Aziz, Hakim, Saleh, Munder, Mansour, young Malek, Zakaria, several Ibrahims, several Ali’s, Rodaina, Huda, Noran, Fayrouz, Rounak, and the thousands who I have sadly failed to mention.
These, my experiences with each and every one of them, they define Benghazi. They define the spirit of Libya. Yes, I witnessed the desecration of the military cemeteries in Benghazi. Yes, I witnessed a gun battle between a militia and heavily armed thieves. Yes, I saw music festivals cancelled due to the heavy-handedness of some of the more extreme elements.
And yet I saw 100 men rush to the aid of woman who was being car-jacked. I saw 30 citizens rush to help at the scene of a car accident. I saw the utter grief etched on the faces of those gathered at the many funerals I attended. I saw the unfettered tears of Mahdi Zew’s daughters as they reflected on the loss of their beloved father.
I heard the pain in the voices of my friends when they talked about losing the best of them, their dear friend Rami El Kaleh. And I heard the beautiful song that so powerfully expressed their grief. I heard the hip hop artists echo the frustrations of the entire youth culture. I heard Masoud Buisir bring hope to the hearts of the freedom fighters through his rousing music, and his message of universal human rights.
And yet you see the black flags on Fox News. You hear the angry chants of football hooligans outside the US embassies. You see the few hundred wild-eyed extremists destroy monuments and murder the innocent. And you decide that they represent everyone in those parts. And so you call the people of the entire region backward…inhuman…savages. You call their set of beliefs cancerous, even though they share many more similarities than differences with yours. You think of yourselves as modern and enlightened, yet you use nearly the same language as the extremists, and worse, the still ringing voices of 12th century Crusaders.
But before you walk away in disgust, and tune into one of the many hate-mongers on talk radio, I ask you this. When a Libyan reads the newspaper, and sees a story about an unhinged man shooting up a movie theater, how do you think he views you? Does he decide that you’re just like him?
Over one year has passed since I first crossed the frontier into Libya, and what a long, strange trip it’s been. As I stared beyond the final border checkpoint into that empty landscape, before my eyes stretched the great unknown, a boundless abyss of uncertainty. What would become of me in this, the first war-ravaged country I had ever set foot in? Yet to my surprise, that dull sense of dread, such an ever-present specter since I first decided to go, suddenly disappeared, replaced instead with a growing feeling excitement. And so after many years of dull apathy, I felt a renewed sense of purpose.
Long before that border crossing, I fell deep into those dreary, dark doldrums that many filmmakers call home. Progress in the industry was inordinately, soul-sappingly slow. Time, however, wasn’t. And with each year gone, success seemed more and more distant, and less and less likely. Yet all this would change in just four days, those fateful four days in February of 2011. A passion long forgotten would suddenly be rekindled, ushering me across the Atlantic and to this sand-choked border hugging the heights above the Egyptian town of Salloum.
Not an hour from Egypt, we entered into Tobruk, site of the great World War II battle, and the first sizable city in the East of Libya. As we drove on those broken roads, we were greeted with a scene of quiet jubilation. The sense of citizenship coursing through the veins of the residents, newly freed from 42 years of Gaddafi, was like nothing I had ever witnessed. And as we worked our way toward Benghazi, the birthplace of the uprising, that same scene played before us…over and over and over. For the whole of the East was polarized, working as one to rid hapless Libya of the systematic oppression that had plagued it for two generations.
As we arrived in Benghazi, midnight had come and gone, but people were out in full force clearing the wreckage from the streets. The following day, we saw 12-year old boys don police hats and direct traffic at the light-less intersections. Downtown, we raptly watched as musicians and artists converged on the once foreboding internal security headquarters, now the media center and the cultural Ground Zero of the revolution. In the blink of an eye, a music and art scene burst forth from under the surface, and enveloped free Libya. Heavy metal, country, blues, jazz and traditional all converged on the media center, and brought its burned out shell to life. And all amidst a backdrop of utter devastation. 42 years of neglect had left Benghazi a living ruin, a bleak setting for a post-apocalyptic film. Yet despite the decay, the city was full of such life, of renewal, of spring come again. I took all this in with amazement, and for the first time in I don’t remember when, I felt a faith in humanity, dormant somewhere deep inside me, reignited. And I felt that same renewal course through my veins.
The idea for a music festival first came to me while I was exploring the ruins of the ancient Greek city Cyrene. While I wandered through the decaying Necropolis that winds down the hill toward Soussa, the youth were out in full force and exercising their creativity out in the open, letting their voices be heard for the first time in their lives. I thought to myself that the world needed to see this, the true face of the revolution. Not al Qaeda. Not Western governments, but the thousands of forgotten, a lost generation rediscovering itself in the music…in the requiem for youth. The more I pondered, the greater the need, it seemed to me, to show to the rest of the world this true face of Libya that I was seeing. And in those quick moments, I transformed from a down-on-his luck filmmaker into a music festival producer.
After leaving Libya for a few months, I returned only to find a large number of people had already heard about the idea. As a friend later explained to me, news travels near the speed of light in the metropolitan village that is Benghazi, and one person stumbling across a Youtube video of some unknown American talking about some Libyan music festival soon turned into 50 ad hoc festival organizers. Before I even arrived, I had a crew. And when I once again planted my feet on Libyan soil, we were off to the races. Soon followed coffee with businessmen, meetings with ministers, and appointments with NGO’s. Interest grew and grew, just as opposing forces violently clashed in the last loyalist stronghold of Sirte. A month passed, and when Sirte finally fell on October 20th, we used the occasion as a platform to advertise about the festival. And, oh, how splendid things looked.
As time wore on, however, it became painfully clear that nothing was actually getting done, and nobody knew what they were doing. The honeymoon was over, and my once robust crew attenuated down to three: me and two others. The enthusiastic voices of support in the National Transitional Council (NTC) had long grown silent, and the various NGO’s never bothered to follow up, let alone return our calls. To make matters worse, the idea was hijacked by at least four different groups, and what once seemed to be a concerted effort of the citizens of Benghazi became a desperate race between rival factions to hold the first festival. The NTC invited Yousif Islam for a festival at our original location. A local television channel began poaching from our lineup for theirs. And whispers of various other music events kept on surfacing throughout the month of January. It seemed the very spirit of the festival, the very spirit of the music, had been tainted. All the enthusiasm, all that newfound hope welling inside of me, was gone, slowly eaten away by the months of collective apathy after the fall of Sirte. Yet somehow, through all of these pitfalls, we remaining, we few persevered. And it appeared our perseverance would be rewarded. One day before the festival, we found ourselves the last ones standing, with a fantastic location secured, and 25 local bands ready to shake the very foundations of Benghazi. As we held the final briefing of the bands, I looked on in sheer amazement. We did it. After all this…we, we really pulled it off.
Sadly, however, the legs that supported us, and seemed to hold up while others fell, were nothing but an illusion, a cruel mirage in the heat of the desert sun. For at the 11th hour, the burgeoning politics of Benghazi laid to waste all our plans…and just like that, we were forced to cancel the festival. The music, the voices, went silent once again.
The aftermath was a particularly difficult time, for the shades of failures past continually haunted me. The hope I had so happily embraced turned to dust in my hands. I hated Benghazi, hated it with a passion, and it appeared that Benghazi began to hate herself. Disappointment and resentment ruled the day as Libya became mired in post-revolutionary stagnation. Once again, corruption was blatantly out in the open, and people felt that nothing had really changed, save for their ability to complain and criticize. Somehow the city reflected how I felt inside, and I wanted nothing more than to go home, to leave this dirty living ruin, lost within the echoes of the 20th century. Yet something inside refused to let me leave. Something I had yet to discover. Some burning question left unanswered.
One beautiful spring day, as I was walking by the lighthouse, the sun peaked through the clouds, and hit the ruined buildings in a peculiar way. And for the first time since I arrived, I saw it. I saw Benghazi. Not the ruined city of trash and rubble that I had come to know, but a hidden gem amidst the dust, a gem with many facets. To truly see Benghazi, to truly understand this unique city of contradictions, one must take them all in at once. All facets. This was a city with virtually no infrastructure. Crumbling hospitals. Decaying roads. And no law and order. Yet despite these civilization-smashing problems, Benghazi not only functioned, but functioned peacefully. In the midst of it all, here I was, a blonde sore thumb with a pony-tail, moaning about the festival and generally feeling sorry for myself. Yet I never felt any real danger, even in a city where most of the population possess small arms, with the police being nothing more than paper tigers. In spite of this, however, I walked virtually everywhere without being bothered (apart from crazy drivers and roving packs of vicious dogs). No, no. This was not Mogadishu. In fact, this was not even San Francisco.
As the rays of the sun illuminated this ancient city on the Bay of Misrata, I at last saw through the veil of my own darkness and gazed upon the true face, the true character, of Benghazi. Unconditional love for this city, my city welled up within, for she embraced me and took me as one of her own. And for the first time, I felt peace.
This story, my story, is not about a festival, nor is it about a nation burning in the flames of revolution. No, this is a story about how the city of Benghazi and I came to love each other, despite our many disagreements, and despite the great cultural chasm that lies between us. In the beginning, I came to her engulfed within the darkness of my soul, among the shadows of failures past. Yet in the end, she would come to love me as I love her, and lead me out of the darkness. As I left her behind in the sands of the Great Desert, I finally heard her song. And what a beautiful song it was.
Every month there is exceedingly stiff competition for the coveted asshole of the month prize. Glenn Beck is always a contender. Wolf Blitzer in the past few months has really risen to prominence. Charlie Sheen, well, he is certainly always “winning” in these stakes. But one man, one unknown entity, has somehow risen from obscurity, and taken the trophy from these heavyweights.
Enter Matthew Millan, a wannabe filmmaker residing in the shithole par excellence of Los Angeles, California. So how, you ask, does a relative unknown rise to the top of the steaming pile of douchebags to win the award? Simple. This prick is going to Libya to make a film! Yes, you heard it. Libya! Home of Gaddafi, a man who recklessly invaded Chad (who still has trouble sitting on a hard surface to this day), bombed a German nightclub, plotted the Lockerbie disaster, and worst of all, purchased a nuclear warhead made from used pinball parts. And Matthew “Middle-Aged Attention Whore” Millan is going to his backyard to make a little film on god knows, or cares for that matter, what.
I lived my whole life immersed in the most brutal violence imaginable, for I was just a product of the times. But it really, really takes a dipshit of the highest order to actively seek out a conflict, particularly one centered around an even bigger tit than myself. God bless Tiny Tim.
And so I call on all of my followers, and all 10 readers, to support this idiot in this ridiculous, 64 calorie T.E Lawrence endeavor. Why, you ask? Simple. This is certainly going to end up being the 4th installment of Jackass, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Short of stapling his nutsack to Saif Gaddafi’s thigh, I can’t see how this could possibly be more hilarious. So, please my dear readers, if you are loyal to comedy, then give this asshole some money so he can not only go into the lion’s den, but stick his finger up its butthole. You can donate your money to the cause below:
While I was still breathing, the known world was inundated with a viscous layer of douchebaggery. From my Saxon neighbors in the North to Sultan Mehmed II and his army of oil boys to the East, and of course that Holy Roman prick Matthias to the West, I was literally floundering in a sea of assholes. As a consequence, my little state was constantly in danger of being assimilated or destroyed by those mad tits. 500 years on, and I see that the waters of the Sea haven’t receded one iota. In fact, the tides appear to be rising faster than the oceans of this earth.
I find myself wistfully looking back to my noble reign; in those simple times, when somebody irritated me, I lovingly inserted a hot wooden stake up through their rectums, which caressed their vital organs and came out gently through their pleading maws. And all this while sipping fine wine, and enjoying another lovely Tirgoviste sunset. Alas, those days are gone, and I must now resort to attacking my enemies with the 1′s and 0′s of this information age. On the bright side, however, the internet has afforded me an opportunity to out these enemies of nobility, and oversee a friendly competition to boot. And if there is one thing I love more than a good impaling, it’s a good tournament.
So I present to you, my dear readers, a royal tourney, where you decide who will win the the greatest accolade that any asshole could ever hope to receive. I call it The League of Extraordinary Douchebags. I would prefer the league to start out as competitive as possible, so I am forced to retire a certain individual from the tourney. Yet as I am a man who believes in handing out the olive branch, I have named the award in his honor.
The man will go down in the Chronicles as a legend among legendary shitheads. Back in my day, Wallachia was beleaguered by hostile peoples bent on raping and murdering her peaceful subjects. As Lord Protector of its citizens, I was given little choice but to be as brutal as they come. But the unbridled hatred spewing out of this man’s supernaturally fat head makes even me, Impaler of 20,000 Turks, cringe.
Since my reanimation, I have found some time to absorb the events of the last 500 years, and I have come to the conclusion that this man would be Kim Jong Il’s fluffer and personal baby stabber if he was born above the 38th Parallel. But unfortunately for him, he was born in an apparently free society where you have to be cleverer to get away with such deeds.. Yet through sheer talent and force of will, he has still managed to influence millions of the unwashed into believing what he shits out of his mouth. In a society full of village idiots, he has brilliantly managed to stir the uneducated rabble up into a hysterical frenzy, using fear and hatred as deftly as Joseph Goebbels would. Sadly, he has had to work in conditions not quite as amenable to insanity as Herr Goebbels’ Germany, but he has adapted and improvised like a true champion. And so I dedicate this award to him for all of his hard work in championing the cause of assholes worldwide. When you hear his name, you will naturally think of a Canadian rock band who put out a few fantastic songs in the 1970′s, until you realize that whoever you are speaking to is referring to this ugly dickhead.
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you the Rush Limbaugh Trophy. May this year’s winner be a deserving one, and do Rush proud. Let the tourney begin.
In our first matchup, Ann Coulter goes toe to toe with Sean Hannity. Who will emerge victorious, and advance to the Second Round?
Written by Vlad Tepes
A couple of weeks ago, I was having tea with a friend of mine who was preparing to return to his hometown of Benghazi. The conversation meandered through the complexities of the Libyan uprising, and the constant barrage of its media coverage. Like a circling vulture, as is my wont, I pounced on the chance for a 15-minute soapbox rant about how they sold us out. And although my friend agreed in principle, he did relate a particularly interesting story about a good friend of his back home. This man once had a strange dream, a dream in which he was dubbed King of Libya. In a passing conversation, he told a co-worker at the oil refinery about the dream and thought nothing more of it. That is until two days later when police officers pulled him out of his home and arrested him. 7 years later, he was released from prison.
The story highlights how fortunate we are in this country, and in most of the Western world for that matter. Our governments don’t really give a shit how much we talk about the dreams of our own kingdoms. But since the heady days of Red Dawn, I have become aware of a particularly disturbing trend. Our governments don’t really give a shit for the simple reason that they don’t really need to. It’s “we the people” who do the job for them, sometimes with their deft prodding, and sometimes on our own.
During the 2nd Iraq War, I was enjoying the unseasonably warm weather at a San Jose Earthquakes soccer game. Just as in every other game, the national anthem was played. As a result of recent events, I was unsurprisingly irritated with my government, so I refused to rise for the Star Spangled Banner. At first, things were civil. People gently asked me to stand. But I still refused. Soon, the situation escalated, and a volley of taunts came in. Then the ice. Then the beer. The Shock and Awe Doctrine in full effect. Afterward, I reflected upon this, and asked the simple question. How far have we really come since the Red Scare of the 20’s?
Since 2001, the level of hatred in a large slice of the populace has once again spiked; anti-Muslim sentiment is at an all-time high – and this nearly 50 years after the tempestuous Civil Rights movement. Shit, now we even have Congressmen holding McCarthyesque hearings regarding the danger that American Muslims pose to America. WTF? Once again. WTF? 234 years into our ridiculously short history, and we already have several precedents to mull over, that is if we bothered. The resurgence of the Klan in the roaring 20’s. The Saccho-Vanzetti trial. The many examples of anti-communist backlashes within the last 90 years. And let’s not forget the Japanese-American internment camps during the Second World War.
Invariably, the loudest voices heard are also the ones that spit the most venom. Glenn Beck. Bill O’Reilly. Michael Savage. And of course the king of American hatemongers, Rush Limbaugh. These crusaders of hate have only one purpose. To sabotage the inherent logical processes built within your brain, and make you give in to fear. But this fear, my friend, this fear is nothing if not the oppressor of freedom. It limits your thoughts, and as a result, limits your pathways. This fear – though not on a scale of fascist Italy or Nazi Germany – is still cut from the same cloth. The same algortihm lies underneath.
10) Bitch about how fucked up everything is.
20) Find a source, the scapegoat.
30) Blame the source, the poor scapegoat, for all of society’s ills.
40) Magnify the threat.
50) Convince others to act against the threat…before it’s too late.
60) Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
70) Wash the blood stains from your trousers.
Oh, how things were so much better before so and so fucked it up.
Bullshit! Things were not necessarily better. For some groups, in fact, things were exponentially worse. This is your own whimsical rewriting of the past. Your antebellum South. Your pre-labor industry. Your salad days of 1926. No, no. Not based on truth. Not based on reality. But instead based on raging hysteria. Look inside, my friend, deep inside the recesses of your mind. Have the processes been sabotaged? Are your fears reasonable? Are they real? Or are they merely phantasms, unfounded and unwarranted? Heed my warning. Do not make the same mistakes of the past. Do not give into the hysteria. Do no give into the fear. For you will only knock on your own door, and drag yourself off to that self-made prison. And the government won’t have to do shit, Your Highness.
During the glorious, yet broken years of my fateful reigns, the population of the known world was largely dominated by stupid, illiterate peasants…peasants retarded enough to believe in the undead. Uneducated enough to believe that the earth was the center of the universe. And gullible enough to believe that fanciful bile, gushing and spewing forth from the gaping mouth of the ravenous Church. Yet really…could you blame those poor bastards? I mean, look at the times…look at the environment. After all, those filthy, wretched souls were buried neck-deep in the peanuty shit of human history. Black Death was but a recent memory. Warfare was so rife that no asshole was left un-penetrated (much like no child is left behind today). And The Inquisition. Ah, the lovely Inquisition. The Church’s chumly way of saying, “thank you for the precious gold. Now here’s a nice glowing pin for your unwashed genitals.”
And so…182,500 bowel movements on from the 15th century, I re-emerge to find an Age of Illumination, an age where the known world has grown to encompass a cloudy blue ball that orbits a mediocre sun, on the outskirts of a nondescript galaxy, in an average cluster…and expanding within the topography of spacetime. An age, I dare say, where illiteracy has mostly been eradicated from the industrialized world. So how then, in this brave new world, did some unknown Australian bimbo pull off such a brilliant stunt, one that would put even the 15th century Church to shame?
Some Things Never Change
One of the disadvantages of omniscience is that you know everything…whether you like it or not. And I say this with a heavy heart. For, in my cosmic omniscience, I have become aware of The Law of Attraction. Yes, the “law” that claims: if you really want something, and truly, truly believe it’s possible..well then , you’ll get it. Moses’ Taint, these fucking morons dare call this a law? I mean, I’m a 15th century noble who was conditioned to believe that washing my asshole with water was an ironclad death sentence, and yet I can see through the veil, and gauge how bullshit this law is?
Do You Even Know What a Law Is?
What the hell is wrong with you people? Are you really stupid enough to believe that The Universe gives a shit about what you think? That somehow if you think only positive thoughts that the Cosmos will reward you with positive energy? Suddenly, every environmental factor rendered meaningless, just because you wanted that new ipod? So let’s clear this up once and for all, Rhonda. Are you saying that every asshole in Chile prayed and prayed for a 9.0 magnitude earthquake? And all of the 250,000 people littering the Indian Ocean in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami were just begging for a good drowning? Do you even know what a scientific law is? Where, oh where is the verifiable evidence that proves this so-called law of attraction? Hypothesis? Challenging experiment? Where is your scientific method (one of the great triumphs of The Age of Enlightenment)? It’s nowhere to be found, for you insufferable pricks are still floating around the same intellectual level as those poor peasant subjects of the distant past. 6,000 years of human civilization, and only 1% of you have made it past the veritable 3rd level of Tetris.
Vlad’s Law, a.k.a. The Rhonda Byrne is a Useless Whore Theorem
Can you not see that you are being misled by this unattractive blonde tart from Down Under? Can you not discern that she has discovered the true Secret? A law that states implicitly: If you write a book about some “secret law” of The Universe, then you will make millions off of the critical mass of intellectual vacancy.
Hell’s Titties, if she can play that game, then I have a law for all of you gormless tits as well. I call it Vlad’s Law, a noble law which eloquently states: When you think positive thoughts, and wish for certain things to come your way, then The Universe will suddenly remember that you exist. What it sees though is not a beautiful being of light and love, but instead a large, inviting pair of nuts, dangling to and fro in its cosmic domain. In response, The Universe shall proceed to summarily kick you “squaw” in those dangling nuts, and reap its justifiable vengeance for you being such a fucking retard…and a glaring insult to the priceless gift of awareness.
In April of this year, ‘American: The Bill Hicks Story’ will be released in theaters nationwide, a somber reminder that although he has been gone for 16 years, his message is as timely as ever. As the aristocracy wrests more control from the people, and the middle class shrinks toward nothingness, we stand on the verge of a precipice. Union busting, financial privateering, city councils squeezing us for every penny, you name it…the very infrastructure that made this country great is unraveling. But where are the voices? In a polarized media, we only hear the loudest, which are invariably the most extreme.
But perhaps the voice that we need the most has been silenced for nearly two decades. Bill Hicks. The outlaw comic. The outlaw philosopher. A man that reminds us that some of the greatest humor is borne out of the most horrible things. For the most powerful weapon in his arsenal was insight. His ability to see through the veil, and into the heart of absurdity. The abyss of hypocrisy. And though this abyss can weigh heavily on our spirit, it cannot crush the laughter out of us. When hearing overzealous Baptists speak, I am often reminded of Bill’s retelling of a performance in Alabama. Three hardcore Christian tough guys push him around and say they don’t take kindly to his attacks on Christianity. He responds simply by saying, “Then forgive me.”
The power of Bill lay not in his quick, acerbic wit, which he possessed in spades, but in his ability to see the Kool-Aid for the poison that it really is. When you know that you yourself are full of shit, then it follows that everyone else is as well. And in this epiphany lies the threshold to freedom. Bill became aware of this, and so was no longer bound by the chains of ideology. And we raptly listened because within his words lay the pathway to this threshold. The pathway that he left us nearly 20 years ago:
“The world is like a ride at an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think that 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. Ha ha ha. ‘Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride. SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and family. This just has to be real.’ It’s just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn’t matter because: it’s just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings, and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourselves off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here’s what you can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defence each year, and instead spend it feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, for ever, in peace.”
We need you more than ever, Bill.