“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?”
― Bill Hicks
Comedian Bill Hicks died on this day in 1994. As I’ve written recently about the mid-Nineties, it was very much a unique, pivotal era that was over before we knew it; in that sense, I’m going to have to relate it to that kooky mid-Seventies period I’ve referred to on this site several times before. (And of course…the mid-Fifties were pretty fucking weird as well; maybe it’s an “every twenty years” thing.)
Speaking of weird, there’s a couple of bizarre conspiracy-type theories connected to Hicks. The first one is not really a conspiracy theory, but it’s about the time Hicks may or may not have communicated with extraterrestrials (or: interdimensional entities). It was back in 1987 & he desperately wanted to get sober, so he and his friends decided to attend this Harmonic Convergence event organized by New Age author Jose Arguelles. Hicks fasted and meditated to prepare; he was really fucking serious about this thing. The day of the convergence, he drops a metric shit-ton of psilocybin mushrooms at a friend’s ranch with the intention of “punching a hole through the fabric of reality.”
Obligatory at this point:
OK, so Hicks is on mushrooms and suddenly he finds himself on a “ship.” A ship shaped like a conch shell. Weirder: his friend Kevin Booth who he was tripping with also found himself on the same “ship”—they were having the same experience and didn’t even realize it at the time.
Booth writes in Bill Hicks: Agent of Evolution:
“We headed towards a circle of light. The beings, they were glowing. Bill was asking questions like; ‘Why are you here? Why is this happening?’
“I came out with explanations of time travel and a firm belief that the barriers to time travel and communication were all inside your mind. Basically, anything was possible. Immediately after leaving the ship, we said a few words.
KEVIN: Oh my god. Did you…?
After that, Hicks had a whole new perspective on things, and would occasionally refer to his transcendent experience during his routines. Was it just the mushrooms, or did an intelligent presence from another world really contact the comedian?
Now…Booth is an interesting chap, because he’s the center of the OTHER big esoteric story regarding Hicks, namely the “Bill Hicks is Alex Jones” theory.
Yes, it’s time to once again revisit that theory. Strap in.
So: Hicks dies of cancer in 1994—just as conspiracy theorist Alex Jones begins his distinguished career. What do these two dudes have in common? Well, in addition to both talking about conspiracy theories & looking kinda similar, they both have a connection with Kevin Booth. Booth was Hicks’ friend from high-school and later bandmate; he also ended up working on a number of films with Alex Jones.
And so theory goes (I’m significantly condensing it here): Hicks faked his own death to reemerge like a phoenix as Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones.
As part of the “proof” a number of photo comparisons are produced, as well as cryptic comments before Hicks’ death. Then there is the matter of the age difference between Hicks and Jones; the theory argues that Jones is actually much older than he claims to be (again, photo “evidence” is used; Jones is almost exactly my age, plus 12 days, so I kind of do think he looks a little older than he is, but that could just be all the testosterone-filled steaks he eats.)
I’m gonna have to bring this all back to how I started this post, about the mid-Nineties era. To me, the Hicks/Jones theory is indicative of the disillusionment some people have felt about the “Conspiracy Chic” 1990s of The X-Files and etc turning into the gigantic partisan pile of shit it became post 9/11. To put it succinctly: one era’s Bill Hicks is another’s Alex Jones. How could this all have happened? As in the case of Dave Chappelle and Paul McCartney, we get another doppelgänger theory.
Why did you change? You must have been replaced. Why did you die? You never died.
Here are some links of possible interest to you:
- Bunny rabbit on Mars, photo PROOF:
- Facebook moderators allegedly under so much stress they’re having “trauma bonding” sex in the hallways…and even WORSE STILL, becoming (gasp!) conspiracy theorists!!!
- Facebook also apparently has an interest in my menstrual cycle (reminding me of that episode of Community where Abed starts tracking the cycles of the women in the study group—except this is not a coded-autistic lovable fictional character from a TV show but instead a big honking scary corporation pushing tampon and chocolate chip cookie ads on me at a very sensitive time).
- Amazon founder Jeff Bezos wants to do Mark Zuckerberg one better and send ONE TRILLION HUMANS INTO SPACE…including creating colonies populated by “1,000s of Mozarts and Einsteins.” Now, Jeff Bezos is many things…but stupid is not one of them. What does he mean by saying all this? What information has he read? How are these little Einsteins and Mozarts going to be engineered? QUICK: let’s all NOT THINK ABOUT IT OR QUESTION ANYTHING!!! I mean, Bezos seems like a jovial progressive-type guy who can relate to the same pop-culture cues as we can, I’m sure everything is going to be fine.
- Buddhist robot created to preach in temple totally not the transhumanist Antichrist. “We want many people to come and see the robot and to think about the essence of Buddhism,” said a priest from the Kyoto temple, referring to the realistic praying android with a video camera seamlessly installed in its right eye.
- Meanwhile, PepsiCo plans to conduct massive layoffs as they conduct “relentless automation” on their business. Pay attention to that phrase: “RELENTLESS AUTOMATION.” You will hear it a lot, in-between arguing about Rotten Tomatoes ratings and gleefully tweeting about the latest spelling error an aged world leader getting no help for his cognitive issues makes.
Well, it seems as if I just about yap-yap-yapped your head off today—and there’s still so much to say and write. It’s always something—you ever notice that? You wake up and you’re “just not feelin’ it” and you think there’s nothing else to say…but then there’s ALWAYS something.
And I hope I’m not boring you with all this stuff about automation, AI, and so on—it’s just that we’re kind of in really big trouble. Here is the AI-written news article from Axios that I mentioned last week. AI can be trained via deep learning to write a whole goddamn news article. You know what I’ve done at my last job? Trained a bot to answer and anticipate help-desk questions. You literally “train” it. And in the end: the bot can do a better job than the actual help desk person. Probably cheaper, too.
How many people out there are currently working with/training the technology that will eventually replace them? Raise your hands:
We’ve been distracted for too long, and while we were distracted things have been put into place to make extremely large swaths of the human labor force obsolete. This might be why Bezos is thinking about sending trillions of humans into outer space (among other reasons). They’re going to take a whole bunch of the un- and under-employed, give them incentives (like money and a “second chance” at life), and send them into outer-space for all sorts of colonization efforts.
But who knows???