We live in a world… (Reagan Youth Slight Return)
I saw this link a friend’s FB feed and I made a powerful association to a Bill Hicks bit off of his first album Dangerous, recorded in 1990. It’s called ‘We Live in a World’ and it starts off with the statement, ‘We live in a world where John Lennon was murdered and Barry Manilow continues to make fuckin’ records.’ The track is over ten minutes long and builds beautiful dark poetry into a perfect crescendo; it is the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ of standup comedy. It contains many of his greatest themes and riffs, and primarily centers around comparing the pop music stars of the moment against Hendrix and Keith Moon, bemoaning the commercialization of every aspect of culture. In the middle of the bit he says that after eight years of Reagan and yuppies we’re living on the third mall from the sun, and then he starts in on Debbie Gibson. I tried to imagine what Brother Bill would have made of that story about those pop creatures starting a Ronald Reagan Appreciation Club here in 2010, and it wasn’t that difficult because I had put the track on several minutes ago, and just as I was typing this sentence, he cried out from my speakers, ‘They are demons set loose on the Earth to lower the standards for the perfect and holy children of God!’
Brother Bill would get mad if I called him a prophet, but smack in the middle of this 20 year old bit he drops a Rick Roll. Of course, he’s shredding Astley to pieces, but it is more than a little meta. There’s a really saucy bit where he describes what he’d really like to see Tiffany and Debbie Gibson put their mouths to work doing rather than singing, and that reminded me of a weird news item I saw a little earlier today about Laurence Fishburne’s daughter releasing a porn tape. On purpose. She says she wants to jump start her career. Apparently having Laurence Fishburne as your dad isn’t enough. Things have changed, my friends.
Anyway, it’s a great track, and it made me feel old in a cool way.