Probably the single most articulate and ruthless critic of religious dogma. He delivered with plenty of theatrics and traps in his debates. Regardless of your stance on the subject his craft is to be appreciated. Personally my opinion differs from his in many ways but I still enjoyed his work. He admired Richard Dawkins, as many in the atheist/anti-theist community do, however for my money I enjoy the energy and swagger of Hitch.
I was planning on using this page to discuss people who I thought skirted the usual public domain, folks who existed just outside the common conversation but I decided against that obviously by including Gandhi. So what I will say about the man is what inspired me the most about him… I take comfort in knowing that he didn’t always walk a righteous path, in fact he lived a good portion of his formative life in opposition to the ideals he rallied later on. I won’t get into specifics but I will say that knowing that he had weaknesses and faults that he overcame affected me as much as his latter accomplishments. I think our next social evolution as a species will occur when collectively we engage the practices Gandhi was preaching.
HAHA! Yes the guy from Fear Factor. Believe it or not if you dig into the man and get past the UFC and Fear Factor connections, he is really an enlightened and free thinking person. He has interesting philosophies on sensory deprivation, politics, spirituality, existence, dimethyltryptamine and other hallucinogenic compounds. Basically he questions everything and he formulates his own theories on subjects he is passionate about and often times these theories seem very lucid to me. His stand up routine and his delivery is always spirited and I tend to navigate towards people who know that we know nothing.
Beyond being George Mcfly in Back To The Future, Crispin Glover has amassed quite the body of odd and eccentric work. He has released counter-culture art books, produced, written, directed and starred in his own movies and has even recorded weird songs. He released a trilogy of movies that he funded that could arguably give Andy Warhol a run for his money on the eccentricity scale. The movies were graphic non-linear cacophonies with lead actors suffering from cerebral palsy and support actors having down syndrome. He consistently makes art that asks far more questions then it answers. Glover is sort of the anti-Hollywood Robin Hood in the sense that he takes parts in big budget studio movies(Back to the Future, Charlie’s angels ect.) in order to get the finances to film his obscure art-house projects. One of my favourite movies that he acted in was a indie called Bartleby. He is the main character and is in almost every scene, he is speaking throughout the whole movie but the hook is… he pretty much has only one line.
My last statement on why I am such a fan; Crispin Glover has made a substantial career in one of the hardest gigs to make it in simply by being that weird guy on the bus that we all stare at for a moment hoping he doesn’t speak to us.
Simply because I am friends with the man doesn’t exclude him from this list. I have been closer to being killed more times standing alongside Maxxis then all other situations in my life combined. For all intents and purposes Michael Maxxis is an island. I have had the opportunity to speak with, work with or hang out with an amazing array of complex individuals over my years but there is no one quite like Maxxis. On paper he is a successful music video and short film director but if you are on the inside of the circle he is a missionary for alternative thinking. His best work is often comical with unknown subtexts that only he understands. Here is a condensed list of literal things I have witnessed: He has jumped off a cliff into a rocky ocean below to test if it was safe. He has taken on large groups of drunken men to fight single handedly. He has personal friends that range from classic hollywood film stars to highest level rock stars to bank robbers to convicted murderers. He has shot film in every corner of the world, often times in places where he REALLY shouldn’t have been filming. He has personally stood in front of and stopped ancient large scale religious parades. Keep in mind these are just the things I can say in this public context.
I have worked and will continue to work with Maxxis on lots of projects. We are tied together in many ways. I do so because he offers one of life’s greatest feelings… the feeling of not knowing what will happen next.
A beautiful light was extinguished along the Wolf River Harbour in Memphis on May 29th 1997. I don’t plan on saying a lot about this man other then I feel a kinship with him and I am at once sad and elated to not get to experience more of his music. If I had to pick a single record that affected my musical notions the most in my life it would be his one and only true record GRACE. Jeff had the ability to be ethereal, honest, masculine, feminine, savage and sweet and often all in the same song. He had true depth and I encourage anyone to listen closely.
William Melvin Hicks
Bill Hicks was to counter-culture stand up comics what Wayne Gretzky was to hockey players. And he was fucking angry. Blazingly furious at the grand illusion that is contemporary America and the world at large. He spoke more about the lies, corruption and falsehoods of common society then your top level conspiracy theorists. He was enigmatic and outspoken but more than anything he was funny. Delivering the bad news with a top notch joke is maybe the kindest way to spread the word. He has inspired pretty much every comic worth their salt that came after him as well as musicians, writers and film makers. Speaking the real truth as you see it to rooms full of strangers night after night is a daunting job but Hicks held the position with authority right up until he passed.
This is the final speech of an intelligent American political outsider. His views are radical because of their idealism and simplicity however in the not so distant future I predict the world will come to adopt and lean on some of them in crisis. He was a great voice in politics and one that was seldom heard due to his unwavering delivery of truth, a rare and unnerving energy in the midst of so much falsehoods.