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Lets not derail obit threads
March 26, 2008 7:22 AM   Subscribe

No matter what funny a comedian said, this is still an obit thread. I don't run into dead politicians threads and harp about how politics suck, or piss in any obit threads at all no matter what I think of the person it is about. Could we extend this courtesy to dead ad men as well, please?

The reason I'm bringing this up is because that Hicks rant has pretty much derailed the entire thread. Hal Riney deserves better - and we've seen that Hicks joke before, at least fifteen times: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15
posted by dabitch to Etiquette/Policy at 7:22 AM (115 comments total)

Item said in thread: >Yeah, I totally deserve to be banned for that. You are so right.

To clarify item, my autobahn comment is a joke referencing this meta post. I don't seriously believe that anyone should be banned for dragging up an ancient joke, what would Metafilter snark be without old jokes?
I do still think that derailing obit threads is very uneccisary.
posted by dabitch at 7:27 AM on March 26, 2008


While I think there has to be a little bit of back and forth in obit threads -- we all know that once they're out there you can't totally control them -- that was a pretty dick move, agreed.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:27 AM on March 26, 2008


See, Bill hicks is funny because he wants advertising people to kill themselves at precisely the same time he depends on publicists, agents, and managers to get him work. Oh, wait, that's why he isn't funny.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:27 AM on March 26, 2008


There are all of 20 posts in the entire thread as of this comment. Just flag it and move on.
posted by Mikey-San at 7:28 AM on March 26, 2008


Bill hicks is funny because he wants advertising people to kill themselves at precisely the same time he depends on publicists, agents, and managers to get him work.

Something tells me he doesn't get a lot of work these days, actually.
posted by Mikey-San at 7:29 AM on March 26, 2008 [8 favorites]


Thanks, guys. Just finished my ranting in the original thread, so...you can delete it, or whatever.

Pastabagel, you said it better than I did.
posted by PlusDistance at 7:29 AM on March 26, 2008


Yeah, Hicks' humor was something along the lines of someone who peeked out of Plato's cave for a few moments, then just stayed inside the entry screaming like a mad man at the people looking at the shadows.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:30 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


> Just flag it and move on.
Okidoki.
posted by dabitch at 7:31 AM on March 26, 2008


Something tells me he doesn't get a lot of work these days, actually.

He needs a better agent.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:46 AM on March 26, 2008


I cringe every time the Hicks 'advertising' bit gets referenced here. Aside from being hypocritical (Was the show at which he said it advertised? Did they charge for tickets?), it's simply not funny.
posted by rocket88 at 7:49 AM on March 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, at least I learned that evidently all ad people are sociopaths, which is a pretty awesome thing to learn that I did not know. Question: I work in a cubicle. Am I a slave to the machine? Data point: It's a really big cube, and I've got a three-monitor setup. TIA.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:52 AM on March 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Just remember, every time a MeFite cites or quotes that Bill Hicks rant, I get a dollar.
posted by psmealey at 7:53 AM on March 26, 2008


Aside from the joke being trotted out too often here (and I actually think it's funny when I'm listening to Bill Hicks) - It just felt extra bad taste to do a kill yourself ad men joke in a thread about a dead adman.
posted by dabitch at 7:58 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


In other news, Neil Aspinall also died the other day, which is sad. I didn't do an obit post, because I was sure someone else would. They didn't.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 8:06 AM on March 26, 2008


I didn't do an obit post, because I was sure someone else would. They didn't.

Well he's still dead isn't he? Go make one.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:07 AM on March 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Actually, he rose again three days later, to judge the living and the let dead.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:18 AM on March 26, 2008 [5 favorites]


I was so going to make a resurrection joke but got distracted by better judgment (rare) and the lovely trees in the park across the street.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:20 AM on March 26, 2008


I'm about twenty feet underground right now, so, you know.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:25 AM on March 26, 2008


It is pretty funny watching all the people who work in advertising crawl out of the woodwork to indignantly defend their meaningful contributions to society. For that alone I hope Mr. Hicks is referenced in all future threads.
posted by cmonkey at 8:34 AM on March 26, 2008 [3 favorites]


You know if enough people post enough "."s and no one blows it by posting a snark comment the subject of the obit comes back to life?
posted by Artw at 8:41 AM on March 26, 2008


It's probably not very well-advised riticize others for their livelihoods, cmonkey. I mean unless you're curing cancer and building homes for the poor (in which case, you're probably too busy not to bother with such trifle).
posted by psmealey at 8:51 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't have any strong feeling about Bill Hicks either way, but as a random data point, everyone I've ever met who was a big fan turned out to be something of an asshole. This is an insight I've found quite useful on the internet.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:52 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I’m a big fan.

(Also, technically, most of what I’ve worked on ever constitutes “marketing”)
posted by Artw at 9:05 AM on March 26, 2008


It's probably not very well-advised riticize others for their livelihoods, cmonkey.

I came to terms long ago with the ultimately meaningless tasks I spend my day doing. But that doesn't make it any less funny to watch advertisers try to justify their profession.
posted by cmonkey at 9:06 AM on March 26, 2008


See, Bill hicks is funny because he wants advertising people to kill themselves at precisely the same time he depends on publicists, agents, and managers to get him work. Oh, wait, that's why he isn't funny.

Nah, he isn't funny because he died of cancer that he got from smoking cigarettes (products he had no genuine use for,) that were marketed to him, and that he bought and used and defended as some kind of icnoclastic "stick-it-to-the-man" gesture of defiance and free thought.

(In truth, he could be funny sometimes, but was also kind of a cock and tends to attract a fanbase of people who consider themselves morally superior, for, among other things, they type of comedian they like.)
posted by Snyder at 9:06 AM on March 26, 2008


I didn't do an obit post, because I was sure someone else would.

I think your post looks nice.

Also I think Bill Hicks is hilarious and speaks truth to power and all that good stuff. That said, crapping in obit threads is crappy and dickish.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:07 AM on March 26, 2008


that he bought and used and defended as some kind of icnoclastic "stick-it-to-the-man" gesture of defiance and free thought.


To lay it on, smoking was marketed as a gesture of defiance and free thought. (Like Dr Pepper and Converse).
posted by drezdn at 9:10 AM on March 26, 2008


In truth, he could be funny sometimes, but was also kind of a cock and tends to attract a fanbase of people who consider themselves morally superior, for, among other things, they type of comedian they like.

I think that's kinda what I was reaching for, yeah.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:12 AM on March 26, 2008


Nah, he isn't funny because he died of cancer that he got from smoking cigarettes (products he had no genuine use for,) that were marketed to him, and that he bought and used and defended as some kind of icnoclastic "stick-it-to-the-man" gesture of defiance and free thought.

That's interesting. Could you please provide me with some cites showing when they linked pancreatic cancer to smoking?

I'm a little cranky this morning. Part of it is because I'm trying to quit smoking. But another part of it is this weird fucking thing where people get all winky and clever about suggesting that smokers somehow deserve whatever they get. Cancer? Guess you shouldn't have caved in to the ads, man! Plus, you smell bad.

Interestingly, I work in cancer research, so I get to say whatever I want. I learned that today! Uninterestingly, if I can't quit these fucking cigarettes, I'll die of cancer. (Apparently, pancreatic cancer. I learned that today too.)
posted by Skot at 9:22 AM on March 26, 2008 [7 favorites]


"I work in a cubicle. Am I a slave to the machine?"

Let's see.

"It's a really big cube..."

Well, that's all right, I suppose.

"...and I've got a three-monitor setup."

BASTARD! DIE IN A FIRE!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:25 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Skot - or as someone described that particular type "Obnoxious , self-righteous, whining little fucks. My biggest fear is that if I quit smoking, I'll become on of you...Don't take that wrong. I have something to tell you non-smokers that I know for a fact that you don't know, and I feel it's my duty to pass on information at all times. Ready...? Non-smokers die every day. Enjoy your evening. See, I know that you entertain this eternal life fantasy because you've chosen not to smoke, but let me be the 1st to POP that bubble and bring you hurtling back to reality....You're dead too. settled?"

[Actually now I feel dirty. I guess I DO second the motion that Bill Hicks should not be quoted at length, not because it’s offensive to ad-men but because it’s quoting Monty Python for people who grew up in the 90s. Yech]
posted by Artw at 9:32 AM on March 26, 2008


Nah, he isn't funny because he died of cancer that he got from smoking cigarettes (products he had no genuine use for,) that were marketed to him, and that he bought and used and defended as some kind of icnoclastic "stick-it-to-the-man" gesture of defiance and free thought.

Hicks died of pancreatic cancer.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 9:35 AM on March 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Stand-up comedy is a hard thing to make a living at. For one thing, no one actually knows if you're funny or not until after you die.
posted by Drastic at 9:38 AM on March 26, 2008


Pancreatic cancer is often tied to alcoholism, no?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:39 AM on March 26, 2008


Sorry; I misread you. Thought you'd added a "lung" in there.

My favorite Hicks line is "Heaven is in a cow's ass...that's why you laugh for the first hour," in re psychedelic mushrooms.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 9:39 AM on March 26, 2008


Pancreatic cancer is often tied to alcoholism, no?

You can use wikipedia as well as I can.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:39 AM on March 26, 2008


"Obnoxious , self-righteous, whining little fucks. My biggest fear is that if I quit smoking, I'll become one of you...

Talk about a severe lack of self-insight. Hicks wasn't just another garden variety asshole with good marketers; he was a dull garden variety asshole with good marketers.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:40 AM on March 26, 2008


Yeah, but some genius is going to go find the links showing the increased risk factor that smokers have for pancreatic cancer and thusly "prove" that it was the evil cigs the whole time. It drives me insane.

God, I want a cigarette.
posted by Skot at 9:40 AM on March 26, 2008


I'm about twenty feet underground right now, so, you know.


Undisclosed location, cortex?
posted by Mister_A at 9:44 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also: I like what krautland said in the blue thread:
I always thought hicks was boring (and have so commented in other threads on mefi) but people like him are the reason I love working in advertising. it's so easy to get the nutters excited, especially the slightly off-balanced ones. I love watching them moan, jump, scream and complain, especially when it's about something I did in twenty minutes flat.
There's this pervasive sense that advertising is fine-tuned and polished, and that manipulating people into buying stuff is an exact science. Poppycock! If you ever worked in advertising you would know that mostly, it's slightly eccentric people saying, "hey, wouldn't it be cool if we..." and then running with it. Dirty little secret: Market research is conducted in large part to make clients feel better about spending a lot of money on advertising. The proof, as always, is in the pudding. If the ad makes the phones ring, it's a good ad, regardless of how it tested.
posted by Mister_A at 9:51 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pancreatic cancer is often tied to alcoholism, no?

Also to exposure to gasoline-related chemicals (per wikipedia.) But no one who grew up in Houston would have anything to worry about on that count.
posted by trondant at 9:54 AM on March 26, 2008


[Actually now I feel dirty. I guess I DO second the motion that Bill Hicks should not be quoted at length, not because it’s offensive to ad-men but because it’s quoting Monty Python for people who grew up in the 90s. Yech]

NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!
Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms - Oh damn!
posted by SteveInMaine at 9:56 AM on March 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


*says "ni" to steve; deliquesces*
posted by Mister_A at 9:58 AM on March 26, 2008


As Augustine wrote, Satiavit autem illos phantasma eorum non veritas tua quam repellendo resiliunt et in suam vanitatem cadunt.
posted by matteo at 9:59 AM on March 26, 2008


and speaks truth to power and all that good stuff

I thought we were throwing people under the bus for speaking truth to power?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 10:02 AM on March 26, 2008


I work in advertising.

Sometimes I'm even responsible for ads on Metafilter.

I think the Bill Hicks routine is funny.

I think *you* are funny.

Thanks for the money, honey.
posted by bingo at 10:17 AM on March 26, 2008


According to Bill Hicks, I should "suck on a tailpipe" because I once sold a pickup truck on Craigslist using (gasp) photographs and descriptive text. Understandably, I'm somewhat upset by this, but I find solace in the fact that I'm joined by people who sell pink melamine dishes on e-bay, people who put up "Saturday Yard Sale" signs, bands on MySpace, and "escorts" whose pictures appear in the back of The Stranger.
posted by Tube at 10:20 AM on March 26, 2008


Yes, yes, that was exactly the point of that skit.
posted by Artw at 10:23 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't have any strong feeling about Bill Hicks either way, but as a random data point, everyone I've ever met who was a big fan turned out to be something of an asshole. This is an insight I've found quite useful on the internet.

Precisely why I never got around to listening to Hicks until last year, a bias against his fans.

Turns out he's pretty funny, but I gotta say, what gives with those awful lite FM rock instrumentals he plays on Arizona Bay? His music flat-out stinks and makes this album unlistenable.
posted by porn in the woods at 10:26 AM on March 26, 2008


I wonder how the Mefi Hicks Brigade originally heard of Bill Hicks or his (very funny) rants? I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of them didn't just wander into a HaHaHut in the 80s and happen upon him. In fact, I'm pretty sure most of them probably heard of him either through word of mouth or saw a special on cable or saw a CD of his in a store somewhere.

Face it, Hicks was marketed to you just as surely as the computer you type on, the clothes you wear and the food you eat.

The only reason people like to drop that now tiresome rant into ad threads is to show how above it all they are. It's boring and its predictable and I think even Hicks would be thinking it's gotten a bit hack by now.
posted by LeeJay at 10:32 AM on March 26, 2008 [4 favorites]


people who put up "Saturday Yard Sale" signs

I'd be entertained if that one New York Times reporter guy would do a followup piece about photographing, and then getting beat up by, and then not pressing charges against, some soccer moms advertising a neighborhood yard sale in the suburbs.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:32 AM on March 26, 2008


By the way if anyone here likes to quote Monty Python... kill yourself.
No, no, no it's just a little thought. I'm just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day, they'll take root and grow into shrubberies - I don't know. You try, you do what you can. Kill yourself. Seriously though, if you are, do. Aaah, no really, there's no rationalization for what you do and you are Chapman's little helpers. Okay - kill yourself - seriously. You are the ruiner of all things zany, seriously.

No this is not a joke, you're going, "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition," there's no fucking Spanish Inquisition coming. You are Chapman's spawn filling the M1 motorway with spam spam spam spam baked beans eggs and spam. You are fucked and you are fucking us. Kill yourself. It's the only way to save your fucking soul, kill yourself.

Planting seeds.

I know all the Python people are going, "This is an ex-parrot..." there's no parrot here whatsoever. Suck a tail-pipe, fucking hang yourself, turn yourself into a newt - I don't care how you do it. Rid the world of your evil fucking non sequiturs.

I know what all the Python people are thinking right now too, "Is this the right room for an argument?" Oh man, I am not going to play along, you fucking evil scumbags! "I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay..." Godammit, that shit's not funny anymore, you scum-bags! Quit driving every fucking joke into the ground! "What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?" God, I'm just caught in a fucking web! How do you live like that? "I'm not dead yet! I feel happy!" And I bet you sleep like fucking babies at night, don't you?
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:34 AM on March 26, 2008 [7 favorites]


I'd be entertained if that one New York Times reporter guy would do a followup piece about photographing, and then getting beat up by, and then not pressing charges against, some soccer moms advertising a neighborhood yard sale in the suburbs.

Please, soccer moms do not beat people up. Soccer moms vent their rage through passive aggressive PTA meetings and snotty letters to the Homeowners Association, both of which are much more annoying than a punch in the face.
posted by LeeJay at 10:35 AM on March 26, 2008


Bill Hicks was a funny comedian. But I don't he's not quite the post modern prophet/Christ figure that many seem to want him to be. During his day, because his bits were about things that any relatively sharp and idealistic person was able to identify in his or her own daily life. Lenny Bruce wasn't much different, but Bruce's insights were verbalized at a time when people were pretty repressed. Hicks mostly was preaching to his own jaded choir. You almost had to be as cynical as he was to enjoy him (if you weren't, his bits could be depressing and monotonous).

The irony of Hicks is that for all his ranting against hypocrisy, craven commercialism and appeals to the least common denominator ("dick jokes are on the way, people"), he wasn't without his own contradictions, such as some really offensive casual misogyny and the smoking thing. I think he was a very smart guy and was aware of these things, and if he were alive to see his fans mount them on a pedestal, he'd probably be harsher on them than anyone else. Or, to bring Monty Python back into it: "you must all think for yourselves!"

/Puts shotgun barrel back into mouth.
posted by psmealey at 10:37 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought we were throwing people under the bus for speaking truth to power?

I think it was ultimately decided to throw them over the transom instead. Let's not put the cart before the horse, though.
posted by psmealey at 10:50 AM on March 26, 2008


Skot: if it's any consolation, I am enjoying a cigarette right now. This one is for you.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:50 AM on March 26, 2008


What was contradictory about Bill Hicks' smoking?
posted by moxiedoll at 10:52 AM on March 26, 2008


What was contradictory about Bill Hicks' smoking?

Hicks ranted endlessly about advertisers selling us things we don't need, yet was himself an unapologetic smoker. I can't think of a product (that literally makes truckloads of cash for its producers) that, not only do we not need it, but we pay handsomely for the privilege of having it harm us.

/not smokerist, as I'm an ex-smoker of four years, just sayin'
posted by psmealey at 10:58 AM on March 26, 2008


Q: What was contradictory about Bill Hicks' smoking?
A: He expressed a certain anger at the way modern life is mediated by, and saturated by, marketing, and yet did not live in a yurt.
posted by Artw at 11:00 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, you have to live in a *yurt* to be angry at the way modern life is mediated by, and saturated by, marketing? Yikes. Can you be angry about politics and still live in America? Or do you have to go off grid entirely to say anything about it? Anyway I love that bit - but I agree completely that it was shitty to trot it out in an obituary thread.
posted by moxiedoll at 11:03 AM on March 26, 2008


OMG ARTW YOU WERE AGREEING WITH ME.
(mortified).
posted by moxiedoll at 11:03 AM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


so then the only people who can criticize advertising are people who own nothing?
posted by shmegegge at 11:04 AM on March 26, 2008


This is why I try to just mostly lurk any more. Once again I come off like some yammering crank. My apologies.
posted by Skot at 11:04 AM on March 26, 2008


so then the only people who can criticize advertising are people who own nothing?

Precisely. I think you have to hate freedom as well.
posted by ssg at 11:10 AM on March 26, 2008


With all due respect to Mr. Hicks, yurts are fucking dope.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:13 AM on March 26, 2008


I think the sad part is that Bill Hicks understood the forces against him and still could not get by without utilizing the services which he talked shit about. This is the root of the problem, and it is far broader than just advertising. It is nearly impossible not to be a hypocrite these days. Id give examples but people don't like being called out, and quite frankly I don't like calling myself out.
posted by pwally at 11:18 AM on March 26, 2008


Q: What was contradictory about Bill Hicks' smoking?
A: He expressed a certain anger at the way modern life is mediated by, and saturated by, marketing, and yet did not live in a yurt.


Because if you live in a yurt, you get to smoke all the cigarettes you want!
posted by oneirodynia at 11:25 AM on March 26, 2008


Wait. Bill Hicks hated yurts?

Fuck him.
posted by Floydd at 11:28 AM on March 26, 2008


cortex: You've just fallen for the yurt marketing hype. Don't you know how much the yak lobby spent to make you think that yurts are dope?
posted by ssg at 11:30 AM on March 26, 2008


My father was a yurt man, and his father before him, back to the pre-history of yurt culture in this nation, so don't blow smoke up my yurt and tell me its a cooking fire, sonny.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:37 AM on March 26, 2008


Hicks ranted endlessly about advertisers selling us things we don't need, yet was himself an unapologetic smoker.

That would only be problematic if he started smoking because of advertising, wouldn't it? I started smoking because I needed something to do with my hands when I talked to people.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:39 AM on March 26, 2008


I'm getting lost -- Bill Hicks invented yurts? and Hal Riney sold one to Reagan?
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:52 AM on March 26, 2008


Yurt Facts
It is however, as with any tent, potentially very dangerous to light a fire in the yurt do so at your own risk.
Maybe you want to step away from that yurt before lighting up, Sparky.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:03 PM on March 26, 2008


Everybody yurts... sometimes.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:04 PM on March 26, 2008 [4 favorites]


Who told you you needed something to do with your hands? Advertisers thats who!
posted by criticalbill at 12:12 PM on March 26, 2008


This is the root of the problem...

Which problem is that, exactly? I know I will expose myself to the metaslings and arrows of you loudmouth internauts, but I do not think that modern society is completely pathological. I do not think that modern life is devoid of joy. I do not think that modern humanity deserves extinction. I do not think that everything is going to hell in a handbasket.

Advertising is not the worst thing in the world. It is a tool, and it is sometimes misused. But the computer you are typing on could not exist if not for advertising, because mass production would not be practical without advertising, and your fancy (or otherwise) computer can not exist without mass production.

I know it is trendy to claim to hate everything about modern life, but it is also lazy, ugly, and hurtful.
posted by Mister_A at 12:12 PM on March 26, 2008


Bill Hicks is the Hitler of comedy. Once you mention him, the conversation istantly devolves, he advocated for the extermination of millions of people, and he died in a bunker from a self-inflicted gunshot after shtupping Eva Braun. Well- I'm not positive about that last bit, but I think I'll go post it to Wikipedia just to make sure.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:21 PM on March 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Maybe you want to step away from that yurt before lighting up, Sparky.

Hey, endoyurtish cooking fires don't kill people. People who get drunk and then start a fire in your guest yurt without taking proper precautions and who then pass out and perish in the enusing inferno and whose security deposit check bounced, too, leaving you out a guest yurt during the busiest part of the yurt season and with a charred corpse and the police to deal with and no recompense whatsoever kill people.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:25 PM on March 26, 2008


I'd think you'd want to be resolutely far away from yurts in yurt season, just to avoid getting shot.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:35 PM on March 26, 2008


Mister_A: I do not think that modern society is completely pathological.

Neither do most people. They might think, for example, that out culture of consumerism has gotten out of hand. There is a pretty big difference between the two statements.

I know it is trendy to claim to hate everything about modern life, but it is also lazy, ugly, and hurtful.

Why do you feel the need to construct this straw man? Who is making this claim?

Advertising is not the worst thing in the world. It is a tool, and it is sometimes misused.

Some people might say that it is quite often misused. When these people speak up, they invariably get shouted down by the defenders of advertising with rants about advertising for garage sales, etc. I know it is hard to stay calm when someone challenges the morality of your job, but it really doesn't help to start tearing into the straw man that you keep on hand for these occasions.
posted by ssg at 12:36 PM on March 26, 2008


Yo Skot, if you're seriously quitting smoking, do a set of pushups or go for a brisk walk. Replace the cigarette with something that makes you wheeze and hurt a little. It doesn't replace the smoke. You'll still want one, but if next time the craving comes around, you'll think goddamn, another set of pushups? I gotta crave less, and you will.

Self-cutting might work, too, but pushups are a better habit to get into.

Sorry for the unsolicited advice. I've been itching real bad for a fog, of late, is all, and if I can't smoke one, at least I can think about it.
posted by breezeway at 12:41 PM on March 26, 2008


I wonder how the Mefi Hicks Brigade originally heard of Bill Hicks or his (very funny) rants?

I first heard of him on MeFi. That's the only place I've ever heard of him, actually, and the only thing I know about him is that one rant. So I guess I'm not part of the Brigade.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:44 PM on March 26, 2008


the only thing I know about him is that one rant

You should check him out. He's very funny and he's been a huge influence on some of today's better comics (and he actually has more material in him than just that one bit.)
posted by LeeJay at 1:08 PM on March 26, 2008


Imagine Dennis Leary but funnier and not a rip off of a better comedian.

Weirdly, despite him being an American, he seems to be much better known in the UK than the US.
posted by Artw at 1:12 PM on March 26, 2008


I'm not talking solely about advertising, ssg, and I am quite calm. I am talking about this idea that many people have that something is deeply and irrevocably "wrong" with modern life. If you do not see evidence of this viewpoint in Hicks's comedy (which can be funny), and on MetaFilter (also funny!) then you may have an issue with reading comprehension.

In addition, you are attaching statements to me about garage sales, etc., that I never made. If you'll re-read my comment, you will see that I am actually speaking about advertising in big business, not mom-and-pop hand-painted signs. You can often tell what I mean by the words I use.

Maybe I was overly broad in my comment. I never intended to suggest that everything is perfect in the world of advertising or elsewhere, but I have observed many times over the course of my four decades here on earth an impulse among earthicans to lament the degraded nature of modern life and the passing of some mythical golden age. That is the vibe I got from this comment from pwally, which prompted my response (I quoted him in brief at the head of my comment). Perhaps I could have been more clear that I was responding to pwally, and maybe I should have disclaimed that this response did not necessarily indicate that I think that everyone else in this thread holds similar opinions to pwally, but I thought people would kind of get that.
posted by Mister_A at 1:25 PM on March 26, 2008


You know why Dennis Leary has a career?

Because there's no cure for cancer.
posted by batmonkey at 1:44 PM on March 26, 2008 [4 favorites]


Mister_A: Leaving aside Hicks' comedy (one can't really expect a reasonable, nuanced view of modern society from stand-up comedy), I don't see very many people claiming to hate everything about modern life on Metafilter. I do see a lot of people who are angry about various facets of modern life, but I see very little of the blanket hatred that you see. I, personally, don't hate everything about modern life, but I do think there are some things that are deeply (but hopefully not irrevocably) wrong with the way we live. You may disagree, but that doesn't give you license to dismiss other's arguments by ascribing a desire for the extinction of the human race to them.

It may be that I unfairly lumped you in with the advertising apologists, but I didn't say that you, personally, said anything about garage sales.

I often read similar arguments that berate people for their criticisms of the practise of advertising along the same lines (without advertising, we wouldn't have modern technology x, therefore your criticisms are wrong), and I thought you were making a similar argument.
posted by ssg at 1:51 PM on March 26, 2008


But the computer you are typing on could not exist if not for advertising, because mass production would not be practical without advertising, and your fancy (or otherwise) computer can not exist without mass production.

Dude, once the workers have the self-replicating means of production capitalism isn't even going to be necessary, never mind marketing.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 2:04 PM on March 26, 2008


Dude! Mister_A: when the FUCK did I say that I hate life? Don't you dare throw blanket statements at me. I'm not fucking lazy, I am not ugly, and I am not hurtful.

There is validity in what I said regardless of whether or not it made you shit your pants.

These tactics of yours are exactly lazy, ugly, and hurtful. Go away.
posted by pwally at 2:05 PM on March 26, 2008


Skot, here's a metaanalysis that says smoking increases pancreatic cancer 75%. Which, considering actual rates of pancreatic cancer isn't that much. While smoking primarily causes lung cancer, like any other stress on your body, it increases most kinds of cancer. You probably already knew that, but don't think everyone's ganging up on you when they're not.

/genius
posted by fermezporte at 2:05 PM on March 26, 2008


Hah! Nice use of the word dude, there. Why don't you calm down and explain what "the problem" is, then?
posted by Mister_A at 2:10 PM on March 26, 2008


Nice use of a comma, there. But seriously why are you so condescending?

Look, the problem is that there is hardly a choice anymore in many aspects of life. If I want to go to school, I have no choice but to put myself into mind boggling debt. If I want to participate in modern culture, I have no choice but to subject myself to ridiculous advertisements. These ads also slap labels on different segments of society, labels that are hard to shake off.

As a 20 something white male I am targeted and pushed into buying tons of shit that is completely unnecessary. I am told to buy axe body spray almost once a day because "it will help me get chicks"... is this what your defending? Is this not something to get a little unnerved about?

Of course there are viable forms of advertising, and let me remind you that I am rebuking a point that I NEVER MADE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

There is such thing as ad pollution and it stresses me out. That is the problem.

And Mister_A, if you can give me some sort of rationalization for why I should be calm with you once you've called me all sorts of names for no reason, well then I will be calm. But it is this same sort of labeling that has me a little pissed in the first place.
posted by pwally at 2:30 PM on March 26, 2008


So basically, all ad people, stand up comedy fans & people reading this far down the thread should go suck a tail pipe? Or have I missed something?
posted by i_cola at 2:46 PM on March 26, 2008


If you ever worked in advertising you would know that mostly, it's slightly eccentric people saying, "hey, wouldn't it be cool if we..." and then running with it.

I have worked in advertising, and this is true. Also, copywriters do not listen to editors who tell them what they want to say is 1) wrong, 2) illegal, or 3) ungrammatical. Fuck 'em.
posted by languagehat at 2:48 PM on March 26, 2008


LeeJay: You should check him out. He's very funny and he's been a huge influence on some of today's better comics (and he actually has more material in him than just that one bit.)

Yup. The planting-seeds bit is sort of his cat-declawing-for-obese-cats bit as far as Metafilter is concerned, I think.

The Brigade is actually pretty cool, mostly because of the snazzy uniforms. It's actually made from leather from flayed advertisers and people who draw up garage sale signs. Plus cat claws.

On the downside, it does smell like cigarettes.
posted by Drastic at 2:53 PM on March 26, 2008


favorite quote of the day:

"You can often tell what I mean by the words I use."

i'm going to steal that one. you bet.
posted by stubby phillips at 3:15 PM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


oh, and bill hicks once called me "mr. fuckbitch"
posted by stubby phillips at 3:18 PM on March 26, 2008


I think the sad part is that Bill Hicks understood the forces against him and still could not get by without utilizing the services which he talked shit about.

The "forces against him"? What on earth does that mean? Did the American Association of Advertising Agencies have a contract out on him?

Hicks was a damn fine stand-up, someone who worked hard at his craft, even if he was sometimes a bit of a pillock as a person. But good lord, do the people quoting him like he was some all-knowing guru make me want to hate the man. Here's the naughty little secret about that advertising rant: you know the bit where he says "No this is not a joke, you're going, 'there's going to be a joke coming' - there's no fucking joke coming."? That bit's a lie. Because it was, in fact, a joke.
posted by flashboy at 3:40 PM on March 26, 2008


ok... prove it was a joke.
posted by pwally at 3:53 PM on March 26, 2008


Show me where I called you all sorts of names, pwally.
posted by Mister_A at 3:55 PM on March 26, 2008


The Bill Hicks quote that'd maybe be good to see more often is the "just a ride" one posted here by empath. Yeah.
posted by lauranesson at 4:09 PM on March 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


This has gotten very lame, on both our parts.... but you don't think you were a little disrespectful? I'm not going to cut and paste, nobody is going to win this internet argument we've drummed up. You did take what I said and ran it in a direction I had not intended... when I clarified you concentrated not on the substance of what I said but insisted I point out where you acted like a little shit.... I'm not patient enough to coax you out of your stupid suit, good day.
posted by pwally at 4:18 PM on March 26, 2008


I don't really care about Bill Hicks one way or the other, to be honest, but god help me, I really do fucking hate advertising quite a lot actually kthxbye. Anybody got a cookie?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:56 PM on March 26, 2008


Subliminal Advertising is like magic! [via]
posted by Staggering Jack at 5:02 PM on March 26, 2008


ok... prove it was a joke.

Mwuh? Seriously?
posted by middleclasstool at 7:37 PM on March 26, 2008


The ranty stuff is pretty silly and shallow. Businesses will do what they can to increase profits, and a lot of it to the detriment of the consumer; do we demand that all business cease? That all business people suck a tailpipe? No, we demand controls.

There is never going to be no-advertising. There never was no-advertising. Does advertising need to be controlled? Absolutely. Marketing to children, false and misleading claims, visual pollution are examples of some of the issues that constantly need to be addressed and regulated. Ad people work within the existing framework, whatever it is, and while to some small degree the industry may be self-regulating, defining the parameters of regulation is a government task. If a given government decides they are too beholding to Massive Conglomerate X to regulate Z, it's not the fault of a random advertising creative who happens to be assigned to some brand.

I mean, we know that in the construction of buildings, some things are bad and unsafe. Should all construction workers kill themselves, or should the government institute safety requirements and regulate the use of materials like lead and asbestos, for example?
posted by taz at 2:38 AM on March 27, 2008


and of course, consumers are the most large and in-charge group of all; the minute they stop buying in response to certain advertising practices, is the very same minute that those practices will change.
posted by taz at 2:49 AM on March 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I am told to buy axe body spray almost once a day because "it will help me get chicks"... is this what your defending? Is this not something to get a little unnerved about?

Would you be less unnerved if I told you that the ads aren't actually talking to you?
posted by octobersurprise at 5:32 AM on March 27, 2008


I think it's great that you guys get your love/hate Bill Hicks and/or advertising thing out of your system here, so it can be kept out of that obit thread. Sadly it's not working. Neither is constantly posting stuff about Hal Riney in the obit thread to try and get it back on track. I guess jessamyn said it best: "once they're out there you can't totally control them". Shame though, I never notced that obit threads can be such trainwrecks before. Are they always like that?
posted by dabitch at 6:17 AM on March 27, 2008


Are they always like that?

Only the ones people comment on.
posted by breezeway at 8:05 AM on March 27, 2008


I guess this would be as good of a point as any to mention that I'm not even a very big Bill Hicks fan. I just hate admen.

Seriously, jessamyn, if you felt that was such a dickish move, I'm wondering why the comment was left intact. I wouldn't have complained if you'd axed it.
posted by item at 10:11 AM on March 27, 2008


if you felt that was such a dickish move, I'm wondering why the comment was left intact.

By the time I saw it, people in the thread had already replied to it so it wasn't excisable. If I'd seen it early enough I probably would have.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:49 AM on March 27, 2008


As you probably should have. That'll learn you to step away from your duties. I don't make it a habit of commenting in obit threads unless the dead person is either a influence on me or a relative. I regretted the comment as soon as I made it, but the damage was obviously already done. If you guys had implemented the oft requested, timed self edit feature, I would have definitely deleted the quote.

Could I suggest an autobanning of anyone that capitalizes my name? It's item, not Item, dammit.
posted by item at 12:04 PM on March 27, 2008


Yeah, by comparison, there was a similarly kind of dick-move link to a Carlin bit about getting fucked in the ass that showed up later, but it got flagged quick and removed before there were any responses.

The strange, strange line of obit thread behavior. I kind of get the anti-individual invective that shows up, but generic Dead Person Was Related To Foo Somehow, So Here's A Big Fuck You To Foo stuff that comes out sometimes seems all over the board and sometimes really just bizarrely out of line.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:35 PM on March 27, 2008


That'll learn you to step away from your duties.

I'll start reading all those "how can I get by on five hours of sleep" AskMes stat!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:24 PM on March 27, 2008


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