Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Bionic paratroops & Bill Hicks

Probably the only place the two meet is on the Civil Radio 18 blog. There have been times when I've thought some of the most interesting blogs were the equivalent of those bands Greil Marcus talks about, who disappear quickly after leaving behind one or two incredible songs. I hope though that Civil Radio sticks around, unlike Infinite Frequencies etc. I particularly like its conceptual focus, as it is in some ways complementary to Acheron's interest in science fiction themes, without having yet hardened into a theoretical formalism. This is particularly remarkable in light of how the blog features the work of guys like Tuomas Rantanen (his "Bionic Paratroops" piece is featured on Mix 15: It's War), whose theoretical tastes also run to Martin Heidegger. In other words, Civil Radio hasn't succumbed to the noosphere tendencies I've complained about on many other occasions.

As for Rantanen's hardcore brand of techno, I haven't yet decided how listenable it would be, outside of the mix featured on Civil Radio 18, which contextualises it with reference to futuristic, militarised soundscapes. But monitoring its development still seems a worthwhile thing to do: i.e. what wider cultural meanings can be imputed to its dissemination? This question will remain compelling.

I also applaud Civil Radio's highlighting of Bill Hicks, and it seems we can look forward to a full length documentary on his legacy later this year: I like to think of him in terms of Gramsci's maxim, "pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will" (although it seems Bill struggled to maintain the latter aspect throughout his short life, he remained progressive).

On February 25, 2004, British MP Stephen Pound tabled an early day motion titled "Anniversary of the Death of Bill Hicks" (EDM 678 of the 2003-04 session), the text of which was as follows:

"That this House notes with sadness the 10th anniversary of the death of Bill Hicks, on 26th February 1994, at the age of 32; recalls his assertion that his words would be a bullet in the heart of consumerism, capitalism and the American Dream; and mourns the passing of one of the few people who may be mentioned as being worthy of inclusion with Lenny Bruce and George Carlin in any list of unflinching and painfully honest political philosophers".

In the documentary Zeitgeist parts of Bill Hicks' Revelations are being played.

The Bill Hicks Foundation for Wildlife Rehabilitation, dedicated to Bill in tribute to his love of animals, rescues and rehabilitates injured wildlife in the Texas Hill Country.

1 comment:

The Civil Servant said...

Thanks for the appreciative comments and I hope you enjoy the mixes on my blog.
And yes Hicks is a legend. An extremely inspirational individual. I recommend you check out the DVD: 'Totally Bill Hicks' it features his last recorded live performance (were your video link is taken from) and an insightful documentary.
Good luck with your blog. There are a lot of interesting articles here and a lot of imagery from my favorite artists and films :)