Saturday, June 17, 2006


I'm preoccupied with it.

Being American and Catholic helps. I worry about everything. I worry that the train will pull out as soon as I get to the platform. I worry that someone will smash into me every time I drive a car. I worry that a stray dog will attack my testicles.

I play the security card. The non-offensive card. the road-more-travelled card. I never got arrested. I never got addicted to drugs. And I didn't get laid enough.

But I'm watching Bill Hicks (who I like a lot but many of my friends absolutely worship) and I realize something; Good things happen when fear goes away. I said hi to Berni Wrightson and stayed at his house. I gave up a career in advertising to become a stand-up comic. I made out with the hot girl at the party and she fucking married me.

I'm 34 years old and I was in six bands, published comic books, worked for toy companies, made my own films, took acid, performed stand-up and improv, travelled a good chunk of the world and peed on a mailbox. Was I scared to do these things? Fuck yeah. But I made it go away. Good things happen when fear goes away. I just have to remember this every time I bark in Times Square.

1 comment:

Brian Kunath said...

Fear is good as long as it doesn't paralyze you. When Mike Tyson was young and less crazy, he admitted that he would come close to tears out of fear before every fight. But he learned how to channel that fear constructively -- in his case, by trying to punch his opponent's nose into his brain.

Many of the best authors deal with fear everytime they sit down to write a sentence. Hemmigway, Faulkner, EB White, Emily Dickenson -- they were all chickenshits. But talented!

Abraham Lincoln dealt with anxiety, as did Issac Newton. Even Michael Jackson dealt with fear -- and look how well he turned out.

The point is that if fear paralyzed fearful people, we might never have many of the great novels and movies we hold as classics. On the other hand, a good dose of crippling fear might have saved us all the trouble of reading Johnny Tremain.

Working through fear means you're onto something good. Look at Carrot Top. The guy's clearly unburdened by fear. You don't want that sort of fearlessness.

Having said all that, let me explain the genius of Bill Hicks. Bill Hicks was funny in the way Lenny Bruce was funny: neither were all that funny.