June 23rd, 2008

Scorpio

"Football is played on a gridiron. In a stadium. War Memorial Stadium."

"Baseball is played on a diamond. In a park. A baseball park."

George Carlin has died, damnit.

For all his protestations that he didn't care about the world -- "I wanna see shit blowing up and bodies falling from the sky!" -- Carlin may have done the most of any modern comedian to actually get people to think about the world and how it could be better. (A thought both he and his friend Harlan Ellison have espoused: American homelessness would be solved if you built homes on golf course land!) And, of course, Carlin was amazingly funny. And, less obviously, he had actors' chops; he got to show them in Kevin Smith's Jersey Girl (his performance is one of the few things I truly like about that film).

You'll be missed, Mr. Carlin. Thank you for being you and for what you did.

yendi has a call to action here that's a worthy thought.
Whale fluke

"What he would've wanted was for us to get off our asses..."

robyn_ma said worthy words about George Carlin and what he represents (in a friends-locked post; quoted with permission):
George Carlin.

We pretty much mourn for ourselves, not for him. I get the sense he didn't really want to be here for that much longer. Like Kurt Vonnegut. You tell the truth for that many years and live long enough to see that truth pretty much ignored outside your immediate circle of influence (i.e., fans), you're going to get bitter. Carlin's stuff had become nihilistic and angry in the past decade or so. Again, like Vonnegut. With both, you see a definite journey over the decades from whimsical observation to get-off-my-lawn everything-sucks let's-just-drop-the-fucking-bomb-and-get-it-over-with.

We're selfish. We wanted Vonnegut and Carlin to live forever so they could articulate our fear and loathing more eloquently than we ever could. But they're both in a better place now. Meaning, not here. Not among the idiots, the ones who run things and keep people stupid. Not in the Idiocracy.

Who will be the next Vonnegut, the next Carlin? There won't be. There will be someone entirely different who, like Vonnegut and Carlin, will carry on in the tradition of Mark Twain. (Who was also a bitter bastard towards the end.)

Carlin wouldn't have wanted bathetic mourning and tributes. He wouldn't have wanted to hear 'Oh, whatever shall we do without your voice to guide us?' What he would've wanted was for us to get off our asses, think for ourselves, question authority, question everything, question ourselves. Take a moment today to challenge a dearly held opinion of yours. Imagine Carlin pissing all over it. If you can't bring yourself to do it, you're part of the problem he railed against for forty years.