Saturday, April 7, 2012

A to Z: George Carlin

George Carlin was one of the most important people of our current age.

It gets too hard to measure and evaluate the most important person, but he's certainly on my short list of people in the running.  He didn't cure a disease or broker a peace. But he did reach a lot of people, slapped them silly and told them to wake the hell up. And he did it the only way that wouldn't cause inaction from the debilitating depression that would be inevitable upon waking to the nightmare: he did it with humor.

If there is any hope of changing a society that is in desperate need of it, it can't be done without people first being awake and noticing what the problems are. I can't think of anyone who did a better job of this.
Probably never a good time to lose someone like him, but I doubt there was a worse time than when we did.

It is said that in Medieval times the only one who could speak the truth in the king's court was the jester, and it doesn't seem we've moved far from that.

Throughout his career George Carlin became increasingly more of a social, religious, economic and political critic. It is an interesting progression to watch.  I am doubtful that it is so much of his own views changing as much as it may be that the longer he lived and was at the business of comedy, the more he saw the problems get worse, not better, and the more impatient he became of the willful stupidity of the society he lived in.  Or maybe I see this because the longer I live the more this happens to me.  Or both.

Whatever the reason, the man was brilliant, insightful and had a true gift for getting his point across and bringing out the laughable ridiculousness of a dire situation.  When the choices are laugh or cry, it is probably more productive to laugh, and certainly more enjoyable.

One of my favorite quotes:
"When you're born into this world you're given a ticket to the freak show.  When you're born in America you're given a front row seat."

A few moments from an important life:

On the state of our society:

On the 10 Commandments:

The root behind a lot of the social problems in America

On Religion:

People & the Planet in Perspective:

Profit of Problems & Homeless:

A Good Summary:

George Carlin on Himself:

This has been an A-Z Challenge post. 
For the month of April there will be an update for each letter within the theme of: Things that influence and inspire me, or the converse: things which I find distressing or make me want to rail at the world.
Some of these will pertain to the miniatures hobby, but many will venture off to atypical territory for the duration of the challenge, then it will be back to normal with mostly minis and an occasional blithering.
You can find out more about the A-Z challenge my clicking the logo at the top left of the page. 


S. L. Hennessy said...

I always thought he was a fascinating guy. Comedy plus social commentary is always a win in my book. Great post!!

Henry's Tat said...

What an interesting bloke, thanks for putting this up.

Fizzle said...

George Carlin Rocks, followed :)

RedHobbit said...

Hello fellow A-Z Challenger!

George Carlin is easily one of my favorite comedians (and social commentators). You covered some of the better ones but here's a particularly good one and unfortunately still incredibly relevant today.

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