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View Full Version : If Russert got a few threads...Why not Carlin?


graz
06-25-2008, 02:07 AM
"For a long time, my stand-up material has drawn from three sources. The first is the English language: words, phrases, sayings, and the way we speak. The second source, as with most comedians, has been what I think of as the "little world," those things we all experience every day: driving, food, pets, relationships, and idle thoughts. The third area is what I call the"big world": war, politics, race, death, and social issues...


...I'm happy to tell you there is very little in this world that I believe in. Listening to the comedians who comment on political, social, and cultural issues, I notice most of their material reflects an underlying belief that somehow things were better once and that with just a little effort we could set them right again. They're looking for solutions, and rooting for particular results, and I think that necessarily limits the tone and substance of what they say. They're talented and funny people, but they're nothing more than cheerleaders attached to a specific, wished-for outcome.

I don't feel so confined. I frankly don't give a fuck how it all turns out in this country - or anywhere else, for that matter. I think the human game was up a long time ago (when the high priests and traders took over), and now we're just playing out the string. And that is, of course, precisely what I find so amusing: the slow circling of the drain by a once promising species, and the sappy, ever-more-desperate belief in this country that there is actually some sort of "American Dream," which has merely been msiplaced.

The decay and disintegration of this culture is astonishingly amusing if you are emotionally detached from it. I have always viewed it from a safe distance, knowing I don't belong; it doesn't include me, and it never has. No matter how you care to define it, I do not indentify with the local group. Planet, species, race, nation, state, religion, party, union, club, association, neighborhood, improvement committee;I have no interest in any of it. I love and treasure individuals as I meet them, I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to.

So, if you read something in this book that sounds like advocacy of a particular political point of view, please reject the notion. My interest in "issues" is merely to point out how badly we're doing, not to suggest a way we might do better. Don't confuse me with those who cling to hope. I enjoy describing how things are, I have no interest in how they "ought to be." And I certainly have no interest in fixing them. I sincerely believe that if you think there's a solution, you're part of the problem. My motto: Fuck Hope!

P.S. Lest you wonder, personally, I am a joyful individual with a long, happy marriage and a close and loving family. My career has turned out better than I ever dreamed, and continues to expand. I am a pesonal optomist but skeptic about all else. What may sound to some like anger is really nothing more than sympathetic contempt. I view my species with a combination of wonder and pity, and I root for it's destruction. And please don't confuse my point of view with cynicism; the real cynics are the ones who tell you everything's gonna be all right.

P.P.S. By the way, if, by chance, you folks do manage to straighten things out and make everything better, I still don't wish to be included."

G.C.

Now there is a club I would be honored to join. But of course, it could only contain one member.

TwinSwords
06-25-2008, 09:38 AM
Carlin really was one of a kind, one part intellectual and two parts comedian.

Here are a couple of great bits of his I found on Sadly, No!

George Carlin - Soft Language (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2gQCHztRAE&eurl=http://www.sadlyno.com/)
You Are All Diseased (1999) - "Bullsh*t!" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9Yd_YJlkpw&eurl=http://www.sadlyno.com/)

graz
06-25-2008, 02:36 PM
Thanks for the links.

uncle ebeneezer
06-25-2008, 02:51 PM
I disagree completely with Carlin's attitude towards trying to find solution and his "fuck hope" credo. But...it really worked for him and made him a hell of a comedian. He was one of my favorites not only because he actively promoted free speech, but because he was damn funny when he did it. He will be missed.

graz
06-25-2008, 03:06 PM
I disagree completely with Carlin's attitude towards trying to find solution and his "fuck hope" credo.

Spoken like a true Obamalitist.
Those two quoted words are part of the McCain campaign platform. Kidding.

I think you are right that it served his comedy well. I choose not to think that he really believed it completely. As evidenced by his family ties, etc.
Even if he was a true hater, it is amazing how much love and respect he engendered in others.

Thus Spoke Elvis
06-25-2008, 03:21 PM
I find it strange that I can largely agree with Carlin's nihilistic sentiments, yet disagree so profoundly with his politics. Carlin wasn't my favorite comedian, but speaking objectively, he was "better" than most of those that I prefer, in the same way that Coltrane or Beethoven were better artists than the Ramones. While I didn't always laugh at his jokes, I greatly admired his talent, and his performances often made me appreciate something I hadn't previously noticed about human existence. His death is a loss to whatever's left of our culture.

Austen Brown
06-25-2008, 06:33 PM
what was it Carlin said... "they call it the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it..."

i'm not as dire in my outlook as you, but then again i am, so...

Carlin was a genius of unmitigated proportion. i would have said it to his face, and taken the slap i know he would have responded with happily. The way he turned the mirror on America was blinding. We all laugh even though it is each of us he is talking about. Watching Bill Mahrer plug himself on Larry King Live in honor of Carlin, i noticed that Mahrer distanced himself from the common American that Carlin attacked, not realizing that he is part and parcel with it. As am i everytime i buy new shoes or say have a good one. None of us were safe from Carlin and that is why we loved him.

It's like they say about Stalin, he was the most democratic person ever. He'd kill anyone regardless of race or creed or personal friendship.
Carlin is much the same, but he only eviscerated each of us with his wit.

God Love him.

AemJeff
06-26-2008, 12:44 AM
what was it Carlin said... "they call it the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it..."

i'm not as dire in my outlook as you, but then again i am, so...

Carlin was a genius of unmitigated proportion. i would have said it to his face, and taken the slap i know he would have responded with happily. The way he turned the mirror on America was blinding. We all laugh even though it is each of us he is talking about. Watching Bill Mahrer plug himself on Larry King Live in honor of Carlin, i noticed that Mahrer distanced himself from the common American that Carlin attacked, not realizing that he is part and parcel with it. As am i everytime i buy new shoes or say have a good one. None of us were safe from Carlin and that is why we loved him.

It's like they say about Stalin, he was the most democratic person ever. He'd kill anyone regardless of race or creed or personal friendship.
Carlin is much the same, but he only eviscerated each of us with his wit.

God Love him.

Word.

Baltimoron
06-29-2008, 04:16 AM
I have used "Seven Words" to teach South Korean students the proper way to use English. I am always impressed how well he presents himself to them. He had a rare gift for both highbrow content with lowbrow presentation.