23 June, 2008

George Carlin is dead

Location: american history
Mood: sad

Honestly, this is a sad moment in American History for me. Not quite up there with John Lennon or John F. Kennedy, of course, whose lives were snatched before they were able to do everything they might have done.

But George Carlin will be missed. I could sit here and paste excerpts from his routines, and I would really get some satisfaction out of that. But I don't want to shove it down your throat. Instead I will just tell you why I am sad that he is gone. If you feel inclined, you should go to either You Tube (for clips), or Daily Motion (for entire skits).

For almost 50 years, he has been making humorous, enlightened, cutting, insightful, critical commentary on our culture - especially in this country. And though I am reasonably certain that he was liberal-leaning, I think that he did a fair service to pointing out the pompousness on both sides of the political fence - mocking the corporate elite, and the tree-huggers with equal enthusiasm. So many of his observations really made one think about the absurdity of all our behaviors. Our inconsistencies as a culture. Our self-centeredness as a species. And almost without fail, he did it in a manner that just busted me up laughing. And I believe that deep down he genuinely cared about the world and about people. I bet that having dinner with him would be quite an experience.

Not only were his words compelling, but so was his actual voice. He had the most spectacular delivery of his material. I could just listen to him all day long.

At one point, I was so "on board" with his philosophy that I actually thought "This is a guy I would elect for president!" if he were to run, which of course, is absurd.

Anyway, the New York Times obituary is here. It says so much more about what he accomplished than I can say.

I'll miss him.

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