When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat.
On this date in 1937, George Carlin was born in New York City. My thought on birthdays has always been there are about 15 interesting ones. I don't think adults should get too excited about the whole birthday concept. I really doubt someone as cynical as Carlin has a big party to celebrate adding another digit to his age. (Revised from earlier post.)
I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work.
I've wanted to do a post on George Carlin since I began this blog, so I figure today is as good as any other time to do it. When any list of the greatest standup comedians of all-time is discussed, only 2 performers can be considered for the top. Richard Pryor or George Carlin. Pryor is the most dynamic standup on stage, but Carlin is really underrated in this category. When you listen through his body of work, Carlin blows away any other comic, as the quality and quantity are truly amazing. Most comedians struggle to ever come up with an hour of really funny material. Carlin has 20 times this much. I think George Carlin is the greatest standup comedian.
I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.
On a personal note, Carlin is the biggest reason I decided to do comedy. I like all types of comics, but he was the one that made me think it was something I could do. Lenny Bruce was the groundbreaking comic who made many of the things possible that future comics were able to take advantage of. Carlin has always given credit for Bruce's trailblazing ways. I like and respect Bruce, but Carlin always made me laugh more.
There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past.
While Carlin has during the past decade become less laugh-out-loud funny, I still find that his HBO shows are great performance pieces. From the hippy dippy weatherman to 7 words you can't say on television to a place for your stuff to golf courses for the homeless to why we don't need 10 commandments to.... the guy has offered more brilliant thoughts on modern society than any philosopher during the past 40 years. And like Mark Twain he managed to do it with style and wit.
Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?
I am not a guy who buys into the whole idolizing people thing, There are a select few people, though, that I get a bit Ayn Rand about. George Carlin is at the top of my list. I hope when I'm 70, I'm as cantankerous as him, still questioning the world around me. Just as importantly, I hope I'm able to make people of all ages laugh while I'm dong it.
Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist