I just saw that George Carlin, comedian extraordinaire has died. I must note that it is 1:15 AM CDT on June 23, 2008, and the N.Y. Times has his obit date on the 24th. How does that work if it already is published??
I find a quote on his web site fitting for the moment: “I’m always reassured when someone is delivering a eulogy and I realize I’m listening to it.”
You must respect someone that takes full advantage of free speech. He challenged our thoughts on language, politics, and religion to the extent that the U.S. Supreme Court had to get involved and that people continue to misquote him in forwarded emails, which I always reply (to all) back with links to his web site and Snopes’s section on him.
Although most know him for his HBO specials, he’ll always have a special place in my heart as Rufus in the Bill & Ted movies, as Cardinal Ignatius Glick in Kevin Smith’s Dogma, and his strangest role, that as the conductor and narrator of Shiny Time Station, the Thomas the Tank Engine program on PBS, a role he shared with Ringo Starr and Alec Baldwin. I’m not making that up.
Read and watch his stuff. You don’t have to agree with him, but he makes you think and laugh.
An excerpt from his Seven Dirty Words:
Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits, wow. Tits doesn’t even belong on the list, you know. It’s such a friendly sounding word. It sounds like a nickname. ‘Hey, Tits, come here. Tits, meet Toots, Toots, Tits, Tits, Toots.’ It sounds like a snack doesn’t it? Yes, I know, it is, right. But I don’t mean the sexist snack, I mean, New Nabisco Tits. The new Cheese Tits, and Corn Tits and Pizza Tits, Sesame Tits Onion Tits, Tater Tits, Yeah. Betcha can’t eat just one. That’s true I usually switch off . But I mean that word does not belong on the list.
Actually, none of the words belong on the list, but you can understand why some of them are there. I am not completely insensitive to people’s feelings. You know, I can dig why some of those words got on the list…like cocksucker and motherfucker. Those are…those are heavy-weight words. There’s a lot going on there, man. Besides the literal translation and the emotional feeling. They’re just busy words. There’s a lot of syllables to contend with. And those K’s. Those are aggressive sounds, they jump out at you. Cocksucker Motherfucker Cocksucker. It’s like an assault, on you. So I can dig that.
And we mentioned shit earlier, of course. Two of the other 4-letter Anglo-Saxon words are Piss and Cunt, which go together of course. But forget about that. A little accidental humor there. Piss and Cunt. The reason Piss and
Cunt are on the list is that a long time ago certain ladies said ‘Those are the two I am not going to say. I don’t mind Fuck and Shit, but P and C are out. P and C are out.’ Which led to such stupid sentences as ‘OK, you fuckers, I am
going to tinkle now.’
And of course the word Fuck. The word Fuck, I don’t really…well, this is some more accidental humor, but I don’t really want to get into that now. Because I think it takes too long. But I do mean that. I mean, I think the word fuck is an important word. It’s the beginning of life, and, yet it’s a word we use to hurt one other, quite often. And uh, people much wiser than I have said, I’d rather have my son watch a film with two people making love than two people trying to kill one other. And I of course agree. I wish I know who said it first, and I agree with that. But I would like to take it a step further. I would like to substitute the word fuck, for the word kill in all those movie cliches we grew up with. ‘Okay Sheriff, we’re gonna fuck ya now. But we’re gonna fuck ya slow.’ So maybe next year I’ll have a whole fuckin’ rap on that word. I hope so.
Now that my friends, is genuinely American. And we’ve lost a hero.