Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin... dead

I've always been fond of saying that comedians are the prophets of our age. Among them, George Carlin was the greatest.

I started listening to him when I was 13 - A Place for My Stuff. With the volume so low we could barely hear it, my cousin and I tried as hard as we could to keep our laughter quiet so we wouldn't get caught listening to dirty jokes. We were rarely successful. Later in life, he taught me so many things: That it was the absurdities of life that made it both intolerable and interesting. That outrageous statements and behavior were ok. That I didn't have to think or speak like everyone else. That social mores are arbitrary and ridiculous. The joy of fucking with the English language and that words were more important than almost everything else. That intelligence is more important than compassion. I can't credit (or blame) him with my liberal use of dirty words, but he was obviously an influence.

He's also the reason I don't have a tattoo, reminding me on one of his specials that they can be used for positive identification.

Some of my favorites:
(apologies for the paraphrasing)

  • "You over here. You seven. Baaad Wooorrds”
  • (As Jesus) "I really coulda used a bicycle. You realize all the walking I did?”
  • (Still as Jesus) "[The loaves and fishes]wasn't a miracle. Turns out, people were puttin' 'em back. Didn't like 'em."
  • "Fuck the children!"
  • "L.A. is a small woman saying, 'Fuck me.' New York is a large man saying, ‘Fuck you!’"
  • "Apparently, in Los Angeles, people will stand on a corner, even when there's no traffic (or very little traffic that you could easily dodge) and wait for a light to tell them that it's OK to proceed."
  • "If you think there's a solution, you're part of the problem."
  • "Nigflot blorny quando floon!"
  • “Even in a Disney movie you can say, ‘Snatch that pussy and put it in a box.’”
My very favorite, since the first time I ever listened to him:
Ratshit! Batshit! Dirty old twat!
Sixty-nine assholes tied in a knot!
Hurray, lizard shit!
Fuck!
Exactly.

4 comments:

the chaplain said...

I'm gonna miss him. He was brilliant and funny.

Pockets said...

Also paraphrased, but priceless:

Twat's twat, and that's that.

BUILD MORE PRISONS!...but not here.

I'll prove to you there's no god. If there is a god...may he strike this audience down!

Every activity engaged in by more than four people in this country has got a fuckin' magazine devoted to it...Look Dave, the new "Walking's" out!

The planet's not going anywhere people. WE ARE! We're going away folks. Pack your shit.

I've seen some snappin' pussies in my day, but never one that could mow a lawn. Maybe a little edging.

Can't do anything in this country anymore. Can't make a car worth a shit. Can't make a microwave or a VCR. Can't educate our children, but we can bomb the fuck out of your country, boy! We're damn good at it too. Especially if your country has a lot of brown people in it.

I pray to Joe Pesci because he seems like the kind of guy who can get things done.

The Big Electron...whoooaaaa...whoooooaaaa

Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. Why isn't selling fucking legal? Why is it illegal to sell something that's perfectly legal to give away for free?

I think every kid every day should have two and a half hours of daydreaming.

Pockets said...

In the end, you can tell Carlin was THE consumate comedian by considering the fact that there is no way to mourn him that he wouldn't have made fun of.

Jessica said...

I actually thought about you when I heard George died. I knew you were a fan, as was I. Also...I totally agree with you about comedians being the prophets of our time.