George Carlin is gone now. His heart finally gave out. Considering he survived a number of heart attacks, we’ve been lucky to see him make it to 71 years.
George Carlin was one of America’s greatest voices for freedom. His famous seven words you can’t say on TV illuminated the hypocrisy of the American media’s Puritanism. Violence, blood and gore were ok, but not those naughty words.
George was one to call ‘em as he saw ‘em. He called ‘em when it wasn’t pretty. He faced the ugliness, the madness and dark seediness lurking in our politics and culture. He could get us to laugh at the kind of stories that should make us cry.
His last TV special was one of his best. See “It's Bad for Ya” and you’ll agree he was in top form.
Last October George was a guest on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Keith was kind enough to re-broadcast that interview on tonight’s show. I’d like to share the post I wrote about that event back then.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
What George Carlin REALLY Said
“Nothing you see on the internet is mine unless it came from one of my albums, books, HBO shows, or appeared on my website.” – George Carlin
Most of us have received the e-mail forwards. They usually feature someone ranting about taxes, welfare, social issues, and such. Some of the most popular of these were credited to George Carlin and were titled, “Gas Prices Solution,” “Paradox in our Time in History”, “Bad Republican,” or “Bad American.” It might start out saying, “I like big cars, big cigars…” Then it would usually go on with typical right-wing complaints like, “I don’t celebrate Kwanza, I think I’m better than the homeless, I am not tolerant of others because they are different, I think global warming is junk science,” and something about Ronald Reagan being his hero.
You get the idea. It just feels good for people to have someone famous; someone they want to believe who sees things as they do.
Not all are specifically or politically conservative. There is one that reads like a sentimental little sermon. The one titled “Paradox in our Time” contains bits like, “We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We've learned to rush, but not to wait.” When the piece gets to, “…watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.” Those of us who know Carlin is an atheist get suspicious.
With only a little investigation, we learn that none of these were actually written by Mr. Carlin. I am still a fan of the guy, even though his material seems to be getting a little too morbid and depressing. As such are the times, I must admit.
I was happy to see George featured as a guest on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” last Tuesday, October 23rd. So, for the curious, here is what George Carlin REALLY had to say.
After his introduction by Olbermann, Carlin noted appreciatively, “This is the best news show ever…unparalleled.”
Referring to George Bush, he said, ”He’s Governor Bush, because that’s the last elected office he held legally in this country.”
Expanding his observations, he commented about the illegal wiretapping by the Bush Administration.” Power does what it wants, and now they’re just more naked about it. Now they just put it right out front and say, ‘This is what we’re doing to you folks’. It’s, you know, this country is finished. It’s been sliding downhill a long time. And everybody’s got a cell phone that makes pancakes, so they don’t want to rock the boat. They don’t want to make any trouble. The people have been bought off by gizmos and toys in this country, and no one questions things anymore.”
He concluded with, “Seriously, that’s what I love about your show. I mean you bring the thing right to them, and that’s the only way to do it.’
There you have it. George Carlin wants us to watch “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.”