Monday, June 23, 2008

R.I.P. George Carlin

American culture will not be the same without George Carlin pushing the envelope. I don't think any comedian since Lenny Bruce has had so much influence, and not just on his profession. Carlin's courageous and outrageous stance on so-called obscenity, his keen observations on the English language and his high energy silliness have virtually catapulted our pop culture. Think Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Richard Jeni, Eddie Izzard, Richard Pryor, Margaret Cho, The Simpsons, South Park, hip-hop...I could go on and on.

George Carlin is not in a better place. His place was in this world and I, for one, will miss one strong mother of an ally.

"The whole problem with this idea of obscenity and indecency, and all of these things - bad language and whatever - it's all caused by one basic thing, and that is: religious superstition. There's an idea that the human body is somehow evil and bad and there are parts of it that are especially evil and bad, and we should be ashamed. Fear, guilt and shame are built into the attitude toward sex and the body. ... It's reflected in these prohibitions and these taboos that we have."

-George Carlin

Here's a wonderful version of his famous 7 Words You Can't Say on Television routine. If you're "bad word" averse don't watch it.