George Carlin farewell

While sitting in with Pamela MacCarthy tonight I heard the sad news from Les Coles that George Carlin died. Carlin is one of my three favorite comedians, the other two being Redd Foxx and Tommy Chong, and unfortunately I never got to see him. While everybody has been quoting SEVEN DIRTY WORDS on various blogs my favorites are THE 10 COMMANDMENTS (why 10, why not 9 or 11?) and THE INVISIBLE MAN IN THE SKY. Then again, just about anything from the last 15 years of HBO specials is a favorite. Carlin tore apart the absurdities of modern life like no one else. He was funny as hell AND he made people think (a seemingly lost art). Why are there ten Commandments? I use to wonder that too! "Because ten sounds _official_! It's the basis of the decimal system, it's a decade, the Top Ten, the Ten Most Wanted. So that means that having ten commandments was basically a _marketing_ decision!" I've quoted and parphrased him in many theological debates. I'm sort of an existentialist (no where near an atheist, BTW). When religious folks start flapping their jaws and I tell them I believe in the Force they consider that childish. "That's from STAR WARS!!!" Yes, and it's based on Einstein's work as well, which has been further developed in recent years. There IS an electromagnetic field that binds all of the physical universe together and atoms exist beyond what we know of as Time and Space. So when the Bible-thumpers start thumping at me that believing in the Force is childish I dip into my Carlin bag and remind them that believing in "an invisible man who lives in the sky, watches you all the time and has a list of ten things he doesn't want you to do" is childish, and furthermore the notion that "if you do any of these things he's going to cast you down into a fiery burning full of pain and misery to suffer for all eternity... but he loves you" is "just plain fuckin' stupid". So what if people are offended? What about me? I'm offended that "organized religion rakes in billions of dollars a year and pays NO TAX" yet they love to get involved with politics. You wanna get into politics? "Pay the entrance fee like everybody else!" George Carlin was an enormous influence on my own life and work. I would have like to have seen him, and especailly to have met him, but his work lives on. And as long as civilization as we know it exists his work will be there waiting to be discovered by generations to come. Just like Oscar Wilde, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Douglas Adams, Lightnin' Hopkins, Howlin' Wolk, Freddie King, Albert Collins, T-Bone Walker, etc...