Day by Day



23 June 2008

George Carlin...




George Carlin is dead. The perpetually grouchy king of a cynical counterculture passed away. I found much of Carlin's work decidely too negative. His humour, at times, brutally unkind. But that was the appeal of this individual.

I like comedy. It is one of the rare tools which allows all of us to reexamine our own self-importance and challenge sacred beliefs. It is a platform for common understanding - given the right joke. We all seem to be able to laugh at simple, physical humor - a favorite of Citizen Prime. But it is the subtlety which prunes the mind allowing new ideas to grow.

If we can laugh at something, we can then begin to think critically about it. We can laugh at religion, politics, gender issues, ethnicity and other topics and start to understand that these concepts and ideas are not unassailable, monolithic constructs.

There are normal frailties inherent in these beliefs. This is not to say that they are deserving of ridicule, but that having been ridiculed - do they survive or even thrive?

There have been no shortage or jokes at the expense of the Catholic church. In fact, it is probably one of the longest standing institutions which has been subject to satire. It certainly has not vanished, althoguh one could argue that the changes in the church are due, in no small part, to satire.

Both recent presidents have been the helpless vicitms of satirical attack. Clinton for his lascivious nature and Bush for his public speaking. Neither really recovered from these pointed attacks on real character flaws.

Every day I tune in to my XM satellite radio and listen to a dose of stand up comedy. Whether it is left leaning (the majority) or right (Dennis MIller being one of the few in this space) it never ceases to provide me a smile (no matter how grim) and an insight into some modern conundrum.

I expect when George arrives at his final destination, the almighty (or whomever) will pat him on the back and say;

"That seven dirty words routine was f*****g hilarious."

9 comments:

sonicfrog said...

People forget just how biting "7 D. W." was at the time.

HERE is on of my faves. I just wish he would have named names.

captjackharkness said...

Two words: Buddy Jesus.

Re; Bush's public speaking is not a character flaw. IMHO, it was a calculated manner of speaking to brush off his born with a silver spoon in his mouth background. If you look back at many speeches before he was POTUS,(indeed, even his speech right after 9/11) the accent is non-existent as well as the misunderesimatings. It got him a lot of mileage, but ran over him in the end...he became a charicature (sp?), not a person.

Citizen Deux said...

Regardless of intentional affect or stress induced - the effect is the same, fodder for satirists.

captjackharkness said...

Stress induced???Before and during the 2000 election? This is not a new phenomonon, brought about since 9/11....it had everything to do with the candidate you most like to have a beer with...calculation which won at first, then backfired to a huge and sad extent...

sonicfrog said...

WOOT!!! My team just won the college world series!!!

Citizen Deux said...

Sigh - and my team didn't

PS - Scoot, if you can back up the assertion with hard proof - I'll buy.

captjackharkness said...

One good example: the perfectly eloquent and moving speech he gave after 9/11. He was a true orator. Why only then?

As for more, give me time, but it is after midnight and I just got home from playing the karaoke host in GLOBAL WARMING-THE MUSICAL, and have had one too many Stella Artois at the post-show bar. God, I love community theatre in the UK....

sonicfrog said...

Got InstaLanched AGAIN!!! Third Time! I'm Awesome!!!

Citizen Deux said...

FROG - HOW DO YOU DO IT?