"I've always been sort of anti-authoritarian and I really don't like arbitrary rules and regulations that are essentially designed to get people in the habit of conforming."
George Carlin taught me many things. Every one of them is very important. Here are some of the things he taught me and some of the reasons I will miss him.
• The government and media use language to control people.
Carlin taught me that there is no excuse for short-cutting thought.Welfare sounds like a good thing. Back when it first started, it was called being on the dole, which sounds like a bad thing. Shell shock, battle fatigue and post-war syndrome are all the same thing. No matter what the government wants you to think, getting shot at is not a syndrome. The American language has evolved to make controlling people easier.
• The government wants us weaker.
They want a population of sensitive crybabies who have all the mental toughness of a pasta dinner. People who don't think for themselves but spend most of their time worrying about themselves are easily controlled and thus will not question what the government is doing. Carlin coined the phrase, "The pussyfication of the American male" to describe the increased call for sensitivity in relationships. Carlin didn't want to live in a world where men were encouraged to lose their place as pack leaders for their families and institutions. The very fabric of society and freedom hinge on us being competitive, insensitive jerks. Carlin knew that and tried to express as much in his comedy.
• Organized religion is a sham.
Look, my mother is a minister and I see all the good that she does so I'm not really gonna work on this one too much. But I do want to point out that the Catholic Church is richer than Microsoft and has never paid any taxes.
• Being free to consume is not being free.
Carlin often pointed out that we don't have real freedom in this country. The government owns our homes and can do what they want with the land. Our providers of energy and entertainment are limited to state-sponsored entities. In Carlin's words, the only real freedom we have is the freedom to choose between the blue car and the red car, between the 20-gig iPod and the 30-gig iPod. Our government wants us shelling out cash while thinking we're actually making a decision as we consume mindlessly. Kinda sucks, huh?
George Carlin taught me that the world was completely and utterly full of shit. He taught me that there is no excuse for short-cutting thought. He showed me a world filled with venom, oppression and hatred and he made it funny.
I can't believe he died.
That's hyperbole. I mean, I can believe that anyone died. He was, after all, mortal. But I just can't imagine a world without Carlin critiquing it. I can't believe that there will never be another George Carlin special or book. I can't believe that there will never again be a comedic moment created under the suspicious eye of that genius. But mainly, I can't believe that I live in a world with one less truth teller, one less bullshit caller, and one less comedic genius.
I'd request that George rest in peace, but I don't think he ever rested in peace here on planet earth. I just don't think resting in peace is the kind of thing that Carlin could pull off. He was too energetic for resting in peace. And so, I will end this column in a way that Carlin himself could appreciate.
Everybody is full of shit. It don't mean we're bad people. It just means that we're all full of shit. And that we live in a full of shit world and have full of shit friends and family members and we lie to each other every day but that's okay because everyone else is full of shit and lying to us every day and when all is said and done, you're just gonna be stuck in a casket or burned to a crisp while all your living full of shit friends sit around and tell the nicest full of shit stories they can bring themselves to tell. At the end of it all, you're just another full of shit asshole in a full of shit world, and when people try to remember you after you're gone, they absolutely and positively will base their memories of you on their personal full of shit opinion of your bullshit.
Rest in bullshit, Carlin. There is now one last living person that I want to meet. We'll all miss you. Well, maybe not the Catholics.
Speaking of books and specials, Nate's book The Snippets and the Impure Tour is on internet shelves now! It's the longest, funniest thing from PIC yet, so skip the mainstream bullshit and buy yourself a copy now.