Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

Seven words he’ll never say again

Posted by Ron Coleman on June 23, 2008

George Carlin died today. He was 71. Carlin was a true original, one of the few comics who actually got people to think about some things in new ways, and — unlike, say Mort Sahl — managing to stay funny while doing so over the course of a generation.

But his humor was angry, and his hippy-dippy outlook, cute in the early 70’s, curdled into a know-nothing angry leftism of the “they own all of you, we’re all tools in the System, man” variety.  (You know – the System that made him very, very comfortable despite his harsh criticism of it.)  He was ultimately only a comedian, and hence his bleak “social criticisms” were seldom better enunciated than the facile juxtapositions found in editorial cartoons. But as a vanguard of envelope-pushing in the realm of new levels of public indelicacy he was regarded as a sage, a modern-day Twain, by would-be culture critics of the Don Imus rank.

Now he’s dead.

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8 Responses to “Seven words he’ll never say again”

  1. craig mclaughlin said

    Fair comment. Yet, I think you do him a slight disservice. Carlin suffered, as all performance artists do from talk show over-exposure. From the notion that their off the cuff opinions are noteworthy.

    When he was on stage doing material he’d rehearsed he was brilliant. He brought the funny for forty years.

    Who else has done that?

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  3. mary said

    Are we thinking of the same George Carlin? He did a parody of drug addled leftists called the Hippy Dippy Weatherman. He did a whole routine specifically to annoy feminists. And he thought environmentalism was full of it.

    Now he’s dead just like we’ll all be, but his words and his routines will live on..

  4. mary said

    Of course, he was a total misanthrope, but he seemed to hate everyone.. that was his job, and he was very professional about it.

  5. Mary, it’s true — he didn’t like hippies, or liberals. But he was an angry man and absolutely spouted the conspiratorial, leftist line. I happen to just have heard an extended excerpt of his routine on Sunday… oddly enough.

  6. mary said

    Extreme leftism is such a misanthropic, conspiracy-oriented ideology, it’s easy to confuse it with old fashioned hatred of humanity.

    Most of the time, Pat Buchanan sounds like a left-extremist, but he’s just another misanthrope. And he doesn’t even try to be funny (although if he had one tiny bit of self-awareness, he could be)

  7. Ara Rubyan said

    Now there’s something I haven’t seen before: a side-by-side comparison of George Carlin and Pat Buchanan.

    What were you thinking?

  8. mary said

    Anything can be compared, there’s no law against it as far as I know.

    Carlin and Buchanan are both misanthropes. Carlin used comedy to express himself – he provided insight and made us laugh.

    Buchanan uses politics to express himself – he lies a lot and he makes us all miserable.

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