Monday, June 23, 2008

R.I.P. George Carlin

As I sat down tonight to write up my thoughts on “Lifeforce,” this month's FGFC pick I heard the news of the passing of the great George Carlin. Which really tore me up. Actually it was a lot like a punch straight to my gut. Something I just wasn't ready to hear, something I don't think I would ever have been ready to hear.

Many people don't know this but between the ages of about 7 and 15 or so if anyone asked me what my dream job was, what I hoped or wished I could be I had a two word answer, “Writer, Comedian.” That is no lie, and it I did then, and still do attribute it mainly to the man whom in my head I always refer to as “The Icon” George Carlin. Carlin was the first comedian that I ever witnessed that truly captured the entirety of my interest.

I've always believed that the mark of a great comedian is not just someone who can make you laugh, but someone who can make you laugh and provoke thought. Carlin was great at that, his views on language were legendary. Which was appropriate, after all he wrote and spoke for a living so language was his playground was it not?

One of the most powerful beliefs I have always had is a direct result of Carlin, that being that the words we use only have the power that we allow them to have.

The best way I've found to fight the sadness of this great loss is to honor the man and view his work. Here is a fantastic clip which will show you what I am talking about far better than any words I could possibly say.



Notice the beauty of his performance. The words he uses, how he uses them. His body language. The pace he uses, coming on strong and hard really hitting hard with some jokes then smartly cooling it down slower and quieter with the more subtle just so he can bring you back. Like I said and I truly believe it is an art.

2 comments:

The McGuffin said...

Sad, sad news. He was thee master of combining, well, just about everything including the English language, religion, hypocrisy, household appliances, and everything in between. I was lucky enough to see him 4 times here in Spokane in the 90's...he was incredible live. And he introduced the word "sprunt" into my vocab. Thanks George...

Pierce said...

I am completely jealous that you were able to see him perform live. A few years ago he was playing Chinook Winds (or maybe Spirit Mountain) and I tried to get up there for the show, but I just couldn't. School schedule and ride issues, ugh...

Carlin is responsible for a large part of my vocabulary, one of the benefits of listening to him way earlier than I ever should have been allowed to. Sadly I rarely get to use "sprunt" in my day to day...I need to hang out with a different crowd maybe?

I do answer the question "how are you?" with "I'm not unwell, thank you" constantly. Also I am incapable at this point of discussing religion and praying without bringing up Pesci.