I had all kinds of blog ideas tumbling around my head for today's post (my fondness for Gordon Lightfoot, the time I broke my arm, my 16-foot-tall summer reading stack, why a squishy floor around your toilet is a Very Bad Thing), but then George Carlin died. He was only 71, which seems incredibly young to me. J and I never missed his HBO specials: they were EVENTS to us, something to TiVo and look forward to for weeks ahead of time. I even used one of his CDs (the one on euphemistic language) in class with the inmates I worked with years ago, during one of our language lessons.
I loved how Carlin called out the hypocrisies, the ridiculous, irrational, and absurd in American society. He gave us that brilliant and critical gut-check when X, Y, or Z would happen (fill in the blank, the list is endless), and you'd look at your spouse or friend with relief: "Okay, I'm really not losing my mind. This really is happening, and it really ISN'T okay. And somebody is not afraid to actually call bullshit on this, and do so in a way that's simultaneously hilarious, compassionate, and mildly unsettling."
Speaking of which, George? We owe you for calling bullshit on censorship.
One of my favorite Carlin quotes is all over the net today, but I'm going to post it anyway: "I think it is the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."
(My second favorite: "The reason they call it the American dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.")
George, thanks for the honesty and the laughs. You'll be missed.