Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin (1937-2008)

To say I was sad to read that George Carlin has died is an understatement. Without hesitation, I can say that George Carlin influenced me. As a kid, in the late 60s and seventies, I listened to his comedy albums (although my parents would NOT have approved). I memorized his routines, especially the "Shit" routine. "I was fired last year for saying shit; in a town where the big game is called crap."

I really liked how he tried to look at things kind of upside down. For instance:

"The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done."

I began very early on to do the same thing. Look at the common and try to make it zany, incredible. "When you dial the phone, do you give your finger a free ride back?"

He was a master at poking holes in the most common, normative behavior. "Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong."

As an example of my own Carlin influence, I was diving in the Fl Keys last week. As we headed out to the reef, I told my dive partner, that the place we were headed was called "Hammerhead Cafe."

George Carlin has died. Shoot (which is shit with two Os)

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