Saturday, June 28, 2008

George Carlin

I was sorry to hear about the passing of George Carlin. Along with Richard Pryor, Carlin helped change stand up comedy. To me Carlin was a truth teller and a wordsmith. He knocked down pompous hypocrites with just the right word. He called a spade a spade.

For a 9th grade drop out, he did pretty well for himself. He had a plan- radio first (he had a radio show in Shreveport, LA when he was 18), then comedy, then films. He wanted to be Bob Hope or Danny Kaye. He felt it was his birthright and he didn't need three more years of formal schooling to get there. He was also blessed with a mom who instilled in him the love of language. The dictionary was an important book in the Carlin house.

Below is an excerpt of his famous seven-dirty words monologue. He can say it better than me. George Carlin you will be missed.


There are some people that aren't into all the words. There are some people who would have you not use certain words. Yeah, there are 400,000 words in the English language, and there are seven of them that you can't say on television. What a ratio that is. 399,993 to seven. They must really be bad. They'd have to be outrageous, to be separated from a group that large. All of you over here, you seven. Bad words. That's what they told us they were, remember? 'That's a bad word.' 'Awwww.' There are no bad words. Bad thoughts. Bad Intentions.

And words, you know the seven don't you? Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits, huh? Those are the heavy seven. Those are the ones that will infect your soul, curve your spine and keep the country from winning the war.

Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits, wow. Tits doesn't even belong on the list, you know. It's such a friendly sounding word. It sounds like a nickname. 'Hey, Tits, come here. Tits, meet Toots, Toots, Tits, Tits, Toots.' It sounds like a snack doesn't it? Yes, I know, it is, right. But I don't mean the sexist snack, I mean, New Nabisco Tits. The new Cheese Tits, and Corn Tits and Pizza Tits, Sesame Tits Onion Tits, Tater Tits, Yeah. Betcha can't eat just one. That's true I usually switch off . But I mean that word does not belong on the list.

Actually, none of the words belong on the list, but you can understand why some of them are there. I am not completely insensitive to people's feelings. You know, I can dig why some of those words got on the cocksucker and motherfucker. Those are...those are heavy-weight words. There's a lot going on there, man. Besides the literal translation and the emotional feeling. They're just busy words. There's a lot of syllables to contend with. And those K's. Those are aggressive sounds, they jump out at you. CocksuckerMotherfuckerCocksucker. It's like an assault, on you. So I can dig that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of the things I love about my mom: she took me and my brother to see George live, mind you we were 12 and 14 at the time. I had all his CDs so I guess she figured the damage was done. Probably the bad move on her part was bringing a date along. I think that maybe if we hadn't laughed quite so hard, they might've gone out again...