I think it's time I write about someone I lost some time ago. Like any other death that I've experienced from afar, the feeling that I have for it doesn't come out until some time after. However, this time it's a little a different, as I've never met the man. I'm talking about George Carlin.
Those who know me know that most of the thoughts and positions that I waffle about have been brought up by comedians. Comedy is a wonderful, wondrous and wooing way to communicate. It disarms you, leaving you open for new thought. However, it is also tricky, troublesome and tormentful, as if it's done wrong, the message that was meant to be communicated may be misunderstood. And it is in this way that comedy strikes me as a very important medium: you need to be ready to be hit, you need to prepare yourself to open up. It is a bit like anal sex: you need to relax before it goes in, if not it's probably going to hurt (this one's for you Georgy).
It's on that regard that Mr. Carlin shines. He manages to convey his message beautifully arranged and perfectly portrayed, making it very difficult not to listen. He's going to kick you in the balls, and if you don't open up, he makes certain that it hurts. And in that exquisite pain, you start thinking about what he just said, and why it pains you. You start yelling back, trying to make some sense of your past knowledge about the subject, and at that moment it hits you: you don't know anything about the subject, just bits and pieces. So you research about it, you look into yourself for a new explanation, and you come out at the end with a new point. And then you realise that the new point is not so different from your starting point, and that in fact the slight differences between the old and the new are completely ridiculous. And in that ridicule you start laughing. You can't believe how important you thought those differences were, which now seem so insignificant. You listen to him again, and smile, and laugh... and an epiphany comes: You've just come to a conclusion about a subject with your own self, and with a smile in your face to top it off.
He's been my main tool for new thought since I knew about him. Even in his death he's helped me to know myself, as I've noticed that his death (being of a person I've never met) has hit me exactly the same way as any other death in my family. This suggested that I'm not particularly devoted to persons close to me, which I need to address. Either that, or I have unknowingly welcomed him as part of my family.
I know he would slap me on the face if I kept writing as if I was putting him on some sort of pedestal. He's not a saint (that specifically would infuriate him), and he's certainly not in heaven. But he's probably not in hell either. In his interview with Jesus in one of his books, there was a mention of the existence of a heck, which is not as bad as hell; who knows, he's probably there right now, playing poker with some friends of his. I suppose that now that he's dead he would enjoy the act of me writing shit about him. However, I tried, I really tried, but I can't come up with any bad things to write about him, other than he's white (which many people find offensive nowadays), and his idiotic quirk when he mimes fucking someone on stage.
Even his position in religion I always thought has been spot on:
If it's true that we're all from the center of a star, every atom on each of us from the center of a star, then we’re all the same thing. Even a Coke machine or a cigarette butt in the street in buffalo is made out of atoms that came from a star. They've all been recycled thousands of times, as have you and I. And therefore, it's only me out there. So what is there to be afraid of? What is there that needs solace seeking? Nothing. There's nothing to be afraid of because it's all us.
The trouble is we have been separated by being born and given a name and an identity and being individuated. We've been separated from the oneness, and that's what religion exploits. That people have this yearning to be part of the overall one again. So they exploit that. They call it god, they say he has rules, and I think it's cruel. I think you can do it absent religion.
For people who read this blog periodically (which I'm pretty sure I can count with the fingers of my left hand... the right hand is busy right now), you've probably noticed my unprecedented use of "foul" language in this post. Get used to it:
It's not a need [to use the F-word]. It's a choice. [...] It's a form of spice in my stew.
I've always tried to stop myself from using it when writing for this blog, but I don't think I will anymore. There's no such thing as "foul" language, they're just words, and damn it, I'm going to use every one that I deem necessary. In honour of Mr. Carlin, if it feels right, it's going in... that's what she said, I know.
I don't want to end without giving you what I think are his best two quotes:
In our school we didn't have grades. We didn't have A's, B's, C's and D's. The only A's I got -and this is a little corny- I got their Attention, I got their Approval, their Admiration, their Approbation, and their Applause. And those were the only A's I wanted, and I got'em.
As the answer for the question: If there was a Heaven, what would you like God to say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Now we're going to have some fun!