RIP, George Carlin
the first is bill cosby, and i dare you to name another entertainer who has done a tenth of what he has done for the good humor of america and the world without uttering so much as a single cuss word or off-color phrase. every time i hear another comic swear on stage, i hear laziness and the comedic equivalent of a bad rock band turning things up "to eleven" to cover up the mediocrity. yeah, it's funny, just like eleven can sound right in the right hands, but it's a short cut, and a cheap one at that. try to be funny without it--i don't know if there are but a handful of people on the planet who'd be capable. bill cosby is one of them.
the other is george carlin. yes, he of the inimitable and hysterical seven words you can never say on television, (you still can't decades later), and the profanity-laced tirades against all that is fucked up (nods, george) in this world and with it's people, but underneath it all such a keen observer of language and human nature that, if we aren't careful, and we never can be when he's telling it like it is, we're laughing so hard at ourselves that we can't hardly see straight. i think george never said it or them loudly enough, but isn't it remarkable and ridiculous that the very fact that they tried to censor his seven words ensured that generations of appreciative fans can all recite them verbatim. (i can). oh, the things we lose when we try to hold onto them too tightly.
i'm sobered and saddened that george has passed. i'm undoubtedly going to spend hours and hours over the next few days with the ipod earphones in, (you can get most all his stuff on the cheap from amiestreet), and i'm going to resolve to tell the truth in his honor on as many occasions as "the man", or ourselves, or, indeed, myself, has need to hear it.