Tuesday, June 24, 2008

George Carlin: A Four-Letter Threat to Authority (Butler Shaffer)

Butler Shaffer mourns the death of the brilliant George Carlin:

When I was in high school, I got into a discussion with a couple of my classmates over the role institutions played in our lives. I had made some comment critical of government, or organized religion, or corporations – I don’t recall which – and was asked if I was opposed to all such systems. I replied that I was "distrustful of all organizations, from two-handed poker on up." This intuitive insight has stayed with me all of my life. Many years later, I would discover a man whose life-work consisted of using humor to express these sentiments.

It is difficult to find words that convey the sadness I felt upon being awakened, this morning, to the news that George Carlin had died the night before. He was the successor to the man I continue to regard as the most significant dismantler of authority in my lifetime, Lenny Bruce. To most people, Bruce and Carlin were nothing more than dealers in four-letter words; men who loved to shock the sensibilities of others. But there was a deeper meaning in their humor, and modern libertarian thinking would not have been possible without their important groundwork.

Read the rest

UPDATE: If you're looking for a good collection of Carlin videos, here you go! (Note: if you've never heard Carlin, be aware that he liberally uses bad language)

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