Monday, June 23, 2008

And Another...Goodbye, Mr. Carlin

Honestly, I'm not a depressing person, and there will be lots more uplifting and humourous entries to come, but somethings just need to be spoken of, not ignored. The passing of George Carlin being one of them.

George, or Mr. Carlin, as I think of him, was a revolutionary. Like him, loathe him, but he had an impact on our world. I mean, how many of us are in law books concerning freedom of speech? I may be a foot note in someone's journal one day, but that's about it.

Funny thing...but that's not what I admire most about Mr. Carlin. Not even close.

I never met the man, but I respected him. I respected that in the turmoil of the life he led of show business, he didn't hesitate to let his views be known. He was well spoken, intelligent, and honest to the point of brash. You may not like his views, but you damn well knew what they were. No mealy mouthed PC crap for that gentleman. He conducted himself in interviews without pandering for a quick sound bite. He didn't 'dumb down' his speaking, and was shown time and again to be thoughtful, intelligent, and given to ponder and weigh his experiences and was also well aware of the absurdity of life. Despite his success, he seemed to be a contradiction of pride and humility. He was careful to choose his words so that he didn't appear the braggart or arrogant in interviews, but he also tested the boundries and pushed the envelope whenever possible, as if daring someone to tell him to stop. I suppose once you've been to the US Supreme Court, there's not much that would intimidate you.

In a world that seems to value intelligence less and less, and celebrate celebrities more and more (Paris Hilton is a prime example of that...what the hell is she famous for?) he didn't conform. He stood proudly, unbowed and unfazed, and continued his comedy, his life, his way. There are many who followed in his footsteps, but none have ever managed to combine the earthy (and sometimes down right rude and crude and vulgar) style with the thoughtful intelligence with which he snuck up on his audience and commented on society.

Goodbye, Sir. Thank you for being you.

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