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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

In Memoriam: George Carlin (1937 - 2008)

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As one grows older, people you admire - your heroes, so to speak - start to fade away. One after another. This past weekend, a comedian whom Walski considers a legend in his own right, kicked the bucket, making his final curtain call to the great big improv in the sky.

Image taken from, hosting by PhotobucketGeorge Carlin - stand up comedian, actor, author, thinker, social observer and (kinda) atheist - died of heart failure at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California on Sunday afternoon (early Monday morning, Malaysia time). He was 71.

Walski first got acquainted with Carlin while in college, 20-some years ago, while working at the college radio station. The station, KLSU had at the time a reasonably okay selection of spoken word records - yeah, those vinyl disk-like objects which you rarely see nowadays.

Well, Carlin is someone that told it like it is, no holds barred - think Raja Petra but with lots of profanity... and in the process, he became known as a comedian who constantly pushed the envelope on what was - or more accurately, was not - acceptable on the airwaves.

Walski remembers that out of the entire record (can't recall which one now, however), there were only a few tracks that were playable on-air. You could easily tell which - those that weren't struck out with black marker ink!

And there weren't many on that record, Walski'll tell you that...

No obituary for George Carlin would be complete without some profanity in it. So, what the fuck... let's throw caution out the window, to the wind, and who knows... this obit might turn out half-way-fucking decent, after all...
(truth is universal, and mostly hilarious, in the full post)

But, Walski digresses...

Perhaps what Walski admired about George Carlin most is his direct no-holds barred observation of people - their everyday idiosyncracies, which most people take for granted - turning them into a laugh riot. And make people laugh he did... but at the same time, think, too.

George Carlin's brand of humor was one-of-a-kind intelligent. His incredible ability to create comedy out of the most tragic of life's events is perhaps legendary. And so was his anti-establishment attitude. Perhaps what George Carlin would always be remembered for is the "Seven Dirty Words You Can't Say on Television" stand-up routine, back 1972 in Milwauke, Wisconsin, for which he was arrested after the show for disorderly conduct.

And what were those seven words? Well, why don't we let the man himself tell you about it (caution: contains language that may be offensive to some asshole dickheads out there)

In any case. Carlin remained unrepentant, continued to speak his mind, and mouth, off... and today is one of stand-up comedy's most well-known names. And will undoubtedly be one of comedy's all time legends...

Admittedly, upon hearing about Carlin's death yesterday morning, Walski started looking up GC's material online, which you can find a lot of on YouTube. One thing that struck Walski was the cynicism that George Carlin had for organized anything - religion, government, big business... And what was really interesting was that a lot of what Carlin had to say also applies to what Malaysia is today, or at least, where it's headed... the numbing of the populace through mindless entertainment, the creeping commercialism that numbs our collective intelligence, the obfuscation on the part of government, dogma being fed to us in the guise of religion... it all rang true to Walski.

Loud and fucking clear.

And that, perhaps, is one other thing that Walski will remember George Carlin for - the ability to dissect the mundane everyday same-old, to uncover the hidden, and most times hilarious, truth about the life we would otherwise have taken for granted....

Well, George, you made us laugh throughout your career, but more importantly, in the process, you certainly also made us think. And for that, Walski can muster only seven words that perhaps sums up how we, your fans, feel:

We will miss you... Rest In Peace

Image taken from George Carlin's website, hosting by PhotobucketNow pushing the cosmic comedy envelope, at an afterlife near you... R.I.P. George!