Kelly, you're one of the people on all the Earth who I wish I could spend a month with. Not just because of your dad, who is so threaded through my life, everyone who knows me hates Carlin's guts. Somehow his jokes just don't carry the same delivery when guys like me tell it; I'm not a professional comedian. (Carlin on Campus, I think)
I had a therapist (who wasn't by the end of this session) who told me it was a bad thing that I liked George so much, because he was so "depressing". I laid into her pretty deep; the world is depressing, the world makes no sense, George helped me to laugh at it instead of setting it on fire.
George made me feel like I was on the inside of all the jokes, the ones that nobody gets or the ones people don't even realize are funny - they've gotten so used to things being stupid that it's now comfortable to them that way.
I resented the people who called George "Counter-culture" - that's a bullshit phrase if there ever was one. Culture is what the people make it; just because a large group of them go one direction and some of us hold out to go somewhere else doesn't make us "counter" on it's merits; maybe we've actually got the right idea and the "culture" is counter to it -
I heard an interview with you, I think on NPR, when George died....I never knew there was a Little Miss Carlin, and most of us who just had the HBO specials and nothing else, never knew anything about his real life.
I'm one of those introverts who knew there had to be a real guy, a guy who had a "normal" life outside the limelight; and I guessed that a guy with a history like George had could not have been the easiest guy to live with. Anybody that brilliant who can go off in places no one ever thought to go usually makes people feel insecure - they try to match him - or they shun him in an attempt to prove he's no better than them and it's their choice to let him go because he's not worth following.
And yet there was this world of his fans. The legacy. All that was bigger than one mortal man.
He took on religion - thinking of Sam Harris, Christofpher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins - George was the icebreaker that allowed them to make the "northern passage" through territory which woudl have remained ice-bound without his sledgehammer of a life.
I have a short-term memory problem; which means it's hard for me to learn new things, and that also means I can listen to the same thing over and over again and it takes forever before it gets old or becomes ingrained in my memory. Between "the little david collection" and "all my stuff" , there's not much room on my iPhone for anything else...I've been playing this stuff since 1988 (when i first got my hand on copies I could keep)...I was 10 years old when George did his first HBO special.
I told the joke about the uncle that "throws you up in the air"...my grandmother paraded me aroudn to a clatch of old european women and made me tell it to them...I think I made a few dollars in quarters that day...and ddid it all without getting soap in the mouth for those words I wasn't supposed to use. (that routine about being "teeny" is one of the few without any blue words)
Media is a funny thing; a weird and surreal connector. I don't know you, I probably never will. I never knew George, and yet he's a huge part of my life.
I'm always grateful for his unjaundiced view of this world, he gave me the courage to scream "bullshit" when I knew it was bullshit and when the rest of the world thought it tasted great and was good for them. I cry when I see some of his stuff, I gasp for air laughign at some stuff even though I've heard it for thirty years. That's hard to do.
I'm only 44. I listened to him describe an "old f**k", when he talked about guys who were "old" when they were in their 20's. I'm wary that was me; that he's right about me.
So I walk the line, knowing I'm not going to be famous or make many (any) people laugh by re-using his stuff; I do come up with a few of my own (Why are the signs that say "Lights on in tunnel" made of reflective material? If it's daytime, you can read it even if it's not reflective, and if it's nighttime and you dont' have your lights on, you aren't going to see the g*d**m sign anyway...)
I'm an atheist. In the spirit of people who follow Christ call themselves "Christians", I guess I'm one of those "Carliains"
I'm going to spend some more time here. I feel bad that I didn't know where your presence on the internet was all this time;
I felt the need to connect with you.
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