Requiem for a Truth Teller…

One of the last surviving heroes from my youth died today.

All of us knew George Carlin as a side-splitting comedian who always seemed to hit whatever he spoke about dead on. One of my other heroes, Robert Anton Wilson who passed away two years ago used to call him “America’s greatest philosopher”.

That’s more than a joke.

All of us learned deep truths about ourselves and our society from the man.  It wasn’t only the words he used, but the effect of those words on our own thought processes and reality tunnels.

Socrates was a teacher and an iconoclast; he dared to question the status quo. He taught by asking questions, building one question upon another until the truth emerged.   He never “taught” a class or wrote a book either.

WEBSTER‘S Revised Unabridged Dictionary defines Iconoclast as:

1. A breaker or destroyer of images or idols; a determined enemy of idol worship.

2. One who exposes or destroys impositions or shams; one who attacks cherished beliefs; a radical.

That was Carlin’s approach.  By using humor he gained the widest possible audience to sew his doubts about conventional wisdom on just about every subject.

He kept doing it, too.  His last HBO special entitled “It’s Bad For You” aired a few months ago. I can think of no one, other than Timothy Leary, who had a bigger effect on an entire generation’s perception of reality.

John Stewart and Bill Maher are today’s “Truth Tellers” and we are lucky to have them.  They are the only ones who have been shouting about the Emperor’s clothes while the MSM looked the other way.

But Carlin barely bothered with politics.  Too easy.  He went after the big ones like religion and our own ridiculous, self-serving patterns of behavior.

Here’s a clip of my favorite of his “religion routines”.

Those who want more can watch his last one hour HBO special, complete at the link below.

Watch George Carlin… It’s Bad for Ya! (2008) Online Here!


June 24, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment