Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Goodbye to George Carlin

For the most part I am not much moved by the deaths of celebrities -- John Lennon and Audrey Hepburn are the only two that come to mind off the top of my head.

I'm not depressed by Carlin's death, exactly -- but it struck me harder than I'd expected. He's been a huge figure in my inner life --

Many years ago I was listening to a local radio host, Frank Sontag. Good guy, bright, runs a good call-in show where people talk about Issues, both global and personal. I fell asleep listening to him one night -- and woke up to a call from this woman who was just sobbing on the radio about how we were killing the planet. The despair in her voice ... I was groggy, half-asleep -- hit me hard. She sounded like a woman who'd reached her absolute limits. Under normal circumstances, barriers up, I'd have listened, wished her well, and turned the radio off. No need to carry stuff like that around with you.

But I was sleepy and disoriented and this shit went straight to my hindbrain. For years afterward I'd flash on this poor, scared woman, sobbing over the planet's death ...

And then I heard Carlin talk on the subject. I've felt better ever since. "The planet will be fine."



This doesn't hit the same spot ... but it's a nice way to remember Carlin.

7 comments:

Dan Moran said...

Fairly large chunk of AI War will be up late today -- this evening after I get home.

Sean Fagan said...

While I am generally saddened by the death of anyone, some celebrities hit me harder than most. Carlin was one; the ones that hit me harder were Geisel and Jim Henson.

I'm somewhat annoyed by the fact that the media paid so much attention to the death of Tim Russert, while Carlin has only gotten a fraction of it.

Steve Perry said...

At his peak, Carlin was as funny as anybody to ever walk on a stage. I thought he had gotten bitter the last few times I saw him. The line between funny and too much is passing thin, and I think he stepped over it more than he needed.

He burned the candle at both ends and in the middle, and he knew he had heart problems and he kept taking stuff that made them worse. His choice.

Still, the hippie-dippy weatherman and the classic rants on language and against the airlines were priceless.

Deadford said...

I'm a huge Carlin fan. This was a blow to me as well. So many comedians are just funny because they're sort of funny. Carlin was funny and actually had something to say, which is rare and wonderful.

Looking forward to the next AI War post!

Deadford said...

I'm a huge Carlin fan. This was a blow to me. So many comedians are funny just because they're sort of funny. George Carlin was funny AND had something to say, which a wonderful and rare thing.

Looking forward to the next AI War post!

Anonymous said...

Hey Dan,
I was wondering when you were going to upload AI War? I can't wait to read it.

Thanks for your time.

Ed

Dan Moran said...

I think I posted while you were posting this.