Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin

When George Carlin was announced as this year's winner of the Mark Twain Prize by the Kennedy Center in Washington, his response was: "Thank you Mr. Twain. Have your people call my people."

Carlin was a favorite of mine since his days as a buttoned-down, narrow-tie, crewcut standup comic on variety shows, where he might do his "Hippy Dippy Weatherman" routine. ("And the Pollen count at Mt. Sinai Hospital -- one, two, three, four ...")

Sometimes he wasn't that funny to me (though most of the time he was) but his creed must endure:

"I think it is the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."

In George Carlin's memory, I will continue to do my part.

Here is 10-and-a-half minutes of the classic "Seven Words You Can Never Say on TV." Needless to say, this may be offensive to some people. You know who you are.

2 comments:

  1. More years ago than I care to remember or admit to, I was on a 3 day retreat on the grounds of a Catholic seminary.

    One of those nights, we were holed up in the dorm, sneakily (sp?) listening to Carlin's original 7 words routine on what must have been an early cassette tape boom box.

    It must have been, because after consuming enough contraband refreshments, we decided that the rest of the campus neeeded to share in our uncontrolled laughter, so at 2AM we blasted the 7 words routine out the window for all to enjoy.

    Hmmmm, I'm Christian, far-right (Libertarian really, but that kinda detracts from the point)and still hope the genius of Carlin lives forever as a monument to the brilliance of word (he called them 'werds') useage.

    F*ck, sh*t, p*ss, c**t, c*cks*cker, m**h*rf**ker and t*ts.

    Bless us all, every one.

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  2. Well a couple of congressmen, one of whom is no long employed in that capacity, introduced a bill in 2003 commemorating Mr. Carlin.

    The bill went nowhere except to the Congressional Record, where it can be found by searching at www.thomas.gov and entering an appropriate search term under the 108th Congress or look for HR 3687 for that Congress.

    It goes something like this:



    To amend section 1464 of title 18, United States Code, to provide for the punishment of certain profane broadcasts, and for other purposes. (Introduced in House)

    HR 3687 IH


    108th CONGRESS

    1st Session

    H. R. 3687
    To amend section 1464 of title 18, United States Code, to provide for the punishment of certain profane broadcasts, and for other purposes.


    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

    December 8, 2003
    Mr. OSE (for himself and Mr. SMITH of Texas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary



    A BILL
    To amend section 1464 of title 18, United States Code, to provide for the punishment of certain profane broadcasts, and for other purposes.


    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 1464 of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

    (1) by inserting `(a)' before `Whoever'; and

    (2) by adding at the end the following:

    `(b) As used in this section, the term `profane', used with respect to language, includes the words `shit', `piss', `fuck', `cunt', `asshole', and the phrases `cock sucker', `mother fucker', and `ass hole', compound use (including hyphenated compounds) of such words and phrases with each other or with other words or phrases, and other grammatical forms of such words and phrases (including verb, adjective, gerund, participle, and infinitive forms).'.
    -----------------
    God bless legislators who are so concerned about gerunds and participles.

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