Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blood of Heroes Part II

George Carlin. What else can I say? The man had an amazingly long career, spanning decades. To tell you the truth, I had a hell of a time deciding what picture to post here-being that there are so many to choose from and several of them couldn't be more different. I eventually chose the one above because it seems to be from somewhere in the middle: not his button-down suit and tie days on the Steve Allen era Tonight's Show, and not from the more recent years when you could see him getting weaker month to month. This one seemed to be George at the prime of his life.
I was exposed to George Carlin at an early age. I caught one of his HBO specials when I was around 12 or 13 and have loved him ever since. He actually planted the first seeds in my head which led to my eventual break from organized religion (or maybe religion in general. I haven't quite gotten to that point yet). If I remember correctly, it was:

In the Bullshit Department, a businessman can't hold a candle to a clergyman. 'Cause I gotta tell you the truth, folks. When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims: religion. No contest. No contest. Religion. Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man -- living in the sky -- who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!

My father had actually said pretty much this same thing to me earlier, but I wasn't read to hear it. In the interest of being fair. I slowly took in just about everything I could get by and about George Carlin, checking his books out of the library, watching his comedy specials, nothing over the top. I came to truely admire him and I still do. I don't mean to populate my list entirely with stand-up commedians (and I won't), but they seem to usually be the only ones saying what needs to be said, and nobody said it better than Carlin. I remember after he died, I read an article by Chris Rock where he commented on the fact that he (Rock) was always being compared to Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor. And, while he admitted that he admired both of those guys, he personally felt that his style was much closer to George Carlin's, in the fact that Carlin never seemed to do ANY joke more than a few times (7 Dirty Words not withstanding). This, Rock said, was in stark contrast to the current trend in comedy which is to find a popular routine and run it INTO THE FUCKING GROUND. Git'r'done indeed.
Needless to say, I've always liked that analysis of Carlin's career, and I've always loved Carlin himself. As Neil Young famously said, it's better to burn out than fade away. Surprisingly George Carlin never did either.

Recomended Reading:

"We have to declare war on everything. We have the war on crime, the war on poverty, the war on litter, the war on cancer, the war on drugs. But did you ever notice, we got no war on homelessness? You know why? There's no money in that problem! No money to be made off of the homeless. If you could find a solution to homelessness where the corporate swine and the politicians could steal a couple of million dollars each, you'd see the streets of America begin to clear up pretty god-damned quick, I'll guarantee you that!"

"Once you leave the womb, conservatives don’t care about you until you reach military age. Then you’re just what they’re looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers."

When I was a kid, if a guy got killed in a western movie I always wondered who got his horse

And I leave you with my personal Mantra:

Don't confuse my point of view with cynicism. The real cynics are the ones who tell you that everything`s gonna be all right.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Blood of Heroes Part I

This is the first in a short series I'm going to do about some of my favorite modern philosophers (if you'll forgive the term). These are people, I guess, who in one way or another have changed my outlook and/or perspective in some signifigant way. Also, this list is in no particular order. So, here it goes:

The first entry is somebody that alot of people aren't too familiar with, and I think I can safely say that he will be the most ecclectic of my personal Jesi. It's BILL HICKS! And if you don't know him, youtube his ass right now-the man is a fuckin' prophet. He was a stand up comedian who was active from the early 80's until his death in 1994 from pancreatic cancer. Most people have seen or heard bits and pieces from his stand up routines and not known it was him, and several people (including a handful of other stand-up comedians) have accused Dennis Leary of ripping him off and thus stealing some of the fame that rightfully should have gone to Hicks. I can't say much on this except that they both have a similar style. Truthfully, though, it's a moot point. I personally believe that the reason Hicks never made it to the level of some other comedians of his day was the fact that:

A) His style, even by todays standards, was pretty harsh and abrassive (see below)

and B) He hit his stride in the era of Full House and George H.W. Bush "family values"

That being said, I truely love this guy. I was introduced to him at some point during my first year of college when a friend of mine played me a CD one night when, I assume, we were sitting around with nothing to do. I don't remember exactly. But I often find that whenever a seemingly original thought pops into my head, a quick Google search reveals that Bill already said it better. Here are some of those times:

I think it's interesting the two drugs that are legal, alcohol and cigarettes, two drugs that do absolutely nothing for you at all; and the drugs that might open your mind up to realize how badly you're being fucked every day of your life?...Those drugs are against the law. Heheh, coincidence?

Why is pot against the law? It wouldn't be because anyone can grow it, and therefore you can't make a profit off it, would it?

Go back to bed, America. Your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control again. Here. Here's American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up. Go back to bed, America. Here is American Gladiators. Here is 56 channels of horseshit! Watch these pituitary retards bang their fucking skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom. Here you go, America! You are free to do what we tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!

I'll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. "I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs." "I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking." "Hey, wait a minute, there's one guy holding out both puppets!" "Shut up! Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control. Here's Love Connection. Watch this and get fat and stupid. By the way, keep drinking beer, you fucking morons."

If you want more, here it is:

They lie about marijuana. Tell you pot-smoking makes you unmotivated. Lie! When you're high, you can do everything you normally do just as well — you just realize that it's not worth the fucking effort. There is a difference.

"I believe that the Bible is the literal word of God." And I say no, it's not, Dad. "Well I believe that it is." Well, you know, some people believe they're Napoleon. That's fine. Beliefs are neat. Cherish them, but don't share them like they're the truth.

I was watching Rush Limbaugh the other day. Doesn't Rush Limbaugh remind you of one of those gay guys that like to lie in a tub while other guys pee on him?

Pot is a better drug than alcohol. Fact!... I'll prove it to you. If you're at a ball game or a concert and someone's really violent and aggressive and obnoxious, are they drunk or are they smoking pot?

One last thing- the following is taken from the Wikipedia entry regarding Bill's death:

"In 1993, after being diagnosed with cancer, Hicks would often joke openly at performances exclaiming it would be his last. Hicks performed the actual final show of his career at Caroline's in New York on January 6, 1994. He moved back to his parents' house in Little Rock, Arkansas, shortly thereafter. He called his friends to say goodbye, before he stopped speaking on February 14, and re-read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.[17] He spent time with his parents, playing them the music he loved and showing them documentaries about his interests. He died of cancer in the presence of his parents at 11:20 p.m. on February 26, 1994."

Italics are mine. I must say, also, that even if that entire paragraph turns out to be untrue, I'm still going to believe it. That is a fucking Viking funeral right there.

Lastly, all of the above quotes are from Wiki Quote. There are tons more, as well as Youtube movies to beat the band if you liked what you read. Hope you enjoyed it. More clip shows to follow.