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George Carlin (1937 – 2008)


Grammy-winning American stand-up comedian, actor and author, noted especially for his irreverent attitude and his observations on politics, language, psychology and religion as well as some taboo subjects.
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George Carlin
After "Jammin' In New York", I went from a comedian who wrote his own material to a writer who performed his own material... I became socially conscious, and found I had something to say that wasn't too common.
Carlin quotes
We are on a nice downward glide. I call it circling the drain ... And the circles get smaller and smaller and faster and faster, if you watch the sink empty... Huish! And we'll be gone. And that's fine. I welcome it. I wish I could live 1000 years to watch it happen. From a distance so I can see it all.
Carlin
[On why he lacked faith in humanity] The two big mistakes were the belief in a sky god -- that there's a man in the sky with ten things he doesn't want you to do and you'll burn for a long time if you do them -- and private property, which I think is at the core of our failure as a species. That's the source of my indignations, my dissatisfactions, however it comes out on stage. I feel betrayed by the people I'm part of, these creatures, these magnificent creatures.




Carlin George quotes
The Paradox of Our Time is one of many stories that has been forwarded around the internet and attributed to Carlin, but is actually by Bob Moorehead.
Carlin George
I gave up on this stuff. I gave up on my species and ... I gave up on my countrymen. Because I think we squandered great gifts. I think humans were given great great gifts: walking upright, binocular vision, opposable thumb, large brain ... We grew. We had great gifts, and we gave it all up for both money and God ... We gave it all up to superstition, primitive superstition, primitive shit ... Invisible man in the sky, looking down, keeping track of what we do, make sure we don't do the wrong thing, if we do, he puts us in hell, where we burn forever. That kind of shit is very limiting for this brain we have. So we keep ourselves limited. And then we want a toy and a gizmo and gold and we want shiny things, and we want something to plug in that will make big big big things for us... And all that shit is nothing! It's nothing.
George Carlin quotes
For a while, I thought of myself as an atheist until I realized it was a belief, too. It's a shame everything has to have a label. I feel that if I was figuratively dropped on the Earth and there was a political line, I would be just left of center. The difference for me is that conservatives are more interested in property values and rights and free markets, and liberals are more interested in human rights. In the end, there are people who don't fit into the marketplace and are not equipped. I believe the government should step in where the free market fails.
George Carlin
"I want to live my next life backwards: You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in a nursing home feeling better every day. Then you get kicked out for being too healthy. Enjoy your retirement and collect your pension. Then when you start work, you get a gold watch on your first day. You work 40 years until you're too young to work. You get ready for High School: drink alcohol, party, and you're generally promiscuous. Then you go to primary school, you become a kid, you play, and you have no responsibilities. Then you become a baby, and then... You spend your last 9 months floating peacefully in luxury, in spa-like conditions - central heating, room service on tap, and then... You finish off as an orgasm."
Carlin George quotes
Comedy is filled with surprise, so when I cross a line... I like to find out where the line might be and then cross it deliberately, and then make the audience happy about crossing the line with me.
Carlin
[On the existence of God] No. No, there's no God, but there might be some sort of an organizing intelligence, and I think to understand it is way beyond our ability. It's certainly not a judgmental entity. It's certainly not paternalistic and all these qualities that have been attributed to God. It's probably a dispassionate... That's why I say, "Suppose He doesn't give a shit? Suppose there is a God but He just doesn't give a shit?" That's the kind of thing that might be at work.
Carlin George
The difference between left and right of center originated in the French parliament. The people left of center were liberals; the people right of center were conservatives. Broadly speaking. And generally speaking, people on the right of center, are interested in property values, property, property rights. The rights and the rights of property. And generally speaking again it's all generalized the left-of-center people are more concerned with humans and human beings and human concerns; to the care of humans, not the care and worry about property rights. That's generally been true. And Bush is pushing this country farther down the hill, faster than anyone has before.
George Carlin
I am a Bad American is another mass-forwarded internet message often attributed to George Carlin, but was not written by him.




George Carlin quotes
[On his work appearing on the Internet] It's a conflicted feeling. I'm really a populist, down in the very center of me. I like the power people can accrue for themselves, and I like the idea of user-generated content and taking power from the corporations. The other half of the conflict, though, is that, traditionally speaking, artists are protected from copyright infringement. Fortunately, I don't have to worry about solving this issue. It's someone else's job.
George Carlin
The things that matter in this country have been reduced in choice, there are two political parties, there are a handful insurance companies, there are six or seven information centers...but if you? want a bagel there are 23 flavors. Because you have the illusion of choice!
Carlin quotes
They say if you scratch a cynic, you'll find a disappointed idealist. And I would admit, that somewhere underneath all this there's a little flicker of a flame of idealism that would love to see it all huish! change. But it can't happen that way. And incremental change it just seems the pile of shit is too deep.
Carlin George
You know what, I said it this way: when you're born in this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show. And when you're born in America, you're given a front row seat. And some of us get to sit there with notebooks. And I'm a notebook kind of guy: [pretends to be writing] "Oh, my God, did you see that? Did you see what he just did?..." And I watch the freak show, and I kept my notes, and I make up stuff about it, and I talk about the freaks. And the freaks are all humans, and they are all like me, and we are all the same. I'm not better, I'm not different, I'm just apart now. I'm separate, I'm over here, because I put myself out of the mix. I don't have a stake at the outcome. I'm not a cheerleader for a given outcome now.
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