I knew the day wasn’t too far off when Carlin would die. His hospital stay due to a heart attack and alcohol rehab before ‘Life is Worth Losing’ in 2006, years of substance abuse, growing health issues between his last special ‘It’s Bad For Ya!’ in 2008. I was hoping to see him one last time, in NYC, before he retired or died. While I may not have been able to see him one more time, I was lucky enough to see him live two times in my life. While many people have situations like this, rarely is it truly sad to them past the concept of “what a shame”. I’m not thinking what a shame.
As a child I had a lot of questions, many things just never made sense to me, and people seemed to accept these things without any questions. When I would arise the question, I found I would also get in trouble. Whether it was being “removed” (expelled) from CCD for asking questions they “were not teaching” or challenging ideas with simple logic and getting yelled at because they could not answer it. It certainly confused an 8 year old kid why he was getting in trouble for being curious.
When I saw a guy on TV asking the same questions I was asking about religion, parenting, respect, equality, and the hypocrisy that seemed to be everywhere to me, I started to realize that my questions were valid. I saw that I was right to ask them, as they were harmless. I wanted knowledge, plain and simple.
I had a lot of problems in my house at this time as our money situation was only getting worse (and it was already very bad), I was moving from school to school as we had to keep moving from “home” to “home”. My grades dropped, my interest and care about most things had dropped, as when I would try to find out information or question things, I was told not to.
I thank George Carlin’s work for inspiring me to have a greater interest in furthering my intelligence, studying language, social trends, various cultures, and most importantly, religion! He preached about discussion, advancement of society, furthering education not “schooling”, proper respect, and most importantly, true free thought! He questioned everything. Nothing was “taboo”. He did not go out with an agenda to get you on his side or to show which side he was on. He spoke about being proud of what you have done, not “who” you are; as race, nationality and heritage really mean nothing. You are born with those, you don’t have an option to change those things, they do not define “you”
George Carlin did a lot more than change the face of comedy. He grabbed the reigns that Lenny Bruce left after his death and took comedy and social/political commentary to a new level. He inspired many people to think and question everything. Plain and simple, to think and question. Not about “what you do before you treat someone a certain way” or even “before you chose a religion”. He inspired you to think about everything! You may not grasp the concept of how important of an inspiration that is right now, but try to think of how many people you can truly say have inspired you in the same way, not on one specific topic, but in every aspect of life, and I can say with great certainty that you only have maybe 2 fingers up.
George Carlin was a lot more than a comedian to myself and many others. It is a travesty that he will not be remembered as he most certainly deserved to be remembered, an inspiration of true free thought and speech at a time when that was taboo.
I would like to thank him for inspiring me to become the person I have become today…… Can’t always get what you want though can ya. ; )