George Carlin 1937-2008

This one is straight out of the Twilight Zone.

George Carlin is my favorite comedian. I've followed him ever since his What am I Doing in New Jersey? HBO special in 1988.

Yes, that's the one he opened with I really haven't seen this many people in one place since they took the group photograph of all the criminals and lawbreakers in the Ronald Reagan administration. Did this guy really have the chutzpah to punk our own government?

He did. And I just had to watch more.

Soon he switched subjects and started citing a list of "People I can do without."

A proctologist... with poor depth perception.

I was hooked.

As many of you readers out there already know, I've been posting rehashed material on Drolz Uncensored lately so that I can focus on a new book project (more on that in a minute). Yesterday, for whatever reason, I had this urge to dig up Just Deaf, an article I wrote back in 2004.

It's in Just Deaf where I revealed that George Carlin is also my favorite author/historian. Yes, he's one of the best comedians of all-time, but it's his writing, his social-political commentary, and even his acting that puts him a step ahead all of the rest. If there's ever anyone who was adept at pointing out the hypocrisy that rules our world, it was George Carlin.

400,000 people die alcohol and tobacco-related deaths every year... and they ban artificial sweeteners because A RAT DIED!

It was with a wry grin I re-posted Just Deaf yesterday. Not just for pointing out the absurdities of political correctedness, but as a tribute to my favorite comedian.

A few hours later, Carlin checked into a hospital and died.

(Hopefully, not from the shock of finding out I'm one of his biggest fans.)

That was freaky. But rather than mourn, I want to celebrate one of the greatest minds this planet has ever been blessed with.

George Carlin is the author of Brain Droppings, Napalm & Silly Putty, and When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? His observations of this goofy world we live in never cease to amaze me.

I never eat sushi. I have trouble eating things that are merely unconscious.

The only way I can truly honor this fallen hero is to follow his example. Which is a paradox of sorts. Because if Carlin ever heard I wanted to follow his path, he'd kick my ass. He'd rather I say what I gotta say, my way, conformity be damned.

So it's with great pleasure I'd like to announce that I'm teaming up with two similarly thought-provoking guys for a literary project like no other.

You may have noticed Dennis Jones and Eddie Runyon popping up on the blogosphere lately. They're gutsy. They say stuff that has to be said. In a way that only they can say it. I love it. And they've challenged me to join them to write a book in a format that's never been done before.

The three of us, at least on a surface level, might appear to have nothing in common. It wouldn't surprise me if each of us were approached -- yelled at, even -- by people asking Why the hell are you working with THOSE TWO?

And that's the beauty of it. Because the three of us, even if different on the surface, are actually brothers on a deeper level. Our backgrounds are so diverse you'd never think this project would be possible. But it is, and we're showing everyone it can be done.

Back to George Carlin.

Carlin often found the decline of our society to be amusing (I don't blame him -- look at all the material it gave him to work with). He had no qualms about pointing out our shortcomings. Yet at the same time, in Brain Droppings he cautioned us not to accuse him of being a cynic:

Lest you wonder, personally, I am a joyful individual with a long, happy marriage and a close and loving family. My career has turned out better than I ever dreamed, and it continues to expand. I am a personal optimist but a skeptic about all else.

Carlin also took the time to note that he treasures all the individuals he meets while despising all the groups they identified with and belonged to. I believe the reason for this is because he recognized we're all wasting our time criticizing each other instead of taking the time to improve ourselves.

With this in mind... Eddie, Dennis, and I are not going to try changing the world. We're just going to call things out the way we see them. We're going to share what's worked for us. If anyone pays attention, perhaps they'll see a pattern and maybe, just maybe, find a way we can all make the most of our time. And, of course, take a moment to laugh at ourselves.

Exactly the way George Carlin would want it.

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