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Monday, June 23, 2008

F%$k! Comedic Icon George Carlin Passes at 71

My editorial on Mr. Carlin's passing coming up-meanwhile, this just in from the AP:

Oh and I'm pushing my conservative leanings to the side on this one, Carlin like Richard Pryor was just funny-true genius.

LOS ANGELES - George Carlin, the dean of counterculture comedians whose biting insights on life and language were immortalized in his "Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV" routine, died of heart failure Sunday. He was 71.

Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, went into St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica on Sunday afternoon complaining of chest pain and died later that evening, said his publicist, Jeff Abraham. He had performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas.

"He was a genius and I will miss him dearly," Jack Burns, who was the other half of a comedy duo with Carlin in the early 1960s, told The Associated Press.

Carlin's jokes constantly breached the accepted boundaries of comedy and language, particularly with his routine on the "Seven Words" — all of which are taboo on broadcast TV and radio to this day. When he uttered all seven at a show in Milwaukee in 1972, he was arrested on charges of disturbing the peace, freed on $150 bail and exonerated when a Wisconsin judge dismissed the case, saying it was indecent but citing free speech and the lack of any disturbance.

When the words were later played on a New York radio station, they resulted in a 1978 Supreme Court ruling upholding the government's authority to sanction stations for broadcasting offensive language during hours when children might be listening.

"So my name is a footnote in American legal history, which I'm perversely kind of proud of," he told The Associated Press earlier this year.

Despite his reputation as unapologetically irreverent, Carlin was a television staple through the decades, serving as host of the "Saturday Night Live" debut in 1975 — noting on his Web site that he was "loaded on cocaine all week long" — and appearing some 130 times on "The Tonight Show."

For more on Carlin's untimely death, click on the link below:

George Carlin, counterculture comedians' dean, dies at 71

OK...More on Carlin. One might wonder what does a conservative find funny with an alleged counterculturalist like George Carlin? The quick answer is.......everything. Carlin often described himself as apolitical but it's very hard not to put him in a socio-political context. Pretty much in the same vein as Richard Pryor, Carlin was unafraid to question America's social institutions and its utter hypocrisy. If you were a child of the seventies and eighties it's hard not to have come across an infamous Carlin routine and as I have stated previously, perhaps like many young people of color, I was raised a progressive.

It's when you reach maturation that one should develop the ability to be a free thinker and Carlin was very much about freedom-it's just that I went right when others veered left. I am also about nuanced decision making-deeming me more of a moderate conservative (as the findings from my conservative exam can attest to) as opposed to a lock step neo-conservative. Carlin's views on religion, race and materialism very much appealed to my nascent individualist sensibilities, never once conflicting with my conservatism. And to keep it simple-funny is funny. We're losing the greats folks.....we're losing the greats.

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