Monday, June 23, 2008
Ed? That motherfucker's still around, man.
When I was eleven years old, my mother game me three George Carlin recordings on tape in my stocking for Christmas. An Evening with Wally Lando Featuring Bill Slazo, On the Road, and the classic Class Clown. I don't think my mom knew much about him, and I would imagine that her purchasing them was inspired by my requesting "comedy tapes" for Christmas. Whatever spirit of serendipity guided her hand the day she bought those three tapes, a deep love was built that Christmas.
I suppose I already had an affinity for words, but Carlin taught me how to play with them, how to manipulate them, how to love them. He showed me how beautiful English can be, and how absurd. He dealt in honesty and pinpointed how language can be exploited by the dishonest.
I've tried to read a couple of obituaries for him today, but I just can't. Surely, other heroes have died in the past, but none of them meant as much to me as Carlin.
Of course, in his own words, thanks to the language in this country, Carlin didn't die. He passed away. Or expired like a magazine subscription.