George Carlin exemplified Oscar Wilde saying “If you want to tell people the truth , make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you” before his pass in 2008. He used comedy as a medium to speak on the pressing issues most celebrities never thought of spilling out, for the sake of their reputation and blissful career. Political and religious issues have great influence on people, and speaking on them has a demerit to tag you with a faction that might furtherly build numerous enemies, present in the opposite faction. But Carlin never cared about all that. Apparently, he was a rationalist. It is no surprise that he said “I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. … These two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.” He also lived up to his own words “I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately“.
Carlin is outrageously funny but also outrageously controversial and if chained to certain ideologies and beliefs, might have him as an outrageous enemy. An attribute of Carlin most comedians find difficult to have is his potency with the language. This allows him to forgo the sugarcoating effect when necessary to make controversy less hurting. He is simply blatant and raw. If you had temper issues during his era, you dared not go for his show unless you wanted to be arrested for attempted murder. I once imagined George Carlin and Madea in an argument about Jesus. The picture didn’t look good for Carlin though. Reason been that the steel is Madea’s strong ally. Going through his videos on Youtube, I came across this special one. It was a show he had the same year he died. The actor, comedian, author and socio-political critic shared his atheistic view on death. He informed us of the phrases and comments linked to the death of people. Find excerpts from the transcript below:
You know what I’ve been doing? Going through my address book and crossing out the dead people. Do you do that? That’s a lot of fun, isn’t it? Gives you a good feeling. Kinda gives you a feeling of power, the superiority to have outlasted another old friend. But you can’t do it too soon, you know you can’t do it too soon. You can’t come off in the funeral and get the book out you know, and be looking through the pages…. You can’t do that. A little time has to pass. You have to let a little time go by. I have a rule of time, 6 weeks. If you’re a friend of mine and you’re in my book and you die, I leave you alone for an extra 6 weeks. 6 extra weeks in the book on the house, its on me. Now speaking on dead people, there are things we say when someone dies. Most of us say, a lot of us do, things we say that no one ever questions. They just kinda go unexamined. Giving a couple of examples.
After someone dies, the following conversation is bound to take place, probably more than once. Two guys meet on the street. ‘Hey, did you hear? Phil Davis died.‘ ‘Phil Davis, I just saw him yesterday.‘ Yeah. Didn’t help. He died anyway. Apparently, the simple act of your seeing him did not slow his cancer down. In fact, it may have made it more aggresive, you know. You could be responsible for Phil’s death. How do you live with yourself?
Here’s another thing they say after death. It is usually said to the surviving spouse. ‘Listen, if there’s anything I can do, anything at all, please don’t hesitate to ask.’ What are you gonna do? A resurrection? Save the fucking new testament, you know. You know what you tell a guy like that who wants to help? ‘Oh fine man, why don’t you come over this weekend, you can paint the garage. Bring your plunger, the upstairs toilet overflowed and there is shit all over the floor up there. You drive a tractor? Good, that will come in handy, the north 40 needs a lot of attention. Bring your chainsaw and your pickaxe, we going to put your ass to work.’ He wants to help? Fuck him, call his bluff. Call his bluff, don’t hesitate to ask, the nerve of these pricks.
Here’s another thing we say to the surviving spouse. ‘I am keeping him in my thoughts.‘ Where? Where exactly in your thoughts does he fit? In between my assets in this chair, and lets fuck the waitress? What are your priorities?
We use a lot of euphemisms when we talk about death. You know people say things like, ‘ You know I lost my father?‘ Ah, he’ll turn up. You got to stay optimistic with people like that. Give reason to hope. Have you checked the dumbster out back? He used to like to take a nap in there. Keep the upbeat.
Now, there’s something else that is said after a death. But this one involves belief. Which is where I begin to have BIG problems! This one happens after a funeral, after the burial, back at the house. Back at the house, with the family and friends and the loved ones of the deceased, to having some food and drink, and then they’re enjoying some warm reminisces of the person who passed away. Sooner or later, someone is bound to say the following, especially after a few drinks, you know? ‘I think he’s up there now, smiling down at us. And I think he’s pleased.‘ Now, first of all, there is no up there, for people to be smiling down from. Its poetic, its quaint, and I guess for superstitious people, it provides a little comfort, but it doesn’t exist. But if it did, if it did and if someone did somehow survive death in the non-physical form, I personally think he’d be far too busy with other celestial activities, than to be standing around paradise, smiling down on……. live people. What kind of a fucking eternity is that? And why is it, no one ever says, ‘I think he’s down there now, smiling up at us.‘ Apparently, it never occurs to people that their loved ones might be in hell. Your parents could be in hell right now. Your parents, and your father for sure. Oh shit, hell is full of dads. Full of dads, even the ones who took you to the ball game. Just for beating the shit out of you, once too often. And fucking the neighbour lady, and fucking the neighbour dog, and who knows, maybe even fucking the UPS man. We’ll never know what mischieve dad was up to. Parents in heaven, parents in hell, excuse me kinda gives me a nice feeling. You know, Grandparents in hell, picture that. Picture your grandmother in hell, baking pies without an oven. And if someone were in hell, I doubt very seriously, he’d be smiling. I think he’s down there now, screaming up at us. And I think he’s in severe pain.
Now, speaking of dead people in heaven, there are some people, who not only believe that their dead parents are in heaven and can see them. Okay, okay. They honestly believe that their dead parents in heaven can help them. You’ve heard these people, I’m sure. They honestly somehow believe that their dead parents in heaven can intercede with God on their behalf to gain favors for the living. I come from a Catholic home, I heard that shit. They sit there in the chair with the fucking rosary and they look at you like this and you know, my dad, my dad was looking out for me, he was looking out and you don’t know how he got me out of this chair but he got me out. O my mum, my mum was in surgery with me, she was in, I could feel her presence and the yeah, yeah, yeah, fine! Like the people who die have nothing better to do than to run the heavenly branch of the Make-A-Wish foundation. Now, if people wanna believe this kinda stuff, its fine with me, let them believe it, I don’t wanna disabuse anyone of it, their beliefs. But, I have a question about this, a question that involves LOGIC! Let’s suppose its true. Lets allow the preposition that somehow dead parents in heaven can help their children. Fine. So, we got a family living on earth, father, mother and 4 kids. Family of 6, good family, nice family, doing all the right things, having a good time, making all the right moves. And the parents go away on a weekend trip and they are killed in an accident. And the children of course, survive. So now, according to this theory, these 2 people go to heaven and they start helping their 4 living children. Helping them with whatever they need. Helping them with their science projects, with their SAT scores, helping them get a good school, get a nice job and get a promotion, and a raise and someone to marry and they all grow up. These 4 kids now grow up and have children of their own. And lets say, that all 4 of these now grown children, all also die at the same time. Just for the sake of argument, lets say there’s an explosion at thanksgiving dinner. And these 4 die but their children survive because they were seated at the children’s table. So, so now according to the theory, these 4 go to heaven and they start helping their living children, but what happens to the original 2. What happens to the grandparents, did they just go off duty now? What do they do? Are there some activities there? A retirement program up there? Or there’s some activities for these people, pin ball, online poker, there must be something they can do or they have to remain on duty indefinitely so they have to keep on helping their living descendants forever and ever and ever. Is that all heaven is all about, helping the living? When do you get to just lie on a cloud and then take a fucking hot blessing? You know what I mean?
Achaab Daniel ABALANSA