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Monday, June 23, 2008

Seven Words I Don't Want To Say

George Carlin died on Sunday June 22nd.

Seven words I didn't want to say.

Anyone who is even remotely familiar with Carlin's work has likely heard of his infamous "Seven Dirty Words" (or "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television") routine. Carlin properly shook up the establishment with this routine.

As Carlin stated, there's nothing wrong with so many of the words that offend people. It's not the words themselves, it's the context that counts; it's the context that makes them good or bad. Words themselves are innocent, it's the racist asshole who is using the words that we ought to be concerned about.

I loved how Carlin described the use of language and words as evolving into mis-truths and mis-information because of the softening of them. How the truth and reality can lose all meaning when they get entirely buried under jargon. He used the example how the condition known as "shell-shock" in WWI evolved into "battle fatigue" in WWII then "operational exhaustion" in the Korean War and then finally "post-traumatic stress disorder" by the time we reached the Vietnam War. The softening of the condition removed the basic humanity and reality out of what the condition actually is.

Through comedy, Carlin allowed us to challenge society's norms and take a second look at the way we classify things. He pushed the envelope in a way that allowed us to take a better look at ourselves. And I applaud him for that.

I classify Carlin as an original, a one and only, a pioneer.

Rest in peace, George! In honour of your desire to use simple words to speak the truth, I won't say that you are "gone" or "passed away", "laid to rest" or "no longer of this earth" I will simply state that you're dead.

And I'll also say that you made the world a better place and gave us a lot of fucking laughs over the years. Oh shit, I used a derivation of one of those seven dirty words. Whoops, I did it again. I hope I didn't piss anyone off.

4 comments:

lime said...

i just can't believe the motherfucker is dead.

terrific tribute mark. i too loved his bits on language and its slipperiness.

Tor Hershman said...

Seven words you can't say to George Carlin, now.....any 7.

Rainypete said...

And with his loss we lose another warrior for the common sense. I'm gonna miss him.

bsoholic said...

He'll be missed for sure. My favorite bit from him was the religion is bullshit.