I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately. -- George Carlin
Lots of obits to George Carlin today, of course. But this one by John Nichols at The Nation - George Carlin: American Radical is pretty good.
Carlin explained himself best in one of his last interviews. "There is a certain amount of righteous indignation I hold for this culture, because to get back to the real root of it, to get broader about it, my opinion that is my species--and my culture in America specifically--have let me down and betrayed me. I think this species had great, great promise, with this great upper brain that we have, and I think we squandered it on God and Mammon. And I think this culture of ours has such promise, with the promise of real, true freedom, and then everyone has been shackled by ownership and possessions and acquisition and status and power," he said. "And perhaps it's just a human weakness and an inevitable human story that these things happen. But there's disillusionment and some discontent in me about it. I don't consider myself a cynic. I think of myself as a skeptic and a realist. But I understand the word 'cynic' has more than one meaning, and I see how I could be seen as cynical. 'George, you're cynical.' Well, you know, they say if you scratch a cynic you find a disappointed idealist. And perhaps the flame still flickers a little, you know?"
Always kind of did make me feel uncomfortable. Just doing his job.
And just for the sake of a mild rebuttal to the above video some might want to check out this story from yesterday's 60 Minutes on the disappearance of the west coast salmon - The Fuss over Fish, which I think both confirms and challenges what George has to say.
Never rest easy there big shooter.