R.I.P. George Carlin
Awesome, offensive, say-it-like-it-is comic and social commentator George Carlin, heir to the throne of Lenny Bruce, passed away today. It's a fuckin' tragedy, that's what it is.
"We're all fucked. It's important to remember that." -- George Carlin
As the reigning king of bitterly sarcastic cynics, Carlin's bullshit detector was always ferreting-out the world's idiocies and hypocracies for ridicule. Like Mark Twain before him, though, Carlin knew that he himself was one of the flawed morons we call humanity. This willingness to stand amongst the thronging crowd and observe its foibles from within are what made his acerbic wit all the more honest, biting, and incisive.
"The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done." -- George Carlin
As with Bukowski, George Carlin was an inspiration for all drunken, misanthropic atheists held back by a world overrun with the foolishly optimistic. Carlin made people laugh in order to make them think, to question assumptions, to not just take consensus reality at face value. He didn't purport to have all the answers, but he asked a lot of hilarious questions which cut to the quick many of our most foolish sacred cows. He will be missed.
"Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time." -- George Carlin
Update: Anu pointed me at a really interesting, extensive George Carlin interview, seemingly the last one he ever did. The Onion AV Club interview is decent, Salon did two interviews with him, and a fan page has a reprint of a vintage Playboy interview that is quite interesting.