The Death of George Carlin

Today is truly a dark day. It was announced this morning that a man of profound satire, intelligent humor and subtle wisdom, someone I consider to be a great teacher, has passed. Sunday evening, after reporting of chest pains earlier that afternoon, the comedian George Carlin died of heart failure at the age of 71.

Few comedians have had as long a career(over 50 years), nor have moved so many people in such profound and noteworthy ways. A true fighter, few have done as much to fight political and religious hypocrisy, general stupidity, nor do as much to promote free speech and critical thinking in this country.

I remember clearly the first time I saw one of George Carlin’s routines, I have seen many of them in my 36 years, but I do remember leaving his performances with a mindful motivation to question things that we tend to take for granted. I know that any such satire or insight that I bring to my students has been greatly inspired by his words. Personally I was greatly looking forward to his take on Barack Obama and the apparent future of this country. He will be missed at a time when his contributions are sorely needed.

In George’s memory, I’ve attached a few links to some of his best routines. Please enjoy them and share them with friends:

The Ten Commandments

Religion is Bullshit

The American Dream

You have no Rights

On Language

Baby Boomers and Politicians

Seven Words you cannot say on Television (the skit which led to a landmark Supreme Court decision on obscenity in American Media)

We Like War

The Sanctity of Life

Our Similarities

Saving the Planet

This last one was the first routine I saw of his – The Great Electron – Atheist spirituality.

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