George Carlin = Andy Rooney + snark

George Carlin = Andy Rooney + snark
: The last time I saw George Carlin, when I was a TV critic, I thought he’d lost it. He hasn’t found it since.

Q: You’re known as a very liberal comic. Are you trying to change people’s political views when you go out there? Do you have an underlying agenda?

A: No. First of all, I’m not liberal. I’m just about (being) anti-United States. I don’t like the way this country operates. I think we’ve ruined this place. And I think it’s largely because of businessmen. And businessmen are not liberals. So if that makes me a liberal, then that’s just an association. It’s not a choice. …

Yes, anti-Americanism is thrust upon you, like a slump in your career.

  • billg

    Posing as a social critic is the first refuge of a comic who’s forgotten how to be funny.

  • Mike

    Carlin’s argument is worth making, no matter where his career stands. And the last time I saw him on television, Tough Crowd on Comedy Central, he was hilarious.
    I guess only TV writers are allowed to be social critics.

  • Sigh. Read what he was saying. The “not a choice” was about being labelled *liberal*.
    Sharper: “I’m not very liberal. I’m just anti-US.” (read with appropriate irony and comic inflection!)

  • No, Sir. It’s thrust upon you like a war in the Middle East is thrust upon the world.

  • Toppenish

    When asked “Do you feel like this country has progressed in any way, shape or form in the past 20 years?” his answer is “Everybody’s got more jet skis and dustbusters now and sneakers with lights in them . . . Americans measure all their progress in the wrong way . . . by quantity and by gizmos and toys.”
    The “Americans are just childish consumers” meme.

  • anne.elk

    At age 66, Carlin stands alone in his class.
    Question: There aren’t many big comedians over the age of 40. What keeps you so successful?
    Answer: Uh, quality. It’s a fact. I’m one of the best ones out there. I sell 250,000 tickets a year. There aren’t many comedians in my age group that do that. Cosby probably does that … I’m kind of singular now. I mean, I’m not being boastful or conceited. I’m being an accurate reporter of the facts. I’m pretty good at this. The reason it’s lasted so long is I continue to grow and turn out new material.
    Please define slump for me, I must’ve missed out on your definition.

  • Does anybody argue that large corporations are generally not morally responsible entities in most of their effect on American society? I’m a proud American and lifelong entrepreneur, but big businesses have a lot of truly horrible things they can legitimately be blamed for, and Carlin isn’t wrong to point such things out.
    The fact that most of our domestic policy and much of our foreign policy is influenced by or even decided by those corporations is one that gives me pause, and I’m surprised it doesn’t bother others more.

  • anne.elk

    And Anil, it’s also that they are not just large corporations, but now they are global corporations with global shareholders. It would be unethical for the board to allow the corporation to act solely in America’s best interest.

  • Crid

    A few years ago Carlin got into some serious tax trouble just about the time his wife of many years died of cancer. He’s ALWAYS been liberal. It’s the bitterness that’s new.

  • For about a year, I had business in the building in Brentwood where he had his office; I didn’t recognize him until he parked his BMW 850 next to my motorcycle…
    …gotta love those anti-toy, antimaterialist Brentwood radicals.

  • Mumblix Grumph

    Carlin used to be funny, now he just seems like a bitter old man who hates America. I would really like to see the perfect world that liberals want. I would NOT want to live there because it would be a smoking ruin in less than three years, sort of like those groovy communes in the 60’s.
    I saw Carlin on Tough Crowd. He was far from hilarious, he seemed half asleep. Carlin still sells tickets because he’s an icon. He’s about as funny as Margaret Cho…and that AIN’T a compliment.

  • Angus Jung

    He’s in Kevin Smith movies, so he must be doing something… right?

  • kkl

    George Carlin. Who is he again?

  • billg

    >> Does anybody argue that large corporations are generally not morally responsible entities in most of their effect on American society?
    Anil, I’d argue that it depends on what a corporation is doing. I’d also argue that moral yardsticks differ from one individual to the next. The corporate behavior I consider repugnant you may consider just fine.
    Neither of us has the right to impose our morality on the other unless we win enough friends to roll out a politica; solution.
    Rather than falling victim to utopian wishful thinking about evil corporations and the beatific nature of the human soul, why don’t we let the market decide?

  • Dexter Westbrook

    I’m conservative/libertarian and definitely pro-U.S.
    That said, George Carlin is damned funny.
    I saw his live act about four months ago, and people were roaring — even during the suicide jokes.

  • James Stephenson

    A corporation, or any business really, is an entity. Said entity can be good or bad, just like any person can be. Like any entity the corporation’s only responsibility is to itself and it’s shareholders. As long as said corporation breaks no laws, then the corporation is a good global citizen. As long as it does not lie to it’s shareholders, it is a good global citizen.
    I get so tired of hearing how the corporation is so bad. Coca Cola makes kids fat, no Parents letting their kids drink tons of soda makes kids fat. Cigarette companies kill people, no idiot smokers who obviously can not read the side of a cigarette package is killing themselves. Car Companies make big gas guzzling vehicles and are killing the environment, no the millions of people who want big gas guzzling vehicles are driving that boat.
    See a corporation has one issue that it holds above all else, keep the corporation running. If that means they cut some fat and people lose jobs, so be it. That is much better then the corp going backrupt and everyone loses their jobs.
    Gah, some of you people seem to be a little dim-witted.