WHAT WOULD GEORGE SAY?

Well, we know what they [politicians] want. I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests.
They want obedient workers, people just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. They want your fuckin’ retirement money, and you know something? They’ll get it from you sooner or later cause they own this fuckin’ place. It’s a big club and you ain’t in it.
–George Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008)

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Remember George (“THE SEVEN WORDS YOU CAN’T SAY ON TELEVISION”) Carlin? I was reminded of him by this May 11 comic strip in the local paper:

http://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2016/05/11

….while on the very next day (Carlin’s birthday), my erstwhile friend Richard “Ricardo” Cahill posted this piece on his blog:

http://www.richardcahill.net/home/donald-trump-appreciation-day

Those two items combined to make me wonder what Carlin, who died before Barack Obama was elected President, would say about today’s politics in general/Donald Trump in particular. Judging by the opening quote, I don’t think we have to wonder long.

So, using the comb I no longer need to part the hair which parted ways with my skull years ago, I combed through the Carlin legacy to come up with these ever-apt ‘by George’ quotes:

When you’re born, you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat (from which I gather that a Trump by any other name would spiel as P. T. Barnum).

In America, anyone can become President. That’s the problem. (George, I doubt that even you appreciated how true that may prove to be.)

By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth. [I talk, therefore I lie.]

Have you ever wondered why Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer in their communities? It’s because volunteers work for no pay [yes, but it’s for a great cause]. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time.

Now, there’s one thing you might have noticed I don’t complain about: politicians. [Really?] Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They come from American parents and American families, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders.

Good honest hard-working people continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about you. [Lucky for George, this isn’t TV.]  They don’t care about you at all. Nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on. It’s called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.

So, it seems the title question has been answered. George would say today what he said then –  he’d just have even more clowns to laugh at. The Donald alone is an absurdist’s dream, not to mention such other relative newcomers to the national stage (aka The Theater of the Absurd) as Sarah Palin. But that’s show business….and, in the immortal words of P. T. Barnum, it’s still THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH.

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P.S. Memo to Hillary: This post contains classified information. Please handle appropriately.

 

 

 

 

 

DOGMA DAY AFTERNOON

Here it is, the afternoon of August five, and my spirits have taken a dive. In my last post, I let it be known that frequent publication was becoming an over-extended labor of love, and I’d need to pare down my postings to one every five days, starting today.

Little did I realize at the time that August 5 is WORK LIKE A DOG DAY. So much for taking it easy just as I try to ease into a more liberating schedule. The bright spot, however, is that August 5 looks to be a temporary glitch, offset, as fate would have it, by August 10 (LAZY DAY) and August 15 (RELAXATION DAY)….or,  MAKE-UP FOR AUGUST 5 DAY and PHONE-IT-IN DAY, as I call it. That’s a pun, in case you weren’t paying attention.

Meanwhile, if I must work like a dog today, the post that suggests itself is about dogs. Problem is, I haven’t had a dog since I was a boy, and frankly, I don’t have much interest in writing about some other man’s best friend, or even dogs in general. So, if it’s OK with you (and even if it isn’t), I’m going to write instead about a pet peeve of mine which, in its own way, is even more of a dog: dogma.

My dog-eared dictionary defines dogma doubly as a declamation of doctrines deemed true by a religious sect, and/or as an assertion of beliefs or unproven principles proclaimed to be absolute truth. Well, I suppose every dogma must have its day, but unfortunately, no dogma is satisfied with so limited a lifespan. Come to think of it, neither is this post — it needs to live five days, or I’m barking up the wrong tree with my new schedule. It therefore behooves me to call upon some dead wags and wits whose quotes on the subject survive them, and will hopefully survive being posted here:

Sorry, but my karma just ran over your dogma. –George Carlin

On the dogmas of religion as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and all others, , and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind. Were I to enter on that arena, I should only add to the number of Bedlamites. –Thomas Jefferson

Dogma does not mean the absence of thought, but the end of thought. –G.K. Chesterton

Until every soul is freely permitted to investigate every book and creed and dogma, the world cannot be free. It is amazing to me that a difference of opinion upon subjects we know nothing with certainty about, should make us hate, persecute and despise each other. –Robert Ingersoll

So the universe is not quite as you thought it was. You’d better rearrange your beliefs, then, because you certainly can’t rearrange the universe. –Issac Asimov

Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance, it was done by dogma, it was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods. –Jacob Bronowski

Believe those who are seeking truth. Doubt those who find it. –Andre Gide

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Enough. That does it until August 10 (LAZY DAY), when, I dare say, the effort that goes into my post will be considerably less dogged. If five days away seems far off, remember this:

Time’s fun when you’re having flies. –Kermit the Frog

 

 

BY GEORGE

In my October 8th post CAN’T GO WRONG WITH WRIGHT, I mentioned several affinities I share with stand-up comedian Steven Wright….such as we both dig Woody Allen and the late George Carlin (1937-2008). I’ve done several posts featuring Woody and/or his films, but nothing by George. Time to stand up for George.

CARLIN (a Mark Twain Prize winner for American Humor) was probably best known for his comedy routines about taboo subjects such as his famous “seven dirty words you can’t say on television,” but I prefer his political and counterculture satire. He was born in Manhattan of Irish-Catholic parents (an ancestry to which I can relate). When he was two months old, they separated due to his father’s alcoholism (did I mention he was Irish?). George was Catholic, as he said, “until I reached the age of reason.”

I won’t delve further into his background, as his life and career can be easily checked out on Google if interested. There is also an official website: http://www.georgecarlin.com/
So, without further ado, let’s get to the good stuff — his humor:

A lot of times when they catch a guy who killed 27 people, they say, “He was a loner.”  Well, of course, he was a loner; he killed everyone he came in contact with.

Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?

Religion has convinced people there’s an invisible man living in the sky, who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer and burn and scream until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you and he needs money.

Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

Environmentalists changed the word jungle to rain forest, because no one would give them money to save a jungle.

I was surprised when I started getting old. I always thought it was one of those things that would happen to someone else.

Have you ever wondered why Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer? It’s because volunteers work for no pay. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time.

Weather forecast for tonight: Dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning.

Once you leave the womb, conservatives don’t care about you until you reach military age. Then you’re just what they’re looking for.

George Washington’s brother, Lawrence, was the Uncle of Our Country.

Have you ever noticed that their stuff is shit and your shit is stuff?

I put a dollar in a change machine. Nothing changed.

SOS.

CAN’T GO WRONG WITH WRIGHT

After coming across the right-on Wright quote I used in my last post, I did a search for more and found that the first was no fluke. There’s no shortage of equally great stuff where that came from, which allows me not only to give Steven Wright his just due,  but to do a fun post without doing most of the work. That works for me every time.

It seems he and I have a lot in common. Like me, Wright was raised Catholic, digs George Carlin & Woody Allen, thinks existential thoughts, and falls readily asleep while sitting. He does stand-up comedy, I do stand-up urinalogy. Here’s a sample of him doing his thing, followed by more Wright quotes:

Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories.

If you tell a joke in the forest, but nobody laughs, was it a joke?

I installed a skylight in my apartment….the people who live above me are furious!

There was a power outage at a department store yesterday. Twenty people were trapped on the escalators.

I bought some batteries, but they weren’t included.

What’s another word for Thesaurus?

I think it’s wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly.

There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.

My friend has a baby. I’m recording all the noises he makes so later I can ask him what he meant.

I intend to live forever. So far, so good.

ON (THE) MONEY, TO COIN A PHRASE

I rob banks because that’s where the money is.  –Willie Sutton

The history of money is a fascinating subject, if you can afford the time to check into it. According to my Ye Olde Encyclopedia, early people had no system of money, probably because they had to spend all their waking hours hunting, eating, painting caves and avoiding being stepped on by dinosaurs and woolly mammoths. These pre-historic people, known as the Earlyites, used either the barter system of trading, or the no-holds-bartered system of robbing and killing, to get what they wanted. Some things never change.

Speaking of change, the first coins were made in the 600’s B.C. in Lydia, the Tatooed Lady — I mean in Lydia, the extinct country, in what is now western Turkey. In America, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was the first to make coins; an English court allowed them to do so in 1652 before permission was withdrawn shortly thereafter. But Massachusetts continued to issue coins for 30 more years by dating all coins 1652 regardless of when made. Apparently England couldn’t make heads or tails out of why Massachusetts never ran short of 1652 coins, so they made the best of it by increasing the Colony’s taxes. Needless to say, this did not suit the Tea Party, so they threw the British into Boston Harbor, declared independence and took control of Congress before you can say New England, which on a clear day you can see from Alaska if the sun doesn’t get in your eyes.

But enough about what I have to say, money-wise. Let us see what others have had to say about money:

The only problems money can solve are money problems.  –Kin Hubbard

Lack of money is the root of all evil.  –Mark Twain or George Bernard Shaw (you pays your money and you takes your choice)

If a fool and his money are soon parted, why are there so many rich fools?  –Evan Esar

Cocaine is God’s way of saying you’re making too much money.  –Robin Williams

If you would know what the Lord God thinks of money, you have only to look at those to whom he gives it.  –Maurice Baring

There is an easy way to return from a casino with a small fortune: go there with a large one.  –Jack Yelton

We live by the Golden Rule. Those who have the gold make the rules.  –Buzzie Bavasi

Someone stole all my credit cards, but I won’t be reporting it. The thief spends less than my wife did.  –Henny Youngman

Women prefer men who have something tender about them — especially the legal kind.  –Kay Ingram

I don’t like money, actually, but it quiets my nerves.  –Joe Louis

I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed.  –George Carlin

That money talks/I’ll not deny/I heard it once/It said, “Goodbye.”  –Richard Armour