alycewilson (alycewilson) wrote,
alycewilson
alycewilson

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What About His Stuff?

Attention, universe. Enough already! Barely a week after losing Tim Russert, one of the greatest political journalists of our time, we lose one of America's great comedians and commentators, George Carlin.




I was working out in the gym when I learned the news, halfway through a set of shoulder presses, barely paying attention to the TV above me, perpetually set to CNN. The sound is always turned off, but I saw an image of George Carlin, and the closed captions informed me that he'd died of heart failure at age 71.


"Oh, no!" I said aloud, immediately dropping the bar and slumping forward. The whir of the treadmill continued behind me, a grunt from a far corner as someone dropped a heavy weight.


I never met George Carlin, but I was in the same room with him once. An auditorium, to be exact, on the Penn State University main campus, where he performed while I was in college. He performed some of his classic bits, of course, knowing that everyone would love it: like his riff on baseball, and his bit about a house just being a place for your stuff.


But he was always growing, always changing, always trying out new material. He was fearless about addressing taboos, starting with his infamous "Seven Dirty Words" and then, by the time I saw him, railing against hypocrites who wanted new prisons but didn't want them in their back yards. I walked away that evening thinking that he truly was carrying on the tradition of Lenny Bruce, one of his great influences. Like Lenny Bruce, he never hesitated to talk about the things he felt were important. There were no sacred cows. He could make us laugh about anything, and in the process, learn something.


There can be no greater tribute to the man than sharing his own thoughts about death.



I'm also reminded of the Flaming Lips song, "Do You Realize?", which I think says it all.



Do You Realize — that you have the most beautiful face
Do You Realize — we're floating in space —
Do You Realize — that happiness makes you cry
Do You Realize — that everyone you know someday will die


And instead of saying all of your good-byes — let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round


Do You Realize — Oh — Oh — Oh
Do You Realize — that everyone you know
Someday will die —</font>


And instead of saying all of your good-byes — let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round


Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face
Do You Realize




Moral:
Live, laugh and love.



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Tags: celebrities, humor
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