Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
On George Carlin.


George Carlin was one of my all-time favorite comics. When I was in high school, my friends and I used to listen to Carlin and Denis Leary while we were out driving around. When you're a teenager in the middle-of-nowhere Ohio, driving around listening to stuff is what you do. We'd drive to Akron and back, Columbus and back, Cleveland and back, talking about all kinds of stuff and listening to a variety of other stuff, ranging from U2 to the Beatles to Moxy Früvous to Tori Amos and back, but when we wanted to bring the funny it was all about Leary and Carlin – especially to my friend Nick and I. We learned the fine art of the rant from those two, and now Carlin is gone.

The reported cause of death is heart failure. I can't say I'm surprised – you can't be that pissed off for that long and not have something blow out. I suppose I should be learning something from that (he types as he glances warily at his second cup of coffee of the day), but right now I'm just too bummed out about it to care.

I think Carlin would have hated me, to be honest – he would have ripped right into all the stuff that I worry about and care about and tinker with and so on, but I probably would have just leaned back in my chair with my hands in my lap and laughed my ass off as he railed and stormed and tore me a new one. He always struck me as being a good guy underneath the bluster and rage, and I wish I could have gotten to see him live. No one skewered the world's stupidities like he did – not Leary, not Cosby, not even Lewis Black. The world is a little dumber now that he's gone.

Good night, George. I wish I could hear what you say to God when you get there.

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