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"See I don't worry about the little things: bees, trees, whales, snails. I think we're part of a greater wisdom than we will ever understand. A higher order. Call it what you want. Know what I call it? The Big Electron. The Big Electron...whoooa. Whoooa. Whoooa. It doesn't punish, it doesn't reward, it doesn't judge at all. It just is. And so are we. For a little while." - George Carlin

My first exposure to George Carlin was as a kid when I heard some of his pre-hip comedy routines like The Hippy-Dippy Weatherman and his whimsical observations on the differences between baseball and football:

Baseball is different from any other sport, very different. For instance, in most sports you score points or goals; in baseball you score runs. In most sports the ball, or object, is put in play by the offensive team; in baseball the defensive team puts the ball in play, and only the defense is allowed to touch the ball. In fact, in baseball if an offensive player touches the ball intentionally, he's out; sometimes unintentionally, he's out.

Also: in football,basketball, soccer, volleyball, and all sports played with a ball, you score with the ball and in baseball the ball prevents you from scoring.

In most sports the team is run by a coach; in baseball the team is run by a manager. And only in baseball does the manager or coach wear the same clothing the players do. If you'd ever seen John Madden in his Oakland Raiders uniform,you'd know the reason for this custom.

Now, I've mentioned football. Baseball & football are the two most popular spectator sports in this country. And as such, it seems they ought to be able to tell us something about ourselves and our values.

I enjoy comparing baseball and football:

Baseball is a nineteenth-century pastoral game.
Football is a twentieth-century technological struggle.

Baseball is played on a diamond, in a park.The baseball park!
Football is played on a gridiron, in a stadium, sometimes called Soldier Field or War Memorial Stadium.

Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life.
Football begins in the fall, when everything's dying.

In football you wear a helmet.
In baseball you wear a cap.

Football is concerned with downs - what down is it?
Baseball is concerned with ups - who's up?

In football you receive a penalty.
In baseball you make an error.

In football the specialist comes in to kick.
In baseball the specialist comes in to relieve somebody.

Football has hitting, clipping, spearing, piling on, personal fouls, late hitting and unnecessary roughness.
Baseball has the sacrifice.

Football is played in any kind of weather: rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog...
In baseball, if it rains, we don't go out to play.

Baseball has the seventh inning stretch.
Football has the two minute warning.

Baseball has no time limit: we don't know when it's gonna end - might have extra innings.
Football is rigidly timed, and it will end even if we've got to go to sudden death.

In baseball, during the game, in the stands, there's kind of a picnic feeling; emotions may run high or low, but there's not too much unpleasantness.
In football, during the game in the stands, you can be sure that at least twenty-seven times you're capable of taking the life of a fellow human being.

And finally, the objectives of the two games are completely different:

In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line.

In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! - I hope I'll be safe at home!

I saw him later on stage in college when he was doing more political stuff which was topical but not as funny as his earlier stuff to me. I also heard him on the Art Bell show once and he was a fascinating interview.

When he was on the mark, he nailed it, and one of my favorites of his later routines was the brilliant, pointed, and hysterical, "The Planet is Fine":

or go here:


Here's a transcript if you have problems watching YouTube:


Now, if you are a George Carlin fan but a hard-core liberal with no sense of humor (unless someone is making fun of whoever upsets your worldview), you might want to skip this one, a beautiful Carlin rant where he puts it to arrogant self-righteous environmentalists and white bourgeois liberals who think the Earth has survived 4 1/2 billion years of upheaval and catastrophe but is about to be ruined by plastic bags and aluminum cans.

His "hip" fans usually dismiss it or argue he didn't mean what said but I guess they didn't know him very well.

I love it, which should be a warning, and I hope that maybe at least one other person will too.

I think it's only fitting that screwball NASA scientist and George Soros shill James Hanson is now demanding that people who disagree with the global warming alarmists be tried and imprisoned for crimes against humanity and nature.

To think some people still take these people seriously! I wonder if this man has ever laughed?

God bless you Mr. Carlin. I hope you are enjoying your latest trip. And to paraphrase your closing line on baseball:

In baseball (and in life) the object is to go home! And to be safe! - I hope you'll be safe at home!



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 24th, 2008 07:08 pm (UTC)
Damn, I'll miss him so much. He was one of a kind and my favorite comedian - hands down. I loved that clip. It helps me to keep everything in perspective - which is what he was so good at doing. Go, Mr. Carlin, and know that you will not be forgotten.
Jun. 26th, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC)
I cut my teeth on the classic movie and radio comedians, and, from TV, the likes of Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, Bob Newheart, Lily Tomlin, Bob and Ray, and of course George Carlin. I've always loved humorists who could see the laughter inherent in everyday life and everyday people, and I think Carlin fit that description well while applying his own little twists. When I look at all the comedians I've liked more, I see how they were all observers of humanity and good storytellers. You see less and less of that, I think, because people no longer want to invest the time to allow a story to develop and laughs to emerge, nor do thay want to laugh at themselves. Great comedians are very smart and extremely observant people, not just actors "acting funny" but seeing and bringing out the humor in everyday things.
Jun. 24th, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
Fantastic ode. You know, I was listening to his stuff when I was too young to even understand a good chunk of it, but still found it unbelievably funny. As I grew into a comprehension of the material, the old stuff never got old, & his later repertoire struck me as a healthy dose of on-the-ball cynicysm (did I spell that right?) & thoughtful, observational humour, something the world needs from time to time. It's a shame to see him leave this world, but I'm sure he's already got 'em laughing in the next.
Jun. 26th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
I think if I had to live in a world where I was the only person who realized how absurd so many things are, where people were so full of it and no one dared point them out, where there were no other people with which to share the gift of laughter and knowing, I think I should go mad. ;-)
Jul. 2nd, 2008 02:36 am (UTC)
Truer words were never spoken, dear Shoji-kun.
Jun. 25th, 2008 02:01 am (UTC)
Thanks, Ed, that brought back memories of listening to him as a teen. I remember the baseball/football bit. I also remember him talking about the fitness craze: "America has lost its soul, now it's gonna save its body. Bullshit! It doesn't work that way!"
Jun. 26th, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked it. Yeah ... I've never heard that one, I don't think, but I can hear his delivery. The baseball/football routine was probably my favorite and one of the first things I ever heard. Of course, loving baseball as I do, I suppose I'm a little prejudiced. Still, I loved the way he was able to develop a concept like that, build on it, hitting bullseyes, and tie it all neatly with a bow, laughs and good feelings and tweaking a few noses all at the same time. Of course, when he got cranky, he usually had had a good reason to be ... dammit! ;-)
Aug. 17th, 2009 03:08 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing this with me. This is great!
Aug. 17th, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)
You are most welcome. Always happy to share a gem or two.

If you aren't familiar with the baseball piece, I'd highly recommend you either read it or find the video or audio. It's the best ... especially if you love "The Game" as much as I do. :-)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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