Monday, June 23, 2008

What were those seven words?
RIP, George Carlin

When I heard George Carlin had died, I wracked my brain trying to remember the list. I knew them once, but after all, those of us who remember George Carlin are getting old too.

Do you remember them? Do you remember him?

Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, CockSucker, MotherFucker, and Tits

Ah, yes. I had most of them but not in the right order. And I completely forgot Tits.

What I didn't remember was the rest of the piece, which is a fine meditation on the power of words and the folly of man.
I love words. I thank you for hearing my words. I want to tell you something about words that I think is important. They're my work, they're my play, they're my passion. Words are all we have, really. We have thoughts but thoughts are fluid. Then we assign a word to a thought and we're stuck with that word for that thought, so be careful with words. I like to think that the same words that hurt can heal, it is a matter of how you pick them.

There are some people that are not into all the words. There are some that would have you not use certain words. There are 400,000 words in the English language and there are 7 of them you can't say on television. What a ratio that is. 399,993 to 7. They must really be bad. They'd have to be outrageous to be separated from a group that large. All of you over here, you 7, Bad Words. That's what they told us they were, remember? "That's a bad word!" No bad words, bad thoughts, bad intentions, and words. You know the 7, don't you, that you can't say on television? "Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, CockSucker, MotherFucker, and Tits" Those are the heavy seven. Those are the ones that'll infect your soul, curve your spine, and keep the country from winning the war.

I don't think anyone ever wins a war any more, but if we could stop having them, I'd clean up my language. In the meantime, I love me a bad word. They're words, and I can use them if I want to.

Thanks, George.

5 comments:

NJDecorator said...

I used to sneak into my brothers room to listen to this album and hear those bad words. It still makes me laugh out loud. I'll miss him too.

lisagh said...

I remember him also as the most excellent Rufus from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. RIP GC.

Brianne said...

Just last week we watched an HBO replay of a 1978 show. One man theatre in the round has got to be tiring. All the same, it was still funny and remarkably relevant, even after 30 years. One of the first real dates my husband took me on was a surprise trip to see George Carlin. I had no idea he was even in town and as we walked up to the theatre the marquee sign flashed his name. I squeezed my husband's hand and started giggling. I don't think I stopped laughing for a day after the show. Rest in peace George.

Jackie said...

I was listening to an NPR tribute yesterday and was quite moved by how intelligent he was and his life was so interesting. I wish I'd been more familiar with his work.

L.A. Prep said...

Wow, I had no idea he had died. I saw him at Symphony Hall in the 80s when i was living in Boston. He was so creative and hysterically funny. I laughed so hard I cried that night.