George Carlin is the greatest comedian who ever lived, almost without question. Richard Pryor is the other name bandied about, and he’s incredible too. But, he doesn’t dethrone Carlin for me.
Why is this man still celebrated and revered, ten years after his death? Why has he had such an enormous influence on so many that followed him?
The clip below is an excellent example. In it, he explores how language changes, why that might be the case, and the consequences of ‘squeezing the humanity’ out of our common discourse.
Carlin states that if we still referred to PTSD as ‘shell shock’, it could make people more sympathetic towards veterans, who often have real trouble reintegrating into society. I’m not saying he’s right on that. But he should be allowed to explore the thought.
Words are power. They’re the way we define and explain our world views to each other – and that can lead to enormous, actual change.
So, we need comedians to cut to the root of these kind of issues, to inform as well as entertain, and to shine a light on controversial topics, without being deplatformed or shut down just for attempting to do so.
A society that refuses to allow discussion about it’s problems will never get any closer to solving them.
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.”
What do you think? Am I being overly dramatic? Let me know in the comments below.