Monday, June 23, 2008

More Than an American Footnote

So my name is a footnote in American legal history, which I'm perversely kind of proud of.

I don't want to go around describing myself as a 'groundbreaker' or a 'difference-maker' because I'm not and I wasn't. But I contributed to people who were saying things that weren't supposed to be said.

- George Carlin


Last night I dreamed that the president was assassinated. When I woke up, it turned out George Carlin was the one who died.

To me, there are few personalities as interesting and important as those found in the footnotes of American legal history as they pertain to the first amendment. Larry Flynt. Howard Stern. George Carlin. They're interesting (love 'em or hate 'em) because of the things they say. They are important because they said them. Each one made an indelible mark on freedom of speech by constantly pushing the envelope containing the letter of the law.

If George Carlin's legacy was humor, it would've been enough. But he leaves even more. By putting those seven dirty words to the test, he showed that each one was worth fighting for, and that none of them can be taken for granted.

There's a lot to be said for that.


___

6 comments:

Jene said...

i'm glad "twat" got added to the list, even if it was after the fact.

toyfoto said...

For the briefest of seconds I thought somebody should start a bumpersticker campaign: "What would George do?" You know? To obliterate the other, more famous one. ...

And then I realize it would just be an organization that would eventually be riddled with hypocrisy and he'd probably end up shredding it.

Heather said...

Honestly though, why do famous people die in groups? It's like no one dies for a long while, then there's a string of people dying. Why is that?

zellmer said...

I like your new digs.

MadWoman said...

George Carlin was fantastic. But I kind of agree with Heather..why do they die in groups??

duff said...

An old favorite:

"He's fairly intelligent. Uh! He's fullofshit!"

I will miss George.