By Joseph Kellard
The late comedian George Carlin was at his best when he dissected the English language and the ways that people misused it. For example, watch this classic routine on airline safety:
Carlin was also great at demonstrating the absurdities and contradictions of religion. Here’s a pretty standard routine on what he had to say about it:
But mostly I could not watch Carlin because he spewed a seething hatred toward man as such. Despite being an atheist who understood the evils of religion, this view was part of his broader perspective that human beings are evil. Apparently, Carlin never let go of the idea of Original Sin — that man is born corrupt by his nature — that I’m sure he learned in Catholic school.
Carlin’s man-hatred is clearly evident in his views on environmentalism, in which he disparages the green movement, not because he (correctly) regards it as anti-man, but because he primarily sees it (incorrectly) as a movement to make life better for man on Earth. But, actually, this was only his ostensible view of environmentalism. Notice that, when he puts himself in the position of Mother Earth in the video clip below, he says that he “dreams” for a virus like AIDS as Earth’s defense against man. In turn, he comes off as man-hating as a radical environmentalist:
Below is an excerpt from an AP article on Carlin after he died last week. It will give you a better idea as to why I believe he was, essentially, a poster-boy nihilist — that is, a person who fundamentally has no values and actively seeks to destroy values as such:
"I don't have any beliefs or allegiances. I don't believe in this country, I don't believe in religion, or a god, and I don't believe in all these man-made institutional ideas," he told Reuters in a 2001 interview.
Carlin told Playboy in 2005 that he looked forward to an afterlife where he could watch the decline of civilization on a "heavenly CNN."
"The world is a big theater-in-the round as far as I'm concerned, and I'd love to watch it spin itself into oblivion," he said. "Tune in and watch the human adventure."
George Carlin wasn’t joking. He meant it.
Joseph Kellard is a journalist and columnist living in New York.
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