studiotwentysix2 the art + design of tom davie

Thursday, June 26, 2008

1937 – 2008

I realize I’m a few days late on this, but nevertheless, the world has lost an intellectual and verbal pioneer — comedian George Carlin died at the age of 71. Any major news web site will have a much better biography of Carlin than I could write, but it’s not a biography I’m interested in.

There are two specific occasions I can recall in my childhood, where I understood that what I was hearing was naughty, seemed to piss-off adults, and was completely socially relevant.

Now I can’t claim that I knew what social relevance was when I was a lad of ten, but I knew that there was truth involved, and that it made some people uncomfortable — which, in my mind, made it important. I was not alive for suffrage, the height of the Civil Rights movement, or the protest against the Vietnam War. In a lot of ways, I’m from a generation without a cause, identity or historical relevance — although the environment may become our lasting legacy.

One of the only movements I can look back on, and feel as if I saw it evolve, was the free speech of artists and performers. While Carlin was not of my generation, he helped establish the legal groundwork, which artists of my generation greatly benefited from. You will be missed, and thank you Mr. Carlin for being an inspiration and provocateur.

What were my awakening moments, you ask? George Carlin’s monologue, Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television, and EAZY-E’s album, Eazy-Duz-It. Some things, you can never forget.

AP Photo/E. Pablo Kosmicki

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