Monday, June 23, 2008

Father Hollywood Curse?

I mention someone on my blog, and next thing you know, he's dead.


In all seriousness, George Carlin was a comedic genius. He had a keen eye for observing the absurdities of life, and presented them in such an exaggerated way that you'd have to be made of stone not to laugh.

Carlin was extremely crude, he was hostile to Christianity, and he was overwhelmingly leftist in his politics - to the point of Marxism. And yet, there were observations he made that were riotously funny, because they were as true as they were absurd.

He also had the ability not to work "blue" - as evidenced by his portrayal of Mr. Conductor in the toddler TV series Thomas the Tank Engline (one can only imagine what the out-takes sounded like) and in supplying the voice of Fillmore, the hippy VW van in the children's film Cars.

I saw George Carlin perform back in the 1980s in Akron, Ohio. My stomach literally hurt the next day, no lie. I had laughed to the point where my abs burned like I had done sets of sit-ups. I had actually smuggled a low-tech tape recorder into the show, and the tape had more of me laughing than anything else. Sadly, the bootleg recording was stolen when my car (my super-uncool beige 1982 Ford Escort) was broken into in Cleveland at a Bruce Springsteen concert.

So, if the thief is out there, and if you still have my George Carlin tape, please return it. The statute of limitations is over, and I promise, no questions will be asked.

Meanwhile, I can't really say that George Carlin rests in peace, but I suppose we can hope that he repented before his death. He truly had a gift of God - even if he didn't acknowledge the Source of that gift.

But now, if Bruce Springsteen suddenly drops dead of a heart attack, I may have to shut down the blog.


Kobra said...

Wow, I need to visit more often. You are reasonable and rational. I hope he repented, too. He was %$&#*@ hilarious.

Mike Baker said...

George Carlin once made a fascinating comment. Please forgive me if my memory fails to quote him exactly.

"Christians scare the bajeezus out of me. They are just crazy. They actually look forward to death."

That comment really struck me at the time. Not only did it remind me of scriptural passages that echoed the same theme, but it saddened me. That comment has become a hollow sterotype that unfortunately does not apply to many modern Christians. At the time, I was greatly disappointed in myself because I found that I did not fit Carlin's stereotype either.

George was right. What do we have to be afraid of? Why should we fear and run from death as he and the world does? Why should we act as they do in what we really value here on earth?

As is often the case, our harshest critics tend to correctly identify our flaws (even if it is unintential.) Regardless of his final state which is known only go God, we have alot to learn from his testimony as an avowed atheist. First, His discussions about his own fear of death serve to highlight the peace that we Christians enjoy through Faith in Jesus Christ, the Victor Over Death. Second, Carlin's hard critiques of us may be more stinging than we want to admit.