Unlike Tim Russert, whose eulogies ate up inordinate amounts of bandwidth, newsprint and talking head time this past week, Carlin was a real giant, a true innovator. Perhaps it’s petty to play a game of “dueling dead guys” or “my dead guy is better than your dead guy,” but, unlike Russert, who, when all is said and done never really spoke truth to power, Carlin did. The fact that Fox News hounds eulogized Russert as vociferously and lovingly as anyone else tells me that. Faux News fans cringe at the likes of Carlin, aetheist, critic of religion, and the Bush and Nixon regimes, and general thorn in the side of those with fascistic tendencies.
There will be a lot said about Carlin, I should hope, in the coming days, particularly by other, more articulate and insightful bloggers.
I’ll only note that I always considered it ballsy that PBS hired Carlin to be Mr. Conductor on the pre-school kids’ show, “Thomas the Tank Engine,” considering what a controversial figure he was. That was a great ‘fuck you’ to the Jesse Helms’ and the like of the world who staged political assaults on public TV.
I’ve known Carlin’s work since the ’70s and own all of this records and CDs. He was one of the funniest men who ever lived. Too bad he won’t be around anymore to blast the purveyors of bullshit.