George Carlin's acerbic wit and profound societal insights were a one time cultural phenomenon. The stand up comic was an artist who did more than articulate the public's subconscious; he embodied America's intellectual counter culture and provided sanctuary from the crisis of modernity. “We're all fucked," Carlin once said. "It helps to remember this.”
Carlin was at his best talking about America's broken political system, summing up the anger, resentment and frustration felt by much of the population who knew something was wrong but could not express it. Carlin did this better than anyone else. Why? Because he was a genius, and here are 11 quotes that prove it:
1. "I have certain rules I live by. My first rule: I don’t believe anything the government tells me. [...] I look at war a little bit differently. To me, war is a lot of prick-waving! OK? Simple thing. That’s all it is. War is a whole lot of men standing out on a field waving their pricks at one another. Men are insecure about the size of their dicks, and so they have to kill one another over the idea. That’s what all that asshole jock bullshit is all about. That’s what all that adolescent, macho, male posturing and strutting in bars and locker rooms is all about. It’s called “dick fear!” Men are terrified that their pricks are inadequate and so they have to compete with one another, to feel better about themselves, and since war is the ultimate competition, basically, men are killing each other in order to improve their self-esteem! You don’t have to be a historian or a political scientist to see the bigger-dick foreign policy at work. It sounds like this: “What, they have bigger dicks? Bomb them!” And of course, the bombs and the rockets and the bullets are all shaped like dicks. It’s a subconscious need to project the penis into other people’s affairs. It’s called “fucking with people!” "
2. "Have you ever wondered why Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer in their communities? It’s because volunteers work for no pay. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time."
3. "The things that matter in this country have been reduced in choice, there are two political parties, there are a handful insurance companies, there are six or seven information centers, but if you want a bagel there are 23 flavors. Because you have the illusion of choice."
4. "People are fucking nuts. This country is full of nitwits and assholes. You ever notice that? Nitwits, assholes, fuckups, scumbags, jerkoffs, and dipshits. And they all vote. In fact, sometimes you get the impression that they’re the only ones who vote."
5. "When fascism comes to America, it will not be in brown and black shirts. It will not be with jack-boots. It will be Nike sneakers and Smiley shirts. Germany lost the Second World War. Fascism won it. Believe me, my friend."
6. "Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity."
7. "Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren’t they? They’re all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you’re born, you’re on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you’re preborn, you’re fine; if you’re preschool, you’re fucked."
8. "I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. These two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death."
9. "Maybe it’s not the politicians who suck; maybe it’s something else. Like the public. That would be a nice realistic campaign slogan for somebody: “The public sucks. Elect me.” Put the blame where it belongs: on the people. Because if everything is really the fault of politicians, where are all the bright, honest, intelligent Americans who are ready to step in and replace them? Where are these people hiding? The truth is, we don’t have people like that. Everyone’s at the mall, scratching his balls and buying sneakers with lights in them. And complaining about the politicians."
10. "The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it."
11. "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."