The Disappointed Idealist

Video - Religion is bullshit.

George Carlin, 1937-2008

So at some point, I drifted away from feeling any allegiance. Abraham Maslow the psychologist once said, "The fully realized man does not identify with the local group." Boy, when I read that, I said, that's me. I don't identify with city, state, government, religion, association, county, organization or species, even. And what I realized was that this feeling of alienation from all that gave me a kind of emotional detachment that was very valuable artistically. To be able to look at things and not give a fuck. To not have a rooting interest in the outcome. I don't really care what happens in this country. I'll be honest with you. I don't give a fuck what happens. I don't give a fuck what happens to this earth, because it's all temporal and it's all bullshit.

You sound like a fallen idealist.

That's it. You've got it exactly. I don't feel cynical -- I feel more like a skeptic and a realist -- but, if cynical I am, they have said that if you scratch a cynic you'll find a disappointed idealist. And that's a fact. I'm sure that flame flickers.
Interview with George Carlin

"I have no hobbies and I have no leisure activities," Mr. Carlin added. "My greatest joy is working at the computer with my ideas."

You're seventy now, right? Are you still ever bit as rebellious, or do you ever feel like you've become the establishment?

No. The point I've made about this is, an entertainer is one thing, and for a long time I thought of myself as an entertainer and that's all I was. But at some point, an artist started living here too. Artists are different from entertainers. Entertainers are kind of static, sort of. They kind of stay in one place, they do one thing. Artists on the other hand are usually involved in a journey of some kind, they don't know where they're going they just know that they're not there yet. There's a kind of restlessness in an artist, a vague kind of dissatisfaction - and it's because you're always reaching further inside yourself and further outside — or farther, I should say, it's physical &mash; you're reaching for more, inside and in the world itself - your observations, the things you understand or don't understand — you're always kind of moving moving moving.

Pablo Casals was a great cellist of the last century — he was a great virtuoso, just considered the absolute master of his instrument. And in his 90s he was still practicing 3 hours a day. And one of his friends asked him, "Senor Casals, you're a master, why do you still practice 3 hours a day?" and he said, "Well, I'm beginning to notice some improvement." And it's a wonderful thing to have inside you somewhere, that feeling - I was so pleased when I read that, that I could put that at work inside myself because it's true - you still see the joy you get from creating things, from sitting down with an empty page, so to speak, going into your files - in my case I work from files - and finding things that go together. Finding things that make sense and go somewhere, and putting them in form - finding them from ideas and little scraps of thoughts and making them into fully-formed essays. It's joy - it's unalloyed joy - and that's not something that I'd ever say, "Well, it's time to stop that." (laughs) It's a wonderful feeling to have found something you're good at, that you love to do, and that other people think you do well. Those are the three elements, I think, that go into being happy: Find something you love, be good at it, and have other people pat you on the back and say "good job."

George Carlin's website

1 comment:

  1. [quote]George Carlin, one of the greats of US comedy has left us.[/quote]

    With George Carlin's own dislike of eufemisms in mind, you should change this phrase to : George Carlin died, or passed away. Someone might come along and say : "ah, he'll come back soon enough"