Very rarely do I sign on to Twitter and find myself encouraged when I see a trending topic, so it was quite a pleasant surprise when I saw that “George Carlin” was at the top of their list. My enthusiasm didn’t last though, and quite honestly, I should have known better to begin with.
The trending topic of the late, great philosopher-comedian (or comedian-philosopher) was the work of an out-of-context video, created by “Pattern Integrity Films” and boosted by the unintentionally ironic website “Crooks and Liars”, designed to take down conservatives at all costs. The video cleverly but disingenuously overlays a montage over Carlin’s words, with accompanying sad piano music. (Is there any other kind of montage music these days?) In it, we see the usual boogeymen- Donald Trump, conservative politicians, Donald Trump, Fox News, Donald Trump, the Confederate Flag, Donald Trump, ultra-wealthy Internet tycoons, Donald Trump, “mostly peaceful protesters” being arrested, and of course, Donald Trump. The liberal alternate reality of the COVID crisis was particularly innovative, highlighting problems in Texas and Florida, without any (contact) trace of the far greater crisis that unraveled in Andrew Cuomo’s New York this past spring. Also curiously absent, among so many other things, was the video producers’ feelings about Cuomo’s younger brother, Chris, having a prime-time show on CNN to cover the news of the day, including what unraveled in New York. (Talk about manipulation, eh?)
While nobody can, nor should, try to speak for anyone who is no longer alive, the blatantly partisan use of a man who despised the entire ruling political class goes against the very thing that he preached against. At the risk of being guilty of the very thing I’m criticizing, there are two video clips of Carlin, which surely Crooks and Liars, as well as other crooks and liars, won’t dare touch.
The first, which deals with the decadence and hypocrisy of the modern environmental movement, was discussed on this site a few years ago. It’s only gotten worse since the routine first came out. And hey, speaking of things that have only gotten worse…
The second clip is particularly relevant to what’s going on now, and no accompanying montage is needed to get the point across, either. Just click on this link to watch Carlin’s scathing critique of how government exploits germaphobia to take away our freedom. Decide for yourself how a man, advocating for individual liberty against government manipulation, would feel about those who constantly shout to “just wear the damn mask” and “stay the fuck at home”.
To be fair, the cynical practice of using a fallen icon’s words to further one’s own agenda is not specific to liberals. Conservatives frequently invoke Martin Luther King’s “content of character” quote for their own “color blind agenda”. Few, if any, outside of their bubble go for it. By contrast, however, The Left has far more success with this tactic, as they own most of our culture now. But really, although Carlin would undoubtedly have plenty to say about ALL sides on what’s going on now, his thoughts shouldn’t be the deciding factor on what the rest of us think. If anything, we “commoners” need to be LESS concerned with the opinions of those in the public sphere- yes, even the “good” ones- and try to express personal beliefs on our own. So, with that in mind, here are mine…
To all those bad-faithed political operatives, using and exploiting people’s fears and misfortune for your personal gain-
-You are a far greater long term threat to our troubled society, than anything shown in that video montage- including Donald Trump.
To all the followers out there- the ones who disregard ACTUAL problems within our society, while going along with government-induced ones by shouting at your fellow citizens to “wake up”?
-Okay, but you first.