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June 23, 2008


A terrible loss, to both comedy and our country. He will be sorely missed.

I paid tribute to Carlin today as well. As a teen I loved him as a comic. As an aware adult, I appreciated him for his biting social/cultural analysis.

He'll be a footnote on the news tonite, and they'll *chuckle* over his famous "edgy language", etc. but it won't be the f**king days-long vigil granted to The Great Tim Russert—who did less for his fellow citizen in his whole "distinguished career" than George Carlin did in one night of stand-up.

I'm sorry to see Carlin gone. Though I guess not so surprised -- he never struck me as somebody who was going to live to a very advanced age. A short, full life. Mr. Edroso has a pretty incredible post with what they're saying about Carlin over in wingerville, if you're looking for something to be angry about.

(Uh, not "short" -- 71 is not all that young.)

There's a nice appreciation of Carlin's role in advancing free speech at the ACLU blog, here.


I went to the ACLU site looking for some word on the timing of the FISA immunity fight and vote; they only say that a vote is expected tomorrow -- Tuesday, and to call your Senators.

No news anywhere of a filibuster, or anything concrete other than Reid's feeble semi-promise to offer an amendment.

Ben Smith's report in Politico, noted at TPM Election Central, that MoveOn was going to ask its supporters to press Obama to make good on his earlier promise to filibuster appears to be simply not true. I've received no such email, and it's been 72 hours since the Obama statement. With less than 24 hours to go until a Senate vote...

So: call your Senators.

There doesn't seem likely to be a filibuster by anybody. Feingold is speaking this afternoon at a New America Foundation event on FISA-related issues; more info at Steve Clemons' blog -- see ObWi blogroll.)

/End OT-ish.

Thanks for that heads up, Nell.

What about Dodd?

All I could find was this from last week:

Statement of Senator Dodd on FISA Bill:

June 19, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) today made the following statement in response to the compromise reached on the legislation that would reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA):

“I cannot support the so-called ‘compromise’ legislation announced today. This bill would not hold the telecommunications companies that participated in the President’s warrantless wiretapping program accountable for their actions. Instead, it would simply offer retroactive immunity by another name.

“As I have said time and time again, the President should not be above the rule of law, nor should the telecommunications companies who supported his quest to spy on American citizens. I remain strongly opposed to this deeply flawed bill, and I urge my colleagues in Congress to join me in supporting American’s civil liberties by rejecting this measure.”

Statement of Senator Dodd on FISA Bill

Is it too late for a last minute "draft Dodd" effort?

Thanks -

A great loss. This is one of the clips I posted, too.

OT-ish again: Had to point to this outstanding post from Charles Dodgson, who blogs irregularly but whose writing makes it almost always worth the wait:

An excerpt from a speech Obama almost certainly won't deliver in support of the promised filibuster of telecom immunity that apparently won't happen either:

Go read, whatever your views on Obama's FISA stance.

The most significant comedic influence on my life for sure. He influenced not only comedy but entire world views. I miss him already. RIP George; I never met you but felt we were friends.

Carlin was one of the great standup comedians of our time. Of course, he is known for the seven words and so on, but his comedy was based on acute observation and analysis, not on slinging profanities left and right.

I saw him live, just once, and laughed so hard I actually did fall off my seat, and could hardly breathe.

Rest in Peace.

I came of age during the last generation of kids and teens, I believe, for whom the comedy LP was a viable medium. And growing up, my parents had LPs in their collection from pretty much three artists: Bill Cosby, Cheech & Chong, and Carlin. I listened to my dad's Class Clown LP so many times it's a wonder I didn't wear right through the grooves. A lot of the political stuff went over my head at age 11, but the rest of it had me in tears of laughter.

Later, I bought A Place for My Stuff, and put it on a cassette, where my friends and I would listen to it on our Walkmans at school, and recite those routines over and over.

I saw Carlin live, just once, at the State Theater in Cleveland's Playhouse Square about 10 years ago, and he was just as funny, sharp and insightful about human BS and craziness as ever.

He will be sorely missed.

There is something rather disturbing about that clip, and it is not Carlin, it is the audience reaction and the feeling (imo) of the audience reaction when he says 'we're good at war' feels more like 'damn right we are'. Lest people say I'm being too sensitive, try to imagine him delivering that routine today. (no slam on Carlin, who I listened too almost precisely like Phil, intended, btw)


Not sure what else is on that album, but the "stuff" routine is just brilliant.

Bernard, that one's got his routine about food on it -- with observations about people leaving the fridge door open, people offering you food that they intend to throw out, leftovers, "fussy eater" . . . great, great stuff. Also, the now-classic "Interview with Jesus," with actress/SNL alum Denny Dillon playing the interviewer.

While there is some material I like from George Carlin I have to say that he strikes me as no different than Dennis Miller. A right-wing jerk who figured out his meal ticket was to pretend his was "anti-establishment".

Uh . . . . no. You're talking about a man who quite literally risked killing his career completely because he didn't want to play to Vegas showrooms full of conventioneers and Republicans anymore. I don't know where you're getting the idea that Carlin was, ever, any kind of "right-winger," but you're not even not in the ballpark, you're not even in the right sport.

Wow! I missed this. Away for days.

What a great comedian. Even when he offended me – rather, especially when he offended me, I loved him. He was an original…

Dr. Morpheus: A right-wing jerk…

Huh!?! – or, what Phil said…

I’ve always felt alienated, publius, by this folklore that men compete with each other over cock size.

And I’m guessing that females with big boobs would feel comparably estranged if we told them that we can explain their entanglements with other women in terms of their unconscious desire to prove who has the biggest rack.

That’s not what well-endowed women do; and, by the same token, proving who has the biggest cock is not something well-endowed, heterosexual men do (or desire to do, at any level).

never in my life have I wanted to prove to anyone that my dick is big, let alone bigger.

Carlin is just pandering.

the generalization to consider, though, is that men with small cocks would have something bigger, just as females with flat chests would have bigger tits.

And that’s where the competition lies, i.e. it is painfully obvious to those of us who are happy with our sexual anatomy that anyone who would recite this twisted perception has issues with his or her own anatomy.

as a trope, it is creepy in men, wicked in women, and ineffective in public, except as joke among people who have issues with their sexual anatomy.

here's classic Carlin:

-- "How come when it's us, it's 'an abortion,' but when it's a chicken, it's an omelet?"

I'm worried that if I object to Redwood, I am exposing my own issues. Whoops, too late.

But I do think that the number of jokes that have as their bases some question of size would undercut that argument. Whether it is size of biceps, height of jump or size of ding-a-ling, it is still a pretty common trope. That it happens to center around that thing is just an indication of the centeredness of that for most men.

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