Monday, June 23, 2008

Wonderful WINO off the air

Waah -- George Carlin has died. A beautiful user of language, he will be much missed (and already is by many). He was just about to receive a (much overdue) Twain Prize. Perhaps it was this final acknowledgment of his iconic status that made that rebel give up the ghost.

I remember memorizing Carlin's routines at my friend Chris' house, as we listened to his records in between the Beatles and the Who and Elton John, using her brother's stereo while he was away. "Wonderful WINO, the big sound in the big town...": I'm nothing if not obsessive.

But I wasn't the only one who adored Carlin. I recall a geeky guy in high school, the type most folks overlooked, who totally changed his stars at a pep rally. We were invited to step up to the mic and share our school spirit, a desultory affair at best for our school dedicated to making better autoworkers for tomorrow. This kid stepped up to the mic and gave Carlin's "Seven Words" bit to thunderous applause and laughter. He was suspended, but attained instantaneous fame that lasted the rest of high school.

Here's to the folks who make us laugh and make life worth living. I've been thinking a lot about his comments on stuff, as we labor to carry all our stuff across town and up those stairs.

[And here's to the folks who did yeoman's duty this weekend helping us cart boxes up the steps: thanks Jenise, David, Dan and Kaitlin.]


Susan said...

As a very young teenager, I remember my friends and I getting hold of a Carlin album with the Seven Words routine on it. We had to wait until parents were gone to listen to it. *smile* I was really saddened this morning to hear he was gone but not totally surprised considering his heart problems in the past.

Wendy said...

Rest in Peace, George.