- Birthday, Quotes, Reading, Writing

“I think I am, therefore, I am. I think.”

Happy birthday, George Carlin! Here are some quotes from the comedian.

 

“If you think there’s a solution, you’re part of the problem.”

“Don’t just teach your children to read…Teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything.”

“It’s called the American Dream, ’cause you have to be asleep to believe it.”

“Most people don’t know what they’re doing, and a lot of them are really good at it.”

“I think everyone should treat one another in a Christian manner. I will not, however, be responsible for the consequences.”

“When I hear a person talking about political solutions, I know I am not listening to a serious person.”

“Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

“I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers, or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people: Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you: ‘There is no I in team.’ What you should tell them is: ‘Maybe not. But there is an I in independence, individuality, and integrity.'”

“The word bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.”

“O Beautiful, for smoggy skies, insecticided grain
for strip-mined mountains’ majesty, above the asphalt plain
America, America, man sheds his waste on thee
and hides the pines, with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.”

“Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls. They got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying. Lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right.”

“Living in this country, you’re bound to know, every time you’re exposed to advertising, you realize once again that America’s leading industry, America’s most profitable business is still: the manufacture, packaging, distribution and marketing of bullshit. High-quality, grade-A, prime-cut, pure, American bullshit. And the sad part is, is that most people seem to have been indoctrinated to believe that bullshit only comes from certain places, certain sources: advertising, politics, salesmen—not true. Bullshit is everywhere. Bullshit is rampant. Parents are full of shit, teachers are full of shit, clergymen are full of shit, and law enforcement people are full…of…shit—this entire country. This entire country is completely full of shit, and always has been. From the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution to the Star-Spangled Banner, it’s still nothing more than one big steaming pile of red, white, and blue, all-American bullshit.”

“Americans really show their ignorance when they say they want their politicians to be honest. What are these fuckin’ cretins talking about? If honesty were suddenly introduced into American life, the whole system would collapse!”

“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 history major or a political scientist to see the bigger-dick foreign policy theory. 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!'”

“Sooner or later the people in this country are going to realize: the government does not give a fuck about them. The government doesn’t care about you, or your children, or your rights, or your welfare, or your safety. It simply doesn’t give a fuck about you. It’s interested in its own power. That’s the only thing keeping it and expanding it wherever possible.”

“Every person you look at, you can see the universe in their eyes, if you’re really looking.”

“People who say they don’t care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don’t care what people think.”

“I don’t have a fear of heights. I do, however, have a fear of falling from heights.”

“And now, ladies and gentlemen, that we’ve enjoyed some good times this evening, and enjoyed some laughter together, I feel it is my obligation to remind you of some of the negative, depressing, dangerous, life-threatening things that life is really all about; things you have not been thinking about tonight, but which will be waiting for you as soon as you leave the theater or as soon as you turn off your television sets. Anal rape, quicksand, body lice, evil spirits, gridlock, acid rain, continental drift, labor violence, flash floods, rabies, torture, bad luck, calcium deficiency, falling rocks, cattle stampedes, bank failure, evil neighbors, killer bees, organ rejection, lynching, toxic waste, unstable dynamite, religious fanatics, prickly heat, price fixing, moral decay, hotel fires, loss of face, stink bombs, bubonic plague, neo-Nazis, friction, cereal weevils, failure of will, chain reaction, soil erosion, mail fraud, dry rot, voodoo curse, broken glass, snake bite, parasites, white slavery, public ridicule, faithless friends, random violence, breach of contract, family scandals, charlatans, transverse myelitis, structural defects, race riots, sunspots, rogue elephants, wax buildup, killer frost, jealous coworkers, root canals, metal fatigue, corporal punishment, sneak attacks, peer pressure, vigilantes, birth defects, false advertising, ungrateful children, financial ruin, mildew, loss of privileges, bad drugs, ill-fitting shoes, widespread chaos, Lou Gehrig’s disease, stray bullets, runaway trains, chemical spills, locusts, airline food, shipwrecks, prowlers, bathtub accidents, faulty merchandise, terrorism, discrimination, wrongful cremation, carbon deposits, beef tapeworm, taxation without representation, escaped maniacs, sunburn, abandonment, threatening letters, entropy, nine-mile fever, poor workmanship, absentee landlords, solitary confinement, depletion of the ozone layer, unworthiness, intestinal bleeding, defrocked priests, loss of equilibrium, disgruntled employees, global warming, card sharks, poisoned meat, nuclear accidents, broken promises, contamination of the water supply, obscene phone calls, nuclear winter, wayward girls, mutual assured destruction, rampaging moose, the greenhouse effect, cluster headaches, social isolation, Dutch elm disease, the contraction of the universe, paper cuts, eternal damnation, the wrath of God, and PARANOIAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!”

 

 

 

John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.

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