By Jacob Bennett
Evansville Courier & Press
September 16, 2005
Some people wring their hands when they think about the end of the world. George Carlin roots for it.
"The message is, this is a hopeless deal; it's funny, and I watch it for the humor," said Carlin, 68, on the phone this week from his home in California.
"It's out of balance. The world's like that, and the country's like that. It's not a sin to know that and say that. But I just kind of stay separate from the drama and just kind of talk about it the way I see it."
The decline of the human species has kept Carlin busy for almost 50 years now, from the "Tonight" show with Jack Paar to dozens of comedy shows a year to memorable turns in movies such as "Dogma" and "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back."
And he's not slowing. He's stopping in Evansville on Sunday as he gears up for his 13th HBO special, "Life Is Worth Losing," which will air live Nov. 5. The paperback version of his latest bestseller, "When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?," which was banned from Wal-Mart shelves last year, will hit stores next month.
You probably won't agree with everything said by the guy whose "Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say on Television" routine helped the U.S. Supreme Court figure out what is too indecent for broadcast. But he doesn't really want you to.
"People should come to their own conclusions, and I should be one of the people they're allowed to hear in informing their own conclusions," Carlin said.
"I would think they would want to fall somewhere between what a person like myself would say and what they're told to do. People are told what to do, what to buy, what to think and what to feel, what to believe. It's better if they hear more than one version."
The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina proved Carlin's contention that Republicans in government have gotten rid of the "welfare state" to the detriment of their ability to help citizens in need, especially such as those in New Orleans who were too poor to flee.
"How can you cut FEMA's budget when you keep telling people, `It's a yellow alert,' `It's an orange alert,' and `Increased chatter; we're hearing al-Qaida chatter?'" Carlin said.
"If that's not a federal emergency that needs to be managed, Federal Emergency Management Agency, then there ain't any others.
"This guy (former FEMA director) Mike Brown was recommended by an old college buddy who said, `He's a good guy.' `OK, let's put him in there.' It's amateur night; it's just amateur night."
Once Carlin's latest HBO show is done, he'll go through the 2,800 files in his computer and start putting together another special, piece by piece. He has enough source material: Humans don't realize they're destroying their own habitat and "circling the drain."
"The planet lives through everything," Carlin said.
"It'll be fine. We'll be gone. That's OK, too.
"It's just another species. The dinosaurs had it once."