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In memoriam George Carlin -- "The Planet is Fine"

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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 06:15 AM
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In memoriam George Carlin -- "The Planet is Fine"


We're so self-important. So self-important. Everybody's going to save something now. "Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails." And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? Save the planet, we don't even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven't learned how to care for one another, we're gonna save the fucking planet?

I'm getting tired of that shit. Tired of that shit. I'm tired of fucking Earth Day, I'm tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren't enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world save for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don't give a shit about the planet. They don't care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don't. Not in the abstract they don't. You know what they're interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They're worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn't impress me.

Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are fucked. Difference. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We've been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we've only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we're a threat? That somehow we're gonna put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that's just a-floatin' around the sun?

The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles...hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worlwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages...And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet...the planet...the planet isn't going anywhere. WE ARE!

We're going away. Pack your shit, folks. We're going away. And we won't leave much of a trace, either. Thank God for that. Maybe a little styrofoam. Maybe. A little styrofoam. The planet'll be here and we'll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet'll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. A surface nuisance.

You wanna know how the planet's doing? Ask those people at Pompeii, who are frozen into position from volcanic ash, how the planet's doing. You wanna know if the planet's all right, ask those people in Mexico City or Armenia or a hundred other places buried under thousands of tons of earthquake rubble, if they feel like a threat to the planet this week. Or how about those people in Kilowaia, Hawaii, who built their homes right next to an active volcano, and then wonder why they have lava in the living room.

The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we're gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, 'cause that's what it does. It's a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed, and if it's true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new pardigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn't share our prejudice towards plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn't know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, "Why are we here?" Plastic...asshole.

So, the plastic is here, our job is done, we can be phased out now. And I think that's begun. Don't you think that's already started? I think, to be fair, the planet sees us as a mild threat. Something to be dealt with. And the planet can defend itself in an organized, collective way, the way a beehive or an ant colony can. A collective defense mechanism. The planet will think of something. What would you do if you were the planet? How would you defend yourself against this troublesome, pesky species? Let's see... Viruses. Viruses might be good. They seem vulnerable to viruses. And, uh...viruses are tricky, always mutating and forming new strains whenever a vaccine is developed. Perhaps, this first virus could be one that compromises the immune system of these creatures. Perhaps a human immunodeficiency virus, making them vulnerable to all sorts of other diseases and infections that might come along. And maybe it could be spread sexually, making them a little reluctant to engage in the act of reproduction.

Well, that's a poetic note. And it's a start. And I can dream, can't I? See I don't worry about the little things: bees, trees, whales, snails. I think we're part of a greater wisdom than we will ever understand. A higher order. Call it what you want. Know what I call it? The Big Electron. The Big Electron...whoooa. Whoooa. Whoooa. It doesn't punish, it doesn't reward, it doesn't judge at all. It just is. And so are we. For a little while."
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 06:25 AM
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1. He will be missed, but gave us some much to look back on.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 06:32 AM
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2. K&R
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BeyondGeography Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 06:38 AM
Response to Original message
3. Sigh...the one and only
:patriot:
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blue sky at night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 07:01 AM
Response to Original message
4. i have to watch myself....
but I think he may have been a "kook"!
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 07:38 AM
Response to Original message
5. A hearty K & R for this OP! Thanks for digging that monologue up.
Edited on Mon Jun-23-08 07:48 AM by tom_paine
Do you ever watch The Simpsons? They did a fantastic epidsode in which Krusty the Klown basically becomes George Carlin because his career is fading and he needs a new schtick and he falls into it after just getting pissed at a press conference and everybody laughing hysterically.

At the end, unlike Carlin, Krusty sells out again and returns to his old self, the price being a massive SUV called Canyonero.

The mock-Canyonero commerical alone would be enough to make this a thought-provoking gem of an episode.

What's 50 feet long and two lanes wide?
It's 65 tons of American Pride.
Canyonero. Can-yon-eeee-roooooo!

She blinds everybody with her super high-beams.
She's a squirrel-squahsin', deer-smashin' drivin' machine.
Canyonero. Can-yon-eeee-roooooo!

Top of the line in utility sports.
Unexplained fires are a matter forthe courts.
Canyonero. Can-yon-eeee-roooooo!

Yah Canyonero! Whoa Canyonero! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa Canyonero! (fade out)
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
6. Wow, I've made the same argument many times right here on DU
Most people were quite incensed that I shit on their sacred cow.
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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Crapping on sacred cows was George's specialty.
Edited on Mon Jun-23-08 10:43 AM by GliderGuider
His skill at doing that will be sorely missed (except perhaps by some of his targets and their cows...)
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groovedaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
8. It's not the earth we place in peril (i.e. global warming) but our place on it
There are a number of natural phenomenon that could wipe us out. That fact does not excuse wiping ourselves off the planet.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
9. Biospheres, too, are mortal.
Even George Carlin was a secret optimist.
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 02:36 PM
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10. Thanks for that. Here's his views on entropy.
Also from Jammin' in New York:

"I enjoy chaos and disorder, not just because they help me professionally, they're also my hobby, you see, I'm an entropy fan. I'm an entropy fan, when I first heard of entropy in high school science I was attracted to it immediately. When they told me that in nature all systems are breaking down, I thought what a good thing, what a good thing, perhaps I can make some small contribution in this area myself.

And of course it's not just in nature, in this country, the whole social structure just beginning to collapse, you watch, just beginning now to come apart at the edges and the seams."
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Howzit Donating Member (918 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-23-08 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
11. If you prefer to see him perform this blast of wisdom "live", here it is on youtube:
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stuntcat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-24-08 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
12. I love George
it's true the monkeys who think they're Gods can't stop this world, we'll kill ourselves first.
I just can't help being depressed about the animals, to me one animal sending so many others to extinction is just a cosmic fuck-up, no two ways about it. I will always take it seriously, I can't just laugh it off.

I love George though!
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-24-08 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
13. A much more significant loss
than the death of Tim Russert. RIP, George.
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