Geoge Carlin: who cares about Endangered Species, or Saving the Planet. Hahahahah.

Via elephant journal
on Apr 6, 2010
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george carlin environment green ecoFrom the Department of “The planet gonna be fine. It’s us who are f*kd.”

The school of thought that holds that we little itty bitty human beings can’t possibly effect the earth (you know, Climate Change is a hoax) is the same as the school of thought, as embodied by George Carlin below.

It’s convenient nihilism; an excuse to sit on the couch and keep obsessing about ourselves.

Update: this post inspired an article: Waylon Lewis is a Prick, by our colleague Rod Meade Sperry. Read and comment!

Heard of human-caused climate change? You think all those offices, homes, cars, planes, trucks and…dairy cows have no effect? GMOs don’t effect nature? Globalization and suburbia aren’t wiping out animals across the planet?

Get your head around this one: Mother Nature is both vast and resilient and…vulnerable? She has a limit.

George Carlin’s snide rant below calls the lie on his hipster hippie funnyman persona. Take out the laughter and the ponytail and he sounds just like…wait for it…Rush Limbaugh.

See, it’s easy to feel self-important when you stand on the sidelines. But as Christians and nature-lovers alike love to talk about, it’s impossible not to feel genuine awe and humbleness when confronted with the magic that is life.

“Save the Planet? Are you Effing Kidding Me!? I’m getting tired of that shiite. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists.”

What. A. Prick.

Right, who cares about Katrina? It probably woulda happened anyway? Who cares that tigers and elephants (etc) are on the verge of extinction? Who cares about clean air or water, or the shortened lifespans of this generation and the next? Who cares about this experiment called Human Civilization, and our ability to be mindful—joyfully, not priggishly so—about living in harmony with all God’s creation?

Well, Carlin got one thing right: it is selfish to want to protect nature. Just ask Yvon Chouinard, he oughta know. He didn’t just stand around making money cracking jokes at the expense of the world and everything on it. He did something.

“To do good, you actually have to do something.” ~Yvon Chouinard

Sound familiar?


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28 Responses to “Geoge Carlin: who cares about Endangered Species, or Saving the Planet. Hahahahah.”

  1. George Carlin makes mincemeat out of everyone and everything. Why would anyone expect him to spare Boulder? If anyone is getting their facts and opinions from comedians who's sole intent is to outrage us, you're not likely to win them over the cause in any case.

    Carlin is a comedian. Comedians don't have to fact-check their humor. They just have to be funny. Anything goes in comedy. Would you like to be the one to define what a comedian can spoof and what he can't? It's a comedy act!

    To compare Carlin to Limbaugh, who purports to be a serious analyst, is deeply unfair to Carlin, and it aggrandizes Limbaugh.

    Bob Weisenberg

  2. I think I touched on an old loyalty of yours, Bob! Comedy, as you well know, is serious business. Jester in the king's court can say anything, he's the only one. It's a sharp knife used to cut sacred cows down to size. That's what Carlin, in his view, is doing.

    But his logic, and his target, is off. Jon Stewart is watched by millions not just because he's funny—but because he's precise in his aim.

  3. Oh, and btw, listen to the two speeches. Rush may not be funny to you or I, but one thing's for sure: his style may be "serious," but he is an entertainer.

  4. Austin Bahr says:

    He is speaking about the planet in a general term as a rock in space, not as in an eco-system. Yes the eco-system is vulnurable and can be killed, the planet will live on much longer than our conception of inhabitable eco-system. The man has the idea that we are more insignifigant than we would like to think, and he uses that notion to provide people with humour, a valid contribution to society. Everyone needs to laugh. And you belittle him as if he does not contribute. As if by not being as gallant in his impact on the world as Yvon Chouinard, that he is a poorer person. Not everyone can be a Martyr or Savior, it is mathematically impossible, there are need for fools in this world. I really do not see how he is a jerk. I simply think that your ego is hurt because something, you hold dearly was somewhat insulted.

  5. "'To do good, you actually have to do something.” ~Yvon Chouinard'

    I can think of few people who did more "something" than George Carlin.

  6. Yeshe Dorje says:

    Most of George Carlin's later humor is classified by me as "grump humor."

  7. elaine says:

    I couldn't put it better myself, Bob. Although I will say Limbaugh, in the past has admitted he's an entertainer. Unfortunately his listeners have elevated him to serious analyst and Limbaugh bought into the delusion. Regardless, Carlin and Limbaugh not even in the same sphere of entertainment, or reality 🙂

    We lost a good one with Carlin. I think what I liked about Carlin was that he seemed to be coming from the standpoint that as a species, we really need to get over ourselves…..

  8. Egads , elephant. Comedy can only be funny if it's politically correct?

    Please kindly count me out!

    Bob Weisenberg

  9. via our friends on who couldn't bother to support elephant by commenting here:

    Geesh.. He was a comedian – makin fun of even the most serious is wot they do!! They're super sarcastic -And yes, they generally offend overly sensitive people along the way. Lighten up!! George was a very funny man -i think he was brilliant!

    Tony Brown Diprima
    calling him a jerk, and saying he's like rush, ???? maybe. but he did say many things that where true.and funny . in public,
    against materialism, corruption, and greed, and spoke about impermanence and acceptance, that is doing something, i thought you would know this? maybe instead of taking time to call people names, you could try to stick to a good path.

    No doubt… he had just as many brilliant, truthful and mind-opening raps as he did sick, callous, and twisted ones! He was rather dark and eccentric, but definitely had some worthy opinions.. I especially love his 'Religion is bullshit' rap..

    I agree with Carmen. He is extremely funny.

    And besides at the root of it, all he is talking about is impermanence.

    Sabrina Baker
    he's pointing out the bigger picture…in his words: 'Earth is 4.5 billion years old. the planet is fine… the people are fucked! We're goin' away folks!' god i love him!

    Robert W Leeds
    I don't understand ? " Jerk" why, is it hard to conceive that we could be a failed species bringing on mass extinction, to most life and our selves.

    I think this is Carlin's point, humans are self-important narcissistic creatures. We f**ked it
    up and now we think we can save it ?

    No matter how long it takes, in geological time, we will just be a footnote in the earths long history.

  10. Brett Ross
    Jerk?? Seriously? Is a dead comedian really worthy of that vitriol? He also ranted about corruption in government, existential realities and the waste of ridiculous amounts of green space for posh private golf courses. The point is that his career was based on pushing people out of their comfort zones with his commentary on culture, philosophy, … See Morereligion, politics, etc. He never presented himself as an authority, a journalist or the "voice of the people". He was a guy with a lot to say. Much of which was brilliant and painfully funny. Comparing him to Rush? Please… Fight the real enemy.

    John R. Nelson
    Loved this guy… Like many of the GREAT ones, he had the capacity to hold up a mirror to us in order demonstrate the foibles & follies of our lives.

    Tony Brown Diprima

    Oh 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. -George Carlin (a brilliant satirist, not a jerk)

    He is speaking about the planet in a general term as a rock in space, not as in an eco-system. Yes the eco-system is vulnurable and can be killed, the planet will live on much longer than our conception of inhabitable eco-system. The man has the idea that we are more insignifigant than we would like to think, and he uses that notion to provide … See Morepeople with humour, a valid contribution to society. Everyone needs to laugh. And you belittle him as if he does not contribute. As if by not being as gallant in his impact on the world as Yvon Chouinard, that he is a poorer person. Not everyone can be a Martyr or Savior, it is mathematically impossible, there are need for fools in this world. I really do not see how he is a jerk. I simply think that your ego is hurt because something, you hold dearly was somewhat insulted.

  11. John M. Carroll
    Very disappointed with the Elephants view….
    We expect more from you….
    George converted more people to actually think for themselves than the elephant Journal ever will….
    wow mind boggling that you don't have the capacity to actually understand what he was really trying to shed light on…. Do your readers a service and maybe take some time to listen to the whole skit and not just use pieces and take it out of context…

    Carlin wad a comedian and he's now dead. I dont understand the relevance of this.

    Aubrey Todd Cutchin
    Disappointed in elephant journal for the negative aspect of this as well as missing what Carlin actually did, I agree with the comments already posted here. He was an amazing comedian who encouraged independent thought and pushed the envelope in order to get people thinking about serious issues.

    Rod Meade Sperry
    When I posted the link to this video yesterday, I wrote that some would be mad about it, but never imagined that Elephant could miss the points and the humor here.

    I agree with all of you. Seriously, EJ, lighten up. GC was hilarious!

    Elaine Gilman
    I miss George.

    I agree. George was brilliant. He pointed out human frailty, foibles and failures in a way that didn't make you want to curl up in a ball and die, but laugh and think…The world needs a George Carlin. Hope the next one comes along soon!!

    Sky Lew
    He often said what was afraid to be said by others, because somebody had to say it.

    Krista Overly
    I miss Carlin, too.

    Melissa Martin Powell
    I am very disappointed by this post. I didn't think that the message of EJ was to 'slam people you disagree with'. He was funny, made people really think, and made some great points in his long career. His anti-materialism schtick on 'Stuff' was brilliant and his plan to move the homeless on to golf courses was timely. I still quote his 'news' brief from the '70s: "They have discovered that saliva causes cancer, but only when swallowed in small amounts over long periods of time."

    Joe Fraioli
    Not a jerk but a GENIUS!

    Gary Grundei
    Yup. Saddened that EJ should call Carlin a 'prick.' Makes me wonder why I'm following.

    Matt Rutkowski
    Carlin had awareness of what was going on. But he looked at things through a sarcastic lense. He spoke out on lots of stuff, but you know barely any of us listen and when we do often times we don't even get what they are saying.
    Thanks, y'all! Please copy and paste your comments to the link on ele above, as well, so our readers can share your two cents. Comments = advertising down the road = elephant survives, thrives, keeps publishing articles. Only commenting here is a good way of putting us out of business over the short run (we're on a two month lifeline right now).
    Guess I missed the point on this one! Considering that we spend our every waking hour working with (mostly) bad news about endangered species (writing about The Cove so much recently, and Sea World, didn't help) seeing Carlin dismiss our effect on the planet with snide condescension… See More—call it satire—but again, if you read the link above, you'll see that I take offense not because he's brilliant, or witty (he's clearly both) but because his target is so off. It's callous couch potatoes who don't try and do anything who would make a better target.

    This one hurt, I'll admit that, esp coming from such a generally awesome dude.

  12. Dude, come on! Carlin changed how we use and look at language. He consistently challenged hypocrisy, mindless following, blind trust in government, in education, in religion, in parents and in general authority. Plus, more often than not — I DO think he went thru a period in the late 80s and 90s where he wasnt quite so funny, and/or was in a darkly negative place — he was HILARIOUS.

    Overall: take a look at the comments here and on yr Facebook post. I'm not alone among your readers in feeling this way. Most commenters seem to be grateful for Carlin. Did he sometimes "disturb the comfortable"? You betcha. And many of the "comfortable" were and remain thankful to be wakened by him.

    If I were to have one tenth of one thousandth of the positive influence that George Carlin had, I would consider myself a very effective person.

  13. […] lately, I’m getting my butt kicked for daring to attack an anti-environmentalism-diatribes by a popular liberal comedian, this video (sent to me by friend Alex) is […]

  14. Interestingly enough, there is very little that is factually inaccurate about anything Carlin says in this video.

    In fact, he's just expressing the same higher reality that Buddhism does–that our human existence is impermanent and illusory.

    The interesting philosophical question this brings up is, if life is illusory and impermanent, why does it matter what we do? Why does it matter what kind of impermanent illusions we choose to create?

    Bob Weisenberg

  15. Lindsey says:

    Any press is good press… and topics like the destruction of our planet made GC's viewers pay attention. He was a genius… because he knew that by using a fatalistic point of view, he would captivate people's attention and perhaps instigate change under the guise of a pure cynic.

  16. Tamara says:

    SIGH. If the Doug Stanhope link is intended to be a response to my post, then again you have missed my point. Or chosen not to hear it. Not sure which.

    No one, not even Carlin, is saying "Don't do anything!" What Carlin and many of us are saying is that there is a real danger in getting caught up in how awesome you think you are for all your recycling etc., and forgetting that if you aren't addressing how we treat one another as humans then what the hell is the point of saving the planet?

    Not even getting into the fact that to compare Stanhope and Carlin is comparing apples to oranges, once again your response is reactionary instead of furthering the conversation. Much like when we were discussing the Western conception of God as a "old white man." I really am not sure why I keep following at this point – or why Ele accepts comments if commenters are to be treated so dismissively.

  17. Calamityjenn says:

    It is humanity we are busy trying to save, not the Earth. Carlin was absolutely right in saying we humans are so self important that We believe our actions can save the planet. We are not trying to "save" the Earth, We are trying to save ourselves. We need to call it like it is, its is in our nature to do such things, we don't need to pretend to be all saintlike and altruistic about it. Lighten up a bit, do your best and don't take things so personal…jeesh.

  18. […] Waylon got his Ass Kicked by George Carlin (and elephant’s […]

  19. Tamara, if I keep missing the point, maybe we need to hear from you…if you'd like to write something, if you have an inspiration, I'd be honored to publish it on ele.

  20. That question is directly addressed in Buddhism, and by anyone with common sense. If you see suffering, the natural human reaction (or awake reaction) is compassion.

  21. We certainly are driving many cultures, and species extinct, including the elephant and tiger, now. And if "charismatic" species are going extinct, you can bet we'll fight less for the "forgettable" ones.

    And GMOs are a great way to create monocultures and kill diversity.

    If you mean we can't destroy the rock that is Planet Earth, sure. But there's a lot of life on it that is both awe-inspiring, and vulnerable.

  22. Did you see Rod's "Waylon Lewis is a Prick" post? You'll enjoy it, sounds like!

  23. I completely agree with you, of course. But it doesn't follow logically from total illusion.

    There has to be something beyond illusion that makes compassion not illusory in itself.

    Bob Weisenberg

  24. […] Another in the vein of comedy-buying-into-clichés, the Simpsons visited a Whole Foods-look-alike a few years back and discovered that […]

  25. […] had my disagreements with George Carlin before, but god bless ‘im. I don’t love the first paragraph above—but the next two […]

  26. […] happening again, right now. This year, wolves in America were removed from the protection of the Endangered Species Act. This action was not based on what is best for the animal or the eco system. Instead, it was based […]

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