Plus ça Change

“Laughter is the closest distance between two people.” –Victor Borge

This can’t be right. Someone must be messing with the calendar. How can it be New Year’s Eve again so soon? And … surprise! … I’m not ready, with no pithy, insightful musings on 2014 to offer my faithful readers, no rabble-rousing rhetoric to kickstart a new year. So all right, that’s not exactly what I do, ever. There are pieces still bubbling and fermenting, but nothing fit for human consumption just yet. Maybe we can polish off this year by sharing a smile or two.

As Oscar Wilde once said, “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh — otherwise they’ll kill you.” Comedians are, after all, the court jesters of our time, challenging our assumtions, exposing the absurdity of our solemn pretensions. Few have done this better than George Carlin. And sadly enough, human nature doesn’t change. Greed, cruelty, hypocrisy and indifference are still raging, so even his topical humor still seems all too timely.


“The planet is fine. The people are fucked.”

“The future will soon be a thing of the past.” –George Carlin

“So I say, ‘Live and let live.’ That’s my motto. ‘Live and let live.’ Anyone who can’t go along with that, take him outside and shoot the motherfucker. It’s a simple philosophy, but it’s always worked in our family.”

“I love and treasure individuals as I meet them; I loathe and despise the groups they identify with and belong to.”

“The best thing about living at the water’s edge: You only have assholes on three sides of you, and if they come this way you can hear them splash.”

“I don’t have pet peeves — I have major psychotic fucking hatreds!”

“I put a dollar in a change machine. Nothing changed.”

“By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth.”

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

“Honesty may be the best policy, but it’s important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.”

“Have you ever noticed that the lawyer always smiles more than the client?”

“You can’t fight City Hall, but you can goddamn sure blow it up.”

“I don’t like to think of laws as rules you have to follow, but more as suggestions.”

“Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man…living in the sky, who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer and burn and scream until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you and he needs money.”

“Atheism is a non-prophet organization.”

“The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse: You cannot post ‘Thou shalt not steal’, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’, and ‘Thou shalt not lie’ in a building full of lawyers, judges, and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment.”

“’When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?’ This title offends all three major religions, and even vegetarians!”

“The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.”

“When you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front-row seat.”

“In America, anyone can become president. That’s the problem.”

“You know the good part about all those executions in Texas? Fewer Texans.”

“The IQ and the life expectancy of the average American recently passed each other in opposite directions.”

“Once you leave the womb, conservatives don’t care about you until you reach military age. Then you’re just what they’re looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers.”

“If it requires a uniform, it’s a worthless endeavor.”

“Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.”

“If a man smiles all the time, he’s probably selling something that doesn’t work.”

“Whoever coined the term “Buyer Beware” was probably bleeding from the asshole.”

“Capitalism tries for a delicate balance: It attempts to work things out so that everyone gets just enough stuff to keep them from getting violent and trying to take other people’s stuff.”

“Have you ever noticed that their stuff is shit and your shit is stuff?”

“A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.”

“Have you ever wondered why Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer in their communities? It’s because volunteers work for no pay. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time.”

“Property is theft. Nobody “owns” anything. When you die, it all stays here.”

“These are the ‘law and order’ people. These are the people who are against street crime. They want to put street criminals in jail to make life safer for the business criminals. They’re against street crime providing that street isn’t Wall Street.”

About l. l. frederick

I'm pretty ordinary, so I find any number of things in the world interesting, among them: books, music, flowers, food, social justice, politics and (sometimes!) people. As for my writing, I've decided that I can be subtle and tasteful when our only problems are esthetic ones. Or when I'm dead, whichever comes first. In the meantime, read at your own risk.
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9 Responses to Plus ça Change

  1. tubularsock says:

    Tubularsock loves George Carlin.

    “You can’t fight City Hall, but you can goddamn sure blow it up.” Why is it that this rings to Tubularsock?

    Happy New Year, Linda

    • “’You can’t fight City Hall, but you can goddamn sure blow it up.’ Why is it that this rings to Tubularsock?”

      Hmm. Good question! Could be you just … like loud noises. And stirring things up! Now, tell me why this did not surprise me?

      Thanks for your comment, and I wish you a happy new year as well! – Linda

  2. “Once you leave the womb, conservatives don’t care about you until you reach military age. Then you’re just what they’re looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers.”

    Ain’t that the truth! And we keep marching to the beat of their war drums!

    Linda, George Carlin was just what we needed. Thank you and I hope this new year treats you even better than the one that’s headed out!

    Oh, and I’m drinking to everyone’s health tonight! Tube is sending me over some extra bubbly to make sure I have enough!

    You’re the best!!!

    • Shelby, Thanks for more kind words, but YOU — and so many fine WordPress bloggers! — truly are the best! I struggle just to minimize the embarrassment I cause myself. But maybe next year, I’ll suddenly become … capable and thorough? Unlikely, I know, but I’ll work on it.

      Meanwhile, happy new year, and may the bubbly equal your matchless, ebullient spirit! Cheers! – Linda

  3. Thank you so much for posting these. I was feeling a little down and you have totally made my day.

    • You’re most welcome! They did much the same for me — happened on the closing video and was laughing almost immediately. Thanks for your comment, as ever, and best wishes for the new year. – Linda

  4. Pingback: Plus ça Change | Gaia Gazette

  5. Jeff Nguyen says:

    “The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.”…I love this quote. George Carlin was so prescient and so damn right on. Sometimes, there’s nothing left to do but laugh or cry. Thanks for helping us laugh…it’s much needed these days.

    My best to you in the new year, Linda.

    • Jeff, Laughter is indeed good medicine. Mark Twain thought it was also an effective weapon against oppression. Thanks for your comment, and I wish you peace, health and strength to keep fighting the system with us in this new Year! – Linda

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