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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

watch it: “George Carlin: The American Dream”

What he said.

The audio is terrible in this YouTube. There’s a better (but unembeddable) version at Facebook.

(Thanks to Ken and the many other readers who sent this.)



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  • Laura

    Indeed.

  • Muzz

    (the youtube audio was pristine, I thought. Oh well).

    It’s a good rant, but it’s a little too easy really. I know it’s just ranty comedy but one size can fit all here. You can bet there’s plenty who saw this and could say afterwards “Hell Yeah George! That’s why people have to stand up. I’m taking my handguns to the next Tea Party Rally and we’re going to show Obama what we think of his socialist death panels!! Right on!”

  • Anne

    I agree with Muzz, he’s not very specific. “There’s a big bad evil that you should be upset with and fight” can be used as propaganda by any party. The critical thinking minds he talks about are probably a little underwhelmed by this speech. (I don’t necessarily think of myself as a CTM, but I can tell when someone’s trying to play me..)

  • CB

    That’s right, it doesn’t mean anything because it can be used by both parties because that’s what he was talking about.
    GO BACK TO SLEEP, AMERICA.

  • Carlin has a point, but I wonder what he might have thought the solution was, or if he thought there even was one.

    If corporations are totally evil and have us by the balls no matter what we do; and absolutely all politicians are corrupt and don’t care about us; and elections are just an illusion of choice–then it must follow that it’s impossible to effect change through peaceful political means. Which means… what, exactly? Armed revolt? Do we take over all the government offices, and round up and shoot the rich?

    If there’s something we can do that doesn’t involve politics or bloodshed, I’d like to hear more about it. And if there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it, then–to play devil’s advocate–why not go to sleep, and dream? At least it’s more pleasant that way.

    Rants like this appear to want to rile people up and get them to act, but I think painting the situation with such a broad brush–corporations have already won, politicians are useless, everyone’s fucked–more often encourages a sense of angry hopelessness. I reject that. I still think voting means something. And I think there are still good people in politics trying to do good things. We need to recognize such people and support their efforts.

    Alright, let’s have all the “Bluejay, you’re naive” comments and get it over with. :-)

  • Tesseract

    That makes two of us, Bluejay (and, like you, have had people call me naive before, to which I don’t completely disagree). All around me I see people who believe that the “intelligent” outlook on things is all about perpetual outrage and how terrible the world, the system and people are. And yet they keep going with their daily lives and bring children into this “terrible world”. All for what? Because the only alternative is suicide? Given these people’s perspectives, I don’t see why that’s such a bad alternative.

    I’m all about discussing everything that’s wrong with the world and maintaining awareness for the unlikely case that an opportunity but if you don’t have a concrete solution in mind, I find that after a while it’s pointless to talk.

  • Well, thanks, Tesseract, for the company.

    Hate to keep returning to my point, but I’ve just come across this article by Robert Reich that eloquently sums up what I think about all this nebulous anger. He describes many of the same problems that Carlin does, but with a difference: he asks us to stay involved. Please, everyone, read it. It’s important.

    http://robertreich.org/post/904101338/the-enthusiasm-gap-and-you

    Please complain, but don’t *just* complain. Please vote. Please campaign. Please write letters and make calls to your representatives and attend your local town halls and let your leaders know, *constantly,* what you want them to do.

    Please don’t give up on the process. It really, really, really makes a difference.

  • And as the midterm elections approach and you’re wondering exactly why the hell you should vote and what this administration has done for you lately, well: take a look.

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