Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Thinking about George Carlin, Dead at Age 71

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George Carlin died Sunday of heart failure. After my initial, Oh (sad surprise), I immediately thought about his infamous Summerfest 1972 performance of the 7 words you cannot say on television. That routine resulted in his arrest for disturbing the peace. I was at that performance with my girlfriends. We were all a little stunned because those words were not part of radio, TV or most movies of the time.

That comedy piece eventually led to a Supreme Court decision "giving the FCC broad leeway to determine what constituted indecency on the airwaves." 

I believe George paved the way for those wishing to push the bad language envelope. Within the last several months some of his 7 words even hit network TV.

In January, ABC allowed a word that is restricted to 1 or 2 uses in PG-13 movies in an interview with Diane Keaton. Diane Sawyer quipped in reply: "My mother is going to work on your personality with soap in your mouth."  The A.F.A., American Family Association, urged its members to lodge a complaint with the FCC.

In a March NASCAR race broadcast on network TV, one word, I would classify as just being crude, was used by a driver to describe his car. The word was not bleeped out.  The AFA again urged members to complain to the FCC.

Some of the more tame words have worked their way into radio and TV and are now commonplace; a change I don't think is for the better. 

The sad thing is, George Carlin was very clever. Some of his comedy was just making observations of everyday life and because of the way he said it, it was very funny. Didn't he do, Why is there no blue food? (They call it blueberry but it is purple.) He did not need to resort to raunchy to get a laugh, yet he is remembered for his 7 filthy words.

After the radio news blurb announcing Carlin's passing, Jay Weber talked a bit about Carlin on his radio show. One thing he mentioned  was that Carlin was an atheist. Where is he now?, Weber asked. That is a sobering question. A caller phoned in with this observation: George Carlin is now a convert. Only problem is, he can't do anything about it

For people of faith who believe the Bible, we shudder to picture George in front of the Almighty. The Bible teaches, "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." He can't joke his way out of this one. I hope he reconsidered his atheism before he died.

When prominent people die, it makes us pause and reflect on their lives. It should also make us stop and think about our own souls. We have lots of distractions in life, but no question in life is more important than, Where is he now?


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