Mark Twain and George Carlin – Two of a Kind

Mark Twain and George Carlin – Two of a Kind

I never got a chance to hear Mark Twain in person – contrary to some reports. I did get to hear George Carlin – our modern Mark Twain. They are both gone now but they left behind a rich legacy of work that we can read and watch. Both men loved to challenge the status quo. Using social and political criticism, both men made a lot of people uncomfortable.

If you are a catalyst for change you’re going to offend people because many people hate change. Needless to say, there were plenty of people who didn’t like either man. On the other hand, there are many, many more who were delighted by them.

Here are a few things Mark Twain said about politics:

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”

“To lodge all power in one party and keep it there is to insure bad government and the sure and gradual deterioration of the public morals.”

“Look at the tyranny of party–at what is called party allegiance, party loyalty–a snare invented by designing men for selfish purposes–and which turns voters into chattles, slaves, rabbits, and all the while their masters, and they themselves are shouting rubbish about liberty, independence, freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, honestly unconscious of the fantastic contradiction; and forgetting or ignoring that their fathers and the churches shouted the same blasphemies a generation earlier when they were closing their doors against the hunted slave, beating his handful of humane defenders with Bible texts and billies, and pocketing the insults and licking the shoes of his Southern master.”

George Carlin on politics once said, “Forget the politicians; they’re an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying – lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else.”

On November 10th, George Carlin will be awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

They both made people think, laugh swear and cry – sometimes all at the same time.

©2008 Bob Poole – All Rights Reserved
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