Thursday, June 26, 2008

Threads: NY Oil + George Carlin

NY Oil Flashback:

NY Oil Catch-up
To see and hear NY Oil give his views on Obama and the upcoming election, click here


Marc Cooper: How cynical or pessimistic are you about politics in general?

Carlin: I’m certainly a skeptic. I always quibble with people. I like to split hairs. And I quibble with people who say, “Well, you’re cynical.” And I know there’s a second and third definition of cynical where my stuff fits. But to me the cynics are the ones in the boardrooms with the reports from the focus groups. And the belief that there’s a man in the sky watching us, watching everything we do, is so ingrained: First thing they do is tell you there’s an invisible man in the sky who’s going to march you down to a burning place if he doesn’t like you. If they can get you to believe that, it’s all over. Before you’re six years old, they’ve got you thinking that, they’ve got you forever on anything else they want. There’s no real education. It’s an indoctrination training little producers of goods who will also be consumers of goods. Some will be on the producer side, and more will be on the consumer side. But you’re all being trained to be a part of this big circle of goods being pumped out and everyone buying them and everyone going to work to help make more of them for other people to buy.

I’ve given up on the whole human species. I think a big, good-sized comet is exactly what this species needs. You know, the poor dinosaurs were walking around eating leaves, and they were completely wiped out. Let the insects have a go. You know, I don’t think they’ll come up with sneakers with lights in them, or Dust Busters, or Salad Shooters, or snot candy.

Cooper: But a comet, say a big Arizona-sized comet smashing somewhere into the Pacific Ocean, would be pretty bad for business, wouldn’t it?

Carlin: It would be terrible, and it would be wonderful. Just to see it all, you know. I only wish there were some way I could live out on the moon and watch it all on CNN. And just see the whole thing happen, see the big splash. Or have it hit land and this big cloud erupt. That would be fun to see. I’m just a fan of big disasters. And that is as big as they get. Let ’em go. I just want to describe the mess.
But, you know, life is dual. If you’ll scratch a cynic, you’ll find a disappointed idealist. And the fire never goes out completely. And that part of me that made my mother say, “You have a lovely nature,” is very true.

Cooper: You talk about businessmen with such scorn. That’s the lifeblood of America, isn’t it?

It absolutely is, and that’s probably why there is so much scorn. Everybody in America is a part of this big herd of cattle being led to the marketplace, not to be sold, which is usual with cattle, but to do the buying. And everyone is branded. You see the brands—Nike, Puma, Coke—all over their bodies. Pretty soon you’ll go to a family and say, “$100,000 if we can tattoo Pepsi on your child’s forehead, and we’ll have it removed when he’s twenty-one. A hundred grand.” I’m sure the George Washington Bridge will someday be the Ford Motor Company George Washington Bridge. It’s gone beyond what you can merely mock, so it has to be a frontal attack. Folks, this is bullshit. This is jerk-off time. Don’t you see what’s happening? What you’re doing? What you’re participating in? You know, that justice is blind, everyone’s equal, the press is fair and impartial. It’s what I call the “American Okey-Dokey.” It’s the official bullshit story.

And Americans have, for long enough now, been exposed to the exaggerated reality of the experiment here that they accept it. And the prosperity makes it easy enough for them not to go ahead and question things. You get a good five-, six-year depression in this country, and you’ll see some folks out with torches and shit. I mean, that’s what I would love to see. But who’s going to do that when you’re comfy?

Rest of Marc Cooper's George Carlin interview here

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