the hippie dippy weatherman no longer sweats the ICBMs

George Carlin is no longer with us, he died a few days ago at the age of 71.  I used to think that 71 sounded old and that it was probably a good time to go but I’m not sure what to think anymore.  I mean, Tim Russert died last week at 58, Heath Ledger died at 28.  Age seems to be no factor when it comes to untimely deaths these days, because all three of these men still seemed to have much to offer.

I liked George Carlin early on in his career.  But as George’s comedy progressed he seemed to have become bitter about life, kinda like the cantankerous old coot that comes to your family reunion and no one recalls being related to.  Comedians lauded Carlin as “the thinking man’s comedian” and I have to agree that some of his routines left me howling, several made me think and one or two just made me cringe.

Early on the Tonight Show, George introduced us to “Al Sleet aka the hippie dippy weatherman.”  “Al” apologized to some of his viewers who were no longer located where the map last indicated (swept away by some natural disaster.)  His forecast was for thundershowers but then he pointed out these Russian ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) on the radar which should cause us not to sweat any other impending weather conditions.  I liked that George Carlin, but maybe it was the era in which we lived that struck more of a chord with me. 

In 1966, the Vietnam War hadn’t reached it’s staggering height yet, there were no anti-war demonstrations or draft card burnings, Haight-Ashbury was just another street corner and the Summer of Love was still a year away.  But George Carlin was making us laugh by bringing to the fore a symbol of counter culture that became synonymous with bucking the establishment by merely passively resisting it.  Non-violence was the movement then and it was working for a short time.  Though the mainstream laughed at it, the thoughts then molded much of what we are now… to a point.

But later George Carlin became cynical and took us for a different kind of ride.  Instead of the hippie micro bus heading for Woodstock, we were on the road to oblivion with no real hope, no guidance, only our delusions to be taken out and sadly criticized.  George said in an interview once that he didn’t believe in God, or his country or much of anything else.  I wonder if he, like so many others was/are really happy in that existence.

Mistakenly, a lot of people get into their religion of choice for what they can get out of it and not for what they can put into it.  Like any relationship, what you give comes back to you many times over.  Too many times we tend to turn to our Creator when times are rough and we need help.  Then when life is good again we’ll merrily go our way no longer taking heed to what God says.

I’m not a religious person but I do believe in our Heavenly Father.  I resent it when people imply that I am not strong enough in my self or that I need faith like some sort of crutch or drug and that is why I believe… because I lack some inner strength or need a “happy ending” to life like a fairy tale.  The realm of higher thinking has no more appeal to me than the people that rave about it.  In my mind, there is more proof that God exists then there is that He doesn’t. 

It is more difficult for a person to adhere to a principle then to go with the flow.  Weak minded people follow fads and conditions, adhere to the current trend or fashion themselves like everyone else.  I once heard a saying that goes like this: ” you must stand for something or you’ll fall for anything” and it is true.  But it is not just the standing for “something” or “anything” that is important.  That would be like an insurance policy, hoping you never have to use it but it’d be handy if you ever needed it.  Standing up for your faith, aside from some organized religion… on your own, through your own convictions and moral compass… takes a strong character.  As time goes on fewer people trust in God because of religious practices, not because of what the Bible teaches. 

I would like to be on the other side of this life to see George’s reaction to the truth, the coming aware to the fact that there is a God and a divine plan for mankind.  It is not a belief that I carry out in the open or that I make my daily concern, which is not to say that others that do are wrong.  But I am finding more and more that faith is perceived as a sign of weakness or a character flaw. 

Look at it this way.  If I am wrong and the George Carlins of this world was/are right, all I’ve done is enjoyed the fruitages of a divine spirit, a higher plane of hope and purpose and tried to govern my life accordingly.  Because of my convictions I have strived to be a good person despite my imperfections.  But if I am right… well, far be it for me to gloat and say “I told you so.”  Suffice it to think that we will both be pleasantly reprised.

Thanks for the laughs, George Carlin.  You no longer have to sweat anything… take your rest now.

Enjoy a couple of clips from George Carlin’s stand up routine by scrolling down. 

Peace, man.          

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2 Responses to “the hippie dippy weatherman no longer sweats the ICBMs”

  1. Karen Says:

    Age isn’t a factor anymore. My son is 28 now. Today is Chris’ & my 29th anniversary, & it hasn’t been long enough.

    Glad to see you back. How’d the trip go? Well, I hope.

  2. chrisfiore5 Says:

    yo Karen,

    hey! cool… 29 years and still on your honeymoon? I like that. Congratulations, my friend… Chris is a lucky guy.

    the trip was good… too short of course, perhaps I’ll post about it when the time is right.

    hope all is well.

    peace.

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