George Carlin has died of heart failure, age 71.
It's a monumental loss for American comedy, because there were few, if any, more brilliant observers of everyday life who raised their observations to the level of cultural critique. And of course, it's a monumental loss for three and four year old Thomas the Tank Engine fans everywhere, who will now mix their enjoyment of the stories with the bittersweet knowledge that the man talking to them -- if he isn't Alec Baldwin or Ringo Starr -- is no longer with us. "Peep, Peep!" Thomas said. "Indeed death is all around us."
Mr. Carlin, who in addition to being a children's narrator was also famous for the "Seven Words" bit, got me thinking about Michael Gerson's absolutely moronic column about Al Franken. Gerson apparently is unaware of satire and context, which leads me to believe that he either was an extremely poor English student or had extremely poor English teachers. I've wondered before how someone as culturally tone-deaf as Gerson could possibly have a syndicated column in a major newspaper, and in each column I chance to read he reinforces my notion that he is small-minded, utterly out of touch with reality, and remarkably obtuse.
Really, the idiot takes Franken to task for a comedy bit in which Franken lauds the internet's ability to help his 12 year old get visual aids for a school report on bestiality. Gerson apparently thinks Franken is being serious. He misses the absolute absurdity of a school report on bestiality (who knows, Gerson is so hopelessly out to lunch he probably thinks public school sex education is nothing more than a year-long primer on alternate positions, partners, and practices), even when Franken gives it away with a glowing endorsement of the "visual aids" and his son's classmates' great interest in the visuals.
Gerson needs a little George Carlin sitting on his shoulder pointing this shit out. Preferably using the seven words.