by Nick Allison
“I really didn’t say everything I said.” ~ Yogi Berra
So, for awhile now, I’ve seen a quote titled “The Paradox of Our Time” floating around on FaceBook and many other websites. It is usually attributed to George Carlin; but any Carlin fan should quickly be able to tell that this isn’t his work.
Credit actually belongs to Dr. Bob Moorehead, a former pastor of Seattle’s Overlake Christian Church, from his 1995 book Words Aptly Spoken.
The late, great Mr. Carlin did have something to say about this quote, and other quotes, that were falsely attributed to him. In a post on his own website titled Don’t Blame Me, he writes:
“One of the more embarrassing items making the internet/e-mail rounds is a sappy load of shit called ‘The Paradox of Our Time.’ The main problem I have with it is that as true as some of the expressed sentiments may be, who really gives a shit? Certainly not me.
I figured out years ago that the human species is totally fucked and has been for a long time. I also know that the sick, media-consumer culture in America continues to make this so-called problem worse. But the trick, folks, is not to give a fuck. Like me. I really don’t care. I stopped worrying about all this temporal bullshit a long time ago. It’s meaningless.
Another problem I have with ‘Paradox’ is that the ideas are all expressed in a sort of pseudo-spiritual, New-Age-y, ‘Gee-whiz-can’t-we-do-better-than-this’ tone of voice. It’s not only bad prose and poetry, it’s weak philosophy. I hope I never sound like that.
HOW TO SPOT A FAKE: Here’s a rule of thumb, folks: Nothing you see on the Internet is mine unless it came from one of my albums, books, HBO shows, or appeared on my website. If you see something with my name on it, and you really need to find out if it’s mine, post a question on my bulletin board . But only if it’s really important to you; don’t fuck around with me for a lark.”
So there you have it. Anytime you see this quote pop up in your Facebook timeline with Carlin’s name attached to it, please post a link to this article, or the link to the Snopes page, in the comment section. Even if there is some truth and good sentiment in the Paradox of Our Time, we can’t shove a preacher’s words into the mouth of one of the greatest comedic geniuses of all time.
And if anyone would like to post an actual Carlin quote to your Facebook page, might I suggest this one:
“When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion. No contest. No contest. Religion. Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there’s an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time!
“But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He’s all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can’t handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit!”
About the Author: After leaving the Army in 2005 with an honorable discharge, a CIB, some colorful ribbons and a complete lack of direction, Nick Allison moved to Austin, TX where he now lives with his wife, their children and two big, dumb, ugly mongrel dogs.
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