George Carlin, 1937 - 2008

. Monday, June 23

George Carlin, one of the most influential comics in history, passed away yesterday of heart failure. He is best known for his routine, "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television," which prompted the 1978 Supreme Court ruling allowing sanctions on TV stations that broadcast offensive language while children would be awake. Those words are still not said on TV. He summed it up well when he said:

"The whole problem with this idea of obscenity and indecency, and all of these things — bad language and whatever — it's all caused by one basic thing, and that is: religious superstition," Carlin told the AP in a 2004 interview. "There's an idea that the human body is somehow evil and bad and there are parts of it that are especially evil and bad, and we should be ashamed. Fear, guilt and shame are built into the attitude toward sex and the body. ... It's reflected in these prohibitions and these taboos that we have."

Rest in peace, George. Your clarity will be missed.

(Promo photo from