I don't have many heroes, but George Carlin is one of them.
When I first watched Jammin' in New York, his 1992 HBO special, I was instantly infected with his love of language and artfully crafted rants.
Even though he presented himself as an apolitical grump with "major psychotic" hatred for everyone and everything around him, I always picked up on an underlying set of morals and principles.
Carlin liked to repeat this expression, when asked to explain his work: "Scratch any cynic, and underneath you'll find a disappointed idealist." This resonates with me in ways that I'm still realizing. Anytime I become too cynical, I try to remind myself that it's only my idealism crying out.
To me, George Carlin was a political and cultural agitator masked as a comedian. And that's something I've always admired and often tried to emulate.
I didn't always agree with what he said and, sometimes, I was downright offended. But I loved the way he crafted it together. His work was poetry.
I miss him already.
This video is incredible. One guy dances a silly dance with people all over the world.