I've just read a brief article on the Yahoo homepage informing us that influential comedian, author, and all-around curmudgeon George Carlin has passed away today as a result of heart failure. He was 71.
I'm not an authority on the man, so I'll keep it brief. Carlin was an important and revolutionary voice in the world of standup comedy, and indeed of entertainment in general. Absolutely nothing was taboo to him, a trait that would lead to his greatest success as well as to some bitter legal battles. He was cut from the cloth of Lenny Bruce, and inspired such modern-day socio-political ranters as Lewis Black and, to an extent, Bill Maher.
Carlin is quoted (I paraphrase here) as saying that he believes in nothing...not religion, not this country, not good, not any sort of man-made institution. For all of that, accounts indicate that he was not a mean-spirited person; it would be most accurate, I suppose, to say that he believed in a need for the drawdown of bullshit, or rather, what he considered bullshit.
I'd say rest in peace, but he probably isn't. RIP anyway, George.