Monday, December 27, 2004

George Carlin enters drug rehab 

"I'm going into rehab because I use too much wine and Vicodin," Carlin, 67, whose latest book "When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?" is a national bestseller, said in a statement. "No one told me I needed this; I recognized the problem and took the step myself."

George Carlin? With a substance abuse problem? I'm shocked! Shocked! There's gambling drug abuse going on here!

For some reason, the A.P. story about his drug rehab includes a bit about his most recent controversy, which involves insulting people who go to Las Vegas. In Las Vegas.
The announcement came weeks after the veteran stand-up comic caused a stir at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas with a performance that questioned the intellect of people who visit the resort city.

According to media accounts of the incident, Carlin's bit about "moronic" Vegas tourists touched off a bitter, profane exchange with members of the audience, including one woman who shouted "Stop degrading us."

First of all, anybody with skin so thin that they take personally a comedic insult aimed at a class of people -- such as Las Vegas tourists -- is, indeed, a moron. If that person then voluntarily buys a ticket to see George Carlin live, that person is not just a moron, but absolutely deserving of any insult that might plausibly describe that person.

Second, it is interesting that an actual Las Vegas tourist called upon Carlin to "stop degrading" his audience. It is fun to go to Vegas and I certainly have been, but there is no argument -- none -- that it isn't degrading. Face it: begging for sex is less degrading than going to Vegas, and the woman who complained that Carlin degraded his audience proved the point.

Third, anybody who sees fit to have a "bitter exchange" with George Carlin is just asking for it. That's like tugging on Superman's cape, or messing with Jim. Why would you do such a thing? And if you did, could anybody with a whisp of a sense of justice have sympathy for you?

Actually, I am a big fan of George Carlin, just bought Pork Chops, love him live and on HBO, and wish him only the best. I just hope sobriety doesn't chase away his muse. After all, what's the addiction of one comedian compared to the laughter of millions?


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