George Carlin, the poet, preacher, and philosopher has inspired generations of freethinkers. The blunt truth-teller became one of the most popular comedians ever because of his political incorrect, unapologetic ‘tell it like it is’ style.
Which is why so many of us know his quotes by heart. His insights and stark, hilarious remarks make us feel alive by experiencing a momentarily lift of the hazy cultural veil.
As such Carlin was much more than a comedian, he was a modern day jester, wired to tell the plain, un-upholstered truth about things as he saw them to us who are fooled by modern society.
So as to keep his memory and ourselves alive, here are some inspiring George Carlin quotes to live by.
About the purpose of life..
“People who see life as anything more than pure entertainment are missing the point.”
About minimalism and consumerism..
“A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff. Have you ever noticed that their stuff is shit and your shit is stuff?”
About thinking for yourself..
“I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people: “Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you: ‘There is no “I” in team.’ What you should tell them is: ‘Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality, and integrity.’”
“I do this real moron thing, and it’s called thinking. And apparently I’m not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions.”
About herd mentality..
“Here’s a bumper sticker I’d like to see: “We are the proud parents of a child who’s self-esteem is sufficient that he doesn’t need us promoting his minor scholastic achievements on the back of our car.”
“Oh Beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticide grain, for strip-mined mountain’s majesty above the asphalt plain. America, America, man sheds his waste on thee, and hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.”
“We are a nation of sheep, and someone else owns the grass.”
“Capitalism tries for a delicate balance: It attempts to work things out so that everyone gets just enough stuff to keep them from getting violent and trying to take other people’s stuff.”
“The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death! What’s that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first; get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you’re too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating …and you finish off as an orgasm.”
“Life gets really simple once you cut out all the bull shit they teach you in school.”
Philosophical thought about animal rights..
“How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?”
“I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. … These two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.”
About gullibility and herd mentality again..
“Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure.”
Somewhat less sharp-tongued..
“I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It’s so fuckin’ heroic.”
Want more liberating quotes?
Check out these surf culture quotes for a simpler more fulfilling life.