As If Denying Climate Change Wasn't Bad Enough, Heartland Institute Has Now Sinned Against George Carlin


We love us some George Carlin. We can think of no higher occupation than Foole. We even love his later ranty years, those concerts where he was so thoroughly disgusted by the Damned Human Race and our institutions that it took a conscious act of will for him to go out on stage and not just howl for an hour. Which, OK, he certainly did, only he at least included some nouns and verbs. We'd like to think Carlin would have gotten a certain grim satisfaction from seeing one of his own rants remixed and brutalized by corporate pimps, because he could at least point to it and say This is exactly what I was telling you fuckers about.

This is not to say we don't share the disgust of the Daily Kos writer who found this thoroughly bastardized George Carlin "quote" on the Facebook page of the Heartland Institute, the nice corporate-funded folks who brought us those charming "Ted Kaczynski believes in global warming" murder billboards a couple years back. It pulled a few lines from the routine up top, gave them an anti-government libertarian spin, and removed any reference to the moneyed shitheads who in a better time would have been the first up against the wall:

We won't reprint the full transcript that the Kos article provides; it's really rather impressive, though, that a group so dedicated to the very sort of anti-thinking agenda that Carlin rants about in the routine would use him as an avatar of corporate libertarianism. It's not even so much that the fake quote portrays Carlin saying "Governments don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking" instead of the actual "The big wealthy ibusiness interests don't want that" -- hell, the bit dismisses the power of government, not because government is evil, but because it was already fully purchased and neutered by the moneyed bastards under Reagan:

Forget the politicians, they're an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you.

That's some prime late-vintage Carlin, all right.

We aren't even so sure that the "corrected" version put together at Kos is all that much better, apart from being an accurate collection of pull-quotes from the Carlin routine:

This has the benefit of being Carlin's actual words, but without the surrounding refrain -- "You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything ... They've got you by the balls" -- it seems a little bit too optimistic and hopeful, because the part of Carlin's rant that both versions leave out is that this isn't gonna change:

And, now, they're coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club.

This country is finished.

Carlin was not big on the hope and change thing; not because he distrusted government, but because he had an abiding disgust for people in power and not a lot of hope that anything would improve. He was way beyond any solace from communing with tortoises in the desert, and had maybe even given up on the idea that satire could help, except perhaps to make the bad shit a little easier to bear.

For their part, we should probably mention that this chopped-up Carlin quote did not originate with the corporate whores at the Heartland Institute -- they just found an image macro that is all over the web in nine million versions, with "government" as the bad guy every single time. It just appeared to match their agenda. Once they got a virtual earful from Carlin fans, they posted an apology that Carlin would have loved tearing into:

A recent post on this Facebook page has caused some controversy. We posted an image of George Carlin along with a quote attributed to him. We discovered, thanks to the diligence of Carlin fans following us that the quote was taken out of context.

In addition to producing extensive original commentary, we attempt to serve as a clearing house for interesting and informative quotations and thoughts by academics, statesmen, and other public figures. It was through that latter endeavor that we came across the quotation in question. Ordinarily we check carefully to establish the veracity of these posts before reusing them, but in this instance we failed to do so.

Our intention is always to provide accurate quotes and information, and we acknowledge our failure in this instance. We did not design the meme we posted, but because we did post it, we own it. We apologize for the error.

Oh, also, we like to make up complete bullshit about climate change. Sorry about that, too.

Anyway, one instance of a bogus George Carlin quote has been removed. Victory is surely at hand.

[Daily Kos / Facebook via Daily Kos]

Follow Doktor Zoom on Twitter. He likes tortoises.

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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On Monday, someone attempted to murder George Soros by putting a bomb in his mailbox. Also on Monday, someone threw a rock into House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's office. Also, I spilled some hot coffee on myself. These are all things that happened on Monday, and were by some measure unpleasant. While most people might say, "Yes, all of those things are unpleasant, but they are not equal degrees of unpleasant," most people are not Chuck Schumer.

In what appears to be an attempt to get someone on Fox News to describe him as a "reasonable guy," Schumer sent out a tweet today lamenting the "despicable acts of violence and harassment" being done by "both sides."

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Republicans are KILLIN' IT in Florida, you guys! No worries about election day, Gators. It's all smooooooth sailing for the Sunshine State GOP. Just take it from Governor Rick Scott's lead pollster Wes Anderson, who produced a whimsical, unskewed poll for the campaign, featuring nostalgic jams about high Republican turnout in those good old days, telling the Tampa Bay Times,

As the linked slides indicate, Governor Scott currently leads Senator Nelson 51% to 46%, a lead that is outside of the margin of error.

It should also be noted that this sample from last week is very robust at 2,200 interviews of likely voters, stratified by county to reflect historic mid-term turnout. Our sample shows the Republicans with a one-point turnout advantage, even though we believe we will end up with a two- or three-point advantage. For historical context, in the past two mid-term elections Republicans had a four-point advantage in 2010 and a three-point advantage in 2014. At R+1, that makes our current sample a very conservative take on the likely partisan composition of this year's electorate.


No other pollster has replicated those numbers, with SurveyUSA, Quinnipiac, and CNN/SSRS all finding Bill Nelson in the lead, but if OnMessage, Inc. says Scott is running way ahead, then it must be true! Only OnMessage promises to "take your principles, your experience, and your opponent's weaknesses to develop a winning message plan that the voters will embrace." And who wouldn't trust a push pollster, right?

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