Wednesday, June 25, 2008
In the last two weeks we have said goodbye to two very different but successful communicators. For me to not draw a comparison between these two highly applauded individuals would mean I had missed their key strengths. Tim Russert had his finger on the political pulse and did so masterfully.
George Carlin put into words everyday situations and made us laugh at ourselves. To catagorize this man as a comic genius seems trite. He was so much more. He was a sculptor with words, crafting them and making them fit. A weaver of images, a painter of emotions. He defined a generation that smoked pot and did drugs to escape and helped us see ourselves into boomerhood all the while noting the human texture that made us so laughable and odd.
He highlighted the traits of humanity and the small nuances that are common and relatable to any of us that take the time to examine ourselves and the world around us.
Jon and I had the unique opportunity to see him in concert. It was in West Palm Beach when we were dating during art school. We'd spent the day at an Octoberfest celebration in Fort Lauderdale and were primed and ready for his pearls of wisdom. He blew the roof off the building with laughter and applause and our bodies hurt for for days. His memory for dialog was outstanding and he honed his craft to perfection. His body animated and contorted as stories were told and routines evolved into one relating and identifying with his take on the subject. He held you in the palm of his hand.
I've always felt that to make people laugh is a gift beyond measure! He of course, had that amazing gift! He had a wicked command of the English language and always extracted the right words and set them into rapid fire sequence. I admire that talent. He had a Mom who expected him to learn a new word every day. I had an Aunt like that. Another thing that I admire about this comic genius was that he worked up until last weekend. He did what he did till he dropped. He was 71. That's what people do when they love what they're doing.
They do it till they drop.
He was an artist I dearly loved and will dearly miss.