George Carlin's Climate Change Rant Ages Like Fine Wine
In the early 1990s, something changed in the late, legendary comedian George Carlin's career. He'd obviously done philosophical, political, and social humour before, but in his 1992 HBO Special Jammin' In New York, George takes a hard left turn, becoming more of a philosopher and thinker than just a comedian with a way with words. Maybe that was when he stopped doing cocaine completely. Touché.
I've been reading a lot of Facebook posts and Tweets alleging that George "would be a conservative/Republican today." Why? He railed on christian conservatives, big business, financial institutions, the military industrial complex and "traditional American values." That doesn't necessarily make him a Democrat either, but by his own admission, George McGovern was the last presidential candidate he ever voted for in the 1970s. He couldn't stand politicians, of any affiliation.
Oh I get it. This era is really the era of Theft. Theft of Ideas. Fox News has been telling people that JFK, RFK, MLK and every other now popular political figure who championed a more peaceful, socially conscious society would be a Republican. At that time, those people would have hated Dr. King. And Bobby and Jack.
I know the Right are starving for actual heroes these days, but give it a rest. No Lefty is going to steal Ronald Reagan, Jerry Falwell or William F. Buckley. They wouldn't want to. But because they championed some semblance of free speech, and Republicans have convinced themselves they're the "Party of Free Speech," they can make up whatever revisionist history they want. Dr. King championed socially democratic causes. Not socialist. There's a difference.
Tommy C. Douglas, the Father of Canadian Medicare, was a Social Democrat, not a Socialist. His fantastic speech, titled "Mouseland," was the driving force behind Canada achieving one of the greatest healthcare systems in the world, one I use frequently and would be dead without. You can see his epic speech below. Bernie Sanders has nothing on Tommy. Douglas was a Baptist Minister, which is kind of funny to me, given that most prominent Baptist ministers don't actually follow their own doctrine.
Yes, that is indeed Tommy's nephew, actor Kiefer Sutherland, son of the legendary Canadian actor Donald Sutherland, and known as Jack Bauer of the TV series 24, introducing the speech.
But I digress. What's really disheartening is that, particularly in America, everyone's having the same arguments they had 30 years ago. Very little has changed, except at the surface level. Sure, marriage equality, gender equality and some of these other things are all very important, but those things only affect specific groups and we all know politicians love to take groups and pit them against each other while they and their donors go straight to the bank.
Canada still has its issues to resolve, but we resolved a lot of things years ago that America seems unwilling to deal with. Whether it's healthcare, confronting and resolving the continuing effects of slavery, marginalization, hatred, unjust overseas military action or climate change, America is lagging far behind.
Unfortunately, too many people would rather be like this.
And if you're wondering how a Canadian can speak on American issues, well, you see the trees, but I can see the whole forest.