Full transcript of It’s Bad for Ya, final HBO stand-up comedy special by stand-up comedian George Carlin. It was televised live on March 1, 2008 on HBO.
Filmed in the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, California
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I’d like to begin… I’d like to… Thank you. Thank you. I’d like to begin by saying fuck Lance Armstrong. Fuck him and his balls and his bicycles and his steroids and his yellow shirts and the dumb, empty expression on his face. I’m tired of that asshole. And while you’re at it fuck Tiger Woods, too. There’s another jack-off I can do without. I’m tired of being told who to admire in this country. Aren’t you sick of being told who your heroes ought to be? You know? Being told who you ought to be looking up to. I’ll choose my own heroes, thank you very much. And fuck Dr. Phil, too. Dr. Phil said I should express my emotions, so that’s what I’m doing. Now, since the last time I rolled through these parts, and I do roll through with some frequency. I’m a little bit like herpes. I keep coming back. But since the last time, I might have seen some of you folks I have had my 70th birthday. So, I now… Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, I’m now 70 years old, and I like 70. Not as much as I liked 69. Well, 69 was always my favorite number. Now, I figure I’m 69 with one finger up my ass. But now that I’m an old fuck, and that’s what I consider myself to be, an old fuck. Old fuck is a very special term. It’s not like old man. Old man is different. Old man isn’t really a time in your life or a period of years. It’s an attitude. Old man is a point of view. It’s a way of looking at things. Some guys are old men when they’re in their 20’s. You’ve met guys like that. They’re just wired like old men. Not me. Not an old man and not an old fart because an old fart is kind of (sound). What I am is an old fuck. It’s kind of like a fat fuck, you know what I mean? Fat fuck, tall fuck, skinny fuck, short fuck, old fuck. Who’s the old fuck? That’s Georgie. Georgie’s the old fuck. In this respect, fuck is actually a synonym for the word fellow. But now that I’m an old fuck, I’m beginning to notice there’s some advantages to putting on a few extra years. The first one is you never have to carry anything heavy ever again. Everybody wants to help an old fuck. If you’ve got a big suitcase or something like that, you know, you just kind of go like this a little bit. You say, “Yeah, could you help me with this?” Say, “Yeah. Hey, how far you going?” “Indianapolis.” He wants to help? Fuck him. Put him to work. Take advantage of people. Another nice thing about getting old is you can leave any social event early just by saying you’re tired. Works great with family members. Just turn to the person next to you and say, “Geez, I’m getting tired, you know.” Oh, are you tired? Come on. Grandpa’s tired. Grandpa’s going to bed. Someone else says, “But it’s 7:30 in the morning.” There’s always one asshole in the family. But the best thing about getting old is you’re not responsible for remembering things anymore, even important things. “But it was your daughter’s funeral.” I forgot. You can even make believe you have Alzheimer’s disease. Ah, it’s a lot of fun. You look around the dining room table and you say, “Who are you people, and where is my horse?” Then you stare at your eldest son and say, “Agnes, I haven’t seen you since first communion.” Fucks them up. Fucks them up. They don’t know how to handle it. It takes them a week to get over that shit. And they start listening to you a lot more carefully from then on. So don’t be afraid to get old. It’s a great time of life. You get to take advantage of people, and you’re not responsible for anything. You can even shit in your pants. They expect it. I haven’t tried that yet, but I don’t rule it out. I’m keeping my options open. Everything is on the table. Perhaps that’s not the figure of speech I wanted right there.
So you know what I’ve been doing? Going through my address book and crossing out the dead people. You do that? That’s a lot of fun, isn’t it? It gives you a good feeling. Kind of gives you a feeling of power, a superiority to have outlasted another old friend. But you can’t do it too soon, you know? You can’t do it too soon. You can’t come running home from the funeral and get the book out, you know, and be looking through it. You can’t do that. A little time has to pass. You have to let a little time go by. I have a rule of thumb, six weeks. If you’re a friend of mine and you’re in my book and you die, I leave you alone for an extra six weeks. Six extra weeks in the book. On the house. It’s on me. But after that, hey, facts are facts. Fuck you. You’re dead. (Fart sound). Out you fucking go. You got to have standards, you know. Now, these days, a lot of people don’t keep analog address books anymore. They don’t want to be writing that stuff out longhand. They’re in the computer age. And they have an application in the computer called Outlook or Contacts or Address Book or something like that. So they keep all the information in the computer, and they sync it up with their phone every day or every other day. So now, instead of scratching out a name you get to delete the fuck. And deleting someone is an even more powerful feeling than simply scratching out a name. You know how to delete someone. You select a name, highlight the person and then poof, straight into the trash. Now, if it’s a really close friend of yours, you might not want to empty the trash for about six weeks. Or…or if it’s a little too harsh for you, a little too harsh to delete an old friend, you can always create a new folder, a special folder for dead people. You keep it on your desktop. It’s kind of a digital purgatory. And the nice thing is every now and then, you can open it up, and you can look inside. And you can see the people in purgatory. And you can move them all around, you know. Move them around. Put them in little groups. Two people who didn’t get along in life, put them in the corner; let them work it out. Let them work it out in purgatory. Or start a fight. Have a big fight in purgatory. That’s a lot of fun. Nobody’s going to get hurt. They’re all fucking dead anyway. Then, you put them in a big formation and have a parade, the purgatory parade of dead people. Ah, there’s a lot of fun you can have with a computer, so enjoy your digital selves.
Now, speaking of dead people, there are things we say when someone dies, most of us say, a lot of us do, things we say that no one ever questions. They just kind of go unexamined. I’ll give you a couple of examples. After someone dies, the following conversation is bound to take place probably more than once. Two guys meet on the street. “Hey, did you hear? Phil Davis died.” “Phil Davis? I just saw him yesterday.” Yeah? Didn’t help. He died anyway. Apparently, the simple act of your seeing him did not slow his cancer down. In fact, it may have made it more aggressive. You know, you could be responsible for Phil’s death. How do you live with yourself? Here’s another thing they say after a death. This is usually said to the surviving spouse. “Listen, if there’s anything I can do, anything at all, please don’t hesitate to ask.” What are you going to do, a resurrection? This ain’t the fucking New Testament, you know. You know what you tell a guy like that who wants to help? Well fine, why don’t you come over this weekend? You can paint the garage. Bring your plunger. The upstairs toilet overflowed and there’s shit all over the floor up there. Do you drive a tractor? Good. That’ll come in handy. The north 40 needs a lot of attention. Bring your chainsaw and your pickaxe. We’re going to put your ass to work. He wants to help? Fuck him. Call his bluff. Call his bluff. “Don’t hesitate to ask.” The nerve of these pricks. Here’s another thing we say to the surviving spouse. “I’m keeping him in my thoughts.” Where? Where exactly in your thoughts does he fit? In between my ass hurt in this chair and let’s fuck the waitress? What are your priorities? We use a lot of euphemisms when we talk about death, you know. People say things like, “You know, I lost my father.” Ah, he’ll turn up. You’ve got to stay optimistic with people like that. Give them reason to hope. Have you checked the dumpster out back? He used to like to take a nap in there. Keep it upbeat. Now, there’s something else that is said after a death, but this one involves belief, which is where I begin to have big problems. This one happens after the funeral, after the burial, back at the house. Back at the house where the family and friends and the loved ones of the deceased are having some food and drink, and they’re enjoying some warm reminiscences of the person who passed away, sooner or later, someone is bound to say the following, especially after a few drinks. “You know, I think he’s up there now smiling down at us, and I think he’s pleased.” Now, first of all, there is no “up there” no, no for people to be smiling down from. It’s poetic. It’s quaint. And I guess for superstitious people, it provides a little comfort, but it doesn’t exist. But if it did, if it did, and if someone did somehow survive death in a non-physical form, I personally think he’d be far too busy with other celestial activities than to be standing around paradise smiling down on live people. What kind of fucking eternity is that? And why is it no one ever says, “I think he’s down there now, smiling up at us.” Apparently, it never occurs to people that their loved ones might be in hell. Your parents could be in hell right now. Your parents…your father for sure. Oh, shit. Hell is full of dads. Full of dads. Even the ones that took you to the ballgame, just for beating the shit out of you once too often and fucking the neighbor lady and fucking the neighbor dog, and who knows, maybe even fucking the UPS man. We’ll never know what mischief dad was up to. Parents in hell. It kind of gives you a nice feeling, doesn’t it? It does me. Grandparents in hell. Picture that. Picture your grandmother in hell baking pies without an oven. And if someone were in hell, I doubt very seriously he’d be smiling. I think he’s down there now screaming up at us, and I think he’s in severe pain. People just refuse to be realistic. They don’t like to be realistic. People would rather stroke themselves, you know. Oh, they like to stroke themselves, don’t they? Stroke themselves. They stroke each other. They get stroked. They stroke the boss. The boss strokes them. Everybody strokes everybody. It’s nothing but a big stroke job in this country. The government strokes you every day of your life. Religion never stops stroking you. Big business gives you a good stroke. And it’s one big, transcontinental, cross-country, red, white and blue stroke job. Do you know? Yeah. Yeah. Do you know what the national emblem for this country ought to be? Forget that bald eagle. The national emblem of this country ought to be Uncle Sam standing naked at attention saluting. And seated on a chair next to him the Statue of Liberty jerking him off. That would be a good symbol for the United Strokes of America.
It’s all bullshit folks. It’s all bullshit, and it’s bad for you. Now, speaking of dead people in heaven, there are some people who not only believe that their dead parents in heaven can see them. OK, OK. They honestly believe that their dead parents in heaven can help them. You’ve heard these people, I’m sure. They honestly somehow believe that their dead parents in heaven can intercede with God on their behalf to gain favors for the living. I come from a Catholic home. I heard this shit. They sit there in the chair with the fucking rosary, and they look at you like this, you know. And they said “Oh, my dad. My dad was looking out for me. He was looking out. I don’t know how he got me out of that jam, but he got me out. Oh, my mom…my mom was in surgery with me. She was in… I could feel her presence in there.” Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Fine. Like the people who die have nothing better to do than run the heavenly branch of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Now, if people want to believe this kind of stuff, it’s fine with me. Let them believe it. I don’t…I don’t…I don’t want to disabuse anyone of their beliefs. But I have a question about this, a question that involves logic. Let’s suppose it’s true. Let’s allow the proposition that somehow dead parents in heaven can help their living children. Fine. So we’ve got a family living on earth, a father and mother and four kids. A family of six. A good family. A nice family. Doing all the right things, having a good time, making all the right moves. And the parents go away on a weekend trip and get killed in an accident, and the children, of course, survive. So now, according to this theory, these two people go to heaven and they start helping their four living children, helping them with everything they need. Helping them with their science projects, with their SAT scores, helping them get a good school, get a nice job, get a promotion and a raise and someone to marry, and they all grow up. These four kids now grow up and have children of their own. And let’s say that all four of these now-grown children also die at the same time, just for the sake of argument. Let’s say there’s an explosion at Thanksgiving dinner, and these four die, but their children survive because they were seated at the children’s table. So… So now, according to the theory, these four go to heaven and they start helping their living children. But what happens to the original two? What happens to the grandparents? Do they just go off-duty now? What do they do? Is there a retirement program up there? Is there some activities for these people? Shuffleboard, pinball, online poker. There must be something they can do. Or do they have to remain on duty indefinitely? Do they have to keep on helping their living descendants forever and ever and ever? Is that what heaven is all about, helping the living? When do you get to just lie back on a cloud and take a fucking harp lesson, you know what I mean? Because… Because people have been dying… People have been dying for a long, long time. There’s been a lot of dead mother-fuckers. Did you know that? Yes, you knew there’s a lot of dead mother-fuckers. We’ve had 100 billion people live on this earth. That’s what the experts say. A hundred billion people have lived here. So let’s say half of them died and went to heaven. That’s 50 billion people up there. That’s a pretty crowded place. It must get pretty busy and pretty hectic up there. And God must get pretty pissed off with all these favors. “Yeah, yeah, I know. Spelling test Tuesday. Get the fuck out of here, would you, please? Just get the fuck out of here.” Well, even God can go on sensory overload. That’s why he wanted one day off a week. Christians gave him Sunday. Jews gave him Saturday. Muslims gave him Friday. God has a three-day weekend, which is probably just what he needs. Now, just a couple of other questions about this whole theory. Suppose you die without having any children. Who do you help, strangers? It would be nice. Suppose you’re an adopted child. Who helps you, your biological mother? She doesn’t even know where the fuck you live. Suppose you kill your parents. Would they help you? I’ll guarantee you Mr. and Mrs. Menendez are not helping those two boys. No. No. Yeah, it’s all bullshit folks, and it’s bad for you. It’s all bullshit. That’s what you have to remember as you go through life in this country.
It’s all bullshit, and it’s bad for you. Now, speaking of parents and speaking of bullshit, two ideas which aren’t always mutually exclusive, by the way. I’d like to mention a special kind of bullshit that has taken hold in this country in the last 30 to 40 years. It’s a form of bullshit that really only can be called child worship. It’s child worship. It’s this excessive devotion to children. I’m talking about today’s professional parents, these obsessive diaper sniffers, who are over-scheduling and over-managing their children and robbing them of their childhoods. Even the simple act of playing, even the simple act of playing has been taken away from children and put on mommy’s schedule in the form of play dates. Something that should be spontaneous and free is now being rigidly planned. When does a kid ever get to sit in the yard with a stick anymore? You know, just sit there with a fucking stick. Do today’s kids even know what a stick is? You know. You sit in the yard with a fucking stick and you dig a fucking hole. You know. Yeah. And you look at the hole, and you look at the stick, and you have a little fun. But kids don’t have sticks anymore. I don’t think there are any sticks left. I think they’ve all been recalled because of lead paint. Who would have thought that one day the manufacturing of sticks would be outsourced to China? But you know something, a kid shouldn’t be wasting his time with a stick anyway. If he’s 4 years old, he should be home studying for his kindergarten entrance exams. Do you know about that shit? Oh, they have them now. Yeah. Yeah. There are places that have kindergarten entrance exams. The poor little fuck. The poor little fuck, he can barely locate his dick, you know, and already he’s being pressured to succeed. Pressured to succeed for the sake of the parents. Isn’t this really just a sophisticated form of child abuse? And speaking of that, speaking of child abuse. Speaking of child abuse, next stop grade school. Grade school where he won’t be allowed to play tag because it encourages victimization. And he won’t be allowed to play dodge ball because it’s exclusionary, and it promotes aggression. Standing around is still OK. Standing around is still permitted, but it won’t be for long because sooner or later some kid is going to be standing around, and his foot will fall asleep, and his parents will sue the school, and it’ll be goodbye fucking standing around. Now… You know? Now fortunately, all is not lost. All is not lost because at least we know that when he does get to play, whatever games he is allowed to play, the child will never lose. We know he’ll never lose because in today’s America no child ever loses. There are no losers anymore. Everyone’s a winner, no matter what the game or sport or competition, everybody wins. Everybody wins. Everybody gets a trophy. No one is a loser. No child these days ever gets to hear those all-important character building words, “You lost, Bobby. You lost. You’re a loser, Bobby.” They miss out on that. You know what they tell a kid who lost these days? “You were the last winner.” A lot of these kids never get to hear the truth about themselves until they’re in their 20’s when the boss calls them in and says, “Bobby, clean the shit out of your desk and get the fuck out of here. You’re a loser. Get the fuck out of here.” Of course, Bobby’s parents can’t understand why he can’t hold a job. In school, he was always on the honor roll. Well, what they don’t understand, of course, is that in today’s schools, everyone is on the honor roll. Everyone is on the honor roll because in order to be on the honor roll, all you really need to do is to maintain a body temperature somewhere roughly in the 90’s. But we shouldn’t be worrying about how he’s doing in school because you know, come summertime, he’ll be off to camp. Yes, he’ll be off to camp, but not to swim and hike and play softball. No, no, no, no. Today’s child will be sent away to lose weight. He’ll be sent to fat camp or violin camp or ceramics camp or computer camp or leadership camp, whatever the fuck that is. Leadership camp. Isn’t that where Hitler went? You know, uh… Specialized, structured summer camps. Got to keep the little fucker busy, don’t they? Got to keep the little fucker busy. Wouldn’t want him to sneak in a little unstructured time in the woods. That wouldn’t be any good. God knows he might start jacking off. Now, all of this stupid bullshit that children have been so crippled by has grown out of something called the self-esteem movement. The self-esteem movement began in 1970, and I’m happy to say it has been a complete failure because studies have repeatedly shown that having high self-esteem does not improve grades, does not improve career achievement, it does not even lower the use of alcohol, and it most certainly does not reduce the incidence of violence of any sort because as it turns out, extremely aggressive, violent people think very highly of themselves. Imagine that, sociopath’s have high self-esteem. Who woulda thunk, huh? I love when this kind of thing happens. I love when these politically correct ideas crash and burn and wind up in the shithouse. Here’s another one that bit the dust. This practice of playing Mozart during pregnancy so the fetus can hear it. It was supposed to increase intelligence. It didn’t work. It didn’t work. All it did was sell a lot of CDs and piss off a whole lot of fetuses. The self-esteem movement revolved around a single notion, the idea, the single idea, that every child is special. Boy, they said it over and over and over, as if to convince themselves. Every child is special. And I kept saying fuck you. Every child is clearly not special. Did you ever look at one of them? Did you ever take a good close look at one of these fucking kids? They’re goofy. They’re fucking goofy looking. They’re too small, they’re way too fucking small. They’re malproportioned. Their heads don’t fit their bodies; their arms are too weird and everything. They can’t walk across the room in a straight line. And when they talk, they talk like they got a mouthful of shit. They’re incomplete, incomplete, unfinished work. I never give credit for incomplete work. Now, PT Barnum might think they’re special, but not me, I have standards. But let’s say it’s true. Let’s grant this. I’m in a generous mood. Let’s grant this proposition. Let’s say it’s true as somehow all…every child is special. What about every adult? Isn’t every adult special, too? And if not, if not then at what age do you go from being special to being not-so-special? And if every adult is special then that means we’re all special, and the whole idea loses all its fucking meaning. Here’s another platitude they jam down our throat: Children are our future. Children are not our future, and I can prove it with my usual flawless logic. Children can’t be our future because by the time the future arrives they won’t be children anymore, so blow me. Yes. As you may have noticed, I always like to present a carefully reasoned argument. Raising a child is not difficult. They try to make it into this mysterious, difficult task. Nothing to it. Easiest thing in the world to raise a kid if you follow the steps. First step, you take the kid and you put him out on the street corner, and you leave him there. You come back a week later. If the kid is still there, you’ve got yourself a stupid fucking kid. Then you just proceed from that point.
It’s all bullshit, folks. It’s all bullshit, and it’s bad for you. Now, you wouldn’t know it from some of the things I’ve said over the years, but I like people. I do. I like people, but I like them in short bursts. I don’t like people for extended periods of time. I’m all right with them for a little while, but once you get up, passed around, minute, minute and a half, I’ve got to get the fuck out of there. And my reason for this, my reason is for one that you may share possibly. I have a very low tolerance level for stupid bullshit. That’s all. Stupid bullshit. You know? And everyone wants to tell you their stupid bullshit, and a lot of them don’t know when to stop talking. You ever run into that guy? Doesn’t know when to stop talking, just continues running at the mouth like verbal diarrhea. Don’t know when the conversation is over. Stupid, trivial shit you don’t care anything about, things you’re not even remotely interested in. “Did I tell you about my mom and dad? Well, my mom and dad went on vacation down to Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. This is about six years ago, I think. It seemed like it was six, about six years ago. Six or seven, possibly seven, could be. Yeah. Somewhere in there, six, seven, more than six, less than seven. Let’s call it six and a half. So my mom and dad went on vacation to Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, and my dad found a big rock. What he thought was a big rock turns out it was a dinosaur turd, a petrified dinosaur turd, 27 pounder. You know, now that I think of it, it might have been eight years ago. That would have been close to Y2K, wouldn’t it? Remember Y2K? Whatever happened? Everybody’s all worried about that. Nothing ever happened. Ha, ha, ha, big fuss. Nothing ever happened. You know? God. That was strange, you know.” “So let’s say, we’ll say, it’s eight…eight years. It was either eight or five. So my dad gave my mom this big turd. He says, ‘Here, Mom. This is a big dinosaur turd. Put it in your purse to take that home.’ My mom said, ‘Dad, I don’t think this is a dinosaur turd. This thing is still warm. Whoever dropped this thing is still walking around in here, and we’d better get the fuck out of this cave.’ Nine years ago. Nine. I know it was nine because my wife was pregnant with our first boy, Mach Moody Benel Sayid Ben Salam, and he’s ten now. Or is he? He’s 11. Maybe, he’s 11. He’s either 11 or 5.” And while all of this is going on, you’re searching through your mind for something graceful and diplomatic you can say to bring the conversation to a close, and all I can ever come up with is shut the fuck up. Shut the fuck up. Shut the fuck up. Shut the fuck up. But you can’t say that. Good manners don’t permit it. You have to find another way, and I go to body language. I try to use my body language to show that the conversation is over. I find myself leaning at a 45-degree angle trying to indicate the direction that I’d like to go if this person would just shut the fuck up. And then, I might even give him a verbal cue. “Surgery. Surgery. I’m late for surgery. I’m having my ears sewn shut.” You know. Yeah. Same people on the phone. Same people on the phone, don’t know when to hang up, don’t know when the conversation is over. Dumb, trivial shit. Dumb questions. “So what are you guys going to do five summers from now? We haven’t made any plans. Marge wants to go to the beach. The kids kind of like it at the lake, and I want to go to the mountains. Grandma wants to visit her sister in Frog Balls, Arkansas. How about you? Have you made any plans? It’s never too early to make plans. We’re going to Norway in 2025. Did you know that up until the 1950’s, Norway’s economy was based largely on fishing, but now, thanks to improved drilling techniques and the expansion of the global economy…” Once again, once again, searching through your mind for something gentle you can say. “Blow it out your ass,” comes to mind. Or shut your fucking pie-hole. Or if your friend prefers cake, shut your fucking cake-hole. But you can’t say these things, and you can’t use body language on the phone. Well, you could always amuse yourself, you know. Or if it’s your mother, you show your mother respect; you put her on speakerphone. But that doesn’t move the conversation along. You have to find another trick. And I go to tone of voice. Did you ever use your tone of voice to try to talk them into a soft landing? You try to coax the person toward the end. “Right. Good. OK. Good. All right then. Good. Great. OK. Good. OK, OK. All right. Oh, fuck, there he goes again. That cocksucker. “You remember my neighbor with the burns on 90 percent of her body? Well, she burned the other 10 percent now. She was lighting a fart, and her bush caught fire.” “Listen, listen, Reverend.” “Reverend, Reverend, I hate to be rude, but I just took a three and a half hour shit, and I’m bleeding from the asshole. Well, I don’t have any mercurochrome. Yes. Yeah, I’ll put a Snoopy band-aid on it. Thank you. Yeah, thank you. You do that for me. Yes, say a prayer for my asshole. Thank you very much.” You have to resort to these tactics because many people do not understand what a phone call should be or what a phone call is. Ideally, a phone call is the brief exchange of a few vital pieces of information. This is a phone call. “Hey, Steve, what time’s the circle jerk start tonight? Ten o’clock, OK. Listen, I’m going to be a little bit late. You’ll have to start without me. Oh, don’t worry. I’ll catch up. I’m eating a whole bunch of oysters and watching a horny movie. It’s called Tarzan Fucks a Zebra. Russell Crowe. Well, it’s kind of a fantasy. Right now, Renee Zellweger is blowing a unicorn.” That’s a phone call. It should not be a two and a half hour harangue of your third cousin describing her mailman’s liposuction. God, people are fucking boring. People are just fucking boring. You know what would be great for a guy like me? Just to be in a coma. Huh? Wouldn’t that be great? Nothing to do all day. You just crap out and breathe through a fucking tube. They feed you through a tube. There’s nothing to do. Whoa, you talk about being a couch potato, that’s it man. No phone calls coming in. Nobody dropping by unexpectedly. And if they do drop by, you’re completely unaware of it because you’re in a fucking coma, and you’re practically clinically dead. And you don’t have to listen to their stupid shit. Their stupid shit like about their new ride-around lawnmower with the two-tone horn and the GPS in case they get lost on the lawn. And their boss and their job and their car and their kids. Jesus fucking Christ, their kids. Folks, folks, nothing worse. Nothing worse than to be stuck somewhere with some married asshole and have to listen to him tell you about his fucking kids. Let me tell you something, folks. Nobody cares about your children, OK? No. We don’t care. We don’t care. Nobody cares about your children. I speak for everyone. I’ve been appointed by the rest of the group to inform you we don’t care about your children. That’s why they’re your children, so you can care about them, and we don’t have to bother. But they tell you anyway. “Todd is in the seventh grade now. He’s in the cheese club. Giselle is 5 and already she’s had nine periods. Johan is 11, and he pretty much sits around the house hallucinating all the time.” Then they want to show you the pictures. Here’s another ordeal. The pictures. These little gargoyles that they have loosed from their loins. A lot of these professional mommies, boy, they think there’s nothing better than having a baby. Oh, they think it’s the biggest thing in the world like it’s a big event, having a baby. I call it pumping out a unit. That’s all they’re doing. That’s all they’re doing. Pumping out a fucking unit. Ba-boom. Ba-boom. Like some of them like assembly lines like a factory. Ba-ba-boom. Every fucking year, ba-ba-boom. “Hey, Jeff, want a kid?” Ba-ba-boom. “How about twins?” Ba-ba-boom, ba-ba-boom. Polluting the earth. Polluting the earth with these creatures who have no future. They have no future. Have you pictured what this planet is going to be like in 40 to 50 years? It’s going to be a big smoking ball of shit, a big, smoking, flaming, stinking ball of gaseous shit. That’s what’s going to happen. That’s what’s going to happen. It’s irresponsible to have more than one child. Have one. Have one child, replacement value for yourself, that’s all. Don’t even replace your husband. Don’t replace your husband. No. He’s done enough fucking damage as it is. But they want to show you the pictures. Sometimes, they warn you, you know. That’s good. They say, “Hey, you want to see some pictures of my kid?” No, just describe them to me. But they show you, and there are two ways you can handle it, I have found two ways to handle the pictures. The first is the easy way. You just kind of take it all in stride, you matter-of-factly go along with the game. “Oh, uh-huh, boy. Hmm. Girl. Yeah. Older boy. Older girl. Good. Four. Listen, I have to go wash my crotch. I’ll see you later.” Then you get the fuck out of there. Or you can do what I do, you can do what I do, be a little honest about what you see. Take a chance. Tell the truth. “Look at the fucking head on that kid.” “Geez, where did he get a fucking head like that? That thing is huge. Have you put him on YouTube yet? Boy, you get a lot of hits with a head like that. Or put him on eBay. You might make a little money, you know. I’m sure some European circus would snap his ass up in a fucking minute, boy. Goddamn that thing is unusual. Listen, maybe he’ll grow into it. You never know with kids, huh. Hey, let me ask you a practical question. Where do you find hats for a kid like that?” Tell the truth. Don’t be bullshitting people. Don’t be bullshitting. There’s enough bullshit as it is, folks. There’s plenty of bullshit. Then they want to show you the pictures of the little girl whose second teeth are coming in, and they think it’s cute. It’s not. It’s fucking horrifying. Did you ever look at the teeth coming in on some of these kids? Did you ever take a good, close look actually in the mouth? Take a look and see different…damn, sometimes they got two, three rows of fucking teeth coming in there. All odd angles. There’s one under the tongue. That’s unusual, look at that, a sublingual tooth. What do you know? Once again, tell the truth. “You better start saving your money right now, pal. It’s going to cost you a fucking fortune to fix that. You’re going to need an international team of orthodontists around the clock just to make a dent. You might want to call FEMA. That looks like a real fucking problem to me. Look at that. You have the number to the National Guard? Give them a ring. That’s good. Listen, why don’t you just have them all pulled and let her start over again, you know? Or take a picture of her with her mouth closed. That would save you a lot of heartache in the long run. Listen, you’re not Catholic by any chance, are you? Well, the reason I ask is you might want to take her to Lewards and pray for a miracle over there.” Tell the truth. Don’t be bullshitting people. Like I say, there’s enough bullshit as it is. There’s enough bullshit as it is. In fact, there’s just enough, did you know that? There’s just enough bullshit to hold things together in this country. Bullshit is the glue that binds us as a nation. Where would we be without our safe, familiar, American bullshit. Land of the free. Home of the brave. The American dream. All men are equal. Justice is blind. The press is free. Your vote counts. Business is honest. The good guys win. The police are on your side. God is watching you. Your standard of living will never decline. And everything is going to be just fine. The official national bullshit story. I call it the American okeydoke. Every one, every one of those items is provably untrue at one level or another, but we believe them because they’re pounded into our heads from the time we’re children. That’s what they do with that kind of thing; pound it into the heads of kids because they know that children are much too young to be able to muster an intellectual defense against a sophisticated idea like that. And they know that up to a certain age, children believe everything their parents tell them, and as a result, they never learn to question things. Nobody questions things in this country anymore. Nobody questions anything. Everybody is too fat and happy. Everybody has got a cell phone that’ll make pancakes and rub their balls now. Way too fucking prosperous for our own good, way too fucking prosperous. Americans have been bought off in silence by toys and gizmos, and no one learns to question things. Do you remember…OK. Now, OK. You remember Barbara Bush? I call her the silver douche bag. You remember her? OK. Barbara Bush. She is the mother of Governor George Bush. I call him Governor Bush because that’s the only elected office he ever held legally in our country, OK? George Bush, Governor Bush. Yeah. I don’t care where they hang his portrait. I don’t care how big his library is. He’ll always be Governor Bush. I don’t even capitalize his name when I type it anymore. So she’s the mother of Governor George Bush. She’s also the wife of his father, George H. W. Bush who did become president in the normal, legal, traditional manner. And when he did, she came along for the ride as first lady, and that’s been the tradition up ’til now. A man has been elected and the woman has come along for the ride as the first lady. And usually, as in American life in general, the woman is condescended to, patronized, given something to do to keep her busy. A lot of times, they give her a charity or a cause, something she can champion. Betty Ford was told to drink. Remember that? Yeah, that was…that was Betty Ford’s assignment. “Betty, you get drunk and get totally falling down, fucked-up, shit-faced drunk, OK? You just get fucked up drunk, and we’ll hose you down, baby. We’ll hose you down. We’ll put you in a facility, you’ll get sober, and then we’ll put your name on the facility. Liza Minnelli can get sober, and everything is going to be OK. Right?” That was her assignment. Barbara Bush’s assignment was getting children to read. Remember that? Getting children to read. They figured she had had so much success with George that she would be a natural to get children to read, which misses the point completely. Not important to get children to read. Children who want to read are going to read. Kids who want to learn to read are going to learn to read. Much more important to teach children to question what they read. Children should be taught to question everything. To question everything they read, everything they hear. Children should be taught to question authority. Parents never teach their children to question authority because parents are authority figures themselves, and they don’t want to undermine their own bullshit inside the household. So, they stroke the kid and the kid strokes them, and they all stroke each other, and they all grow up all fucked up, and they come to shows like this. Kids have to be warned that there’s bullshit coming down the road. That’s the biggest thing you can do for a kid. Tell them what life in this country is about. It’s about a whole lot of bullshit that needs to be detected and avoided. That’s the best thing you can do. No one told me. No one told me a thing like that. I was never warned about any of this. I had to find all of it out for myself.
And there are still, as with you probably, a lot of things that you’re expected to believe and accept in America that I personally have a problem with, and I question a lot of these things. I’ll give you an example. I saw a slogan on a guy’s car that said “Proud to be an American.” And I thought, well, what the fuck does that mean? Proud to be an American. You see, I’ve never understood national pride. I’ve never understood ethnic pride. Because I’m Irish, and all four of my grandparents were born in Ireland, so I’m fully Irish. And when I was a kid, I would go to the St. Patrick’s Day parade, and I noticed that they sold a button that said “Proud to be Irish.” And I could never understand that because I knew that on Columbus Day, they sold a different button that said “Proud to be Italian.” Then came black pride and Puerto Rican pride. And I could never understand ethnic or national pride because, to me, pride should be reserved for something you achieve or attain on your own, not something that happens by accident of birth. Being Irish, being Irish isn’t a skill. It’s a fucking genetic accident. You wouldn’t say, “I’m proud to be 5’11”. I’m proud to have a predisposition for colon cancer. So, why the fuck would you be proud to be Irish or proud to be Italian or American or anything? Hey, if you’re happy with it, that’s fine. Do that. Put that on your car. “Happy to be an American.” Be happy. Don’t be proud. Too much pride as it is. Pride goeth before a fall. Never forget Proverbs, OK? Now, here’s another slogan. Here’s another slogan you run into all the time. “God bless America.” Once again, respectfully, I say to myself, “What the fuck does that mean?” God bless America. Is that a request? Is that a demand? Is that a suggestion? Politicians say it at the end of every speech as if it were some sort of verbal tick that they can’t get rid of. “God bless you and God bless America. God bless you and God bless America.” I guess they figure if they leave it out, someone is going to think they’re bad Americans. Let me tell you a little secret about God, folks. God doesn’t give a flying fuck about America, OK. He doesn’t care. He never cared about this country. He never has. He never will. He doesn’t care about this country any more than he cares about Mongolia, Transylvania, Pittsburgh, the Suez Canal or the North Pole. He simply doesn’t care, OK. He doesn’t care. Listen, good. There are 200 countries in the world now. Do these people honestly think that God is sitting around picking out his favorites? Why would he do that? Why would God have a favorite country? And why would it be America out of all the countries? Because we have the most money? Because he likes our National Anthem? Maybe, it’s because he heard we have 18 delicious flavors of classic Rice-A-Roni. It’s delusional thinking. It’s delusional thinking, and Americans are not alone with this sort of delusions. Military cemeteries around the world are packed with brainwashed, dead soldiers who were convinced God was on their side. America prays for God to destroy our enemies. Our enemies pray for God to destroy us. Somebody is going to be disappointed. Somebody is wasting their fucking time. Could it be everyone?
Now, now, if people want to say God bless America, that’s their business. I don’t care. But here’s what I don’t understand. If they say God bless America, presumably they believe in God, and if they do, they must have heard God loved everyone. That’s what he said. He loved everyone, and he loved them equally. So why would these people ask God to do something that went against his own teachings? You know what these God bless America people ought to do? They ought to check with that Jesus fellow they’re so crazy about. They’re always talking about what would Jesus do, what would Jesus do. They don’t want to know so they can do it. They just want to know so they could tell other people to do it. Well, I’ll tell you what Jesus would have done. I’ll tell you what Jesus would have done. He would have got up on the top of the Empire State Building and said, “God bless everyone around the world, forever and ever, until the end of time.” That’s what Jesus would have done, and that’s what these people should do, or else they should admit that God bless America is really just some sort of an empty slogan with no real meaning except for something vague like good luck. Good luck, America. You’re on your own. Which is a little bit closer to the truth.
Here’s a…here’s a civic custom that I don’t understand. Maybe, you can help me. Taking off your hat when a flag passes by or when some jack-off at the ballpark starts singing the National Anthem. They tell you to take off your hat. What the fuck does a hat have to do with being patriotic? What possible relationship exists between the uncovered head and a feeling that ought to live in your heart? Suppose you have a red, white and blue hat. Suppose you have a hat made out of a flag. Why would you take it off to honor the flag? Wouldn’t you leave it on and point it toward the flag? And what’s so bad about hats that you have to take them off? Why not take off your pants or your shoes? They tell you that at the airport. They say take off your shoes. They tell you it’s national security, so taking off your shoes could be patriotic, too. I started to question all of this stupid hat shit when I was a kid. When I was a kid I was a Catholic, at least until I reached the age of reason, OK. So, I was a Catholic… I was Catholic for about two, two and a half years, something like that. And during that time, one of the things they told us was that if a boy or a man went into a church, he had to remove his hat in order to honor the presence of God. But they had already told me that God was everywhere. So I used to wonder, well, if God is everywhere, why would you even own a hat? Why not show your respect, don’t even buy a fucking hat. And just to confuse things further, they told the women exactly the opposite. Catholic women and girls had to cover their heads when they went into church. Same as in certain temples. Jewish men have to cover their heads in those temples. In those same temples, Jewish women not allowed to cover their heads. So, try to figure this shit out. Catholic men and Jewish women, no hats. Catholic women and Jewish men, hats. Somebody’s got the whole thing totally fucking backward, don’t you think? And what is this religious fascination with headgear? Every religion has got a different fucking hat. Did you ever notice that? The Hindus have a turban. The Sikhs have a tall, white turban. Jews have yarmulke. The Muslims have a kufi. The Bishop has a pointy hat on one day and a round hat on another day. Cardinal has a red hat, Pope has a white. Everybody’s got a fucking hat. One group takes them off; the other group puts them on. Personally, I would never want to be a member of any group where you either have to wear a hat or you can’t wear a hat. I think… I think all religions should have one rule and one rule only: hats optional. That’s all you need to run a really good religion. Here’s another one of these civic customs. Swearing on the Bible. Do you understand that shit? They tell you to raise your right hand and place your left hand on the Bible. Does this stuff really matter which hand? Does God really give a fuck about details like this? Suppose you put your right hand on the Bible and you raise your left hand, would that count? Or would God say, “Sorry. Wrong hand. Try again.” And why does one hand have to be raised? What is the magic in this gesture? This seems like some sort of a primitive, voodoo, mojo shtick. Why not put your left hand on the Bible and let your right hand hang down by your side? It’s more natural. Or put it in your pocket. Remember what your mother used to say? Don’t put your hands in your pockets. Does she know something that we don’t know? Is this hand shit really important? Well, let’s get back to the Bible, America’s favorite national theatrical prop. Suppose the Bible they hand you to swear on is upside down or backward or both, and you swear to tell the truth on an upside down, backward Bible. Would that count? Suppose the Bible they hand you is an old Bible and half the pages are missing. Suppose all they have is a Chinese Bible in an American court, or a Braille Bible, and you’re not blind. Suppose they hand you an upside down, backward, Chinese, Braille Bible with half the pages missing? At what point does all of this stuff just break down and become just a lot of stupid shit that somebody made up? They fucking made it up, folks. It’s make-believe. It’s make-believe. Now, all right. OK. Let’s leave the Bible aside. We’ll get back to the science fiction reading later. The more important question is what is the big deal about swearing to God in the first place? Why does swearing to God mean you’re going to tell the truth? It wouldn’t affect me. If they said to me, “You swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” I’d say yeah. I’ll tell you about as much truth as the people who wrote that fucking Bible. How do you like that, huh? Huh? Swearing on the Bible doesn’t mean anything. It’s kid…swearing to God is kid stuff. Remember when you were a kid? If you told another kid something he didn’t quite believe he’d say, “You swear to God?” I would always say, “Yeah, I swear to God, even if I was lying. Why not? What’s going to happen if I lie? Nothing. Nothing happens if you lie unless you get caught, and that’s a whole different story. Sometimes, that kid would think he was being slick with me and he’d say, “You swear on your mother’s grave?” I’d say, “Yeah, why not?” First of all, my mother was alive. She didn’t have a grave. Second of all, even if she was dead, what’s she going to do, rise from the grave and come and haunt me? Come and haunt me, all because I told a lie to an 8-year-old? Get fucking real, will you? Sometimes, I would say, “I swear on my mother’s tits.” Kids are impressed with things like that. I mean, I don’t care about my mother’s tits either. I didn’t care if they fell off. Fuck her. Not my problem. They’re your tits, ma. You keep an eye on them. Swearing to God doesn’t mean anything. Swearing on the Bible doesn’t mean anything. You know why? Because Bible or no Bible, God or no God, if it suits their purposes, people are going to lie in court. The police do it all the time, all the time. Yes, they do. It’s part of their job to protect, to serve and to commit perjury whenever it supports the state’s case. Swearing on the Bible is just one more way of controlling people and keeping them in line, and it’s one more thing that holds us back as a species. Here’s one more item for you, the last in our civics book: rights. Boy, everyone in this country is always running around, yammering about their fucking rights. I have a right. You have no right. We have a right. They don’t a have right. Folks, I hate to spoil your fun but there’s no such thing as rights, OK. They’re imaginary. We made them up, like the Boogie Man, the Three Little Pigs, Pinocchio, Mother Goose, shit like that. Rights are an idea. They’re just imaginary. They’re a cute idea. Cute but that’s all. Cute and fictional. But if you think you do have rights let me ask you this, where do they come from? People say, “Well, they come from God. They’re God-given rights.” Oh, fuck, here we go again. Here we go again. The God excuse. The last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument, “They came from God.” Anything we can’t describe must have come from God. Personally, folks, I believe that if your rights came from God, he would have given you the right to some food every day, and he would have given you the right to a roof over your head. God would have been looking out for you. God would have been looking out for you, you know that? He wouldn’t have been worrying about making sure you have a gun so you can get drunk on Sunday night and kill your girlfriend’s parents. But let’s say it’s true. Let’s say God gave us these rights. Why would he give us a certain number of rights? The Bill of Rights in this country has ten stipulations, OK? Ten rights. And apparently, God was doing sloppy work that week because we’ve had to amend the Bill of Rights an additional 17 times, so God forgot a couple of things like slavery. Just fucking slipped his mind. But let’s say God gave us the original ten. He gave the British 13. The British Bill of Rights has 13 stipulations. The Germans have 29. The Belgians have 25. The Swedish have only 6. And some people in the world have no rights at all. What kind of a fucking, goddamn, God-given deal is that? No rights at all? Why would God give different people in different countries different numbers of different rights? Boredom? Amusement? Bad arithmetic? Do we find out at long last after all this time that God is weak in math skills? Doesn’t sound like divine planning to me. Sounds more like human planning. Sounds more like one group trying to control another group. In other words, business as usual in America. Now, if you think you do have rights, one last assignment for you. Next time you’re at the computer, get on the internet. Go to Wikipedia. When you get to Wikipedia, in the search field for Wikipedia, I want you to type in Japanese Americans 1942, and you’ll find out all about your precious fucking rights, OK? All right. You know about it. You know about it. Yeah. In 1942, there were 110,000 Japanese-American citizens in good standing, law-abiding people, who were thrown into internment camps simply because their parents were born in the wrong country. That’s all they did wrong. They had no right to a lawyer, no right to a fair trial, no right to a jury of their peers, no right to due process of any kind. The only right they had? Right this way, into the internment camps. Just when these American citizens needed their rights the most, their government took them away, and rights aren’t rights if someone can take them away. They’re privileges. That’s all we’ve ever had in this country is a bill of temporary privileges. And if you read the news even badly, you know that every year, the list gets shorter and shorter and shorter. You see how silly that is? Yeah. Sooner or later, the people in this country are going to realize the government does not give a fuck about them. The government doesn’t care about you or your children or your rights or your welfare or your safety. It simply doesn’t give a fuck about you. It’s interested in its own power. That’s the only thing keeping it and expanding it wherever possible. Personally, when it comes to rights, I think one of two things is true. I think either we have unlimited rights or we have no rights at all. Personally, I lean toward unlimited rights. I feel, for instance, I have the right to do anything I please. But if I do something you don’t like, I think you have the right to kill me. So where are you going to find a fairer fucking deal than that? So the next time some asshole says to you, “I have a right to my opinion, “you say, “Oh yeah? Well I have a right to my opinion, and my opinion is you have no right to your opinion.” Then shoot the fuck and walk away. Thank you.