Jammin’ in New York is George Carlin’s 14th album and eighth HBO special, recorded on April 24 and 25, 1992, at the Paramount Theater, on the grounds of Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“Rockets and Penises in the Persian Gulf”
Thank you and hello New York! Okay, it’s been a little while, it’s been a little while since I’ve been here and a couple of things have happened in that time. I’d like to talk a little bit about the war in the Persian Gulf… biiiiiig doings in the Persian Gulf. You know my favourite part of that war? It’s the first war we ever had that was on every channel plus cable… and the war got good ratings too, didn’t it? Got good ratings! Well, we like war!!! We like war! We’re a war-like people! We like war because we’re good at it! You know why we’re good at it? Cause we get a lot of practice. This country’s only 200 years old and already, we’ve had 10 major wars. We average a major war every 20 years in this country so we’re good at it! And it’s a good thing we are; we’re not very good at anything else anymore! Huh? Can’t build a decent car, can’t make a TV set or a VCR worth a fuck, got no steel industry left, can’t educate our young people, can’t get health care to our old people, but we can bomb the shit out of your country all right! Huh? Especially if your country is full of brown people; oh we like that don’t we? That’s our hobby! That’s our new job in the world: bombing brown people. Iraq, Panama, Grenada, Libya, you got some brown people in your country, tell them to watch the fuck out or we’ll goddamn bomb them! Well when’s the last white people you can remember that we bombed? Can you remember the last white— can you remember ANY white people we’ve ever bombed? The Germans, those are the only ones and that’s only because they were trying to cut in on our action. They wanted to dominate the world! BULLSHIT! THAT’S OUR FUCKING JOB!!!
Now, we only bomb brown people – not because they’re trying to cut in on our action – just because they’re brown. Now you probably noticed I don’t feel about that war the way we were told we were supposed to feel about that war, the way we were ordered and instructed by the United States government to feel about that war. You see, I tell ya, my mind doesn’t work that way. I got this real moron thing I do; it’s called “thinking”, and I’m not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions. I don’t just roll over when I’m told to. Sad to say, most Americans just roll over on command, not me. I have certain rules I live by; my first rule: I don’t believe anything the government tells me… nothing, zero, no, and I don’t take very seriously, the media or the press in this country, who in the case of the Persian Gulf war were nothing more than unpaid employees of the Department of Defence, and who most of the time, most of the time functioned as kind of an unofficial public relations agency for the United States government. So I don’t listen to them, I don’t really believe in my country and I gotta tell you folks, I don’t get all choked up about yellow ribbons and American flags. I consider them to be symbols and I leave symbols to the symbol-minded.
Me? I look at war a little bit differently. To me, war is a lot of prick-waving okay? Simple thing, that’s all it is, war is a whole lot of men standing out in a field waving their pricks at one another. Men are insecure about the size of their dicks and so they have to kill one another over the idea. That’s what all that asshole, jock bullshit is all about. That’s what all that adolescent, macho-male posturing, and strutting in bars and locker rooms is all about, it’s called “dick fear!” Men are terrified that their pricks are inadequate and so they have to compete with one another to feel better about themselves and since war is the ultimate competition, basically, men are killing each other in order to improve their self-esteem. You don’t have to be a historian or a political scientist to see the Bigger Dick foreign policy theory at work. It sounds like this: “What?! They have bigger dicks?! BOMB THEM!!!” And of course, the bombs and the rockets and the bullets are all shaped like dicks. It’s a subconscious need to project the penis into other people’s affairs. It’s called: “FUCKING WITH PEOPLE!!!”
So as far as I’m concerned, that whole thing in the Persian Gulf is nothing more than a biiiiiig prick-waving dick fight. In this particular case, Saddam Hussein had questioned the size of George Bush’s dick and George Bush has been called a wimp for so long – “wimp” rhymes with “limp” – George has been called a wimp for so long, that he has to act out his manhood fantasies by sending other people’s children to die. Even the name… “Bush”… even the name, “Bush”, is related to the genitals without being the genitals. A bush is a sort of passive, secondary, sex characteristic. Now if this man’s name had been George Boner, well, he might’ve felt a little bit better about himself and we wouldn’t have had any trouble over there in the first place.
This whole country has a manhood problem, biiiiiig manhood problem in the USA. You can tell from the language we use; language always gives you away. What did we do wrong in Vietnam? We pulled out! Huh? Not a very manly thing to do is it? When you’re fucking people, you gotta stay in there and fuck them good! Fuck ‘em all the way! Fuck ‘em ‘til the end! Fuck ‘em to death! Fuck ‘em to death! Fuck ‘em to death! Stay in there and keep fucking them until they’re all dead! We left a few women and children alive in Vietnam and we haven’t felt good about ourselves since. That’s why in the Persian Gulf, George Bush had to say “this will not be another Vietnam!” He actually used these words, he said: “This time, we’re going all the way!” Imagine, an American president using the sexual slang of a 13 year-old to describe his foreign policy. If you wanna know what happened in the Persian Gulf, just remember the names of the two men who were running that war: Dick Cheney and Colin Powell… somebody got fucked in the ass!
“Little Things We Share”
Now to balance the scale, I’d like to talk about some things that bring us together, things that point out our similarities instead of our differences cause that’s all you ever hear about in this country is our differences. That’s all the media and the politicians are ever talking about: the things that separate us, things that make us different from one another. That’s the way the ruling class operates in any society: they try to divide the rest of the people; they keep the lower and the middle classes fighting with each other so that they, the rich, can run off with all the fucking money. Fairly simple thing… happens to work. You know, anything different, that’s what they’re gonna talk about: race, religion, ethnic and national background, jobs, income, education, social status, sexuality, anything they can do to keep us fighting with each other so that they can keep going to the bank. You know how I describe the economic and social classes in this country? The upper class keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there just to scare the shit out of the middle class… keep on showing up at those jobs.
So stirring up the shit is something I like to do from time to time but I also like to know that I can come back to these little things we have in common, little universal moments that we share separately, the things that make us the same. They’re so small; we hardly ever talk about them.
Do you ever look at your watch… and then you don’t know what time it is? And you have to look again, and you still don’t know the time. So you look a third time and somebody says “what time is it?” you say “I don’t know.”
Do you ever notice how sometimes all day Wednesday, you keep thinking it’s Thursday? And it happens over and over all day long, and then the next day, you’re all right again.
Do you ever find yourself standing in one of the rooms in your house and you can’t remember why you went in there? And two words float across your mind: “Alzheimer’s Disease?!”
You ever been talking to yourself and somebody comes in the room and you have to make believe you were singing? And you hope to God the other person really believes there’s a song called “What Does She Think I Am… Some Kind of Putz?!”
Little experiences we’ve all had… you ever been sitting in a railroad train in the station and there’s another train sitting right next to ya, and one of them starts to move, and you can’t tell which one it is?
How about when you’re out on a small boat on a windy day? You ever been out rocking back and forth for three or four hours trying to keep your balance, rough seas, little boat, then you get back into the shore and you’re standing on the dock and you could swear there was something inside of you that was still out there rocking?
Did you ever try to pick up a suitcase you thought was full but it wasn’t? And you go pwwt… and for just a split second you feel really strong.
How about when you’re looking through a chain link fence? Did you ever notice if you’re just the right distance from a chain link fence, sometimes it seems to go pwwt [makes a closing in and out motion]? What is that? How do they do that?
Did you ever try to tell somebody they have a little bit of dirt on their face? You can never get them to rub the right spot can you? “Say… you got a little bit of dirt right here.” They always go “where? Here?” and you just wanna slap the bastard!
Do you ever notice how awful your face looks in a mirror in a restroom that has florescent lights? Every cut, scrape, scratch, scar, scab, bruise, boil, bump, pimple, zit, warp, welt, and abscess you’ve had since BIRTH all seem to come back at the same time, and all you can think of is “I GOTTA GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE!!!”
Did you ever notice sometimes when you’re walking with your arm around your date, one of you has the change the way you’re walking? Men and women don’t walk the same; one of them has to change. Either the man has to walk like this [walks on his toes] or the woman has to walk like this [struts] “Joey, how are ya?”
How about when you’re going up a flight of stairs and you think there’s one more step? And you go ughh. And then you have to kinda keep doing that you know, so people will think it’s something you do all the time. “I do this all the time; it’s the third stage of syphilis.” Same thing happens when you’re going down the stairs. You could swear there was one more step— pfft!
“Holy shit! My hips are in my chest!”
When you drink grapefruit juice in the morning, do you go like this? [squints face] I do too! Why do we drink it?! It’s like ice cream throat. You know when you’ve been eating ice cream too fast and you get that frozen spot in the back of your throat but you can’t do anything about it because you can’t reach it to rub it? You just have to kinda wait for it to go away? And it does… then what do you do? EAT MORE ICE CREAM!!! WHAT ARE WE FUCKING STUPID?!
Did you ever fall asleep on a late afternoon, you wake up after dark, and you don’t know what goddamn day it is?
Like when you have your head on a pillow… did you ever notice when you have your head on a pillow, if you close the bottom eye, the pillow is down there, then if you switch eyes, the pillow moves up there? “Whoa, holy shit Dave! Look at this! The mystery of the moving pillow… I think it’s related to the chain link fence mystery myself.”
Did you ever have to sneeze while you’re taking a piss? It’s frightening isn’t it? It’s frightening cause actually, you can’t do it! It’s physically impossible to sneeze while pissing. Your brain won’t let it happen; your brain says “STOP PISSING!!! YOU’RE GOING TO SNEEZE NOW!!!” cause your brain knows you might blow your asshole out!
Something else we have in common… flying on the airlines and listening to the airlines’ announcements and trying to pretend to ourselves that the language they’re using is really English. Doesn’t seem like it to me…
Whole thing starts when you get to the gate… first announcement: “We would like to begin the boarding process…” Extra word, “process”, not necessary, “boarding” is enough; “we’d like to begin the boarding…” simple, tells the story. People add extra words when they want things to sound more important than they really are. “Boarding process” sounds important… it isn’t. It’s just a bunch of people getting on an airplane!
People like to sound important; weathermen on television talk about “shower activity…” sounds more important than “showers”. I even heard one guy on CNN talk about “a rain event.” Swear to God, he said “Louisiana is expecting a rain event.” I thought “holy shit, I hope I can get tickets to that!”
… “Emergency situation…” News people like to say “police have responded to an emergency situation.” No they haven’t, they’ve responded to an emergency. We know it’s a situation… everything is a situation!
Anyway, as part of this boarding process, they say “we would like to pre-board…”…Well what exactly is that anyway? What does it mean to pre-board? You get on before you get on?
That’s another complaint of mine: too much use of this prefix “pre.” It’s all over the language now: pre-this, pre-that, “place the turkey in a pre-heated oven…” It’s ridiculous! There are only two states an oven can possibly exist in: HEATED OR UNHEATED! “Pre-heated” is a meaningless fucking term!
It’s like “pre-recorded…” “this program was pre-recorded…” well OF COURSE it was pre-recorded! When else are you gonna record it? Afterwards?! That’s the whole purpose of recording: to do it beforehand… otherwise it doesn’t really work does it?!
“Pre-existing”, “pre-planning”, “pre-screening”, you know what I tell these people? PRE-SUCK MY GENITAL SITUATION!!! And they seem to understand what I’m talking about…
Anyway, as part of this pre-boarding, they say: “we would like to pre-board those passengers travelling with small children.” Well what about those passengers travelling with large children? Suppose you have a two year-old with a pituitary disorder! You know, a six-foot infant with an oversized head, the kind of kids you see in the National Inquirer all the time. Actually, with a kid like that, I think you’re better off checking him right in with your luggage at the curb don’t you? Well they like it under there, it’s dark, they’re used to that!
About this time, someone is telling you to get on the plane… “get on the plane, get on the plane…” I say “Fuck you! I’m getting IN the plane! Let Evil Keneevil get ON the plane! I’ll be in here with you folks in uniform. There seems to be less WIND in here!”
They might tell you you’re on a “non-stop flight…”…Well I don’t think I care for that. No, I insist that my flight stop! Preferably at an airport! It’s those sudden unscheduled corn field and housing development stops that seem to interrupt the flow of my day!
Here’s one they just made up: “near-miss.” When two planes almost collide, they call it a “near-miss.” IT’S A NEAR-HIT!!! A collision is a near-miss! Pfft! “Look, they nearly missed.” “Yes, but not quite!”
They might tell you your flight has been delayed because of a “change of equipment…” BROKEN PLANE!!!
Tell me to “put my seatback forward…” Well I don’t bend that way! If I could put my seatback forward, I’d be in porno movies!!!
Then they mention “carry-on luggage…” first time I heard “carry-on”, I thought they were going to bring a dead deer on board. I thought “what the hell do they need with that? Don’t they have the little TV dinners anymore?” Then I thought “carry-on, carry on, there’s going to be a party! People are going to be carrying on on the plane.” Well I don’t care for that; I like a serious attitude on the plane, especially on the “flight deck” which is the latest euphemism for “COCKPIT!!!” Can’t imagine why they wouldn’t want to use a lovely word like “COCKPIT” can you? Especially with all those stewardesses going in and out of it all the time!
There’s a word that’s changed: “stewardess…” First it was “hostess”, then it’s “stewardess”, now it’s “flight attendant.” You know what I call them? “The Lady on the Plane.” Sometimes, it’s a man on the plane now, that’s good, equality; I’m all in favour of that. Sometimes, they actually refer to these people as “uniformed crew members.” Uniformed… as opposed to that guy sitting next to you in a “grateful dead” t-shirt and a “fuck you” hat… who’s working on his ninth little bottle of Kahlua I might add.
As soon as they close the door to the aircraft, that’s when they begin the safety lecture. I love the safety lecture. This is my favourite part of the airplane ride. I listen very carefully to the safety lecture, especially that part where they teach us how to use “the seat belts.” Imagine this: here we are; a plane full of grown human beings – many of us partially educated – and they’re actually taking time out to describe the intricate workings of a belt buckle! “Place the small metal flap into the buckle.” Well I asked for clarification at that point! “Over here please… over here… yes… thank you very much. Did I hear you correctly? Did you say ‘place the small metal flap into the buckle’ or ‘place the buckle over and around the small metal flap?’ I’m a simple man; I do not possess an engineering degree nor am I mechanically inclined. Sorry to have taken up so much of your time, please continue with the wonderful safety lecture. Seat belt: high-tech shit!”
The safety lecture continues… the next thing they do, they tell you to locate your nearest emergency exit… I do this immediately! I locate my nearest emergency exit and then I plan my route. You have to plan your route; it’s not always a straight line is it? Sometimes, there’s a REALLY BIG FAT FUCK SITTING RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU!!! Well you know you’ll never get over him! I look around for women and children, midgets and dwarves, cripples, war widows, paralyzed veterans, people with broken legs, anybody who looks like they can’t move too well. The emotionally disturbed come in very handy at a time like this. You might have to go out of your way to find these people but you’ll get out of the plane a lot goddamn quicker, believe me! I say “let’s see… I go around the fat fuck, step on the widow’s head, push those children out of the way, knock down the paralyzed midget, and get out of the plane where I can help others.” I can be of no help to anyone if I’m lying unconscious in the aisle with some big cocksucker standing on my head! I must get out of the plane, go to a nearby farmhouse, have a Dr. Pepper, and call the police!
The safety lecture continues… “In the unlikely event…” This is a very suspect phrase, especially coming as it does from an industry that is willing to lie about arrival and departure times… “In the unlikely event of a sudden change in cabin pressure…” ROOF FLIES OFF!!! “…an oxygen mask will drop down in front of you. Place the mask over your face and breathe normally.” Well, I have no problem with that. I always breathe normally when I’m in a 600mph uncontrolled vertical dive. I also shit normally… RIGHT IN MY PANTS!!! They tell you to adjust your oxygen mask before helping your child with his. I did not need to be told that. In fact, I’m probably going to be too busy screaming to help him at all! This will be a good time for him to learn “self-reliance!” If he can program his fucking VCR, he can goddamn, jolly well learn to adjust an oxygen mask! Fairly simple thing; just a little rubber band at the back, that’s all it is… not nearly as complicated as say, for instance a… seat belt.
The safety lecture continues… “In the unlikely event of a water landing…” … … well what exactly is… a water landing? Am I mistaken or does this sound somewhat similar to CRASHING INTO THE OCEAN?!!! “…your seat cushion can be used as a floatation device.” Well imagine that: my seat cushion… just what I need… to float around the North Atlantic for several days, clinging to a pillow full of beer farts!
The flight continues… a little later on, toward the end, we hear: “the captain has turned on the ‘fasten seat belt’ sign.” Well who gives a shit who turned it on?! What does that have to do with anything?! It’s on isn’t it?! … …And who made this man a captain might I ask? Did I sleep through some sort of an armed forces swearing-in ceremony or something? Captain? He’s a fucking pilot! Let him be happy with that! If those sightseeing announcements are any mark of his intellect, he’s lucky to be working at all! Tell the captain “Air Marshall Carlin says ‘GO FUCK YOURSELF!!!’”
The next sentence I hear is full of things that piss me off: “Before leaving the aircraft, please check around your immediate seating area for any personal belongings you might have brought on board.” Well, let’s start with “immediate seating area…”… SEAT!!! It’s a goddamn seat! “Check around your seat!”…
“…for any personal belongings…” Well what other kinds of belongings are there besides personal? Public belongings? Do these people honestly think I might be travelling with a fountain I stole from the park?!
“…you might have brought on board.” Well… I might have brought my arrowhead collection… I didn’t, SO I’M NOT GOING TO LOOK FOR IT!!! I’M GOING TO LOOK FOR THINGS I BROUGHT ON BOARD!!! It would seem to enhance the likelihood of my finding something wouldn’t you say?
Tell me to return my seatback and tray table to their original upright positions? Fine, who’s going to return this guy in the “grateful dead” t-shirt and the “fuck you” hat to his original upright position?
About this time, they tell you “you’ll be landing shortly…” that sound to you like we’re gonna miss the runway? “Final approach” is not very promising either is it? “Final” is not a good word to be using on an airplane. Sometimes, the pilot will get on and he’ll say “we’ll be on the ground in 15 minutes.” WELL THAT’S A LITTLE VAGUE ISN’T IT?!!!
Now we’re taxiing in, she says “welcome to O’Hare International Airport…” Well how can someone who is just arriving herself possibly welcome me to a place she isn’t even at yet?! Doesn’t this… doesn’t this violate some fundamental law of physics?! We’re only on the ground four seconds; she’s coming on like the fucking mayor’s wife!
“…where the local time…” well of course it’s the local time. What did you think we were expecting? The time in Pengo, Pengo?
“…enjoy your stay in Chicago or wherever your final destination might be.”… All destinations are final. That’s what it means “destiny”, “final.” If you haven’t gotten where you’re going, you aren’t there yet.
“The captain has asked…” More shit from the bogus captain… you know for someone who’s supposed to be flying an airplane, he’s taking a mighty big interest in what I’m doing back here…
“…that you remain seated until he has brought the aircraft to a complete stop.” Not a partial stop… cause during a partial stop, I partially get up.
“Continue to observe the ‘no smoking’ sign until well inside the terminal.” It’s physically impossible to observe the “no smoking” sign even if you’re standing just outside the door of the airplane! Much less well inside the terminal; you can’t even see the FUCKING PLANES from well inside the terminal!
Which brings me to “terminal”, another unfortunate word to be used in association with air travel… and they use it all over the airport don’t they? Somehow, I just can’t get hungry at a place called “The Terminal Snack Bar”. But if you’ve ever eaten there, you know it is an appropriate name.
“Golf Courses for the Homeless”
Speaking of places to eat and what they’re called or named, Beverly Hills has a brand new restaurant specifically for bulimia victims. It’s called “The Scarf ‘n Barf.” Well, they weren’t gonna call it “The Fork ‘n Bucket.” Thank God, good taste prevailed. How about a restaurant for anorexics? What would you call it? “The Empty Plate”, “The Lonesome Chef”, “Start Without Me Guys”… See, somehow I can’t feel sorry an anorexic you know? Rich cunt don’t wanna eat? Fuck her. Don’t eat! I ain’t give a shit! Like I’m supposed to be concerned about this—“I DON’T WANNA EAT!!!” Go fuck yourself. Why don’t you lie down in front of a railroad train right after you don’t eat? What kind of a goddamn disease is that anyway? “I DON’T WANNA EAT!!!” How do we come up with this shit in this country? Where do we get our values from? Bulimia! There’s another all-American disease. This has gotta be the only country in the world that could ever have come up with bulimia… gotta be the only country where some people are digging in the dumpster for a peach pit, other people eat a nice meal and puke it up intentionally! Where do we get our values from? I do not understand our values.
By the way, speaking of American values, aren’t we about due to start bombing some small country that only has a marginally effective air force? Seems to me like we’re weeks overdue to drop high explosives helpless civilians; people who have no argument with us whatsoever. I think we ought to be out there doing what we do best gang: making large holes in other people’s countries. I hate to be repetitious but we are a war-like lot. We can’t stand it not to be fucking with somebody! We couldn’t wait for that Cold War to be over could we? Couldn’t wait for the Cold War to be over so we can go and play with our toys in the sand, go and play with our toys in the sand, and when we’re not invading some sovereign nation or setting it on fire from the air, which is more fun for our Nintendo pilots, then we’re usually declaring war on something here at home.
Did you ever notice that about us? We love to declare war on things here in America. Anything we don’t like about ourselves, we declare war on it, we don’t do anything about it, we just declare war on it. It’s the only metaphor, the only metaphor we have in our public discourse for solving problems: declaring war. We have to declare a war on everything; we have a war on crime, the war on poverty, the war on litter, the war on cancer, the war on drugs, but did you ever notice we got no war on homelessness? Huh? No war on homelessness… you know why? There’s no money in that problem, no money to be made off of the homeless. If you can find a solution to homelessness where the corporate swine and the politicians could steal a couple of million dollars each, you’ll see the streets of America begin to clear up pretty goddamn quick, I’ll guarantee you that!
I got an idea! You know what they ought to do? Give the homeless their own magazine. Give them their own magazine. It would them feel better for one thing. That’s a sure sign of making it in this country; every group in this country that arrives at a certain level has its own magazine. We have Working Mother Magazine, Black Entrepreneur Magazine, Hispanic Business Magazine, in fact, any activity; any activity engaged in by more than four people in this country has got a fucking magazine devoted to it. Skydiving, snowmobiling, backpacking, mountain climbing, bungee jumping, skeet shooting, duck hunting, jerking off, playing pool, shooting someone in the asshole with a dart gun… they probably got a fucking magazine for that! WALKING for Christ sakes… WAAALLLKKKIIINNNGGG!!!!!! There’s actually a fucking magazine called “WALKING!” “Look Dan! The new ‘Walking’ is out! Here’s a good article: ‘Putting one foot in front of the other!’” Give ‘em their own magazine. You know what you’d call a magazine for the homeless? “Better Crates and Cartons.” Yeah, then when they get finished reading it, they can use it to line their clothing. That’s a good, sound business solution isn’t it? That’s the kind of answer you get from a conservative American businessman in this country: “Yeah, let them read it. When they get finished reading, they can use it to plug up the holes in the piano crates they all seem to like to live in.” A good, sound, practical, conservative American biiizniiiz solution.
I got an idea about homelessness. You know what they ought to do? Change the name of it. Change the name! It’s not homelessness, it’s houselessness! It’s houses these people need! A home is an abstract idea, a home is a setting, it’s a state of mind. These people need houses; physical, tangible structures. They need low-cost housing but where’re you gonna put it? Well that’s fine but where’re you gonna put it? Where’re you gonna put it?
Nobody wants you to build low-cost housing near their house. People don’t want it near ‘em! We’ve got something in this country – you’ve heard of it – it’s called NIMBY, N-I-M-B-Y, “Not In My BackYard!” People don’t want anything, any kind of social help, located anywhere near ‘em! You try to open up a Halfway House, try to open up a drug rehab or an alcohol rehab centre, try to do a homeless shelter somewhere, try to open up a little home for some retarded people who wanna work their way into the community, people say “NOT IN MY BACKYARD!” People don’t want anything near ‘em especially if it might help somebody else; part of that great American spirited generosity we hear about—pbbt!!! Great generous American spirit! You can ask an Indian about that; ask an Indian – if you can find one… you gotta locate an Indian first; we’ve made ‘em just a little difficult to find – or if you need current data, select a black family at random, ask them how generous America has been to them.
People don’t want anything near ‘em, even if it’s something they believe in, something they think society needs, like prisons! Everybody wants more prisons right? Everybody wants more prisons. People say “BUILD MORE PRISONS… …but not here.” Well why not? What’s wrong? What’s the problem? What’s wrong with having a prison in your neighbourhood? It would seem to me like it would make it a pretty crime-free area, don’t you think? You think a lot of crackheads and pimps and hookers and thieves are gonna be hanging around in front of a fucking prison?! Bullshit! They ain’t coming anywhere NEAR it!!! What’s wrong with these people? All the criminals are locked up behind the walls and if a couple of them do break out, what do you think they’re gonna do? Hang around? Check real estate trends? Bullshit! Pwwt! They’re fucking gone! That’s the whole idea of breaking out of prison is to get the fuck as far away as you possibly can! …not in my backyard…
People don’t want anything near ‘em… except military bases. They don’t mind that do they? They like that. Give ‘em an army base, give ‘em a navy base, makes ‘em happy, why? Jobs! Jobs! Self-interest! Even if the base is loaded with nuclear weapons, THEY DON’T GIVE A FUCK!!! They say “well, I’ll take a little radiation if I can get a job!” Working people have been fucked over so long in this country, those are the kind of decisions they’re left to make.
I’ve got just the place for low-cost housing, I have solved this problem, I know where we can build housing for the homeless: GOLF COURSES!!! Perfect! Golf courses! Just what we need! Just what we need: plenty of good land in nice neighbourhoods, land that is currently being wasted on a meaningless, mindless activity, engaged in primarily by white, well-to-do, male businessmen who use the game to get together to make deals to carve this country up a little finer among themselves. I am getting tired… really… getting… tired of these golfing cocksuckers in their green pants, and their yellow pants, and their orange pants, and their precious little hats, and their cute little golf carts! It is time to reclaim the golf courses from the wealthy and turn them over to the homeless. Golf is an arrogant, elitist game and it takes up entirely too much room in this country. It is an arrogant game on its very design alone. Just the design of the game SPEAKS of arrogance! Think of how big a golf course is… THE BALL IS THAT FUCKING BIG!!! WHAT DO THESE PIN-HEADED PRICKS NEED WITH ALL THAT LAND?!!! There are over 17,000 golf courses in America, they average over 150 acres apiece, that’s 3 million plus acres, 4,820 square miles… you could build two Rhode Island’s and a Delaware for the homeless on the land currently being wasted on this meaningless, mindless, arrogant, elitist, racist – there’s another thing; the only blacks you’ll find in country clubs are carrying trays – and a boring game… boring game for boring people. You ever watch golf on television? It’s like watching flies fuck! And-and a mindless game, mindless, think of the intellect it must take to draw pleasure from this activity: hitting a ball with a crooked stick… and then… walking after it… and then… HITTING IT AGAIN!!! I SAY PICK IT UP ASSHOLE!!! YOU’RE LUCKY YOU FOUND THE FUCKING THING!!! PUT IT IN YOUR POCKET AND GO THE FUCK HOME!!! YOU’RE A WINNER!!! YOU’RE A WINNER!!! YOU FOUND IT!!! No… never happens… no… no chance of that happening; Dorko in the plaid knickers is going to hit it again and walk some more. Let these rich cocksuckers play miniature golf. Let ‘em fuck with a windmill for an hour and a half or so… see if there’s really any skill among these people. Now I know there are some people who play golf who don’t consider themselves rich… FUCK ‘EM!!! And shame on them for engaging in an arrogant, elitist pastime.
Hey! Here’s another place we can put some low-cost housing: CEMETARIES!!! There’s another idea whose time has passed! Saving all the dead people up for one part of town?! What the hell kind of a medieval, superstitious, religious, bullshit idea is that?! Plough these motherfuckers up, plough into the streams and rivers of America; we need that phosphorous for farming! If we’re going to recycle, LET’S GET SERIOUS!!!
“The Planet Is Fine”
Thank you… I appreciate it… I appreciate that [has a sip of water]… good to have a little sip of this, the water, I assume, is still safe to drink in New York huh? [Audience reacts negatively] Actually, I gotta be fair with you; I’m only setting you up a little bit. It’s just… it’s not a trick question but it’s just a set-up cause I don’t really care about the water, to tell you the truth, I just love to hear the answer to that question. I ask that question everywhere I go. Everywhere I go, I say: “How’s the water?”… Haven’t got a positive answer yet… not one. Last year, I was in 40 states, 100 cities. Not one audience was able to say to me: “Yes, enjoy some of our fine local water! It is pure and it is good!” Of course, I know a lot of people don’t talk that way anymore but nobody trusts the local water supply. Nobody! And that amuses me, I like that, I admit I’m a bit perverted but it amuses me that no one can really trust the water anymore and the thing I like about it the most is: it means the system is beginning to collapse and everything is slowly breaking down.
I enjoy chaos and disorder – not just because they help me professionally – they’re also my hobby. You see, I’m an entropy fan. When I first heard of entropy in high school science, I was attracted to it immediately. When they told me that in nature, all systems are breaking down, I thought: “What a good thing! What a good thing! Perhaps I can make some small contribution in this area myself.” And of course, it’s not just in nature, in this country, the whole social structure… just beginning to collapse, you watch; just beginning now to come apart at the edges and the seams and the thing I like about that is that it means it makes the news on television more interesting, makes the television news more exciting, makes it more fun. I watch television news for one thing and one thing only: entertainment! That’s all I want from the news: entertainment! You know my favourite thing on television? Bad news! Bad news and disasters and accidents and catastrophes. I wanna see some explosions and fires! I wanna see shit blowing up and bodies flying around! I’m not interested in the budget; I don’t care about tax negotiations; I don’t wanna know what country the fucking Pope is in! But you show me a hospital that’s on fire and people on crutches are jumping off the roof and I’M A HAPPY GUY!!! I’M A HAPPY GUY!!! I’M A HAPPY GUY!!! I wanna see a paint factory blowing up! I wanna see an oil refinery explode! I wanna see a tornado hit a church on Sunday! I wanna see people— I wanna know there’s some guy running through the K-Mart with an automatic weapon firing at the clerks! I wanna see thousands of people in the street killing policemen! I wanna hear about a nuclear meltdown! I wanna know the stock market dropped 2000 points in one day! I wanna see people under pressure! Sirens, flames, smoke, bodies, graves being filled, parents weeping… exciting shit! My kind of TV! I just want some entertainment! It’s just the kind of guy I am! It’s the kind of guy I am! You know what I love the most? When big chunks of concrete and fiery wood are falling out the sky and people are running around trying to get out of the way!
Exciting shit! That’s why I watch auto-racing. That’s the only reason I watch auto-racing: I’m waiting for some ACCIDENTS man!!! I wanna see some cars on fire! I don’t care about a bunch of redneck jackoffs driving 500 miles in a circle! 500 miles in a circle? Children can do that for Christ sakes! Doesn’t impress me! I wanna see some schmuck with his hair on fire running around punching his own head trying to put it out! I wanna see the pits explode! I wanna see a car doing a 200mph cartwheel! Hey, where else besides auto-racing am I gonna see a 23 car collision and not be in the son of a bitch?! And if a car flies out of control, lands in the stands and kills 50 spectators, FINE, FUCK ‘EM!!! Serves ‘em right; they paid to get in, let ‘em take their chances with everybody else! Just means more fun for me! More fun for me!
Hey, at least I admit it. At least I admit it. Most people won’t admit to those feelings. Most people see something like that on television, they’ll say: “Oh isn’t that awful? Isn’t that too bad?” Pbbt! Lying asshole! Lying assholes! You love it and you KNOW it! EXPLOSIONS ARE FUN!!! And hey, the closer the explosion is to your house, the more fun it is! Did you ever notice that? Sometimes, you have the TV on and you’re working around the house, some guy comes on television and says: “6,000 people were killed in an explosion today…” You say: “Where?! Where?!” He says: “…in Pakistan.” You say: “Aww fuck Pakistan! Too far away to be any fun!” But if he says it happened in your hometown, you’ll say: “WHOA!!! HOT SHIT!!! COME ON DAVE; LET’S GO LOOK AT THE BODIES!!! LET’S GO LOOK AT THE BODIES!!!” I love bad news! I love bad news! Hey, the more bad news there is, the faster this system collapses. Fine by me! Fine by me! Don’t bother my ass! Don’t bother my ass none! I’m glad the water sucks. I’m glad it sucks. You know what I do about it? I drink it! Unless… unless it really smells, if it really smells a lot like sulphur, then I might buy a soda. But it’s gotta be a soda loaded with chemical additives! I like a lot of chemical additives in the things I eat and drink!
See, I’m not one of these people who’s worried about everything. You got people like this around you? Countries full of them now: people walking around all day long, every minute of the day, worried… about everything! Worried about the air; worried about the water; worried about the soil; worried about insecticides, pesticides, food additives, carcinogens; worried about radon gas; worried about asbestos; worried about saving endangered species. Let me tell you about endangered species all right? Saving endangered species is just one more arrogant attempt by humans to control nature. It’s arrogant meddling; it’s what got us in trouble in the first place. Doesn’t anybody understand that? Interfering with nature. Over 90% – over, WAY over – 90% of all the species that have ever lived on this planet, ever lived, are gone! Pwwt! They’re extinct! We didn’t kill them all, they just disappeared. That’s what nature does. They disappear these days at the rate of 25 a day and I mean regardless of our behaviour. Irrespective of how we act on this planet, 25 species that were here today will be gone tomorrow. Let them go gracefully. Leave nature alone. Haven’t we done enough?
We’re so self-important, so self-important. Everybody’s gonna save something now: “Save the trees! Save the bees! Save the whales! Save those snails!” and the greatest arrogance of all: “Save the planet!” What?! Are these fucking people kidding me?! Save the planet?! We don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet! We haven’t learned how to care for one another and we’re gonna save the fucking planet?! I’m getting tired of that shit! I’m getting tired of that shit! I’m tired of fucking Earth Day! I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists; these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren’t enough bicycle paths! People trying to make the world safe for their Volvo’s! Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. They don’t care about the planet; not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live; their own habitat. They’re worried that someday in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.
Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet… nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine… the people are fucked! Difference! The planet is fine! Compared to the people, THE PLANET IS DOING GREAT: Been here four and a half billion years! Do you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years, we’ve been here what? 100,000? Maybe 200,000? And we’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over 200 years. 200 years versus four and a half billion and we have the conceit to think that somehow, we’re a threat? That somehow, we’re going to put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that’s just a-floatin’ around the sun? The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us: been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drifts, solar flares, sunspots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles, hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages, and we think some plastic bags and aluminum cans are going to make a difference?
The planet isn’t going anywhere… we are! We’re going away! Pack your shit folks! We’re going away and we won’t leave much of a trace either, thank God for that… maybe a little styrofoam… maybe… little styrofoam. The planet will be here, we’ll be long gone; just another failed mutation; just another closed-end biological mistake; an evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet will shake us off like a bad case of fleas, a surface nuisance. You wanna know how the planet’s doing? Ask those people in Pompeii who are frozen into position from volcanic ash how the planet’s doing. Wanna know if the planet’s all right? Ask those people in Mexico City or Armenia or a hundred other places buried under thousands of tons of earthquake rubble if they feel like a threat to the planet this week. How about those people in Kilauea, Hawaii who build their homes right next to an active volcano and then wonder why they have lava in the living room?
The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed, and if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: The Earth plus Plastic. The Earth doesn’t share our prejudice towards plastic. Plastic came out of the Earth! The Earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the Earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place: it wanted plastic for itself, didn’t know how to make it, needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old philosophical question: “Why are we here?” PLASTIC!!! ASSHOLES!!!
So the plastic is here, our job is done, we can be phased out now, and I think that’s really started already, don’t you? I mean, to be fair, the planet probably sees us as a mild threat; something to be dealt with, and I’m sure the planet will defend itself in the manner of a large organism. Like a beehive or an ant colony can muster a defence, I’m sure the planet will think of something. What would you do if you were the planet trying to defend against this pesky, troublesome species? Let’s see… what might… hmm… viruses! Viruses might be good. They seem vulnerable to viruses. And uh… viruses are tricky; always mutating and forming new strains whenever a vaccine is developed. Perhaps this first virus could be one that-that compromises the immune system of these creatures. Perhaps a human immunodeficiency virus making them vulnerable to all sorts of other diseases and infections that might come along and maybe it could be spread sexually, making them a little reluctant to engage in the act of reproduction.
Well that’s a poetic note and it’s a start and I can dream can I? See, I don’t worry about the little things… bees, trees, whales, snails. I think we’re part of a greater wisdom that we won’t ever understand, a higher order. Call it what you want. You know what I call it? The big electron… the big electron. [Imitates electronic hum] It doesn’t punish, it doesn’t reward, it doesn’t judge at all. It just is and so are we… for a little while…
Thanks for being here with me for a little while tonight.
Thank you, thank you very much, thank you! Thank you!
Thank you New York City!
Take care of yourself!
Take care of yourself and somebody else! Thank you! Good night!