One of the most important influences in my early reality was George Carlin. Not the early “Hippy Dippy Weatherman” George, but the caustic, profane George. I devoured his work. I copied his style. He was my God. Then he sued me.
Long story for another post, don’t worry, had a happy ending.
There are other comedians in similar veins that I admire: Chris Rock, Richard Pryor, Dave Chappelle.
I also have comic heros that don’t “work blue”: Bill Cosby, Jerry Seinfeld, Penn and Teller.
Shortly before my first child was born, I realized I needed to clean up my vocabulary, so I started consciously filtering out profanity from my day to day conversation. To this day, it’s not a part of my regular vocabulary. It’s not who I am.
I started writing as a way to express myself. Like a teenager I’ve been trying out different voices, different personas, trying to see what works for me. The name of this blog comes from the idea that we should express the thoughts we self-censor out of fear of how we will be perceived. I want to tell the Truth.
In today’s world of media overload with everyone pushing an agenda the Truth is very rare because the Truth doesn’t sell. Satire sells. Satire is the Truth with a clown nose.
I don’t have to curse to have my voice. I want to make a contribution that people aren’t afraid to share with their grandmothers. I want my kids to be able to read what their father writes, so I can show them how to find their own voice.
One day I’d like to be able to make a living from doing nothing but writing. So that’s my agenda: keep telling the truth, but make it funny enough that people will want to read it. I can do that and stay creatively authentic without cursing.
The Truth is offensive enough.
10 thoughts on “No Profanity (Except the Truth)”
You got sued by George Carlin?
Technically, I got a cease and desist notice from his lawyers. We spoke, he apologized, I got a bunch of VHS tapes.
That is amazing. He is (was, but still is) my idol. You, therefore, may by default be my new idol.
Did you blog about that? I’m sure that would be a great read, esp. coming from you with your great writing style. Another FP’d? Seriously. Inquiring minds [mine] want to know.
No, but perhaps I will now. 🙂
I like Louis CK, but I was really talking about the comedy that warped me the most in my teenage years– that was a steady diet of George Carlin and Monty Python.
Few can argue that Carlin is king. RIP, George.
That didn’t come out right. Carlin IS king. No one will argue that. 🙂
Cleaning up my mouth was a very difficult thing to do. Thank goodness for all my made up fudge-a-mudgin’s and shuck-a-doodle’s or dag-nabble-it’s or I might not have made it. When the four-letter variety shoot out of one of my kids’ mouths, it’s usually Dad to blame.
Thanks for cleaning up. Your future [and current] blog readers appreciate it. However, on my back porch swing? With a box of wine? Kids inside wrecking the place and jumping on furniture? I say, LET IT FLOW. Profanity reigns within the mom-and-dad circle, ’cause we can.
PS — What? No Louis CK?
Follow your dreams and figure out how to make them happen. You can do anything you set your mind to. This is a great start.
“Mooooom. You’re embarrassing me in front of the Internet.”