Unlike George Carlin who was a Catholic until he “reached the age of reason”, I didn’t grow up with any form of religion or religious culture. My mother was very secular and my father was such a light atheist, he was a borderline agnostic.
Living a religion-free life has its many advantages, one of them being the ability to appreciate rational thought (Relax, just wanted to get a rise out of you). But I have to admit I do understand the need for belonging to a certain faith and the culture and community that comes with admitting yourself to that faith.
First of all, people of faith tend to have clean houses and impeccable yards and I envy that. The more dogmatic and deep-rooted the faith, the cleaner the yard. If you convince your mind at an early point in your life that you absolutely, positively know where you come from, what you are meant to do in this world and where you will go after you die, your analytical mind is left with enough space to cram in hours of thoughts every day about how to keep your yard looking pristine.
Since I don’t come pre-programmed with clear and detailed instructions, I have to allocate a good half of my daily thoughts to endless unanswered questions about my purpose and function. And before you know it, fuck the yard, I forgot to do the dishes third day in a row.
Another advantage of religion is a sense of community and belonging. I have to admit I do like the idea of belonging to a certain group of people and becoming part of their community. After all, we are tribal creatures by nature, none of us can live completely alone and be an individual in the truest sense.
Unfortunately, becoming part of a religious congregation comes with having to pretend that I believe in the existence of an invisible man in the sky (or “a higher power, as you know him”, yeah right, like that’s any different) or at least playing along with their quaint traditions and games while counting the seconds for the beginning of a normal social transaction.
So where can someone like me belong? With the atheists? They’re more opinionated and dickish than a lot of religious sects. And when was the last time you heard of a congregation of agnostics gathering at the agnostic temple to once and for all declare that things might be, or might not be possible?
Yet the need to belong to a religion or at least a structured form of belief is an integral part of any human being, no matter how far we’d like to run from it. But what do you do when none of the other religions tickle your dogmatic fancy and you’re tired of being called an “atheist without balls” whenever you tell someone that you’re a non-deistic agnostic.
Even a made-up religion with an impressive-sounding name is better than that. So that’s what I decided to do for myself and became a Carlinist, a disciple of the raw and brutally honest philosophy of the late comedian George Carlin.
Why? First of all, it sounds cool, which I’m sure Carlin would appreciate. Calling yourself a Carlinist without explaining what it is makes it sound like you belong to a secret sect that has been hidden for thousands of years. You know, Illuminati-type shit.
Also, the idea of belonging to a made-up religion (That statement is a bit redundant since all religion is made-up) that follows the sayings of someone who was fervently anti-religious is the kind of giddy irony that’s too hard to pass up.
I have to say first of all that I did not invent Carlinism. It’s been around for a long time growing through the caring tentacles of the world-wide web and there are already tons of people around the world who refer to themselves as Carlinists. Alas, since Carlinism in itself breeds anti-religious sentiment, it’s hard to get us all together as a religious congregation. Yet we do exist.
Becoming a Carlinist is very simple and practicing it requires very little effort, so it’s perfect for a lazy soul-searcher. First of all, there is no years-long conversion period. Being a fan of Carlin and the man’s infinite wisdom is the only requirement.
At the very least, you should have watched a couple of his HBO specials or seen at least a couple of hours worth of Carlin material on YouTube before declaring yourself a Carlinist. Yet if you haven’t done any of that and you still want to call yourself a Carlinist, go ahaed, fuck if I care.
So you decided to become a Carlinist, now what? The basic tenets of Carlinism are very short and straightforward and the rest of its teachings can be gathered from frequently watching Carlin specials. We are a group of lazy people (As Carlin said “You show me a guy who sits around the house all day playing with his prick and I’ll show you someone who’s not causing any trouble”) so we can’t be bothered to lay down all of his teachings into an impressively large book full of repetitive and redundant information.
Carlinism simply states that while a person can be beautiful, people in whole are vain, scared, weak, manipulative and callous who just about ruined this planet. Carlinists believe that people’s time on this planet are limited. The planet will simply shake us off like a mild case of fleas and restore itself even after we turn it into a “flaming ball of shit”. Carlinists have no stake in humanity or the future of people as an entity. You might call it nihilism with a sense of humor.
Carlinists don’t believe in the invisible man in the sky, therefore they worship the sun. Why? First of all, we “can see the sun. Kind of helps with the whole credibility thing.”
Even though we worship the sun, we don’t pray to it. Instead, we pray to Joe Pesci. “Because he looks like a guy who can get shit done.” As Carlin stated, “I prayed to God to do something about my noisy neighbors for months, Joe Pesci took care of that shit in ten minutes with a baseball bat.”
The simple reasoning behind praying to Joe Pesci is because we come to the conclusion that every prayer we give to God and every prayer we give to Joe Pesci are answered at about the same 50/50 rate. We get some of the things we want, we don’t get some of the things we want. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don’t.
As opposed to the overblown 10 commandments from the Old Testament, Carlinism only has three commandments “you can carry in your fuckin’ pocket.” They are:
1- Thou shalt always be honest and faithful to the provider of thy nookie.
2- Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone, unless they pray to a different invisible man than the one you pray to.
3- Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.
As far as services go, keeping up with a healthy dose of Carlinism is fairly easy. All one has to do is to watch one of Carlin’s 15 HBO specials as frequently as possible (All of them are available of Netflix Instant) in order to keep oneself sane in an increasingly hypocritical world. I would recommend sticking to his later stuff which have more philosophical and political material that most of the tenets of Carlinism are based on than his older, more standard observational humor (Not to say those are not genius in their own way).
Some of the best specials to seek out are:
Carlin on Campus
What am I doing in New Jersey?
Doin’ it Again
Jammin’ in New York (Carlin’s and a lot of his fans’ favorite)
Back in Town
You are all Diseased
Complaints and Grievances
Life is Worth Losing
It’s Bad for Ya!
For now, this is all the information you need to become a full-fledged Carlinist. Joe bless us, everyone!