Posted by: Rob | April 3, 2008

How many times has George Carlin been credited for something he hasn’t written?

I’ve been cleaning out my e-mail at work. My employer has decided that since we can’t be trusted to deal with a myriad of stored e-mail then, in the interest of Records Retention, they’ve been compelled to implement some software that will auto-delete e-mail stored in our Outlook e-mail client. Anything in the server folders (Inbox, Drafts, Outbox, Sent) older than 60 days will be automatically deleted. Any e-mails in the outlook .pst files (personal folders) older than 3 years will be automatically deleted.

I don’t know what I did prior to the advent of e-mail. I guess I didn’t save much other than cards and the infrequent handwritten or typed letter. And, yeah, most of that stuff is still in the filing cabinet. Somewhere. I think. In any event, I have squirreled away the odd piece of correspondence or two – some business, some personal – in various .pst files over the years. I’ve had to learn a bit about Outlook in order to keep this stuff too. That is, keep it hidden away from automatic back-ups to the company servers and the like. While it would be easiest to just de-link these .pst files, copy them to my thumb drive and put them on my on home PC – oh, and buy a copy of Outlook so I can open them – I have, instead, been perusing these old notes. Some bring a chuckle, some stir memories, some bring a tear (those would be from my late wife). Some I’ve saved to files, some I’ve just sent to my personal e-mail account. I thought some would get stuck here in my blog for posterity’s sake.

One of the e-mails I came across was a forward from my Mom, back before she was retired from her job with the Saskatchewan government. It was purportedly written by/delivered by George Carlin just after 9/11 (yes, the “9/11”) as a tribute to his recently deceased wife.

Overall, it contains some nice ideas and thoughts – I think even more so now, looking at it through the eyes of widower. But I doubted its authenticity as a George Carlin creation. Too many things have been mis-attributed to George Carlin. Not that he’s not a bright, articulate and original guy in his own right. He is; and I’ve been a fan for a long time – ever since the “7 words you can’t say on television” bit. But, I’ve seen too many stories where some viral e-mail is attributed to a well known celebrity and it turns out that the piece in question was neither written nor said by the person whom has been credited with having written or said it.

A quick couple of searches via google justified my suspicions. The piece – “The Paradox of Our Age” – is an essay written by Dr. Bob Moorehead, a former pastor of Seattle’s Overlake Christian Church. He retired in 1998 after 29 years in that post. The essay appeared in ‘Words Aptly Spoken,’ Dr. Moorehead’s 1995 collection of prayers, homilies, and monologues used in his sermons and radio broadcasts. I found a copy of it here.

The copy of the essay that I found, however, did not contain an adder that was in the e-mail. (These types of viral e-mails are often composites…or so I’ve read and found.) These are good points and, to me, they do sound a lot like our old friend George Carlin (even if he didn’t write them):


1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctor worry about them. That is why you pay him/her.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. ” An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath or pee your pants.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to a friends house, to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

If you don’t send this to at least 8 people….who cares?


  1. I’m familiar with the poem. It sounds like something Carlin would put together, and I wouldn’t doubt that some people confuse it with a bit in one of his recent acts. “The Modern Man”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: