Carlin on Profanity and the Body

Comedian George Carlin has died. He was controversial and provocative, but he was also a brilliant social critic and comedian.

Two years ago at a church-related speaking event I got in some hot water when I failed to euphemize some words when giving a psychotheological analysis of profanity. I've written about this theoretical work here and here. Wouldn’t you know that Carlin scooped me. An attendee at that controversial talk of mine sent me the following link to a Carlin tribute. Here's the part that interested me:

"The whole problem with this idea of obscenity and indecency, and all of these things, bad language and whatever, it's all caused by one basic thing, and that is: religious superstition," Carlin told the AP in a 2004 interview. "There's an idea that the human body is somehow evil and bad and there are parts of it that are especially evil and bad, and we should be ashamed. Fear, guilt and shame are built into the attitude toward sex and the body."

Farewell George. And thanks.

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