"Norma Jean" (stilettofem) wrote,
"Norma Jean"

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‘Grief, Tragedy, and Sympathy Industry”….GEORGE CARLIN

This GEORGE CARLIN EXCERPT was modified 
from the original BRAIN DROPPINGS text ...

I would like to talk about the ‘Grief, Tragedy, and Sympathy Industry”….

The news media are playing a game with you, you’re being fed a large ration of other peoples troubles designed to keep your mind off the things that should really be bothering you I guess the media figure if you’re sitting around feeling sorry for every sick, injured, or dead person they can scrounge up you’ll have less time to dwell on how fucked up your own life is and what bad shape this culture is in. I am not so much opposed to grief as I am to public media grief; my attitude is fuck sick people, and fuck a dead person; unless I know them and if so ill handle it on my own without media guidance to experience sorrow.

Above all I object to the word TRAGEDY. Every time some asshole stops breathing these days it’s called a tragedy, the word is being devalued. Just because a man kills his wife, three kids, her lover, his lover, the baby-sitter, the mail man, the Amway lady and the guy from Publishers Clearing House and then blows his brains out doesn’t mean a tragedy has occurred. It’s interesting. It’s entertaining to read about. But it’s not a tragedy.

The death of a child is not also automatically a tragedy. Some guy backing over his kid in the driveway is not a tragedy; it’s a bad, bad mistake. A tragedy is a literary work in which the main character comes to ruin as a consequence of a moral weakness or fatal flaw. Shakespeare wrote tragedies. A family of nine being wiped out when a train hits their camper is not a tragedy, it’s called a traffic accident.

You wanna know what a tragedy is? A tragedy is when you see some fat bastard in the airport with pockmarks on his face and his belly hanging out and he’s with a woman with bad teeth and multiple bruises, and that night he’s gonna make her suck his dick. That’s a tragedy. They don’t mention that a lot on TV.

I’m tired of emotional pandering, personal drama, and prurient gossip being presented in the context of real news. The media have elevated the marketing of bathos and sympathy to a fine art but I gotta tell ya, I really don’t care about a paraplegic who climbs a mountain and then skies cross country for 50miles, I have no room for a one legged Vietnam veteran who ice skates across Canada to raise money for children’s prosthetics; I’m sick of hearing about a baby kept alive on a resuscitator while doctors wait for a kidney to be flown in on a private jet contributed by some corporation seeking good publicity because they just killed six thousand people in Pakistan with a chemical spill. 
If the media is going to insist that we know about sick babies and tap-dancing cripples why don’t they create a special television program called, “Inspirational Stories?” That way I can turn the fucking thing off. I’m tired of people battling the odds. Fuck the odds and fuck the people who battle them.

Tags: george carlin
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