A Message by George Carlin: The Paradox of Our Time

A Message by George Carlin: The Paradox of Our Time

I read this “message” roughly once a year to remind myself of what matters most and to remain grounded as possible. It’s incisive and deeply profound. Enjoy, share, and reflect. Comedians are the smartest and most perceptive people on the planet, in my opinion, like creative polymath Jim Carrey. They see the truth, as displayed in the message below, and put a coat of humor on it to ease the delivery and bypass our mental biases.


A Message by George Carlin

The Paradox of Our Time

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.
We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.
We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space.
We’ve done larger things, but not better things.
We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.
We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships.
These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.
These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.
The Gambler (During the Great Depression, there was a man who walked into a bar one day…)

The Gambler (During the Great Depression, there was a man who walked into a bar one day…)

One of my favorite humorous stories with multiple morals to be interpreted, as the best stories always are! Make the best of what you’ve got. Turn weaknesses into strengths and advantages. Master presentation and social situations. All are not as they seem. Be curious, don’t be certain of others. Question your level of certainty, as the penalty for error may be beyond what you can afford. Having poor pissing accuracy really isn’t a problem.


The Gambler

During the Great Depression, there was a man who walked into a bar one day. He went up to the bartender and said, “Bartender, I’d like to buy the house a round of drinks.”

The bartender said, “That’s fine, but we’re in the middle of the Depression, so I’ll need to see some money first.”

The guy pulled out a huge wad of bills and set them on the bar. The bartender can’t believe what he’s seeing. “Where did you get all that money?” asked the bartender.
“I’m a professional gambler,” replied the man.
The bartender said, “There’s no such thing! I mean, your odds are fifty-fifty at best, right?”
“Well, I only bet on sure things,” said the guy.
“Like what?” asked the bartender.
“Well, for example, I’ll bet you fifty dollars that I can bite my right eye,” he said.
The bartender thought about it. “Okay,” he said.
So, the guy pulled out his false right eye and bit it. “Aw, you screwed me,” said the bartender, and paid the guy his $50.
“I’ll give you another chance. I’ll bet you another fifty dollars that I can bite my left eye,” said the stranger.
The bartender thought again and said, “Well, I know you’re not blind, I mean, I watched you walk in here. I’ll take that bet.” So, the guy pulled out his false teeth and bit his left eye.
“Aw, you screwed me again!” protested the bartender.
“That’s how I win so much money, bartender. I’ll just take a bottle of your best scotch in lieu of the fifty dollars,” said the man.
With that, the guy went to the back room and spent the better part of the night playing cards with some of the locals. After many hours of drinking and card playing, he stumbled up to the bar. Drunk as a skunk, he said, “Bartender, I’ll give you one last chance. I’ll bet you five hundred dollars that I can stand on this bar on one foot and piss into that whiskey bottle on that shelf behind you without spilling a drop.”
The bartender once again pondered the bet. The guy couldn’t even stand up straight on two feet, much less one. “Okay, you’re on,” he said.
The guy climbed up on the bar, stood on one leg, and began pissing all over the place. He hit the bar, the bartender, himself, but not a drop made it into the whiskey bottle.
The bartender was ecstatic. Laughing, the bartender said, “Hey pal, you owe me five hundred dollars!”
The guy climbed down off the bar and said, “That’s okay. I just bet each of the guys in the card room a thousand bucks each that I could piss all over you and the bar and still make you laugh!”
At the Swing of Midnight

At the Swing of Midnight

I really love this poem, for lack of a more elegant opener. It’s similar to What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction, except it wasn’t written by teenagers and it has a touch more grace. It doesn’t apply to only women either, though I’m happy to dedicate this post for our beloved females. I know enough people who walk around oblivious to the light they emanate wherever they go. Beautiful minds and beautiful hearts with their thoughts elsewhere, devoid of ego or self-awareness of how amazing they are (in this case, it does not take one to know one).

My ask: send this to someone to which you feel it applies. 


At the Swing of Midnight

At the swing of midnight, on the day you were born,

Three lightning bolts came together.

The first, sinuous and long, said, “I shall make her graceful.”

The second, jagged and strong, said, “I shall give her a mind

That cuts into darkness like diamond.”

The third, bright as a sun, said, “I shall give her radiance

That warms and brightens all those around her.”

 

 

As the three lightning bolts descended on the newborn,

Lightning-fast,

A fourth came along, so spectral and pale as to go unseen,

And whispered: “I shall make her forget.”

 

 

And so she walked the earth, oblivious to her gifts,

Save when staring into a newborn’s endless eyes

Or hearing a strain of music so pregnant with yearning

As to have the weight of truth,

Or when a dusty pilgrim would arrive from far away

And cry, “Ave!,” with wild eyes that could see

The goddess for the human that she was.

 

 

— Ali Binazir 10/2012