Garbage In, Garbage Out: Happy Birthday George Carlin

Garbage In, Garbage Out: Happy Birthday George Carlin


Photo by David Massey, Lima News/AP

The take-no-prisoners George Carlin, who died of heart failure in 2008, would have turned 80 on Friday. It's impossible not to wonder what Carlin - the guy who famously proclaimed, "In the United States, anybody can be president. That's the problem" - would have made of the Trump catastrophe, other than a nice spicy stew. Carlin's prescient, brutal, truth-telling cynicism extended not just to politicians but to the soulless corporations that owned them and the shoddy culture that produced them, arguing, "This is what we have to offer. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders." He portrayed a bleak landscape of "no rights, only temporary privileges," where no important questions were asked and "if you think too much, they'll take you away." "When fascism comes to America, it will not be in brown and black shirts," he once warned. "It will be Nike sneakers and Smiley shirts." With its approach, he might have summoned his trippy weatherman: "Tonight's forecast: Dark."


Independent media has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies.   Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook.  Never before has independent media been more endangered.  If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support our critical Winter campaign now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing.

Support Common DreamsSupport Common Dreams

Share This Article