Tag Archives: Health

George Carlin Dies At Age 71

This news makes me very, very sad.

George Carlin mourned as counterculture hero
By Keith St. Clair, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES – Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television. Some People Are Stupid. Stuff. People I Can Do Without. George Carlin, who died of heart failure Sunday at 71, leaves behind not only a series of memorable routines, but a legal legacy: His most celebrated monologue, a frantic, informed riff on those infamous seven words, led to a Supreme Court decision on broadcasting offensive language.

The counterculture hero’s jokes also targeted things such as misplaced shame, religious hypocrisy and linguistic quirks — why, he asked, do we drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?

Carlin, who had a history of heart trouble, went into St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica on Sunday afternoon complaining of chest pain and died later that evening, said his publicist, Jeff Abraham. He had performed as recently as last weekend at the Orleans Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas.

“He was a genius and I will miss him dearly,” Jack Burns, who was the other half of a comedy duo with Carlin in the early 1960s, told The Associated Press.

The actor Ben Stiller called Carlin “a hugely influential force in stand-up comedy. He had an amazing mind, and his humor was brave, and always challenging us to look at ourselves and question our belief systems, while being incredibly entertaining. He was one of the greats.”

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WARNING: This video contains strong language and may be offensive to some viewers.


That’s Just Crazy!

In Fighting Ableist Language, Jill of Feministe makes the following statement:

I often use words like “crazy,” “insane,” and “nutbag” to describe people whose views I think I bizarre, illogical or bigoted. But as Tekanji points out, words mean things. And while words like “crazy” are pretty steeped in my vocabulary, it really isn’t all that hard to make an effort to purge them. Consider this Step 1.

Well, that’s just crazy! But I don’t mean Jill. I’m talking about the notion that we can’t say “crazy” anymore without offending someone we weren’t even talking about. It’s insane!

Look, I don’t usually set out to offend people, but my life does not revolve around avoiding it either. Sure, there are certain sensitive situations, “a time and a place”, etc. I care about other people’s feelings and take them into account whenever possible. But when I look at the Bush Administration, for instance, I think “crazy”, and that’s what I’m going to call it. When I heard McCain say that he would keep troops in Iraq for a hundred years, I thought “insane”. And it is. And that’s what I’m going to call it.

In response to someone who suggested that not being offended by the use of these words is possibly a result of privilege (i.e. never having been affected by mental illness) I posted the following comment on Feministe. It sums up my thoughts on the subject quite nicely.

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Leading Medical Association Rejects Abstinence-Only Policies

Among the highlights of the report:

Abstinence-only Programs Undermine Medical Ethics and Basic Human Rights

“We believe that current federal abstinence-only-until-marriage policy is ethically problematic, as it excludes accurate information about contraception, misinforms by overemphasizing or misstating the risks of contraception, and fails to require the use of scientifically accurate information while promoting approaches of questionable value.”

“Abstinence-only programs threaten fundamental human rights to health, information, and life.”

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Abstinence-Only: Stop the Madness!

I received a letter from the Director of Health Services of the school district my son attends. The title of the memo read as follows:

Fifth Grade Maturation/AIDS Education Program

In the body of the letter, however, it refers to “maturation and abstinence education”. I wanted to clarify this, to find out if it is an abstinence-only program. Well, sure enough, it is. She said that they teach the kids to avoid pregnancy and STD’s by abstaining from sex “until marriage”. What? I take issue with this on several different levels:

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