Friday, May 10, 2013

The Wisdom of George Carlin...and Ultrarunning

[image credit diggerhistory]

Sunday, 12 May, would be the 76th birthday of comedian George Carlin, who died in 2008.

Every time I read something about him, or by him, I am struck by his awareness and ability to say what everyone was thinking but were afraid to articulate.

On war, his comment on flamethrowers takes the cake:

The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, “You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.”

And of course I cannot ignore the cat.  Mr. Carlin must have been a dog lover:

“Meow” means “woof” in cat.
The connection to Ultrarunning?  When you are out in the backcountry and you hear some strange, unfamiliar animal noise, ponder this notion of animal communication.  Once in Shenandoah National Park I encountered a mama black bear and two cubs.

She obviously thought I was a suspicious character, so she said something like "Woof" and quick as a wink those two cubs were 30' high in an oak tree.  I backed a safe distance away and within a couple minutes she again went "Woof" and they cubs were back down with her.

Now that's what I like in a child--instant obedience in the face of an urgent parental command.


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