Seventy-year-old comedian George Carlin has been booked at the Morrison Center on Jan. 18, 2008. Tickets are $42.
Here comes ... controversy.
A snippet of the phone conversation I had with Carlin prior to his last Boise gig in November 2003:
Me: You're known as a very liberal comic. Are you trying to change people's political views when you go out there? Do you have an underlying agenda?
George: No. First of all, I'm not liberal. I'm just about (being) anti-United States. I don't like the way this country operates. I think we've ruined this place. And I think it's largely because of businessmen. And businessmen are not liberals. So if that makes me a liberal, then that's just an association. It's not a choice. ...
I do not care about changing anybody. Nobody. I go out there to show the rest of the Americans how badly they're doing. This country has been, for about 180 years now, badly mishandled. And it's been in the wrong hands. It's been in the hands of the business interests.
And a lot of the beauty of this country has been shattered by them. The physical beauty and the kind of institutional beauty that was originally built into this place - this experiment, this magnificent experiment in democracy is just being shredded to pieces by these right-wing Christians, the Ashcroft branch of Republicanism. (They're) just shredding the rest of the Bill of Rights which hadn't been shredded already. They'd been doing a pretty good job on it up until then, anyway.
Me: Do you feel like this country has progressed any way, shape or form in the past 20 years?
George: Everybody's got more jet skis and Dustbusters now and sneakers with lights in them. They've got more cheese on their thing that they buy. They get double helpings. See, Americans measure all their progress in the wrong way. They measure by quantity and by gizmos and toys. And not by quality and by things that are important.
The most interesting thing to me is that the things that people would seem to have the most right to have - that is to say health, food, shelter and a job - are the things that are last on the list. To me, that is fundamental. Those are the things humans most need to function, and we have placed them at the bottom of the list. So I think that says a lot about national character and priorities.