George Carlin should be taught in New Jersey schools (Opinion)
With all the new ideas people want to stick into New Jersey schools, like sex-ed for kindergarteners and critical race theory, here's one that should be mandatory learning for all New Jersey students. We need to teach our children about George Carlin. We could call it "critical thinking."
Carlin may be from New York, but he's so new Jersey. He's played here many times. One of his most famous specials took place in my hometown of Union City in 1988 called "What Am I Doing In New Jersey?" He's also played The Strand in Lakewood as well as two sold-out shows at the Broadway Theatre in Pittman. Let's also not forget the casinos and comedy clubs.
George Carlin is all about New Jersey. He became what our children should aspire to be. People who can think for themselves, question authority, not only see through the BS but comment on it and make it funny. Shouldn't that be exactly what we teach our children?
There is an incredible George Carlin documentary on HBO called "George Carlin's American Dream" directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio. It's narrated by Carlin himself along with interviews from his brother Patrick, who passed away this year, his first wife Brenda, whom he was married to for 36 years, his daughter Kelly and his second wife Sally Wade.
You'll also get insight on Carlin from Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Patton Oswalt, Stephen Colbert, Bill Burr, Bette Midler, W. Kamau Bell, Sam Jay, Judy Gold and Jon Stewart.
Showing this in New Jersey schools teaches kids about a man who started off trying to fit in and be what his industry wanted him to be, then decided he could no longer do that and had to be himself despite taking a huge financial loss in the process. That journey would lead him to becoming the voice of his generation and in many ways ours.
Whenever I ask, "If you could get a current album from a dead comic?", Carlin is the name most people want to hear from. Truth is, his comedy is still as relevant today as it was when he did it. My kids watch him on TikTok.
Here's Carlin's take on saving the planet.
That's just one of many. In fact, you could teach a whole civics class using Carlin. I can guarantee that if you did, there would be no daydreaming and kids would be paying attention.
Carlin was a master of the English language and looked deep into what he was being fed until he could find what was indigestible and bring it to the surface in a way that didn't make it scary but funny. Also, no one would bully a kid who could develop Carlin's wit.
Then again, the powers that be would probably never want to teach kids about George Carlin. Better they should just go along with what they're being told.
All the more reason why we should be teaching our children about George Carlin in New Jersey schools, or at least play them "Class Clown"
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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