GEORGE CARLIN

Goddamn, it’s been a year for losing genius’. Now George Carlin is dead, aged 71. Truth be told, he was never going to outlive George Burns, not with his lifestyle, but still, he was arguably one of the best three or four stand up comedians of the 20th century, and his passing represents a real loss to anybody who appreciates hard-bitten, precise observation. His wasn’t the fluffy nothingness of a Jerry Seinfeld, or the cozy reinforcement of a Tim Allen or Jeff Foxworthy. Carlin trod the same path as the likes of Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks, and Billy Connolly, challenging the perceptions of his audiences and the structural status quo of the culture around him. He was, by turns, savage, acerbic, loving, and radio-friendly, and yet managed to maintain his rage and sense of damnation through forty years and something like 20-odd albums. And he transcended age: my boys knew him from his appearances in movies like Dogma, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, and the Bill & Ted movies, and now they want to know more, to hear what he was all about.

I don’t own enough of his work: my predilection for collecting comedy albums on the original vinyl is shown up by Perth’s distance from anywhere meaningful for such endeavours. But what I have is brilliant indeed, and among my list of stuff to be rescued from house fires.

If you’ve not experienced his work before, there are lists of quotes all about. Here’s a couple for starters: here and here

SCREENWEST PASS

Damn. Screenwest have decided not to offer Cirque any monetary reward. So the question now becomes: pursue it further as a TV script, or thing about converting it to a novel? Hmmm. One field I know almost nothing about, and the other field everybody else thinks I know nothing about. Spoilt for choice, me……

END OF AHWA MENTORSHIP

Ah, well. It’s been fun. My mentorship period on behalf of the AHWA has come to and end. It’s been great to work with Ben and Jason, and hopefully they’ve picked up a tip or two along the way (Remember: you can learn something from anyone, even if it’s only what not to do…). Now it’s time for them to test their work against the refined sense of editors everywhere, and get their stories into as many hands as possible.

I think they’ll do just fine.