George Carlin anticipates the Kung Flu Panic-Fest 20 years ago

Posted On: Tuesday - May 19th 2020 7:40PM MST
In Topics: 
  Humor  Pundits  Kung Flu Stupidity

The wonderful Mr. Carlin died in late 2011, not from germs, but from heart failure. He'd had heart attacks before and gotten procedures done, but perhaps he didn't have any more heart left for this country.

This bit, which was called You are all diseased, is amazingly prescient of the situation in America over the last 3 months. What would he have to say now? He'd probably not be very funny.

"We swam in raw sewage, you know, to cool off!"

The Wiki page on comedian George Carlin is here.

Saturday - May 23rd 2020 7:34PM MST
PS: Yep, Hail, it's "public health theater" from the CDC (an org most heard of only occasionally till now), just like the "security theater" of the TSA (an org that was non-existent before 9/11 along with the Motherland Security parent Department.
Saturday - May 23rd 2020 10:07AM MST
"I was there, sonny, when we saw these Japanese tourists in Detroit Airport wearing face masks*."

My experience was not in the US, and was something similar to what in Corona I would call public health theater.

East-Asians do take these thing more seriously, and were certainly the vanguard of mask-wearing in the US during Corona.

Was there ever a case of Americans wearing surgical masks in public? There are stories of San Francisco mandating them in late 1918 (the effectiveness of which was arguable at best). Between spring 1919 and CoronaPanic 2020, I don't think there were any other such cases. Am I right?

Triggered by a virus that kills 0.01% to 0.1% of those it infects, probably about what a peak-flu-year does. He who lives a long life could see quite a few of the same. It makes no sense, if viewed on the facts alone. George Carlin's monologue captures something about the whole thing that the typical criticisms of Corona on the facts.
Saturday - May 23rd 2020 10:00AM MST
(The other case I mention was only sorted out when he sent me an email, but that email too was sent to Spam. Sometimes the stars just mis-align...)
Saturday - May 23rd 2020 9:57AM MST
PS --
The comment I think you mean was probably zapped for moderation for having several links but it should be up now.

The auto-moderation system is strange. One genuine, no-link (one-link?) comment by a guy asking about data sources was sent to Spam on May 10. He was then told "You are a spammer. Please stop double-posting" by an auto-message and could not re-post.

This requires sorting through hundreds of spam comments to find him. (There is a case of the concept "false positive" in action.)

The comment was saved from Spam-Oblivion ten days after it was zapped. Another story with a good ending.
Saturday - May 23rd 2020 9:49AM MST
PS: Hail, Swine Flu of '09, some other Oriental bug in the late 1990s, the bird flu, the H1N1, all these things were in the news a bit, but they sure aren't something that you tell your grandkids about "I was there, sonny, when we saw these Japanese tourists in Detroit Airport wearing face masks*. You never seen anything like it. Oh, and yeah, I was a prisoner in Nam, but that's not important ..."

I went to your blog just now and saw your reply. BTW, I had a much longer comment that never made it onto your site again - too many links? (I had 4 to my 4-part series on the Jim Jone/People's Temple cult). I'll try to run that comment by again.

* That's mostly all of what I remember of one of them - I think it was mid '00s.
Saturday - May 23rd 2020 9:40AM MST
"This video, from context of the things he references from the mid-2000s?, deserves a place in any history of Corona."

The other thing that deserves a place in a history of the Corona Panic is the Swine Flu scare of 2009.

The Carlin monologue clearly predates Swine Flu because he doesn't mention it. He mentions other obscure minor virus scares. Swine Flu is a big one, even if quickly forgotten and with no real impact on the trajectory of the 2010s thereafter.

If you'd asked any of us what we remember of Swine Flu 2009 on Christmas Day 2019, most I think would say they remember "nothing." Different people have different abilities to remember and immediately recall specific things like that, contextualized. Some might remember a few spotty things.

Dr. Wodarg, a major anti-Panic figure in Germany and by the late-2000s an important figure in the German Budndestag and EU Council of Europe, was involved in fighting the Swine Flu Panic in the capacity of a company cynically doing selective testing finding a wide spread of the virus and marketing its vaccine to stop the virus (which had negative side effects). Wodarg remembered this experience (very few of the rest of us were probably aware or had long forgotten) and immediately saw something similar with Wuhan-Corona, and came out swinging. He was the first (of many) serious Corona-Dissident I noticed, as early as early March.

I have one specific memory of Swine Flu. It relates to air travel in April 2009. I don't think I ever got the flu any time in spring 2009 to 2010. If I got that virus my immmune system batted it off with me unaware.

Swine Flu Panic just never gathered momentum. To the extent there was a Swine Flu Panic, it never amounted to much and quickly faded.

Wittkowski said in late-April that Swine Flu of 2009 and Wuhan-Corona of 2020 show signs of being in the same ballpark as each other. The issue became subject to such a hysteria that it may be hard to finally sort out, with bitter pro-Panic partisans insisting on high-end body counts.

But what I am interested is the social side of the story. Let no one who tells the Corona Panic 2020 story neglect the 2009 story. You left a comment at my blog today to this effect:
Saturday - May 23rd 2020 9:34AM MST
PS: Yeah, it's almost eerie, Hail. Government imitating art?
Saturday - May 23rd 2020 9:27AM MST

Excellent. George Carlin is talking exactly about the Corona Crisis here in that monologue. This video, from context of the things he references from the mid-2000s?, deserves a place in any history of Corona.

"Germs! Where did this sudden fear of germs come from? Have you noticed this? The media, constantly running stories about all the latest infections [...] And Americans, they panic easily, so everybody's running around scrubbing this and spraying that and overcooking their food, washing their hands, trying to avoid all contact with GERMS. It's ridiculous, and it goes to ridiculous lengths. In prisons, before they give you a lethal injection, they swab your arm with alcohol! It's true. It's true. Hey, they don't want you to get an *infection*!"

George Carlin, anti-CoronaPanic hardliner.
Friday - May 22nd 2020 11:10AM MST
PS: Adam, I used to have some problem with allergies to cats, I think, though I never bothered with trying to officially diagnose anything. The way our family lives now and the shape of the house, we will have no allergy problems going forward!

That is, other than the cars turning greenish yellow for weeks at a time from the pollen.
Adam Smith
Thursday - May 21st 2020 8:34AM MST
PS:Good Morning Mr. Moderator...

George Carlin is one of my favorite comics, or um, curmudgeonly ranters. Love him. I didn't realize it's been 12 years since he passed. Oh how time flies.

You said, "I've heard it's the same with allergies and the allergens. "

I can attest to this. When I first moved to North Georgia some years ago I had pretty bad allergies for about a week or so each spring. (An almost unimaginable amount of snot.) I think it's because we have a large number of huge trees with various pollens that I was not used to. The best medicine I have found is to get out in the pollen. Now, after years of getting used to our local allergens, I have very light symptoms for just a few days when the pollen comes in.

Best allergy medicine ever.

Maybe swimming in raw sewage is the best medicine.(?)

Sorry laughter... You had your run.
Wednesday - May 20th 2020 6:24PM MST
PS: George Carlin seemed to be more of a curmudgeon ranter at the end of his career and life, more than a comic any more. I guess he'd just gotten pissed at the way the world, and America, was going.

I have only gotten a flu shot a couple of times as an adult, but then I'm not prone to respiratory problems. We each have our own "achilles heels" though. Yes, indeed, you have to let your body do some fighting, or it will not be in any shape for a fight when something serious comes along.

I've heard it's the same with allergies and the allergens. If you grow up in a spic-n-span house and stay indoors, your body will think every little thing deserves the whole allergy "defense". Oh, I know a guy who should know about this sort of thing - that'd be Dr. Fauci himself.
Wednesday - May 20th 2020 11:18AM MST
PS Not my favorite comic, but he’s pretty much spot on regarding respiratory infections. They will always be with us. Some folks will always contract them. Some folks will become very ill with them. Some folks will die from them. Vaccines are great in their way. The Salk and Sabin vaccines made my later childhood less stressful (not that we stopped the world because of polio). I get my flu shot every year, and haven’t had a serious respiratory infection since 2015 (likely picked up on a flight home from France), although Mme B has at least one a year. But the best defense against infectious diseases is a healthy immune system, which you’ll never acquire if you spend your life trying to hide out from pathogens.
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