Monday, June 23, 2008

By George!

About an hour ago, the office manager brought our newest hire, Barbara, by to meet Robin and myself. We are still small enough company so she can meet everyone in the Austin office. I overheard Laura, our office manager, tell Robin that Barbara was replacing the woman mentioned in last weeks post about office harrassment. Robin asked what happened to that woman and Laura simply said "It just didn't work out."

That's kind of weird, because it wasn't that long ago (3 days?) she was still working and now her replacement is in place? It usually takes much longer to for HR to get the ball rolling on something like this.

In other news, I've been reading a lot of online tributes for George Carlin, who passed away yesterday. They are all respectful and mention what a pioneer he was or how 'edgy' (hate that word and the people who think it describes themselves) his material was.

And its true he was a pioneer and his work in the 70's was indeed hip and ahead of its time. Somewhere around 1978 or so, the quality of his work began to suffer. He had worked out a deal with HBO and seemed like he was putting out a special every other year but I don't recall him touring.

Around the mid 80's, Sam Kinison and Bill Hicks began to rise from the comedy clubs to national fame. Their style of humor had a big effect on George, as he later admitted. He began to devote more of his material to 'socio-political' humor and less on the word play he made famous.

He was reasonably successful at first. His HBO show from 1992 is the best thing he did in the post-70's. However by the late 90's and through the rest of his career, he material became strident, bitter and worst of all didactic.

In the end, his shrill tone cast him in a light no better than Jimmy Swaggart or Jerry Falwell. Sadly, Bill Hicks suffered from the same curse and that's too bad for either of those immensily talented comedians.