George Carlin Told Us 20 Years Ago Why Public School Sucks, and How Your Kid Can Survive

George Carlin Told Us 20 Years Ago Why Public School Sucks, and How Your Kid Can Survive
E. Pablo Kosmicki

On a random Wednesday afternoon, God told me to write about George Carlin again. Which is odd, since I’m not a religious type. But the divine nature of the signal is unmistakable. I was in the kitchen, preparing a 7-lb. pork shoulder roast for smoking, listening to my music app, when suddenly a George Carlin clip interrupted the music streaming.

The comic interruption of the music comes mere hours after President Donald Trump declared school choice as the civil rights issue of our time, as part of a larger package of civil rights legislative moves and executive orders.

Coincidence? Hardly.

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Trump, like most Americans, understands how public school sucks. As PJ Media’s Stacey Lennox wrote earlier,

Adding school choice to the election talking points and highlighting the administration’s stalwart advocacy for it gives the campaign the perfect wedge issue and the perfect foil.

For a wedge issue, according to the group Democrats for Education Reform, the party is split along both racial and generational lines about school choice.

George Carlin also grew up in New York City. The coincidences keep piling up.

The clip that hit me like a ton of bricks while I was listening to music in the kitchen comes from his 2001 HBO special, “Complaints and Grievances.” From the very first line, you are driven to your knees in hysterics. I won’t give it away, but he drops an astonishing amount of truth bombs about public school in a mere 2:30. Carlin absolutely skews participation trophy culture while pointing out how it softens children up to become shallow consumerist drones.

Ok, I’ll give you one line from the clip. This is gold: “Here’s a bumper sticker I’d like to see: ‘We are the proud parents of a child whose self-esteem is sufficient that he doesn’t need us promoting his minor scholastic achievements on the back of our car.'”


You’ve been warned.

Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available now at Jeff hosts a podcast at You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff.

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