I was so taken aback the first time I watched George Carlin's three minutes of linguistic brilliance [original video] that I spit water all over my computer—twice. This poem made me realize that I had to be a performer. It catalyzed a massive Carlin binge, which actually led me to believe that my medium would also be standup comedy. But I later discovered this recording of Saul Williams performing Coded Language on Def Poetry Jam, which inspired me to put the cynicism on hold and explore spoken word.
George Carlin was a true New Yorker, "born in New York City, New York County, and New York State...and besides that...born at New York Hospital on East 63rd Street." The guy was a straight shooter; he said what he meant and didn't hold anything back. I consider him a contemporary philosopher, having masterfully and hilariously dissected an admirable amount of life, religion, and politics. He's one of the core inspirations in my mental pantheon because of his unceasing desire and ability to put society's nonsense on display for all to see. In my view, this is a necessary step in shedding the bullshit and moving forward as a species.
Modern Man is used as an introduction to Carlin's 2004 book When Will Jesus Bring the Porkchops? and his 2005 HBO special Life is Worth Losing. Both are highly recommended, as is the rest of his massive anthology of performances, albums, and books. You can also check him out as a narrator on Thomas the Tank Engine! From shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits to children's television. Truly incredible.
I'm a modern man,
a man for the millennium—
digital and smoke-free.
A diversified, multicultural, postmodern deconstructionist—
politically, anatomically and ecologically incorrect.
I've been uplinked and downloaded,
I've been inputted and outsourced.
I know the upside of downsizing;
I know the downside of upgrading.
I'm a high-tech lowlife.
A cutting-edge, state-of-the-art, bicoastal multi-tasker,
and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond.
I'm new wave, but I'm old school,
and my inner child is outward bound.
I'm a hot-wired, heat-seeking, warm-hearted cool customer—
voice-activated and bio-degradable.
I interface with my database
and my database is in cyberspace,
so I'm interactive, I'm hyperactive,
and from time to time I'm radioactive.
Behind the eight ball,
ahead of the curve,
ridin' the wave,
dodgin' the bullet,
pushin' the envelope.
I'm on point, on task, on message, and off drugs.
I've got no need for coke and speed!
I've got no urge to binge and purge.
I'm in the moment, on the edge, over the top, but under the radar.
A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary.
A street-wise smart bomb.
A top-gun bottom-feeder.
I wear power ties,
I tell power lies,
I take power naps,
I run victory laps.
I'm a totally ongoing, big-foot, slam-dunk rainmaker with a proactive outreach.
A raging workaholic.
A working rageaholic.
Out of rehab and in denial.
I've got a personal trainer,
a personal shopper,
a personal assistant,
and a personal agenda.
You can't shut me up—
you can't dumb me down!
'Cause I'm tireless, and I'm wireless.
I'm an alpha male on beta blockers.
I'm a nonbeliever and an overachiever;
laid back but fashion forward.
Up-front, down-home, low-rent, high-maintenance.
Super-sized, long-lasting, high definition, fast-acting, oven-ready and built to last.
I'm a hands-on, footloose, knee-jerk head case,
and I have a love child who sends me hate mail.
But I'm feeling, I'm caring,
I'm healing, I'm sharing.
A supportive, bonding, nurturing primary caregiver.
My output is down, but my income is up.
I take a short position on the long bond
and my revenue stream has its own cash flow.
I read junk mail,
I eat junk food,
I buy junk bonds,
I watch trash sports.
I'm gender-specific, capital-intensive, user-friendly and lactose intolerant.
I like rough sex.
I like tough love.
I use the F-word in my email,
and the software on my hard drive is hard-core—no soft porn.
I bought a microwave at a mini mall.
I bought a minivan at a megastore.
I eat fast food in the slow lane.
I'm toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear, and I come in all sizes.
A fully equipped, factory-authorized, hospital-tested, clinically proven, scientifically formulated medical miracle.
I've been pre-washed, pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged, post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped, vacuum-packed, and...
I have unlimited broadband capacity.
I'm a rude dude, but I'm the real deal—
lean and mean.
Cocked, locked, and ready to rock.
Rough, tough, and hard to bluff.
I take it slow, I go with the flow,
I ride with the tide—I've got glide in my stride!
Drivin' and movin', sailin' and spinnin',
jivin' and groovin', wailin' and winnin'.
I don't snooze, so I don't lose.
I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road.
I party hardy, and lunchtime is crunch time.
I'm hangin' in,
there ain't no doubt,
and I'm hangin' tough—
over and out.