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George Carlin's Prayers
God vs. Pesci, by George Carlin:

You know who I pray to? Joe Pesci. Joe Pesci. Two reasons; first of all, I think he's a good actor. Okay. To me, that counts. Second; he looks like a guy who can get things done. Joe Pesci doesn't fuck around. Doesn't fuck around. In fact, Joe Pesci came through on a couple of things that God was having trouble with. For years I asked God to do something about my noisy neighbor with the barking dog. Joe Pesci straightened that cock-sucker out with one visit.

I noticed that of all the prayers I used to offer to God, and all the prayers that I now offer to Joe Pesci, are being answered at about the same 50 percent rate. Half the time I get what I want. Half the time I don't. Same as God 50-50. Same as the four leaf clover, the horse shoe, the rabbit's foot, and the wishing well. Same as the mojo man. Same as the voodoo lady who tells your fortune by squeezing the goat's testicles. It's all the same; 50-50. So just pick your superstitions, sit back, make a wish and enjoy yourself.

Also in Joe Pesci's favor is the fact that he has never been accused of or suspected of diddling an altar boy.

Posted by aalkon at January 30, 2007 11:34 AM


I always thought Joe Pesci was a little shit (based on random interviews, etc). Am I completely wrong or something?

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at January 30, 2007 6:58 AM

Whether Pesci is, indeed, a little shit, I have no idea. If we pretend god exists, god has to be a much bigger little shit, considering all the crap he pulls on humanity. As little shits go, if I have a choice (which would mean somebody finds evidence there's a god), I'll take Joe Pesci. Otherwise, I'll just say I see no evidence there's a god, therefore I'd be an idiot to believe in god. Any questions?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 30, 2007 7:45 AM

"Also in Joe Pesci's favor is the fact that he has never been accused of or suspected of diddling an altar boy."

Priests are not God. Just like American citizens are not immigrants, contra what you wrote in a recent post. You seem to have trouble with categorical reasoning.

Posted by: JS at January 30, 2007 7:23 PM

American citizens are not immigrants? Hmmmmm? Native-born ones aren't, but naturalized ones certainly are. For the most part there is no legal difference between native-born and naturalized, with the exception that naturalized citizens can be de-naturalized and deported, if there is some sticking point in their immigration history (i.e. they lied on their forms about being a Nazi, for instance).

Posted by: Donna at January 30, 2007 10:35 PM

Priests are not God.

No, they use fear to sell the silly notion of god, based in zero evidence, for the biggest business in the world.

Your note about what I said about immigrants is as murky as your ability to reason. There's nothing wrong with my ability to reason, which is why I don't believe in silly, unproven bullshit like god.

Do you believe in the tooth fairy, too? There's as much evidence for the existence of the tooth fairy as there is for god.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 31, 2007 2:11 AM


I'm an atheist and I agree with most of what you write but, to soften your tone towards idiots, consider the wide range of levels of empiricism. I believe string theory, despite its having little or no evidence, may be true just because some very intelligent people think so, and I've never perceived a string. Could Ed Witten's religion genes, or neurons, or whatever, predispose him to this belief? Bullshit or not, our ancestors observed phenomena and developed theories that fit the facts as verifiable with the very limited technology they had available to them. Perhaps people are driven to explain things despite this handicap, which of course Joe Caveman would have no knowledge of - one of the cruelest ways a (loving?) God could punk his "children".

Posted by: Dave at January 31, 2007 8:34 AM

Science is all about using evidence to discover errors in thinking and correcting them. Religion is about believing despite a lack of evidence. It's the cause of much of the misery in the world, hence my harsh tone.

"Please reason" doesn't seem to be working.

We are not our ancestors. It's 2007. As I pointed out in another entry, Emilie du Chatelet, whose work making Newton's work comprehensible, is the foundation of much of modern science, believed in god. She's forgiven. People living now have no excuse except for being lazy, primitive thinkers, and in turn, promoting the misery and death religion causes.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 31, 2007 9:12 AM

P.S. I can't recommend this book enough -- David Bodanis' "Passionate Minds," about Emilie du Chatelet and Voltaire.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 31, 2007 9:14 AM

Thanks - it's on my short list.

Posted by: Dave at January 31, 2007 9:57 AM

Posted by: Dave at January 31, 2007 10:05 AM

I once read a collection of essays about Latin America and what has stuck with me all these years was a single line from a Catholic priest who was interviewed. He said: Perhaps god is just another name for our desire.

That's so true. People pray for what they want or think they need. They desire something so they believe in a magical way of achieving it. I never pray, but I admit I do sometimes look up at the sky when something good happens and thank the universe. Habit or superstition or hope, I can't say.

Posted by: AAA at January 31, 2007 12:20 PM

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