FACT CHECK: Did George Carlin Author This Essay About ‘The Paradox Of Our Time’?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims the late comedian George Carlin authored a lengthy statement about “The paradox of our time in history.”

Verdict: False

Carlin denied writing the essay on his website. The statement originates from a book written by a former pastor.

Fact Check:

“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints,” the essay begins. “We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.”

The essay goes on for several more paragraphs, listing “paradoxes” of being alive, and then offering advice to cherish life’s moments. The Facebook post attributes the essay to Carlin, who died in 2008. (RELATED: Did Dr. Anthony Fauci Write This Viral Essay About COVID-19?)

There is no evidence, however, that Carlin is the author of the statements. An internet search turned up no credible reports of the essay originating with Carlin, only other news outlets debunking the claim.

An archived screen grab of Carlin’s website from 2004 shows he addressed the claim that he was the author of the remarks. “One of the more embarrassing items making the internet/e-mail rounds is a sappy load of shit called ‘The Paradox of Our Time,'” Carlin’s website states. “The main problem I have with it is that as true as some of the expressed sentiments may be, who really gives a shit? Certainly not me.”

Carlin goes on to say, “Nothing you see on the Internet is mine unless it came from one of my albums, books, HBO shows, or appeared on my website.”

The actual author of the essay is former pastor Bob Moorehead, who included the passage, titled “The Paradox of Our Age,” in his 1995 book “Words Aptly Spoken,” according to Psychology Today. The essay has been misattributed to others, including the Dalai Lama and an unnamed Columbine High School student, the outlet reported. Snopes in 2001 debunked the claim that Carlin was the essay’s author.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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