Plenty of crap (funny or not) is circulated with his name attached to it in order to lend credence to the content. People want to get noticed, be 'read'. It's not your fault.
Interview with George:
AVC: Does it irritate you then to see all these e-mails floating around with your name on them, like the recent one about the Katrina victims, which attributes a bunch of callous anti-poor jokes to you?
Yeah, the "Sittin' On My Butt In New Orleans" e-mail. I don't understand why a person would want to do that, unless they were thinking, "Let's embarrass George," or "Let's try to give George a bad name," or something. Here's what I want people to know, and if I did nothing else in this interview, I'll get this across: If anyone e-mails you something "by George Carlin," there's a 99 percent chance I did not write it. I didn't write "Paradox Of Our Time." I didn't write "George Carlin On Aging." I didn't write a eulogy for my wife after she died. I didn't write the New Orleans thing. I didn't write "I Am A Bad American." None of them.
You know what I've decided to do? I'm going to get a little cheap put-it-together-yourself website called NotMe.com. I haven't done this yet, so anyone who goes there won't find anything... and somebody will probably just steal the domain name now. [Laughs.] NotMe.com. What I'm going to do is mass-mail everybody on my e-mail list—all those people who know me and like me—and get them to mass-mail everybody on their list. I'm going to create a pyramid, Ponzi kind of a fukin' scheme, completely blanketing the world by the multiplicity of people's mass mailing lists, with a little descriptive paragraph, nothing too long, just a little descriptive paragraph from me, telling them I did not write these things, and saying "Go to this website." I think that's the way to have a little fun and combat that.
From George's site:
www.georgecarlin.com/home/home.html (external - login to view)
(Ed Note: There is a new bogus Carlin email circulating, which you can see here - it's utterly NOT Carlin's work. New Note [06/01]: Another bogus Carlin piece about life going backwards (also available here and 48,000 other places online). This one has also been attributed to Robert Benson and Andy Rooney. [06/01]: More lists of jokes [ie: "When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say?"] being forwarded around the Internet that are not Carlin. It will never end. [07/01] Here are 3 joke lists that were not written by George Carlin: this includes the "Bad American" email that has been making the rounds. We may repeat ourselves here a little in the name of truth...)
DON'T BLAME ME
Floating around the Internet these days, posted and e-mailed back and forth, are a number of writings attributed to me, and I want people to know they're not mine. Don't blame me.
Some are essay-length, some are just short lists of one and two-line jokes, but if they're flyin' around the Internet, they're probably not mine. Occasionally, a couple of jokes on a long list might have come from me, but not often. And because most of this stuff is really lame, it's embarrassing to see my name on it.
And that's the problem. I want people to know that I take care with my writing, and try to keep my standards high. But most of this "humor" on the Internet is just plain stupid. I guess hard-core fans who follow my stuff closely would be able to spot the fake stuff, because the tone of voice is so different. But a casual fan has no way of knowing, and it bothers me that some people might believe I'd actually be capable of writing some of this stuff.
One of the more embarrassing items making the internet/e-mail rounds is a sappy load of s.hit called "The Paradox of Our Time." The main problem I have with it is that as true as some of the expressed sentiments may be, who really gives a s.hit? Certainly not me.
I figured out years ago that the human species is totally fuked and has been for a long time. I also know that the sick, media-consumer culture in America continues to make this so-called problem worse. But the trick, folks, is not to give a fuk. Like me. I really don't care. I stopped worrying about all this temporal bulls.hit a long time ago. It's meaningless. (See the preface of "Braindroppings.")
Another problem I have with "Paradox" is that the ideas are all expressed in a sort of pseudo-spiritual, New-Age-y, "Gee-whiz-can't-we-do-better-than-this" tone of voice. It's not only bad prose and poetry, it's weak philosophy. I hope I never sound like that.
HOW TO SPOT A FAKE
Here's a rule of thumb, folks: Nothing you see on the Internet is mine unless it came from one of my albums, books, HBO shows, or appeared on my website. If you see something with my name on it, and you really need to find out if it's mine, post a question on my bulletin board . But only if it's really important to you; don't fuk around with me for a lark.