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Thursday, December 10th, 2009

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5:33p
Well, that's the third of three of these ...
So, this is the third of the three George Carlin books I picked up recently. Having read all three (I believe the fourth was posthumous) I'm pretty firmly of the opinion that Carlin is best preserved in video rather than on the page. While his wit and curiosity come through on paper, it's dimmed by the lack of vocal delivery and stagecraft which made his act so impactful. When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops? is much like his second book, Napalm & Silly Putty in structure, with longer thematic sections being intermittently broken up by short bits. I'm not much of a "video guy", but the weakness of these collections has made me seriously consider picking up some of his video releases, as there's just enough here to remind one of his genius, but it's like a supermodel in a parka ... the best parts just aren't on display!

Frankly, I had hoped from the title that this was going to be a significant broadside at organized religion, but (while there is this content, but no more so than in his previous books), this was not the case. I still am not sure where the title comes from, if it's a reference from a bit in the book, it certainly snuck past me, and I've not been able to place it in any other context. I would have been much happier with this if the majority of the material ran along the lines of this gem:

These anti-war demonstrators are really unimpressive people. They're against war? How groundbreaking: what a courageous stand. Listen, angry asshole, pick something difficult. Like religion. Why don't you get out on the street and start marching around against religion – something that's really harmful to mankind. War is simply nature's way or doing things; of keeping down the count. Religion is the problem. Get rid of religion and you've done the planet a favor. So how about getting out there next weekend and marching around with a sign that says HO HO HO! RELIGION MUST GO! Come on, protesters, show some balls.
Of course, I like that because it slams both the Left and the Fundies all in one go ... and if the book were all that way, it would be an "instant classic" in my library and high on the list of my favorite books! Considering what a counter-cultural icon he was, it's very amusing to find him poking the "liberal cause" morons with sharp sticks. There was this brief jab that sums up the mental insufficiency of the "do-gooder" dingbats:

A lot of the people who worry about the safety of nuclear plants don't bother using their seat belts.
... obviously pointing out that those sort of people aren't particularly good at math! I assume that it goes without saying that Carlin wasn't coming from the other camp either, but going for a place of free thought that was willing to say that the Emperors (and their lackeys) of both the left and right rarely had any clothes. This snippet is a great example:

I don't like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. I often warn kids: “Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, 'There is no “I” in team.' What you should tell them is, 'Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality and integrity.'”
As was the case with the earlier volumes, When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops? is still in print, and so should be available at your local brick-and-mortar book vendor ... Amazon has it a full cover price (!), so if you're looking for a new copy, you might do better in meatspace, however, "like new" copies can be had from the new/used guys for as little as a penny (four bucks with shipping), so that would certainly be my recommendation were you wanting to pick up copy of this!


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