Publication Date: April 22, 1998
Brain Droppings by George Carlin is a free-form book of random thoughts, lists and anecdotes featuring Carlin’s commentary on life and the things people think but either don’t want to say or are never clever enough to formulate.
It’s been said that if you’re going to be bad you’d better be funny and the late George Carlin was very funny. Carlin who passed away in 2008 was once called the “Dean of Counterculture Comedy.” He was very much a product of his generation. It’s no stretch to the imagination to picture this great comedian marching against causes, against the hypocrisy he saw in political leaders and society at large.
Mr. Rabid Reader is a huge fan of Carlin. When the comedian visited Detroit I picked up a pair of tickets as a gift for him (spoiler alert, he did not take me). It was Mr. Rabid Reader who picked up a paperback copy of Brain Droppings while tagging along on one of his wife’s many trips to the bookstore. I would not have called myself a Carlin fan, but I was familiar with some of his more famous bits so decided to check out the book.
There is a lot of the cranky old man in Carlin’s Brain Droppings. “I’m starting a campaign to remove Finland as a country,” Carlin tells us. “We don’t need it.” (Paperback edition Page 99). The reader sits astounded at this gem snuggled between a slightly funny rant about car names and a scene in an operating room with Carlin on the table and the surgeon telling him to hold on as they’re out of anesthesia. Countering this vacuous commentary is razor sharp political commentary like an explanation of why Republicans love volunteers (they’re always trying to get people to work for free).
His sometimes funny, sometimes insightful and usually cynical commentary is highlighted to effect in Brain Droppings. It’s not easy to forget that Carlin has had a fair measure of success so readers may be cocking an eyebrow at the rich white guys’ complaints about the wrongs of our society. There’s some revamp of stand-up material, but a number of random thought in the book are things I’d never read before and snorted with laughter. “I’ve been working on accepting my inner scumbag,” Carlin tells us on page 210. On Page 213 he says “Somehow it’s hard to picture butterflies f@@king.” The whole book sings of a well-edited notebook kept at Carlin’s bedside table in which he writes anything that occurs and it is for that reason that this reader dismissed those moments that seemed forced.
Carlin is not a kid-friendly comedian. He is vulgar. He is crass. He says what he thinks and hits below the belt. George Carlin is over-the-line done right.
If you like comedy that takes no prisoners, read an excerpt and pick Brain Droppings by George Carlin up today and spend some time with the late, great comedian.