It has taken me over a year to finish reading, George Carlin’s, “When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?“. This is the first book by Carlin that I have purchased and read.
As a boy, I had a collection of Carlin stand up tapes that I listened to and I couldn’t help but hear his voice in my head as I read the words on the page. This was part of the reason that it has taken me so long to finally get all the way through to the end. Reading Carlin is like watching a stand up routine, it jumps from one topic to the next, the disjointedness is a little jarring when it’s not performed – something that is nearly seemless in conversation is noticeably unattached in the written word.
I found myself hanging on to the page, forcing myself to go onto the next topic – at times the writing rushes by like whitewater rapids. I got the sense of trying to keep my kyak afloat, barely dipping the oars into the water before the direction changed again. Luckily there are a few calm eddies and the book is easy to pick and put down. There is no need to remember the last thing written.
George Carlin is obnoxious, irreverent, offensive, horribly politically incorrect and groteseque. In other words, everything I expected and more. In an interview when the book first came out, he stated that the title was carefully crafted to offend the largest number of people possible. The cover features Carlin at “The Last Supper” fork and knife in hand, waiting no doubt for Jesus to serve him. Pork chops, Carlin claimed, would offend both Jews and vegetarians.
Interestingly, I found a profound passage near the end:
I’m in the moral minority
I don’t think there’s really such a thing as morality. I think it’s a human construct designed to facilitate the control of people. Values, ethics, legal standards – all of thes things are human-generated, and they’re lumped under some vague idea called morality. But suppose humans got it wrong? Suppose there’s no actual, objective morality? Suppose there’s just a natural, worldly, secular, common-sense standard of behavior whose purpose is what’s best for getting along and what’s best for survival? That would be a good system. Why should a system like that be overlaid with a sense of spooky, mystical, judgmental oversight?