The Bottom Line: Brilliant, funny, and a little offensive.
For over 40 years, George Carlin has given the American people fresh, funny outlooks on humanity, attempting to improve us by pointing out our flaws. In his latest book, Napalm and Silly Putty, he continues to do just that. Napalm and Silly Putty comes fully loaded with new ideas on how to improve humanity, some standard observational humor that all comedians do, fresh philosophical quotes and many other things like a list of seven death wishes, would-be news headlines, uneasy moments, and a typical day in the life of King Henry the eighth. Whew! In the middle of all this, Carlin will somehow get you to think a different way about some things and offend you about a few other things. One thing he will get you to think about is the sexual innuendo in the word "cockpit". You never thought that the alternate term for "flight deck" could have any kind of innuendo, did you? It really slaps you in the face once you see it, doesn't it? And that's only the tip of the iceberg. Carlin tears into all the subjects in this book with a wrath equaled only by a great white shark tearing into a piece of chum. He rants on about subjects like euphamistic language, accuratly pointing out how people bury very simple, truth-telling language behind useless jargon so whatever they're talking about doesn't sound as bad. For example, we no longer have stupid kids in this country. They all have "learning disabilities" or are "minimally exceptional". Carlin talks about why he hates the royal family, how to make certain sports more exciting (in auto racing, they should have one guy on the track driving in the opposite direction, and in football, there should be no rules), and how we can reduce crime by bringing back traditional punishments, like beheading, and airing them on TV during the Monday Night Football halftime show. Or we could kick the residents out of four midwestern states, fence them off, drop our worst criminals there, give them weapons and show the whole thing on TV. Talk about reality TV! Of course he talks about why people are the way they are, where we're going, and how we're going to get there. He argues all his points pretty well, too. All this happens between little groups of quotes like "The Pope wears loafers". If there is one thing not to like about this book, it is that it can be offensive at times. It even offended me at times- and I take pride in being an open-minded person who is not easily offended. But this is a very small complaint, because Carlin makes his living by pushing society's buttons. Napalm and Silly Putty is as smart and insightful as it is funny. If you're sick of how society is running these days, pick up a copy. You won't regret it. If only more people agreed with his views, the planet would be a better place.