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Jim Goad’s The Bomb Inside My Brain

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Jim Goad
The Bomb Inside My Brain
Stone Mountain, Ga.: Obnoxious Books, 2019

One thing White Nationalists need to change the cultural and political mainstream are people who are not White Nationalists but who nevertheless publicly support some of our claims and stand up for the legitimacy of our concerns, our right to speak our minds, and our right to participate in the political process. For close to a decade now, Jim Goad, from his platform at Taki’s Magazine, has been the most talented and eminent writer playing this role. He is one of our movement’s most valuable players precisely because he is not on our team, or any team for that matter.

I have always regarded Goad as a great writer, but I also thought his desire for “A World without Politics” or political commitments to be insincere. I was just wrong about that. Basically, I had mistaken him for a neo-folk scene poseur. (You know the type.)

Jim Goad’s latest collection of essays, The Bomb Inside My Brain, is now my favorite of his books and one of my favorite books of 2019. This is not a collection of political commentary like The New Church Ladies or Whiteness: The Original Sin, which I also highly recommend. Instead, these essays are largely autobiographical. But they are not merely about Goad’s personal experiences, for he seeks to draw larger lessons from them, especially moral ones.

The book is dedicated to Bucky and Zane. Bucky was Jim’s eldest brother, who bore a life of immense suffering and loneliness with grace and good-heartedness until he was brutally murdered at the age of 25. Zane is Jim’s son, born in 2008. The bomb in the title was the brain tumor that almost killed Jim a month before his son was born.

Having a child and nearly dying within the space of a month are the kinds of events that make people think about the brevity of life and its meaning. They make you take whatever time you have left much more seriously. They make you want to cut the fat and frivolity out of your life.

But in Jim Goad’s case, taking life more seriously does not take the fun out of his writing. It simply injects an added dimension of feeling and significance. These essays will make you laugh, break your heart, and convince you to change your life all in the space of a single page. I’ve never written anything as self-revelatory or emotionally powerful as Jim Goad—and I probably never will.

The book falls roughly into four parts. The first fifteen essays basically summarize the wisdom Goad has drawn from his life thus far. The highlights are “Ode to Bucky Goad,” about his late brother; “The Bomb Inside My Brain” and “Why You’re Dead to Me,” about his tumor and what he learned from his brush with death (the latter is required reading for all extremely online people); “Combat Training for Toddlers” and “10 Commandments for My Son,” which contain advice we should all heed; and finally “Love Among the Damaged,” which is so brutal that words fail me.

The next thirteen essays, beginning with “Teenage Jesus Freak,” talk about the wrong paths that Goad took: Catholicism and drugs, both legal and illegal. Today’s faux and TRVE Catholic groypers need to read “Teenage Jesus Freak” and “Why I am Agnostic.”

After that we have four essays on one of the most endearing characteristics of misanthropes: our love of animals.

The last ten essays are something of a grab bag of autobiographical pieces from over the decades, ending with the credo “A World without Politics.” My favorites in this section are “My Penis is Better than Yours” (no lessons here, just pure fun; don’t read it in public, unless you want to be seen laughing like a madman) and “Toss Another Bag of Coal on the Christmas Fire” (Jim’s Christmas wishes to Santa, e.g., “I wish that a lot of people would stop letting it all hang out and start tucking it all back in.”)

Jim Goad is the best satirical social critic since Mencken, and why drag Mencken into it? Goad was breaking taboos about race, sex, and liberal pieties; spreading subversive memes; and trolling the establishment into frothing breakdowns long before the internet was even a thing. Goad has been called a “godfather” and “icon” of the Alt Right.

I hope that’s true. I hope there are legions of people out there imitating his style and wit and hanging on his every word, because this book can provide a corrective for the worst traits of the Alt Right: its ethos of ironism, frivolity, and self-indulgence, including alcoholism and drug abuse and their attendant lapses of discretion and judgment that explain rather a lot about the movement’s downward trajectory.

In The Bomb Inside My Brain Jim Goad demonstrates that one can combine satirical social commentary with sincerity, sobriety, and moral seriousness. It is truly exemplary. Thus I recommend it to everyone in our movement. You may read it for the style; you may read it for the laughs. But you’ll be a wiser man when you reach the end.

Note: Cut Bezos out, and buy Jim Goad’s books direct from the author at https://jimgoad.net/. He might even autograph them for you.

11 Comments

  1. Dean Mulready
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Great review. I bought a copy and thank you for linking his page and not Amazon.

  2. Death to Equality
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Looking forward to this latest offering, and order right from Goad”s site. I am a proud owner of an autographed copy of Whiteness: The Original Sin. Highly recommended but frustrating reading when trying to understand the blatant hypocrisy and maddening bias of mainstream media towards Whites. For my money, Jim Goad is an intelligent, fair-minded, indispensable voice in support of European peoples’ interests, his political affiliation notwithstanding. I make sure spread the word to anyone strong-willed enough to swallow the red pill and check out Counter-Currents, AmRen and Takimag.

  3. Rob Bottom
    Posted December 30, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I distinctly recall Goad saying that you hate him on his Group Hug podcast (can’t remember the episode, he does them weekly). I guess he didn’t take kindly to any criticisms you had of him earlier. Maybe this review will clear the air?

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      I generally liked his work, but I really hated his book Shit Magnet and gave it a bad review. Still, that was more than 15 years ago. I especially value the work he has been doing since he started at Taki’s Magazine. I never was a big internet bloodsports consumer, but his livestreamed evisceration of Matt Forney was a thing of terrible beauty.

  4. Trevor
    Posted December 29, 2019 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    I highly recommend Jim Goad.

    And when you buy directly from him he autographs the books.

    I thought it might just be me, judging by your review, … it’s not. He truly is incredibly gifted. And I can recommend his work to just about anyone without fear of being burned alive.

    Thank you for this review.

  5. Lord Shang
    Posted December 29, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    This by Goad was good on his run-ins with antiwhite skinheads (the lowest pieces of garbage on the planet, bar none – including Muzzie terrorists, narcotraficantes, ghetto gangbangers, even pedophiles – and all of whose identities, should we obtain them, need to be kept on private lists that can be uploaded in the future, when times are propitious …):

    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/4wnked/skinheads-v11n10

    Goad seems like a good man, and a representative of a particular and honored American type. But given that he’s smart and has seen a lot of life (ie, has certainly not been swaddled in liberal cocoons), yet *still* rejects WN … well, he has my respect, but only in a small dose.

  6. Ian Smith
    Posted December 29, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I like Jim Goad’s political writings, but where he really shines is in his autobiographical work. He’s had an eventful life and known all kinds of people, from Boyd Rice to Michael Hoffman. I read Shit Magnet earlier this year and it was one of the most raw and powerful things I’ve ever read.

    And while he might not be ‘one of us,’ it’s refreshing to hear someone who doesn’t tow any party line. I liked it when he took on the would be moralists in the alt right.

  7. Another Ghost
    Posted December 29, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Its always odd to me that my view of the alt-right drastically differs from so many. I mostly associated it with Millennial Woes and the people around him.
    I never knew a drug or alcohol user to be among them. I also never knew people considered MGTOW to be near the alt-right (Most of MGTOW is Asian men . . . .)
    Jim Goad on the otherhand is the posterboy of white trash and how not to live your life. Ive read a few things from him and they were entertaining but mostly I just find him gross.

    And it always struck me odd that so many of these white identity people always have Jewish wives, lol.

    • Mike Ricci
      Posted December 30, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      You must be really young or really new.

      As far as Goad is concerned, he was never right wing in any sense — I don’t think he cares about the right, he just gets cornered in with it because of his inflammatory writing style. Goad is mainly a shit-stirring contrarian who likes to shine a light on uncomfortable truths and shake people up. It’s just that nowadays the uncomfortable truths are usually about race, sexuality etc; topics the dissident right is concerned with.

      And he was fond of jewesses.

  8. Happy Larry
    Posted December 29, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Are some of these essays not in, ‘Shit Magnet’? I recall reading his distaste for Catholicism (something about reading the Bible fully and nun teachers) and a chapter in SM about his brother which I’m sure was called, ‘Ode to Bucky Goad’. It was the same problem which made me hesitant to buy Whiteness. I don’t really what to pay for columns that I bother to read for free online. I did like the Headache Factory, mind you.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted December 29, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      None of these chapters are from Shit Magnet. But I am sure he covers some of the same autobiographical territory.

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