Friday, April 13, 2007

Belated farewell to Kurt Vonnegut...

I like this from The Rude Pundit

So much of what he wrote and said was prescient about our neverending stupidity, or, as he put it, our "nitwit primitive" ways. In 1992, he wrote in the Guardian, "[A]s a German-American I may be, although not necessarily, more sensitive to similarities between some of the attitudes and enterprises of my own government and the Nazi thing than are some of the other hyphens." Sensitive he was - and he cut to the goddamned point. "If you invade someone’s country,” Vonnegut said about the current war, “they’re going to fight back. Evidently that wasn’t taught at Yale."

And Brother Attaturk, thoughtfully gave us this collection of Vonnegut quotes:

* Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!

* Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.

* Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.

* Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.

* During my three years in Vietnam, I certainly heard plenty of last words by dying American footsoldiers. Not one of them, however, had illusions that he had somehow accomplished something worthwhile in the process of making the Supreme Sacrifice.

I read every one of his short stories, I marvelled over Slaughter House Five and Breakfast of Champions. Once, when my son was young, we watched the movie version of Slaughter House Five on television together. My son was fascinated. We discussed what we saw and then I got the book off of the shelf and read passages to him. On Thursday morning, my son called and said he was saddened by the news of Vonnegut's death. Hmmmm....Vonnegut will be remembered by at least one more generation. I suppose that's as good as it gets.

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