Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut | 1922-2007

Kurt Vonnegut R.I.P.
Chilblains in the wintertime, and darkness indoors and out when the sun goes down? Light a candle made from the fat of a lower, dumber, deader animal? Who's got a wooden match when there are no trees? Our century should be called this: the Age of the Planet Gobblers. We, the ancestors of all Generation A's still to come, inherited an aromatic, juicy blue-green planet, and we ate it up!
-Kurt Vonnegut

Photo here.

He survived the firebombing of Dresden and battled depression throughout his life, once attempting suicide, while writing some of the most iconic American novels of the 20th century. Now the legendary American novelist and freethinker Kurt Vonnegut has died at the age of 84.

Custodians of chaos
Kurt Vonnegut

"..Eugene Debs, who died back in 1926, when I was not yet four, ran five times as the Socialist party candidate for president, winning 900,000 votes, almost 6 percent of the popular vote, in 1912, if you can imagine such a ballot. He had this to say while campaigning:"As long as there is a lower class, I am in it."As long as there is a criminal element, I am of it."As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free."Doesn't anything socialistic make you want to throw up? Like great public schools, or health insurance for all? When you get out of bed each morning, with the roosters crowing, wouldn't you like to say. "As long as there is a lower class, I am in it. As long as there is a criminal element, I am of it. As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free."How about Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes?Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. And so on. Not exactly planks in a Republican platform. Not exactly George W Bush, Dick Cheney, or Donald Rumsfeld stuff. For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that's Moses, not Jesus. I haven't heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere."Blessed are the merciful" in a courtroom? "Blessed are the peacemakers" in the Pentagon? Give me a break! It so happens that idealism enough for anyone is not made of perfumed pink clouds. It is the law! It is the US Constitution. But I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened instead is that it was taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d'├ętat imaginable."


"..I was once asked if I had any ideas for a really scary reality TV show. I have one reality show that would really make your hair stand on end:"C-Students from Yale".George W Bush has gathered around him upper-crust Cstudents who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka Christians, and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or PPs, the medical term for smart, personable people who have no consciences. To say somebody is a PP is to make a perfectly respectable diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete's foot. The classic medical text on PPs is The Mask of Sanity by Dr Hervey Cleckley, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Medical College of Georgia, published in 1941. Read it! Some people are born deaf, some are born blind or whatever, and this book is about congenitally defective human beings of a sort that is making this whole country and many other parts of the planet go completely haywire nowadays. These were people born without consciences, and suddenly they are taking charge of everything. PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care."



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