Friday, April 13, 2007

And So it Goes...

On Wednesday, April 11th, a wonderous voice and author fell silent.
And so it goes.

Kurt Vonnegut 1922-2007

I read a lot of books in my youth. I would stay up past 3 a.m. many times to finish a good book. I stumbled onto my first Kurt Vonnegut novel at the tender age of nine. I couldn't get enough of his material, especially where I lived at the time, (on Air Force bases). So when we went to "town," I would scour all of the libraries and used and new book stores for his books. My mom didn't mind; she always encouraged my reading habits. Little did she know that "Science Fiction" and other genres of books might contain the word "fuck" in them, or promote differing / off-kilter views on life, the universe, and everything.

This man had a lot to do with how I turned-out as a "thinking" adult. So you can partially blame Kurt Vonnegut for this pile of conscious meat called "Bad Ben."

I will leave you with some Kurt Vonnegut Quotations:

There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Cold Turkey", In These Times, May 10, 2004

1492. As children we were taught to memorize this year with pride and joy as the year people began living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America. Actually, people had been living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America for hundreds of years before that. 1492 was simply the year sea pirates began to rob, cheat, and kill them.
Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
Kurt Vonnegut

Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.
Kurt Vonnegut - More quotations on: [Criticism]

I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut

If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.
Kurt Vonnegut

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.
Kurt Vonnegut

Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it. If you could just persuade people of this, but they insist on amassing information.
Kurt Vonnegut

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

Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before... He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Cat's Cradle"

One of the few good things about modern times: If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Cold Turkey", In These Times, May 10, 2004
- More quotations on: [Television]

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.
Kurt Vonnegut, "Cold Turkey", In These Times, May 10, 2004
- More quotations on: [Television]

Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.
Kurt Vonnegut, A Man without a Country

Humor is an almost physiological response to fear.
Kurt Vonnegut, A Man without a Country

I think that novels that leave out technology misrepresent life as badly as Victorians misrepresented life by leaving out sex.
Kurt Vonnegut, A Man without a Country

New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.
Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.
Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle

Here's what I think the truth is: We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial, about to face cold turkey.
Kurt Vonnegut, Cold Turkey

Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.
Kurt Vonnegut, Hocus Pocus

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.
Kurt Vonnegut, Hocus Pocus

Well, the telling of jokes is an art of its own, and it always rises from some emotional threat. The best jokes are dangerous, and dangerous because they are in some way truthful.
Kurt Vonnegut, Interview,

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.
Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the Universe.
Kurt Vonnegut, Novel 'Hocus Pocus'

A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.
Kurt Vonnegut, Sirens of Titan

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

All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I've said before, bugs in amber.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse V

How nice--to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five


Christian said...

Excellent post! Vonnegut rocked. This is the first time I have ever been saddened by a public figures death.


Storey said...

So it goes.

Coach Tammy said...

Hey! I love semicolons! :P

I'm sad to say I wasn't familiar with his work, but now I will be... and so it goes.

tkn said...

Thanks badben! I'm going to try to print this posting and read them at the forum today.

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Jeremy said...

I saw and heard Mr. Vonnegut speak at KU about 10 years ago. The quote that stuck with me was this:

"The purpose of life is to fart around, so shut up"

Caleb said...

Great Post!

Here's a link:

I enjoyed them and I think you will too!

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