I will try to get through this without using a certain phrase, but it is going to be tough.
Kurt Vonnegut died this morning.
People who don't read have not a clue to the bonding that occurs between an author and his readers. Other writers may have sold more copies, and inspired more movies, but few have the link to the reader that Mr. Vonnegut did.
When I was going through one of his books, I found myself thinking like he wrote.
His basic message.... that as human beings, we were worthy of kindness, if for no other reason than we are human beings...is as vital today as it ever has been.
Once he spoke at Emory University. The next day, the fishwrapper printed a picture of him. A black man was behind him, and due to the lighting, all you could see of him were his eyes and teeth.
In "god bless you Mr. rosewater" a lady was playing a record, and talking about how much she enjoyed classical music. It turns out the record was a 33 rpm disc played at 45 rpm. You of the cd generation, get someone to explain it to you.
In "slaughterhouse five", the beings of tralfamadore stated that they had been to 37 planets, and had contact with 168 more. Only on earth was there talk of free will.
(The numbers are not exact quotes, hence no quote marks) In a dirty bookstore somewhere, there is a book by Kilgore Trout waiting to be purchased. I got one of those "art books" once. It was about "erotic" statues and whatnot from the Greek and roman eras. The color separation did not work well, and there is a red image, next to a blue image, next to a green image, of many of the sculptures.
Kurt Vonnegut was born the same year as my mother, who never smoked a cigarette. Mr. Vonnegut seldom stopped smoking, and he lived 8 years longer. Frank Sinatra was born a few weeks before my father, and lived 6 years longer. No lifestyle comparisons will be made here.
I look at the pictures of him, and I realize that, even though his face is a roadmap of time, not a single gray hair can be seen. Is Grecian formula at play here?
Now, as I am posting this, I realize that I need a pic of the man. The one at the top of the page does have gray hair, although not as much as you would expect from an octogenarian.
I also found this quote.
Die m***********r, die. The world is rid of a p**s-poor writer and one hell of an altruistic S.O.B. Good riddance.
While this man is entitled to his opinion, I suspect he has not read many of Mr. Vonnegut's books. Or maybe, he read them under "academic compulsion", which can take the fun out of reading anything.
" I will say anything to be funny, often in the most horrible situations" A blogger who does not always appreciate my point of view said that whenever anyone asks me about religion, I make a joke or a sarcastic comment. Maybe this is the appropriate response.
The internet is turning into a Vonnegut quotefest, punctuated by the 11 letter, 4 word phrase that I have steadfastly avoided in this screed.
Another was the laughing and crying were human reactions to situations. I prefer laughing, because there is less cleaning up. Here again, I don’t have the verbatim quote at hand, but will seek to find it before I post this missive. Or maybe not, because there are fewer copyright violations this way.
There is a chart on technorati, showing the number of posts about Kurt Vonnegut for the last thirty days. It is flat, until today, where it goes from zero to 4000...and, when the working bloggers get home tonight and start to comment, will probably go much higher. Death does a great deal for your visibility. I bet the bookstores are installing their displays as we speak.
I will have to work on this when I get home. The computer here does not copy from the internet, and there are too many good quotes not to include in this work. And to think that Mr. Vonnegut could have spent his entire career as a flack for general electric in Schenectady NY.
I will be surprised if I spell that correctly, and look forward to the spell check suggestions.
I spelled Schenectady correctly the first time.
Of course when I do get home, there are things to do, and I post the unabetted lunchtime text after my bedtime. This one hour lunch does have its applications, aside from avoidance of paying overtime.
Labels: Kurt Vonnegut