Kurt Vonnegut Jr. He tried
On one of his character's gravestone:
Here lies somebody. Sometime - Sometime. He tried.
... and once again we are left a little bit poorer, a little bit sadder, a little bit lonelier.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr fell on his head. And now he's dead. Now he's dead.
Pall Malls, his constant companion for much of his life, did not kill him.
His wife, Jill Krementz, is all alone.
What will she do, what will she do?
What will WE do?
If there's a heaven, he's there now. For him, heaven would most likely look like Indiana. It would have Pall Malls. There would not be a war.
I read his books from the time I was 14. The first book I read by him was Cat's Cradle. And so on. I read every single one. And every single one was just as important and life changing as the others. I love Kurt Vonnegut.
He said this:
"If I die, and I hope I don't, I want my tombstone to read, 'Someone. Sometime to sometime. He tried.' "
He sure did. 1922 to 2007. Pall Malls to the end.
My favorite writer. His bare-bones style colors much of my own feeble attempts at making those funny cryptic markings that we, as primates, are driven to make on tablets, or typewriters, or word processors, or HTML pages ... at making those funny cryptic markings make sense to our underdeveloped primate brains.
I wish there were as many Vonnegut movies as there are Quentin Tarrantino movies. If anyone has ANY sense in the business of making movies, there will be.
Here are some quotes by 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.
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.
If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you're a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.
Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.
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.
Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand
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.
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.
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.
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.
I think that novels that leave out technology misrepresent life as badly as Victorians misrepresented life by leaving out sex.
I can have oodles of charm when I want to.
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.
New knowledge is the most valuable commodity on earth. The more truth we have to work with, the richer we become.
The chief weapon of sea pirates, however, was their capacity to astonish. Nobody else could believe, until it was too late, how heartless and greedy they were.
Charm was a scheme for making strangers like and trust a person immediately, no matter what the charmer had in mind.
Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything.
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.
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.
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 truthfull
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.
Just because some of us can read and write and do a little math, that doesn't mean we deserve to conquer the Universe.
A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.
Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.
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.
How nice - to feel nothing, and still get full credit for being alive.
And this last killer-diller, this final doozie:
When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon,
"It is done."
People did not like it here.
- Kurt Vonnegut
As he would say, you can put that in your pipe and smoke it.
- JW, Apr 27, 07