Sunday, April 15, 2007

Vonnegut May Be Dead, But His Attitude Will Live On Forever

I am, honestly, trying to find my way back to focusing only on what I like to call "the socially-constructed, political notion of 'race,'" but things keep getting in the way. Like the Mexico trip. And now, the death of Kurt Vonnegut, one of the writers of the past century that has been instrumental in helping many of us realize that there's more than one way to interpret what's going on around us and that we as individuals play a role in it all. At Vonnegut's last campus appearance, as described by Harvey Wasserman here, the pundit demonstrated that he might have gotten old, but he hadn't gotten apologetic as yet. A hundred years from now, if we last that long, they'll probably call these pithy gems "vintage Vonnegut":

“The only difference between George W. Bush and Adolph Hitler is that Hitler was actually elected.”

“I'm lucky enough to have known a great president, one who really cared about ALL the people, rich and poor. That was Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was rich himself and his class considered him a traitor.”

“We have people in this country who are richer than whole countries. They run everything. We have no Democratic Party. It's financed by the same millionaires and billionaires as the Republicans. So we have no representatives in Washington. Working people have no leverage whatsoever.”

“I'm trying to write a novel about the end of the world. But the world is really ending! It's becoming more and more uninhabitable because of our addiction to oil.”

“All the [corporate] money that should have gone into research and development has gone into executive compensation. If people insist on living as if there's no tomorrow, there really won't be one.”

“There are no factories any more. Where are the jobs supposed to come from? There's nothing for people to do anymore. We need to ask the Seminoles: ‘what the hell did you do after the tribe’s traditional livelihood was taken away?’”

“To hell with the advances in computers, YOU are supposed to advance and become, not the computers. Find out what's inside you. And don't kill anybody.”

“We should be kind to each other. Be civil. And appreciate the good moments by saying ‘If this isn't nice, what is?’”

2 comments:

Professor Zero said...

Vonnegut was great!

Changeseeker said...

READER NOTE: "Bill Sikes" is no longer welcome at Why Am I Not Surprised. His toxicity taints everything it touches.