I Can't Believe He's Gone
Kurt Vonnegut has become unstuck in time.
What I mean to say is, Kurt Vonnegut has died. He was 84, and I never got to shake his hand. So it goes. We never met, but I will miss him. :_(
Vonnegut is the author of many wonderful short stories and insightful novels, most noticeably "Slaughterhouse V," a recollection of his experience as a WWII POW in Dresden during the immoral firebombing of the city. He is known as a satirist. His books were called science fiction. His writing style was often seen as cynical, even pessimistic.
But, if you looked closely, you would find an underlying optimism. The world's in terrible shape, and the old man wasn't afraid to say so - yet he never gave up hope. That, I believe, is the best view for any of us to have of life and society, and I now realize that it is why I always found inspiration in his books. The razor-sharp humor also didn't hurt (hooray for Eliot Rosewater).
I would like to thank my friend Grant Minor and my teachers Dr. Bill Proser and Dan Nicklay for introducing me to Vonnegut's works. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go sit in my room and cry.
So it goes.
"Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward."
"Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand."
"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."
"I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, 'The Beatles did'."
"When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth."
"A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved."
"Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia."
"As in my other works of fiction: All persons living and dead are purely coincidental, and should not be construed. No names have been changed in order to protect the innocent. Angels protect the innocent as a matter of Heavenly routine."
"What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured."
"No wonder kids grow up crazy. A cat's cradle is nothing but a bunch of X's between somebody's hands, and little kids look and look and look at all those X's..."
"No damn cat, and no damn cradle."