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Kurt Vonnegut Was Dead Before He Died
In These Times ^ | 08-06-04 | Kurt Vonnegut

Posted on 04/15/2007 4:52:26 PM PDT by SeafoodGumbo

I Love You, Madame Librarian

By Kurt Vonnegut August 6, 2004

I, like probably most of you, have seen Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. Its title is a parody of the title of Ray Bradbury’s great science fiction novel, Fahrenheit 451. This temperature 451° Fahrenheit, is the combustion point, incidentally, of paper, of which books are composed. The hero of Bradbury’s novel is a municipal worker whose job is burning books.

And on the subject of burning books: I want to congratulate librarians, not famous for their physical strength or their powerful political connections or their great wealth, who, all over this country, have staunchly resisted anti-democratic bullies who have tried to remove certain books from their shelves, and have refused to reveal to thought police the names of persons who have checked out those titles.

So the America I loved still exists, if not in the White House or the Supreme Court or the Senate or the House of Representatives or the media. The America I love still exists at the front desks of our public libraries.

And still on the subject of books: Our daily sources of news, papers and TV, are now so craven, so unvigilant on behalf of the American people, so uninformative, that only in books can we find out what is really going on. I will cite an example: House of Bush, House of Saud by Craig Unger, published near the start of this humiliating, shameful blood-soaked year.

In case you haven’t noticed, and as a result of a shamelessly rigged election in Florida, in which thousands of African Americans were arbitrarily disenfranchised, we now present ourselves to the rest of the world as proud, grinning, jut-jawed, pitiless war lovers, with appallingly powerful weaponry and unopposed.

In case you haven’t noticed, we are now almost as feared and hated all over the world as the Nazis were.

With good reason.

In case you haven’t noticed, our unelected leaders have dehumanized millions and millions of human beings simply because of their religion and race. We wound and kill ’em and torture ’em and imprison ’em all we want.

Piece of cake.

In case you haven’t noticed, we also dehumanize our own soldiers, not because of their religion or race, but because of their low social class.

Send ’em anywhere. Make ’em do anything.

Piece of cake.

The O’Reilly Factor.

So I am a man without a country, except for the librarians and the Chicago-based magazine you are reading, In These Times.

Before we attacked Iraq, the majestic New York Times guaranteed that there were weapons of mass destruction there.

Albert Einstein and Mark Twain gave up on the human race at the end of their lives, even though Twain hadn’t even seen World War I. War is now a form of TV entertainment. And what made WWI so particularly entertaining were two American inventions, barbed wire and the machine gun. Shrapnel was invented by an Englishman of the same name. Don’t you wish you could have something named after you?

Like my distinct betters Einstein and Twain, I now am tempted to give up on people too. And, as some of you may know, this is not the first time I have surrendered to a pitiless war machine.

My last words? “Life is no way to treat an animal, not even a mouse.”

Napalm came from Harvard. Veritas!

Our president is a Christian? So was Adolf Hitler.

----------- and here's another vulgarity by Vonnegut ----------

But in 2005 he truly went off the deep end. In an interview today with David Nason of the Australian, [Vonnegut] makes the following assertions:

As Nason stringently puts it, "Vonnegut's comments are sharply at odds with his reputation as a peace activist and his distinguished war service. … [They] are likely to make many people wonder if old age has finally caught up with a grand old man of American letters." (November 19, 2005)

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: antiamericanism; author; authors; bds; kurtvonnegut; proterrorist; usefulidiot; vonnegut; vulgarian
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To: SeafoodGumbo

Little do most people know, it turns out that Vonnegut was an enormous conservative secretly working behind the scenes for Karl Rove. It was necessary for him to write and say the outlandish propaganda that he became known for in order to maintain his cover. Rest assured this man someday will be revealed as a true hero of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

61 posted on 04/15/2007 7:58:23 PM PDT by killermosquito (Buffalo (and eventually France) is what you get when liberalism runs its course.)
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To: Richard Kimball
As an artsy fartsy type in college, I devoured Slaughterhouse 5 and Cat's Cradle, Breakfast of Champions. The last piece of his I read was Slapstick. This was the novel that made me realize he wasn't deep, he just had a crappy outlook on life. I never bothered with his stuff after that.

I had a similar experience. I can't remember his first book that I read, but I really liked it. Then I read another, and another, and another ... and then I ran into one of his books where the 'hero' - the last man on earth, in his last dying movements, configures his body so that his fingers will 'flip the bird' skyward... That was definitely a 'WTF' moment for me, and I then realized (I'm a slow learner) that all of his books had a godless aspect about them and - although fairly entertaining - were at their root hollow, and without hope. I've never read anything else by this fellow in the past 30+ years.
Its a shame that his talent was wasted.

62 posted on 04/15/2007 8:01:33 PM PDT by El Cid (Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.)
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To: Hardastarboard
Idiot statements like this make me regret that I wasted time read anything this man wrote.

All you have to do is read "Breakfast of Champions" to understand that he was nothing more than a prurient schoolboy with a hemorrhaging pen.

63 posted on 04/15/2007 8:09:28 PM PDT by Dr. Thorne (Compromise on your vote and you get a compromised government.)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

This article and thread is about his politics. Read whatever books you want, enjoy them as you can.

In fact, even those who might support boycotting a moonbat liberal would probably see little harm in funding his estate after he has passed on. Depending on the provisions of that estate (like is he giving 100% to Planned Parenthood, Move On, et al?).

His politics and his personal worldview was whack.

64 posted on 04/15/2007 9:08:23 PM PDT by weegee (I'm waiting to exhale. The Supreme Court has ruled that CO2 is pollution.)
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To: canuck_conservative; wildcatf4f3

Any truth to the story that Nobel founded this humanitarian award to make amends for the violent aspect of his invention?

65 posted on 04/15/2007 9:17:39 PM PDT by weegee (I'm waiting to exhale. The Supreme Court has ruled that CO2 is pollution.)
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To: pablo H
We didn’t defeat Hitler and Tojo by killing old women and children at Dresden. BTW, all the gas chambers were outside Germany, in Poland, which was occupied by the Red Army - when Dresden was Bombed.

Dresden was bombed on February 14, 1945. The Nazi concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen in Germany was liberated by the allies on April 15, 1945. The Nazis were still destroying peoples lives between the time Dresden was bombed and Bergen-Belsen was liberated. Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945. The Nazis continued to wage war against us between the time of the Dresden bombing in February and the time they surrendered in May. I realize there were many reasons, good and bad, why Dresden was bombed. One of them was to break the enemies will to continue fighting. Even the bombing of Dresden did not make the Nazis surrender. They were still killing and maiming American soldiers. Unfortunately, they had to suffer more destruction before they decided to quit fighting. In Japan, we dropped the Atom Bomb and still the Japanese refused to surrender. It took a second bombing to make them quit.

66 posted on 04/15/2007 9:18:53 PM PDT by Free ThinkerNY ((((Truth shall set you free))))
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To: killermosquito

Only 3 people were supposed to have known that and his fairy godfather was the last living person who held that secret.

67 posted on 04/15/2007 9:20:52 PM PDT by weegee (I'm waiting to exhale. The Supreme Court has ruled that CO2 is pollution.)
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To: Free ThinkerNY

Notice I said “Gas Chambers” NOT concentration camps. There is a difference.

No need to respond.

Anyone who thinks killing little kids and old women (those Nazi 3 year olds were quite the threat, eh?) is justified isn’t worth corresponding with.

68 posted on 04/15/2007 10:08:15 PM PDT by pablo H (Remember '96- No more Doles!)
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To: pablo H

I will respond to your attempts to mislead the truth. People died and suffered in concentration camps. How many little kids and old women were in them? How many kids and old women were killed by the German war machine when they bombed England? Are you opposed to the bombing of Berlin and other German cities, too? More civilians died in those attacks than died in the bombing of Dresden. Don’t try and distort my opinion. I said that the bombing of Dresden was done for good and bad reasons. Breaking the will of the enemy is a legitimate goal in war. The Nazis were fanatical and ruthless. Maybe the Allies did some things in excess. Things that were not necessary. General Sherman said that war is Hell. Dresden would never have been bombed had the Germans not started the war. If some of their people were killed unnecessarily it is more their fault than ours.

69 posted on 04/15/2007 10:48:33 PM PDT by Free ThinkerNY ((((Truth shall set you free))))
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To: El Cid
Can I have thirdies? I read one of his books in High School (God Bless You, Mr Rosewater), enjoyed it, and read as many books of his I could find afterwards. But by my early 20s, I had no desire to reread any of those books, or to read any new ones of his. It wasn't his view points that offended me-I considered myself pretty liberal until the second WJC term-it's just that his writings after my teenage appreciation phase left me underwhelmed and under impressed . To my mind, he is a writer who, like Anne Rice, E A Poe, H P Lovecraft , and a few others whose names I am surpressing (*cough*.... Ayn Rand , looks around furtively), can best be appreciated and enjoyed by bright undergraduates. Not so much by older people. My apologies to older people who like his works-YMMV-but I think he is mostly a writer for the under-25 set.

PS This particular article reinforces my lack of interest in the man's work-There are so many factual errors-eg, the idiotic and long-debunked "thousands of black people disenfranchised " claim, Hitler as a Christian instead of the Atheist who tried to bring back pagan Wotan worship , etc-all given with that unmistakable "tone" writers use when they're convinced everything they write is brilliant and accurate and accepted without question by all intelligent people that, had I wanted to reread Vonnegut, this article alone would have destroyed the desire.

70 posted on 04/16/2007 6:12:01 AM PDT by Verloona Ti
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To: LibFreeOrDie

Crap. I thought he blew hisself up err... died in a production accident at his factory.

71 posted on 04/16/2007 7:54:19 AM PDT by ichabod1 ("Liberals read Karl Marx. Conservatives UNDERSTAND Karl Marx." Ronald Reagan)
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To: ken21
i thought adolf hitler was a cultist, and anti-christian

Hitler was no Christian. He hated Christianity. He was having the Bible rewritten to endorse himself as the messiah. No one but narrow minded anti-Christian bigots, like Vonnegut and Bill Clinton, seek to perpetrate this slander against the Christian faith.

72 posted on 04/16/2007 8:03:53 AM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Volunteer
Vonnegut was proud of being an atheist. I wonder what he thinks now?

Now he knows the truth, and I'll bet he's not happy.

73 posted on 04/16/2007 8:06:06 AM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Volunteer
Vonnegut was proud of being an atheist. I wonder what he thinks now?

He's not thinking anything now. He's dead.

And thus blissfully beyond the sneering schadenfreude of theists.

74 posted on 04/16/2007 8:08:35 AM PDT by Wormwood (Future Former Freeper)
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To: SeafoodGumbo

He lost his mind before he lost his life.

75 posted on 04/16/2007 8:11:01 AM PDT by AU72
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To: ichabod1

One of his brothers, Emil, died that way:

76 posted on 04/16/2007 4:19:39 PM PDT by LibFreeOrDie (L'Chaim!)
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To: Wormwood
"He's not thinking anything now. He's dead.

And thus blissfully beyond the sneering schadenfreude of theists."

I don't remember sneering as I wrote that comment. I certainly don't remember having a warm feeling about what I assume is his suffering at this moment.

Conversely, I can't help but thinking your response is rather hostile.

77 posted on 04/16/2007 5:14:52 PM PDT by Volunteer (Just so you know, I am ashamed the Dixie Chicks make records in Nashville.)
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