Thursday, November 11, 2004

Best Couple of Things I Didn't Realize Until Now

Hey, here's some fun facts about November 11th that you might not know . . . or remember.

1) Apparently it's Veterans Day. Huh. Imagine that.

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2) Also, it's Kurt Vonnegut's birthday. My man is 82, and a veteran himself. Here's an article about him from his birthday three years ago (The first line? "He should be dead by now.") I'll confess I haven't read all of it yet, but I'm guessing it's good--it's about him teaching at Smith College, or something. The most interesting item? Apparently he is working on another novel after all, or at least he was three years ago. And here's a link to a post from earlier in the Steady Mobbin' days (back in June!) that has to do with Mr. Vonnegut("has to do"="is about").

Here are some great Kurt quotes, not that there aren't a million more:

"What is flirtatiousness but an argument that life must go on and on and on?"
"My soul knows my meat is doing bad things, and is embarrassed. But my meat just keeps right on doing bad, dumb things."
(all right you pervs, that's from Bluebeard, where the protagonist, an abstract expressionist, views human beings as neon tube souls trapped in corrupt bodies of meat)
"Belief is nearly the whole of the Universe, whether based on truth or not."
"If you really want to hurt your parents and you don't have nerve enough to be homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts."
"History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again."
"The two prime movers in the Universe are Time and Luck."
"Roses are red and ready for plucking
You're sixteen and ready for high school."
"Pretend to be good always, and even God will be fooled."
"Every passing hour brings the Solar System forty-three thousand miles closer to Globular Cluster M13 in Hercules -- and still there are some misfits who insist that there is no such thing as progress."
"Take Care of the People, and God Almighty Will Take Care of Himself."--(That, right there, is the universe of Vonnegut's philosophy summed up in 13 words)
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything."
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be."
"Men are jerks. Women are psychotic."
"Ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones."
"People don't come to church for preachments, of course, but to daydream about God"
"The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest."

Sorry, I got a little carried away there--just a little googling and cutting and pasting and there I was. Still, I couldn't find a favorite quote, this one about authors always having beautiful wives. I'll find it over Thanksgiving.

Seriously, if any of you haven't read Cat's Cradle yet, get to it. And then read the rest. Here's a fun fact: while my dad talked a lot about Ice 9 as I was growing up, it took a recommendation from John Wedoff to get me started on the works of KVJ. Seriously.

I saw Kurt speak earlier this year. All I want to do is grow up into man as old and as cranky and wise as him who can keep a room desperate for his every word as he did. Telling stories, wearing sweaters. What a life. God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bravo Brig. I thought I liked Mr. Vonegut before reading this post. Now I am a little bit in love with him. --S