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Proviso Probe

Thursday, April 12, 2007

OBIT, Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday

Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday.

poputonian at Hullabaloo quote and reflected on Vonnegut. poputonian ends with Vonnegut telling a story about his uncle Alex.
So I do the same now, and so do my kids and grandkids. And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."

And here's a quote from the Wikipedia article:
With [Vonnegut's] columns for In These Times, he began a blistering attack on the administration of President George W. Bush and the Iraq war. "By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East?" he wrote. "Their morale, like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas in December."

And he wrote some novels and short stories too.

[UPDATE: Atrios quotes one of those novels.
The visitor from outer space made a serious study of Christianity, to learn, if he could, why Christians found it so easy to be cruel. He concluded that at least part of the trouble was slipshod storytelling in the New Testament. He supposed that the intent of the Gospels was to teach people, among other things, to be merciful, even to the lowest of the low.

But the Gospels actually taught this:

Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn't well connected. So it goes.

The flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ, who didn't look like much, was actually the Son of the Most Powerful Being in the Universe. Readers understood that, so, when they came to the crucifixion, they naturally thought, and Rosewater read out loud again:

Oh boy - they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch that time!

[End update]

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1 Comments:

  • Kurt will be missed. I have enjoyed reading many of his novels. Great stuff.

    By Anonymous Forest Parker, at 9:41 PM, April 14, 2007  

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