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Thursday, March 9, 2006

Hearts and butterflies

Posted by on March 9 at 15:37 PM

Speaking of really great writers, Kurt Vonnegut recently attended his self-proclaimed last paid speaking gig at Ohio State. I’ve never envied Ohio anything, but I wish I’d been present to hear the imparted wisdom from the one of the word’s most imaginative living (kind of) writers.

I love Vonnegut. I read everything he’d written in such rapid succession during adolescence that it’s all blended together into one lumpy warm mass in my brain, like the soft spot on a banana. I even enjoyed his son Mark Vonnegut’s Eden Express detailing the drug-triggered schizophrenia he suffered for awhile before becoming a pediatrician. Mark’s memoir showed me that schizophrenics and children can probably grow to contribute something valuable to society (under heavily medicated circumstances).

My favorite Vonnegut quotes from his recent speech (via Rawstory):

“If you want really want to hurt your parents and don’t want to be gay, go into the arts.”
Too true old man!
“I’m going to sue the cigarette companies because they haven’t killed me.”


And then he sang Stardust Memory as the collective audience counted the pulse beats in his neck and made friendly wagers.

Sigh. I guess the main reason I like Vonnegut is that he reminds me of my grandfather, only slightly less dead.

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Vonnegut is like a god unto me. No other living writer has so successfully blended whimsy and philosophical insight into the human condition.

I saw him at Town Hall in Seattle in about 1999.

Everyone who is worth knowing read Vonnegut in rapid succussion after their first exposure.

My favorite was "God Bless You Mr. Rosewater."

And so it goes.

Vonnegut's writing is literary crack--but GOOD for you. Yeah.

Just finished reading The Sirens of Titan for about the tenth time. I think it's my favorite of his.

He came to Madison (WI) and told us all that if aliens studied human nature, they would eventually be able to figure out everything about us, except for the universal appeal of blowjobs and golf. He made my mother laugh with a joke about blowjobs. A god indeed....

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