Posts Tagged ‘Vonnegut month’

Vonnegut month: The meaning of life

February 12, 2011


via.

The moral of the story is, we’re here on Earth to fart around.

(“David Barrancio Interview With Kurt Vonnegut”, NOW, PBS. Original airdate: October 7, 2005.)

This gets misquoted a lot as, “We are here on Earth to fart around. Don’t let anyone tell you different,” but the gist is the same.

Vonnegut Month: The people on the edge

February 8, 2011


Nous allons a la lune! via.

“I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.

“Big, undreamed-of things — the people on the edge see them first.”

(Player Piano. Scribner, 1952.)

I think this is more important now than I ever have before. I stayed comfortable in the past, I kept nervously to the middle and tried not to draw attention to myself even though I found it unfulfilling and dissatisfactory, purely because the idea of doing anything else and letting the real me out seemed far too iffy.


via.

And now I have been galvanized in to action, in to pursuing the things I want, and I can’t believe I ever kept away from the edge, kept myself boxed-in and low-key and up-and-up. I don’t regret the time I spent hiding and gathering courage to myself, because that’s no use, and I don’t disdain myself for my fears or insecurities, nor anyone else for feeling like they are not able to be a jumper just yet, but I’m just so glad I’ve begun.

Vonnegut month: Welcome to Earth and ramblings about kids

February 6, 2011


via.

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — Goddamn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

(God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. p. 129.)

Everybody’s always preaching on about what the world is coming to and how everything’s changed and children aren’t being raised right anymore, and perhaps that’s so in more cases than it used to be, but, when I am with my kidlet and her friends or I’m in the classroom teaching and interacting with children, I don’t generally find these bell-ringing end-of-days declamations of “oh-kids-these-days!” too be true at all.

If “kids” seem as a group to behave in a way that runs counter to previous societal standards, that is not reflective of their motivations, but of their parents’ lack. If they act out in a way they did not do twenty years ago, it’s because they’re being allowed to be fed bullshit from the television and other media by people too lazy to lift a finger to defend their minds from rot.

Children are still people, and as long as we continue to try to teach them to be compassionate and to love, they will have the same things in common with the people of history (who were never any of them that great to begin with, don’t be fooled) that every other generation has done: love, sex, passion, greed, honor, and the whole scope of personal emotions. Kids cannot be cut off from the birthright that is human feelings by technology — only we, and our attitudes, can cut them off from that.

Vonnegut month and Movie Millisecond: Only in superstition is there hope

February 5, 2011


Land of Silence and Darkness (Werner Herzog, 1971), via.

We would be a lot safer if the Government would take its money out of science and put it into astrology and the reading of palms. Only in superstition is there hope. If you want to become a friend of civilization, then become an enemy of the truth and a fanatic for harmless balderdash.

(Kurt Vonnegut, Graduation Address to Bennington College. 1970)

Vonnegut month — Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: The future ain’t what it used to be

February 2, 2011

Art by Kurt Vonnegut.