Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut Died: So It Goes

Vonnegut on GW Bush:
The only difference between Bush and Hitler is that Hitler was elected.

George W. Bush has gathered around him upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography.

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

Our president is a Christian? So was Adolf Hitler.

Honestly, I wish Nixon were president. Bush is so ignorant.

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? 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.
Vonnegut was a master of irony. He used it lethally, often imperceptibly to those not quite his equal, as this exchange from Vonnegut's Wikipedia Page illustrates:
In 2005 Vonnegut was interviewed by David Neson for The Australian.[18] During the course of the interview Vonnegut was asked his opinion of modern terrorists, to which he replied "I regard them as very brave people." When pressed further Vonnegut also said that "They [suicide bombers] are dying for their own self-respect. It's a terrible thing to deprive someone of their self-respect. It's [like] your culture is nothing, your race is nothing, you're nothing ... It is sweet and noble - sweet and honourable I guess it is - to die for what you believe in." (This last statement is a reference to the line "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" ["it is sweet and appropriate to die for your country"] from Horace's Odes, or possibly from Wilfred Owen's ironic use of the line in his Dulce Et Decorum Est.) David Neson took offense to Vonnegut's comments and characterized him as an old man who "doesn't want to live any more ... and because he can't find anything worthwhile to keep him alive, he finds defending terrorists somehow amusing." Vonnegut's son, Dr. Mark Vonnegut responded to the article by writing an editorial to the Boston Globe in which he explained the reasons behind his father's "provocative posturing" and stated that "If these commentators can so badly misunderstand and underestimate an utterly unguarded English-speaking 83-year-old man with an extensive public record of exactly what he thinks, maybe we should worry about how well they understand an enemy they can't figure out what to call."
Vonnegut was scheduled to speak at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion's Speaker series in June. I hope they get his son instead.


No comments: