Sunday, May 16, 2010

So It Goes

"Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt."
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five

This quote is from the tombstone for Billy Pilgrim the main character from Vonnegut's book Slaughterhouse Five. He believed that all time existed always, as if every moment of time was frozen in amber and could be visited at will. Free will was a figment of Human imagination and everything is, as, and always will be. This absurd notion is Vonnegut's way of poking fun at our society, at the "inevitability" of war. It is also a coping mechanism for Billy Pilgrim (as well as Vonnegut) who witnessed the destruction of Dresden by firebombing at the end of World War II.

Whether or not the firebombing of Dresden was justified Vonnegut's feeling that human beings were bound to kill each other off was strengthened every time he looked around. After World War II he watched as we participated in the Korean War, the Vietnam War, The Gulf War and finally at the very end of his life he watched as an out of control administration took us into Iraq and Afghanistan. His last years were spent in speaking in his indomitable manner against the wars and especially Bush and his administration. He never failed when given the opportunity to dig a little at our 43rd president.
"I have the humorist Paul Krasner to thank for pointing out a big difference between George W Bush and Hitler: Hitler was elected."
Kurt Vonnegut, written for a speech at Clowes Hall Indianapolis, April 27th, 2007 given by his son as he had passed away only a few weeks before. Published in Armageddon in Retrospect a collection of previously unpublished writings.
Also in this speech he ends it with as his son says in the aforementioned book Is "as good a way as any for him to say goodbye."
"And I thank you for your attention, and I'm outta here."
Kurt Vonnegut-
November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007
"So it Goes."

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