Tag Archives: Kurt Vonnegut

Geeking Out on Vonnegut

11 Nov

Armistice Day

11 Nov

I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.

So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.

What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.

And all music is.

~Kurt Vonnegut


Oregon Trails

5 Feb

Not missing the limelight…barely miss the sunlight…..though I’m sleeping more than I should be…..tough getting up when its raining and cold
and so warm underneath my blanket.

Different scene up here. Its tough…you know its bad when white people are on food stamps….(though its nothing but white people up here, I’m one of 13 black people in Oregon, the other 12 play for the Portland Trailblazers)

the crazy thing is that I think I should’ve been on food stamps as early as 2006….I never knew it was that easy to get on them.

Maybe I should’ve applied for economic hardship on my student loan as well. It amazes me how little I understand about finances. Perhaps I should marry an accountant like my buddy T did.

But I see why God made the weed so good up here. It helps combat the doldrums one can easily get from living in the northwest. Cold, rainy, but beautiful (gorgeous when its sunny), and the weed helps point that out (living in Seattle must be like living on Venus–all that rain).

Something unusual about Oregon is that you can’t pump your own gas. They pay gas attendants to do that. Supposedly its to help stimulate jobs here……however if you go to the grocery store you’ll see U-scan machines to scan your own groceries….. how does this make sense…..those machines take away people’s jobs, just like in Vonnegut’s Player Piano. The worst part about it is you have one employee doing the work of four people because that employee is essentially running four registers at once, since they are the ones who have to provide assistance when the inevitable foul-up occurs.

Other than that everything is good here. Just sent in the artwork for the next book, “Toss offs and Throwaways” and working on my fourth book, which will be a juggernaut with at least 60-85 poems in it. All I need is a job. Keep your fingers crossed.


20 Jul

Q:What's the white stuff in Bird Poop?  A: Well that's Bird Poop too.

Q:What's the white stuff in Bird Poop? A: Well that's Bird Poop too.

Just got through reading Slaughter house Five for the second time in my life.

I feel like it was a wasted attempt the first time I read it. I was 21 when I first read it and it was my first Vonnegut book.

Looking back on things, I’d have been better off by starting on Player Piano, or Bluebeard, maybe even Breakfast of Champions, but Slaughterhouse Five can’t be truly digested without having some sort of intimate knowledge of Vonnegut and his work.

It was a completely different experience this time around. The first time I did it , I just thought it was weird. But now I understand.

What struck me this time around was how funny it was, hilarious, tawdry, and most of all, touchingly human.

I love reading Vonnegut because of his down to earth, matter of fact style. He was a real rule breaker by taking chances with characters and plot lines, and even went as far as to insert himself into many of his novels.

The craziest thing to think about is the fact that he survived the fire bombing in Dresden. All those 130,000 plus people who died and the few who survived were ironically saved by a structure that served to kill many of the oxen, pigs, and cattle in that area.

I can’t imagine coming up and seeing what he saw. It seemed like it was the most profound experience of his life. So many of his books deal with WWII and a survivor’s mentality.

Elements of that event pervade Bluebeard, Mother Night, even. How could anyone look at life the same after miraculously surviving the biggest massacre in world history?

Then of course, Hiroshima and Nagasaki came after the Dresden bombing.

The world is such an evil place. To think that some people are so wicked that they’d beat a 14 year old boy to death for whistling at his ugly assed, rat faced wife (i’m sure somewhere up there Emmett would love a mulligan on that one–certainly wasn’t a regular ass beating over) , then laugh about it after being acquitted and sticking his tongue down his ulgy wife’s gullet (pure fucking evil).

to think of all the people who run these corporations that lay off 1,000’s upon 1,000’s of people so they can make an extra million or two.

We live in a world of serial killers. Not Gacy and Ted Bundy types, but something way worse, and even more sinister. Serial killers do it for the sheer joy of killing, these fuckers are just sociopaths looking for an extra buck.

Dressed up in suit and ties, determining the fates of millions of people without blinking an eye. We elect these people, shake their hands, and give them the power to affect our lives.

We’re talking bankers, CEO’s, Senators, Governors, and Presidents.

It makes you ask the question of who’s really the sick ones here? Are masochists? Or are we sheep? Or is it really way more complicated than “the world trying to commit suicide.”

Its stuff like this that makes me admire Vonnegut and his writing so much. No matter how dark the subject, he takes a drag of his Pall Mall and makes a joke that points out the absurdity of our existence. Is it or isn’t real?

This bizarre trip we got going on here. Perhaps its better just to do your best, love those around you, and hope that the ripple effect ensues. Maybe the best way is to ensure that every interaction counts, smile more, laugh harder and embrace those tender and sweet moments of joy.

Even in the darkest of times, a sense of humor will get you far.

cuz maybe its just too absurd to take that seriously anyway.

imagine taking this thing way too seriously to find out it was all a silly little dream.
So it goes.