Note our new masthead. Our newest scholar rogue is Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007).
Most of you know Vonnegut as the author of the beloved counter culture sort of sci-fi/sort of philosophical/sort of satirical/inarguably great novels Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat’s Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, and Slapstick. This is true.
It is also foma.*
Vonnegut was also more. He was a failed army scout, failed chemist, failed automobile mechanic, and failed anthropologist – by his own admission.
He was also:
– a survivor of one of the most horrific massacres of World War II – the incendiary bombing of the unarmed city of Dresden, Germany who believed “only one person benefited from the raid” – himself ;
– a writer who believed that English departments were probably the worst places to discover and develop writers because he felt “literature should not disappear up its own asshole”;
– a lover of jokes that most people don’t appreciate:
Do you know why cream is so much more expensive than milk?
Because the cows hate to squat on those little bottles. See, you didn’t laugh again, but I give you my sacred word of honor that those are splendid jokes. Exquisite craftsmanship.
– the best American humorist since Mark Twain;
Vonnegut was a fervent smoker of plain end cigarettes who lived to be 84 and died, not from lung or heart disease, but from a head injury caused by a fall – kind of a joke in itself – but a cruel example of pool-pah* for those of us left waiting for the punch line.
So it goes.
*foma – harmless untruths
*pool-pah – the wrath of God – “a shit storm”