Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut 1922 - 2007
"I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, 'The Beatles did.'

"It appears to me that the most highly evolved Earthling creatures find being alive embarrassing or much worse. The funniest American of his time, Mark Twain, found life for himself and everybody else so stressful when he was in his seventies that he wrote as follows: 'I have never wanted any released friend of mine restored to life since I reached manhood.' That is in an essay on the sudden death of his daughter Jean a few days earlier. Among those he wouldn't have resurrected were Jean, and another daughter, Susy, and his beloved wife and his best friend, Henry Rogers.

"So it is not one whit mysterious that we poison the water and air and topsoil, and construct ever more cunning doomsday devices, both industrial and military. Let us be perfectly frank for a change. For practically everybody, the end of the world can't come soon enough."

Excerpted from Timequake.

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