Monday, September 24, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut - Cold Turkey

I've just read this article by Kurt Vonnegut, written when he was 81, three years before his death, and I find it desperately sad.

These are the words of a man who has lost hope in humanity. For such a warm, compassionate man as Vonnegut, this must have been a horrific trial to him.

There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.

But, when you stop to think about it, only a nut case would want to be a human being, if he or she had a choice. Such treacherous, untrustworthy, lying and greedy animals we are!

The first para is classic Vonnegut. Sage, cutting, witty. But the second para reveals something new, something that wasn't part of the make-up of the man who wrote Cat's Cradle or Slaughterhouse Five. His (understandable) contempt for the leadership of his country has transferred itself into a generalised despair for humanity. I find it very sad to think this warm, wise man could have been made so bitter.

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