Monday, May 23, 2005

selected quotes from Kurt Vonnegut's - God Bless You Mr. Rosewater

he drove away his rich friends by telling them that whatever they had was based on dumb luck. He advised his artist friends that the only people who paid any attention to what they did were rich horses' asses with nothing more athletic to do. He asked his scholarly friends, "Who has time to read all the boring crap you write and listen to all the boring things you say"?

But from somewhere something is trying to tell me where to go, what to do here, and why to do it. Don't worry, I don't hear voices. But there is this feeling that I have a destiny far away from the shallow and preposterous posing that is our life in New York. And I roam. And I roam.

He rambled on, said such things as, "You know, I think the main purpose of the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps is to get poor Americans into clean, pressed, unpatched clothes, so rich Americans can stand to look at them"

'Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here...'

The thing was that Earth was the only place in the whole known Universe where language was used. It was a unique Earthling invention. Everybody else used mental telepathy, so Earthlings could get pretty good jobs as language teachers just about anywhere they went. The reason creatures wanted to use language instead of mental telepathy was that they found out they could get so much more done with language. Language made them so much more active. Mental telepathy, with everybody constantly telling everybody everything, produced a cort of generalized indifference to all information. but language, with its slow, narrow meanings, made it possible to think about one thing at a time - to start thinking in terms of projects.


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