Monday, January 19, 2015

People did not like it here. Kurt Vonnegut - Requiem

[Vietnam] only made billionaires out of millionaires. [Iraq] is making trillionaires out of billionaires. Now I call that progress.

As you know, maybe the war is a bad idea. But some people are making a ton of money off of it. And they want to hang on to whatever they've got. And so they bank roll political campaigns for both Republicans and Democrats. Look, we're awful animals. We can start with that. You know, it's a whole human experiment, if that's what we are.

Look, we after two World Wars and the holocaust and the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and after the Roman games and after the Spanish Inquisition and after burning witches, the public — shouldn't we call it off? I mean, we are a disease and should be ashamed of ourselves.
And so, yeah, I think we ought to stop reproducing. But since we're not going to do that, I think the planet's immune system is trying to get rid of us. We're terrible animals.

Well, it's too late! Look, the game is over! The game is over. We've killed the planet, the life support system. And, and it's so damaged that there's no recovery from that. And we're very soon going to run out of petroleum which powered everything that's modern. Razzmatazz about America. And, and it was very shallow people who imagined that we could keep this up indefinitely. But when I tell others, they say; Well, look there's — you said hydrogen fuel. Nobody's working on it.

…our energy people, presidents of our companies, energy companies never think. All they wanna do is make a lot of money right now.
(source)

*
No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious and charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful.
If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:
THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC

Music is, to me, proof of the existence of God. It is so extraordinarily full of magic, and in tough times of my life I can listen to music and it makes such a difference.

Kurt Vonnegut, 07 January 2006, Sunday Herald - source

*
I believe that reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found. By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds and theirs as well. This to me is a miracle.

I sometimes wondered what the use of any of the arts was. The best thing I could come up with was what I call the canary in the coal mine theory of the arts. This theory says that artists are useful to society because they are so sensitive. They are super-sensitive. They keel over like canaries in poison coal mines long before more robust types realize that there is any danger whatsoever.

Where is home? I've wondered where home is, and I realized, it's not Mars or someplace like that, it's Indianapolis when I was nine years old. I had a brother and a sister, a cat and a dog, and a mother and a father and uncles and aunts. And there's no way I can get there again.
(source)

*
(source):
I wrote a poem about that – which was published, incidentally, by the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation on their cover.

Requiem – Kurt Vonnegut

The crucified planet Earth,
should it find a voice
and a sense of irony,
might now well say
of our abuse of it,
"Forgive them, Father,
They know not what they do."

The irony would be
that we know what
we are doing.

When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
perhaps
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon,
"It is done."
People did not like it here.
(source)

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