Thursday, April 12, 2007

Stand By Your Man

Today, I read in the Newspaper that Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday. As a general rule I do not watch Television Newscasts, therefore I get my news a day later. I like the print media much better because it forces me to use my mind.

Kurt Vonnegut was not one of my favorite authors, but I did like some of his stories and the way that he crafted them. His biting sarcasm and satire of societal norms made for interesting reading.

I was still in the Army when I read my first Vonnegut book in the late 1960’s. “Welcome to the Monkey House” was a collection of short stories and essays. Some of his writing in this book intrigued me. For the most part it was very well written. However some of it was what I call meaningless drivel.

Unfortunately I had seen the Movie, Slaughterhouse-Five, before I had read the book. The Movie was good but the book was better. So much better, that I believed that Vonnegut would never surpass this effort, and I believe that was right. I read a few more of his books after Slaughterhouse-Five, but they didn’t have the same cutting edge.

I wondered, while reading this book, if Vonnegut had been experimenting with LSD during the time that he wrote the novel. Like me, he was a cigarette smoker and drinker of alcoholic beverages. Regardless, the book was a very good read.

I didn’t agree with Kurt’s politics, he leaned a little too far to the left for my liking. He recently had been very outspoken about the current War in Iraq and had been highly critical of the current Bush Administration. He refers to Bush as a “Childlike President” who was “installed in power by a Mickey Mouse coup d’etat.” Last year Vonnegut said “Honestly, I wish Nixon were president.” And he disliked President Richard M. Nixon as much as I do.

I’m not particularly fond of George W. Bush either, but as Lazlo Toth (Don Novello) would sign his famous “Letters” we should “Stand by our President”.

The Beach Bum

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