CNN.com has a nice AP story about the death yesterday of novelist Kurt Vonnegut. I never knew that his mother killed herself, or that he tried to himself in 1984. Vonnegut told AP in 2005 that:
“My father, like Hemingway, was a gun nut and was very unhappy late in life. But he was proud of not committing suicide. And I’ll do the same, so as not to set a bad example for my children.”
There’s very little in the way of an intelligent comment I can make about his death, but I felt I had to acknowledge it.
I did find a lovely quote from him that highlights the way he was always resisting things that dehumanize us all. The context here was that his wife thought he was silly to go out and make a special trip to buy one envelope:
Oh, she says well, you’re not a poor man. You know, why don’t you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet? And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I’m going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. I meet a lot of people. And, see some great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And, and ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, and I don’t know. The moral of the story is, is we’re here on Earth to fart around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And, what the computer people don’t realize, or they don’t care, is we’re dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And, we’re not supposed to dance at all anymore.
And now that Vonnegut’s gone, I’m not sure who to turn to for that kind of observation. There ought to be somebody.