Tag Archives: Vonnegut

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“As I see it, there isn’t so much to do. Just be ordinary:  put on your robes, eat your food, and pass the time doing nothing.”  ~Linji Yixuan • “I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.”  ~Kurt Vonnegut

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Pretenses

“It is the person you imagine yourself to be that suffers, not You.”  ~Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj • “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”  ~Kurt Vonnegut, in Mother Night

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Saint Abbie Hoffman

In this excerpt from Fates Worse Than Death, copyright 1991, Kurt Vonnegut talks about one of my personal heroes, Abbie Hoffman: I mentioned Abbie Hoffman in that piece about books as mantras for meditation. I realize that most people nowadays don’t know who he was or what he did. He was a clowning genius, having …

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Sinners and

“I can be more prompt than the Roman Catholic Church in announcing who is a saint, since I do not require courtroom-style proofs that so-and-so was on at least three occasions capable of magic with the help of God. It is enough for me if a person (like a good anthropologist) easily finds all races …

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Oaths

In 1985, Kurt Vonnegut suggested in a speech at MIT that all graduates should make the following oath, based on the Hippocratic Oath: “The regimen I adopt shall be for the benefit of all life on this planet, according to my own ability and judgement, and not for its hurt or for any wrong. I …

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Swap

Excerpted from Fates Worse Than Death by Kurt Vonnegut, ©1991: I was willing to believe back in the 1960s that deep meditation as practiced in India might be a way to achieve happiness and wisdom which had not been previously available to people of European and African stock. The Beatles also believed this for a …

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Listen:

  This is my favorite line in all of literature. I remember the first time I read it:  I smiled from ear to ear. I knew this was going to be different from everything I had ever read before. I still smile ever time I see it.

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“I like him.”

Excerpt from Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut, © 1982: Haitians speak Creole, a French dialect which has only a present tense. I have lived in Haiti with my brother for the past six months, so I can speak it some. Felix and I are innkeepers now. We have bought the Grand Hotel Oloffson, a gingerbread …

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*#%^!

Excerpt from Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut, ©1990: There are no dirty words in this book, except for “hell” and “God,” in case someone is fearing that an innocent child might see 1. The expression I will use here and there for the end of the Vietnam War, for example, will be: “when the excrement …

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Appendages

“The main business of humanity is to do a good job of being human beings,” said Paul, “not to serve as appendages to machines, institutions, and systems.”  ~Kurt Vonnegut, in Player Piano

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“We have become such a pitiless people,and I think it’s TV that’s done it to us. When I went to war in World War II, we had two fears. One was we would be killed. The other was that we might have to kill somebody. And now killing is Whoopee. It does not seem much …

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