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Kurt Vonnegut

Let us devote to unselfishness the frenzy we once gave gold and underpants.

1492. The teachers told the children that this was when their continent was discovered by human beings.  Actually, millions of human beings were already living full and imaginative lives on the continent in 1492. That was simply the year in which sea pirates began to cheat and rob and kill them.

The arts put man at the center of the universe, whether he belongs there or not. Military science, on the other hand, treats man as garbage – and his children, and his cities, too. Military science is probably right about the contemptibility of man in the vastness of the universe. Still – I deny that contemptibility, and I beg you to deny it, through the creation and appreciation of art.

All persons, living and dead, are purely conincidental.

If you really want to hurt your parents, and you don’t have nerve enough to be a homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts.

We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.

For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that’s Moses, not Jesus.  I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes be posted anywhere. “Blessed are the peacemakers” in the Pentagon? Give me a break!

Doesn’t anything socialistic make you want to throw up? Like great public schools, or health insurance for all?

If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don’t need an enemy.

If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you’re a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.

When I write, I feel l ike an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.

You realize, of course, that everything I say is horseshit.

Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.

The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.

We could have saved the Earth, but we were too damned cheap.


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