I Better Talk About Don Imus

I should talk about Don Imus.  So much has already been said, though.  So rather than repeat what others have already said, why don’t you read this, which is probably my favorite discussion of the Don Imus controversy.  It’s the editorial, “Our Prejudices, Ourselves” by Harvey Fierstein, from The New York Times:

My thoughts: The late Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. once asked a group of college kids if theirs was the first generation of color blind Americans.  The students said yes.  Vonnegut applauded them for that.  Me?  I wish those kids had been right.  My experience shows they were wrong.


So It Goes

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. died this past Wednesday.  So it goes.

I don’t know —  I’m getting old.  I’ve often felt that way.  When Kurt Cobain died, I was 13/14.  So it goes.  No way to feel old then but it was still strange knowing one of my heroes was gone.  Last fall, it was worse when Steve Irwin died — I definately felt old.  So it goes.  But he died of an accident and Cobain died of suicide.  Vonnegut died, according to The New York Times, of “irreversable brain injuries as a result of a fall several weeks ago.”  So he died of natural causes — meaning: old age.  So it goes.

Vonnegut was/is probably my favorite author. Slaughterhouse-Five is definately my favorite novel.  I read it at least once a year (2007 may require many reads).  He was the first writer to make me want to be a writer.  I used to write fiction but stopped for two reasons: 1) Everything I wrote was a (bad) carbon copy of Vonnegut and 2) I knew I would never be as good as Vonnegut.  Somehow that was worse than never being as good as Walt Whitman or Allen Ginsburg, so I turned to poetry.  But I never stopped reading Vonnegut.

My high school English teacher turned me on to Vonnegut.  We had to read a novel by an American author of our choice.  I wanted to read A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, but Burgess is/was British so it wouldn’t work.  My teacher recommended Vonnegut and Slaughterhouse-Five.  When I read the book and wrote the paper, he told me he was shocked —  he finally read an essay that really got Vonnegut; that really understood it; that become one with the novel.  That was the moment I knew I wanted to major in English and become a writer and a teacher. 

Vonnegut is probably the single most important figure in my career — at least, the most important person who I never met — the most important idol who isn’t also a friend and/or mentor.  Certainly, his were words and works that were consistently a part of my life from my earliest days as a writer.

Now he is dead.  So it goes.  Poo-tee-weet.

Read the NY Times Eulogy

Check out Vonnegut’s books

especially Slaughterhouse-Five

And here’s one YouTuber’s take on Fox News’ Eulogy of Vonnegut:

Fox News Obituary Trashes Kurt Vonnegut posted by LiberalViewer