"I once had a high that not even crack cocaine could match."
May 14, 2004 5:21 PM   Subscribe

Cold Turkey by Kurt Vonnegut.
posted by xowie (21 comments total)
Vonnegut, the ultimate warm-hearted misanthrope.
posted by kozad at 5:31 PM on May 14, 2004

Great post.
posted by judlew at 5:34 PM on May 14, 2004

Stockpileing Strategic Reserves is starting to pick up. Kind of like how alcoholics hide bottles around.

Supply security concerns have spurred many countries to increase strategic inventories, withdrawing supply from an already tight market. The United States continues to fill its strategic petroleum reserve despite high prices. Other countries including India, South Korea, Taiwan and China are building reserves or plan to start soon. source
posted by stbalbach at 5:34 PM on May 14, 2004

Thanks xowie.
posted by Blue Stone at 5:40 PM on May 14, 2004

I Heart Kurt.
posted by mr.marx at 5:56 PM on May 14, 2004

Uncle. After a week of beheading and sodomy, torture and genocide, the "conditions" were "set" for my blubbering at the end of this article. Thank you, Kurt Vonnegut, for Galapagos, and Breakfast of Champions, and Slaughterhouse Five and all those, and also, for Cold Turkey.

I don't know about you, but, I don't think I want children. Not soon, at least, not in the next five years. I wanna see where the planet's going with this.
posted by billpena at 5:58 PM on May 14, 2004

It was enjoyable to read, I'll say that.

I haven't cracked any of my (several) Vonnegut novels in a bit, but when he said, "When you get to my age, if you get to my age, which is 81," I laughed aloud because it was so recognizable as his voice.

But the essay as an essay (rather than just a fun little read) kind of foundered for me. I realize that Vonnegut is all about fun, but the political argument side read like a less sensationalist, better-spoken Michael Moore. Sometimes informative, sometimes fun. But all over the radar.

It was nice to see what he's up to, though. I do so love his novels.
posted by rafter at 6:31 PM on May 14, 2004

He's a luddite knob.
posted by keswick at 7:09 PM on May 14, 2004

Hard to believe that this was written by the same man who wrote Harrison Bergeron.
posted by Kwantsar at 7:26 PM on May 14, 2004

I think Vonnegut's real talent is as a motivational speaker for compassion. My sister had the extreme pleasure of meeting him at Cornell, a school that almost destroyed both of them. He charmed a class full of over-achieving, up-tight preppies into embracing human failures and humility.

Thanks, Xowie. I second billpena: this was a damn hard week to be human, and it was nice to read something genuinely kind.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 7:28 PM on May 14, 2004

muckster linked this yesterday (credit where credit is due...) but, still, a great piece.
posted by Cyrano at 7:54 PM on May 14, 2004

My sister had the extreme pleasure of meeting him at Cornell, a school that almost destroyed both of them.

Wow, and I'm barely surviving Cornell as well. Hot dog.

But back to the topic, it's a great read and I miss the stack of Vonnegut books I have in storage somewhere. If I ever reach his age, hopefully the world won't be so bleak.

And his take on most mainstream media is straight on.
posted by Stynxno at 8:13 PM on May 14, 2004

Is this an ad for TIAA-CREF?
posted by xmutex at 8:52 PM on May 14, 2004

I think Vonnegut's real talent is as a motivational speaker for compassion.

That's a terrific way to put it. I've enjoyed his work as a reader, but never been blown away by it. However, I had the pleasure of hearing him while I was in college (at the remote hideaway of Michigan Tech, of all all places) and still am surprised at the humanist joy he was able to elicit. I am a curmudgeon by nature, and not the PG movie kind with a heart of gold under that gruff exterior, but he seemed to get through with very little effort. I highly recommend that nobody pass up an opportunity to hear him speak.
posted by aaronetc at 8:56 PM on May 14, 2004

Very good essay. (Make sure it's real, though.)
posted by PrinceValium at 9:21 PM on May 14, 2004

In the past year, I've developed serious old-man crushes on both Vonnegut and Studs Terkel after seeing them speak around Madison. What wonderful models for humane humanity these two are, says this young cynic. Thanks for the link.
posted by UKnowForKids at 7:30 AM on May 15, 2004

((our soldiers)) are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas


For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes.

classic Vonnegut. thanks for the link.

until Johnny Cash died, I had this fantasy of the USA governed by a triumvirate of wise old men, philosopher-kings if you will -- Vonnegut, Terkel and Cash.
posted by matteo at 7:39 AM on May 15, 2004

Succinct, witty & humane. He got the trifecta.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:38 AM on May 15, 2004

Good stuff. i haven't read anything by him since high school, thanks for the links to the Harrison story.
posted by schlaager at 1:44 PM on May 15, 2004

Uh, Kurt: If we believe that the government is spinning out of control AND that we need more "gun control," then who will protect us from that government that's spinning out of control?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:53 PM on May 15, 2004

Quite Right, ZenMasterThis, of course you need tons of guns to protect you from the government spinning out of control.

Sometimes you can do things with out tons of violence. Sometimes. I mean, obviously blowing shit up has been
working well for the US all these years, but sometimes why not try something new.

This was a very nice essay. Good find.
posted by chunking express at 3:28 PM on May 15, 2004

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