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Thursday, April 12, 2007

A great American socialist

Sad news. Kurt Vonnegut, socialist, smoker and wonderful novelist has died at the age of 84.

As way of a tribute to the great man, I've posted below an extract from his 2004 essay Cold Turkey (the whole piece can be found here on the Common Dreams website. And, at the time of his passing, let's not forget some other memorable Vonnegut words of wisdom: "When you're dead, you're dead. Make love when you can. It's good for you."

Doesn’t anything socialistic make you want to throw up? Like great public schools or health insurance for all?
How about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes?
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. …
And so on.
Not exactly planks in a Republican platform. Not exactly Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney stuff.
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 merciful” in a courtroom? “Blessed are the peacemakers” in the Pentagon? Give me a break!

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