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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Ben Mack's review of Man Without A Country by Kurt Vonnegut


Thank you Kurt.



If you are a humanist, you will probably dig Man Without A Country. I’ve read the Amazon
reviews and on other sites that take book reviews. I’m astounded by people who take offense to Vonnegut’s humanistic perspective. One reviewer below suggests that Man Without A Country contains talking points straight from the Democratic National Committee. I checked the DNC website and couldn’t identify any lines from Vonnegut’s book. So it goes.



Yes, Vonnegut draws connections between Bush and Hitler—they both called themselves Christians despite what many liberal documentaries suggest about Hitler being a pagan. But being opposed to Bush doesn’t make Kurt a Democrat. Read Kurt’s words, HE’S A HUMANIST. For those of you that are anti-humanists, there are plenty of sentences to be taken out of context to exploit towards your own divisive agendas. Vonnegut reminds us of a line by Shakespeare: “The Devil will quote scripture for his purpose.”



When did respecting each other become politically divisive? I’ve often wondered why respecting science is politically divisive. Kurt sheds some light on these topics among others.



Look, if you think the world is all hunky-dory, this won’t be your cup of tea. Or, if you dug Vonnegut’s earlier work solely for his humor, you may be disappointed with this read. Vonnegut grapples with his grasp on turning out humor, about how other humorists loose their humor as they age. Vonnegut still has his humor, but he is pissed off—many readers haven’t known when he has been joking and when he has been serious. For the remedial readers he annotates his jokes by saying, “I’m kidding.”



Just because Kurt loves humans, he isn’t beyond shaking his finger at those who preach love as they drop bombs and enslave little brown folks. If you object to this assessment of our current world order, and you have read the books Vonnegut suggests every non-twerp has read, then, I’m open to reading your objections to the content of Kurt’s assertions. Seriously, do you consume much non-American media?



Fellow humanists,
it’s time to take these ideas seriously. Enough of the politicians spewing their intellishit. Kurt begins his penultimate book: “There is no reason good can’t triumph over evil, if only angels will get organized along the lines of the mafia.”



Here’s to Bokonon. * Kurt, I look forward to reading your next novel. I hope you do find a way to write it’s ending.

Monday, September 05, 2005

found poem:

Nervously adoptee snake
tolerably
and uneventfully
spanish lime shifting
Microscopically shoshoni
swim assiduously (or by heart) flop venturous

Sunday, September 04, 2005

one full day spins around
to the next and adrift the motion
leaves the restless
falling, a month or so
until autumn and world
war dreams - war games

one full night, a lit porch light
a community built of weeds, of contact
with the western lands, a symbol
placed above the skyline
tracking along the edge of twilight

i don't drink with the boys
i don't expect to be silent
whispers three times
her name to moonrise

one full moment, pregnant pause, slowed
expect revelation,
a conscripted pardon, flash of insight
some glowing new sign

you expected the mirror
placed fervently in your path
by the gods, by their attendees
and gave inward, gave up, gave out
when it was not what you foresaw

get out