Friday, April 27, 2012

Quotes for Friday from Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle

"Sometimes I wonder if he wasn't born dead. I never met a man who was less interested in the living. Sometimes I think that's the trouble with the world: too many people in high places who are stone-cold dead." [68]

"Christ, back in Chicago, we don't make bicycles any more. It's all human relations now. The eggheads sit around trying to figure out new ways for everybody to be happy. Nobody can get fired, no matter what; and if somebody does accidentally make a bicycle, the union accuses us of cruel and inhuman practices and the government confiscates the bicycle for back taxes and gives it to a blind man in Afghanistan." [89]

"I know damn well they will be. The people down there are poor enough and scared enough and ignorant enough to have some common sense!" [89]

"'Americans,'" he said, quoting his wife's letter to the Times, "'are forever searching for love in forms it never takes, in places it can never be. It must have something to do with the vanished frontier." [97]

"The highest possible form of treason," said Minton, "is to say that Americans aren't loved wherever they go, whatever they do. Claire tried to make the point that American foreign policy should recognize hate rather than imagine love." [98]

"When Bokonon and McCabe took over this miserable country years ago," said Julian Castle, "they threw out the priests. And then Bokonon, cynically and playfully, invented a new religion" [172]

"Maturity, the way I understand it," he told me, "is knowing what your limitations are." [198]

"Maturity," Bokonon tell us, "is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter can be said to remedy anything." [198]

"... When a man becomes a becomes a writer, I think he takes on a sacred obligation to produce beauty and enlightenment and comfort at top speed." [231]

"What hope can there be for mankind," I thought, "When there are such men as Felix Hoenikker to give such playthings as ice-nine to such short-sighted children as almost all men and women are?"
      And I remembered The Fourteenth Book of Bokonon, which I had read in its entirety the night before. The Fourteenth Book is entitled, "What Can a Thoughtful Man Hope for Mankind on Earth, Given the Experience of the Past Million Years?"
      It doesn't take long to read The Fourteenth Book. It consists of one word and a period.
      This is it:
      "Nothing" [245]

"Think of what a paradise this would be if men were kind and wise." [256]

"Beware of the man who works had to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before," Bokonon tells us. "He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way." [281]

"I guess all the excitement in bed had more to do with excitement about keeping the human race going than anybody ever imagined." [283]


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