Where Have You Gone, Kurt Vonnegut? | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Where Have You Gone, Kurt Vonnegut? 

Published May 6, 2008 at 10:21 a.m.

I was happy to read this weekend in the Times Book Review that a collection of previously unpublished writings by Kurt Vonnegut has just come out. I can’t get enough Vonnegut — he’s got an inimitable way of satirizing the absurdity of real life by creating his own absurd world of fiction. He and Orwell are the ones I think of when I listen to the news in the morning and get struck by truth-is-stranger-than-fiction quality of some of the stories.I jotted down a few such stories that I heard on Morning Edition last week, all in the same day:

1. “Adventure capitalists” have secured a 50-year lease of one of Baghdad’s public parks, and plan to construct a Disney-like theme park, replete with a water park wherein cartoon images are displayed in the mist created by the fountains. This is in a city that has less than 6 hours of electricity per day, and where car bombs and random violence have become as commonplace as jaywalkers in New York City. To their credit, the plucky financiers pull no punches about their motives: they readily admit that they only care about building up the community infrastructure to the extent that it makes them richer.

2. Army hospitals are struggling to stop overdoses by injured veterans of the Iraq war. Reportedly, vets are being drugged into a near-comatose state for much of their day, with a cocktail of up to 11 different medications. This is happening in what the Army calls “Warrior Transition Units.” One poor warrior at Fort Knox was left in his room for two days or more — unconscious — and was found dead when someone finally decided to check on him.

3. Endurance specialist David Blaine broke a world record by holding his breath underwater for more than 17 minutes on the Oprah Winfrey Show. “When he broke the record, with a half minute to spare, he said he accomplished a life-long dream.”

4. Many Americans are finding themselves “upside down” in car debt, i.e., their car is worth less than the amount they owe on their auto loan. They have no choice but to continue making the payments, or pay thousands of dollars to just get out from underneath the onerous obligation.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Tags: ,

More By This Author

About The Author

Kirk Kardashian

Kirk Kardashian

Kirk Kardashian has been a Seven Days contributing writer since 2006. He's the author of Milk Money: Cash, Cows and the Death of the American Dairy Farm, published in 2012 by the University Press of New England.


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation