Friday, June 4, 2010

Excerpt From "Bluebeard" by Kurt Vonnegut

From chapter 8 - advice by an old newspaper editor to a young Rabo Karabekian...


"'I never prayed before, but I'll pray tonight that you never go to Europe as a soldier.  We should never get suckered again into providing meat for the cannons and machine guns they love so much.  They could go to war at any time.  Look how big their armies are in the midst of a Great Depression!

'If the cities are still standing when you get to Europe,' he said, 'and you sit in a cafe for hours, sipping coffee or wine or beer, and discussing painting and music and literature, just remember that the Europeans around you, who you think are so much more civilized than Americans, are looking forward to just one thing: the time when it will become legal to kill each other and knock everything down again.

'If I had my way,' he said, 'American geography books would call those European countries by their right names: 'The Syphilis Empire,' 'The Republic of Suicide,' 'Dementia Praecox,' which of course borders on beautiful 'Paranoia.'...

That was an ordinary way for a patriotic American to talk back then.  It's hard to believe how sick of war we used to be.  We used to boast of how small our Army and Navy were, and how little influence generals and admirals had in Washington.  We used to call armaments manufacturers 'Merchants of Death.'

Can you imagine that?"

* * * * *

We don't learn from history.  We don't learn from our mistakes.  We are sheep.  We are lemmings sprinting for the cliffs.  We have forsaken reason to fulfill no more than our most primitive needs - ego and revenge.  We are the center of the world.  And we are bordered by 'Fear' and 'Paranoia.'

1 comment:

Steve Ballmer said...

Interesting blog my friend