Friday, May 28, 2004

Vonnegut Speaks Out

From my young teen years through my mid-twenties, I was an avid follower of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. When his book "Slapstick" was released in the early-1980s, I felt less of a connection to him and pretty much stopped following his career. I never stopped being an admirer.

When Vonnegut's New York townhouse caught ablaze a few years ago because of his smoking (his addiction), a pang of nostalgia hit me and I have been curiouser and curiouser about him since.

I am a fan of drunks and junkies and addicts of every stripe.

Earlier this month, Vonnegut published an article at that reminded me why I adored him so much, and why he is such an important voice of American freedom and patriotism.

The article "Cold Turkey" discusses America's addictions. Not our more obvious addictions to alcohol, high-fructose corn syrup, anti-depressants, and dieting, but our addiction to fossil fuels.

All addiction comes at a cost. We must feed the monkey if we want the pain to go away. Alcoholism is a simple one: buy some booze, get-together with others and make is a little social event. Cocaine used to be that way, as did marijuana; but the former is taboo again and the latter is too expensive to share communally. America's addiction to high-fructose corn syrup is the worst, because most don't even know they are craving it and partaking of it because it is scattered through our food like MSG in the 1950s!

Fossil fuel addiction is the most insidious because, moreso than addiction to illicit drugs, it requires the domination of people in faraway lands, their subsequent subservience, and their eventual murder to sate the hunger of the ever growing monkey on the backs of the American people.

Purchase another SUV and slaughter another Iraqi child. Still, the price of a gallon of gas will continue to rise and we will need more, and we will pay the price, and we will do whatever we have to do to get our next fix. It's the nature of addiction.

Vonnegut says it so much better, of course, and I would like to reprint the entire article here without permission; but, I will provide a link instead.

So it goes.

Vonnegut's article "Cold Turkey."


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