I just heard on BBC World TV that Kurt Vonnegut has passed on, died, expired, left us.
I recently read Mother Night on the plane over to Japan. In his introduction to that novel, he wrote:
This is the only story of mine whose moral I know. I don't think it's a marvellous moral; I simply happen to know what it is: We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
There's another clear moral to this tale, now that I think about it: When you're dead, you're dead.
And yet another moral occurs to me now: Make love when you can. It's good for you.
I have sometimes thought that I would like the last rites of Bokononism, from Cat's Cradle, to be read over my ashes:
God made mud.
God got lonesome.
So God said to some of the mud, "Sit up!"
"See all I've made," said God, "the hills, the sea, the sky, the stars."
And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
Lucky me, lucky mud.
I, mud, sat up and saw what a nice job God had done.
Nice going, God.
Nobody but you could have done it, God! I certainly couldn't have.
I feel very unimportant compared to You.
The only way I can feel the least bit important is to think of all the mud that didn't even get to sit up and look around.
I got so much, and most mud got so little.
Thank you for the honor!
Now mud lies down again and goes to sleep.
What memories for mud to have!
What interesting other kinds of sitting-up mud I met!
I loved everything I saw!
I will go to heaven now.
I can hardly wait...
To find out for certain what my wampeter was...
And who was in my karass...
And all the good things our karass did for you.
(A karass is a "team [of people] that do[es] God's Will without ever discovering what they are doing" - I think much the way that many people who think they are working for Order are clearly doing the will of Eris Discordia. A wampeter is "the pivot of a karass, around which the souls of the members of the karass revolve.")
Good night, Kurt.