damn, this guy is pathetic.
An Interview with Vonnegut: "Humans are evolution's greatest mistake"
13 April 2007
The late Kurt Vonnegut, one of America's most well-known writers of the 20th century, spoke with WSI's Russian publication, Washington Profile, in 2003. In this insightful interview, Vonnegut talked of the influence of Russia on his work, and offered his opinion on contemporary socio-political issues. This interview was originally published on Feb. 20, 2003, by Washington Profile.
Q: Have you been influenced by any Russian authors?
A:Of course. Chekhov, Tolstoy, Dostoyevskii, and Gogol is my particular hero, they are more influential on my generation of American writers than Twain or Hawthorne. Every writer of my age wished he'd been Chekhov. We just opened these books and there was so much there for us to respond to. The way they talk about life is the way Americans talk about life. The Russian people have been very good to me there. They have given me a large audience. Because of Russian literature, I have cared for them more than any other nationality.
Q: When you were a soldier in World War II, did you encounter Russian armies?
A:Yes, I owe my life to the Red Army. I was in a prison camp when the war was over, when the guards disappeared in what later became the Soviet zone. It was the Red Army that conquered the Germans in that part of the world, and Hitler had given the order that prisoners of war should be shot. And then I got to see a lot of them, because we were just wandering around in Saxony and other parts of Germany, and trying to get back to our own lives. And yes, we ran into a lot of Russians. A lot of them were Asiatic, Kazakhs, Kirghiz, they didn't look like the rest of us.
Q: What do you think of the current political situation in Russia?
A: I think human life everywhere is tragic, and the Chechnya situation is a terrible tragedy, and I guess it has a long history. They were horribly mistreated under Stalin. So yeah, I guess people do fight back. It would take a very sophisticated person to come up with a solution about what to do about the Chechnya situation. Human beings are terrible animals, that's what I write about. I think we are a great mistake. I think we're evolution's worst mistake.
Q: Churchill said about democracy "it's a terrible system of government, but it's the best we've come up with." Maybe humans are the best option, given the choices.
A: Please, please, please, horses, giraffes, chimpanzees, chipmunks, they're wonderful, seagulls.
Q: What about consciousness?
A:Why? So you can make a hydrogen bomb? We're very destructive animals. Everyone thinks evolution is so creative - just look at the hippopotamus, what a wonderful idea.
Q: But even monkeys are violent to each other.
A:Yes, but monkeys can't kill the whole planet, and we've done that. The game is over, because we've ruined the atmosphere and the water. We're doing a very good job of arranging the end of the world, and this war which is going to start in Iraq, it's never going to end. People seek revenge, always, and willing to sacrifice their lives, and they're entitled to be enraged. With our cruise missiles, we will kill a lot of people, make a lot of widows and orphans, in order to restore "justice". And if Saddam Hussein does not give up, we'll finally have to nuke his people, and we're prepared to do this.
Q: What do you think about the Iraq situation?
A:I'm not optimistic at all, because I don't like what my government is doing now. The current foreign policy is terrible. We never used to declare war on little countries. The government is now entertainment, everything is entertainment. The space program, it's not science. There is no science, just entertainment, and the best entertainment is where there is a chance of someone getting killed. Our president wants to entertain us, he doesn't want to bore us, so he's going to go after Saddam Hussein, but for every Iraqi soldier who gets killed, there will be several hundred civilians, that's our foreign policy.
Q: What is your view of the mass media? Do you watch TV?
A:Yes, I watch Law and Order, and MASH. TV is around the clock now, they have to fill up the time, so there has to be good stuff - it isn't all crap. But the present government holds the people in contempt, and shows like the Jerry Springer show demonstrate what idiots we are, what awful people we are, and we're not entitled to anything. Why should these people be allowed to vote, they're the scum of the earth.
Q: Isn't that undemocratic?
A:If course it is, but this is a very undemocratic government we have now.
Q: You stopped writing. Do you get bored?
A:Yes, very. I miss it, but I also miss being young. If I wrote a book now, and I do actually work on it, it would be about how we killed the planet with petroleum, with transportation whoopee, hell, we can go a hundred miles an hour in car, and weee. And we wreck the atmosphere, and other species are dying off, and nobody gives a damn.
Q: So what's the solution? Is there anything we can do at this point?
A:The Novel Prize winner who I admire most is Albert Camus. But he said, "the only philosophical question worth considering is whether to kill yourself." Sure, let's end it, it's a mess, it hurts so much to be alive. There is a World War I cemetery in France, and it's for the British dead. And there is a line over the gate by the poet A. E. Housman. And it is: "they were too young to know that life was nothing much to lose." And as an infantryman in battle, I thought, F*** it, life isn't that important. I sort of wish I'd been killed on D-Day, then I wouldn't have had to put up with all this crap. I had a fire in my house a couple years ago, and I was overcome by smoke and nearly died, and that would have been so stylish. Then I could sleep, I love sleep.
Q: Did you ever consider yourself a socialist?
A:Yes, absolutely, I still am. I'm very interested in Marx. Communism in Russia was a failed experiment, but would Tsarism have been any better? Look, capitalism was idealistic too, it was going to be a utopia. But then a few bad guys stole all the money, and it doesn't work anymore.
Q: But capitalism assumes that we're greedy, and that our collective greed will bring about good things.
A:Yes, capitalism not only assumes it, but proves it.
Q: So there's really no good way out of this?
A: Commit suicide. Actually, I'm going to kill myself as soon as I hang up.
Q: Any last words?
A: Everything was beautiful, nothing hurt.
Well, considering Vonnegut died on April 11, he's got his answer.
The late Kurt Vonnegut, one of America's most well-known writers of the 20th century, spoke with WSI's Russian publication, Washington Profile, in 2003.
Yeah, he was a whack job, but he wrote some pretty entertaining stuff.
Vonnegut was full of himself. And of shit.
I always hated Kurt Vonnegut, ever since I had to read that piece of shit Slaughterhouse 5.
loved his writing
never subscribed to his philosophy as a way of life though.
Kinda the same with Hemingway.
Breakfast of Champions was an interesting book
This is what an asshole looks like -> *
He was just an attention-whore that made a living stirring up crap and pissing people off. He did this by sarcastically attacking just about every institution people value. He mocked God and religion a lot too---I'd be willing to wager that he wishes he hadn't done that
Not me. Slaughterhouse 5 sucked ass. Horrible book, badly written, with characters that were made out of pure cardboard.