First Molly, now Kurt

12 Apr

We’ve lost two of the most talented modern wordsmiths this year. Molly Ivins died earlier this year, and word comes today that Kurt Vonnegut has died at the age of 84.

Damn. Damn damn damn.

I never knew Kurt Vonnegut, but I like to boast that I served with him on the ACLU of Indiana Advisory Council. He spoke a few years ago at an ACLU of Indiana event that I couldn’t attend, but his reprinted speech was a real delight. I read one of his books (Cat’s Cradle) in a theology class at Notre Dame. In the last year or so, I’ve read a few of his other books, and I consider myself blessed to have a copy of Mother Night with his autograph in it.

I’m sure Kurt Vonnegut will be remembered for many things, but I hope this one is near the top of everyone’s list: he once commented during an interview that so many people seem to be insistent on posting the Ten Commandments in government buildings. He wondered why we aren’t more interested in the Beatitudes instead. “Can you imagine ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’ on the wall in the Oval Office?” he asked, referring to the current president.

This little bit on “shock and awe” is perfect.

Thank you, Kurt, for never giving up on our right to think for ourselves. I hope we make you proud some day.

So it goes.

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