In honor of the passing of Kurt Vonnegut, I present the The Last Rites of the Bokononist Faith:
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.
That’s from my favorite Vonnegut novel, Cat’s Cradle. I invite “Alas” readers to let us know their favorite Vonnegut novel (or essay, or short story) in the comments… or anything else y’all would like to say.
Echdine quotes from Vonnegut’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater:
Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — “God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
There are more blog posts on Vonnegut’s passing then I could possibly link to, but here’s a few: Bad Astronomy, Pandagon, Muttering In A Corner, Chris Abraham has but together a brief biography, Because I Say So, Critical Mass, Lisa Rein, Crossroads Dispatches, Return of the Reluctant, and Boing Boing.