Lucky Mud: Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007

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!
Good night.
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.

Kurt Vonnegut

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.

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20 Responses to Lucky Mud: Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007

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  4. 5
    Myca says:

    In God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater Kurt Vonnegut said one of the wisest, most wonderful things I’ve ever heard:

    “God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

    It’s so simple and so true, and it’s not about giving kindness to people who are kind to you, and it’s not about giving kindness to those who earn it, it’s just about being kind.

    I wish I was more like Mr. Rosewater, and I wish I was more like Mr. Vonnegut.

    Damn, I’m going to miss him.


  5. 6
    Ampersand says:

    How funny, Myca — I was just this second editing my post to include that exact quote.

  6. 7
    Myca says:

    Great minds.


  7. 9
    SMM says:

    “In a punctual way of speaking, goodbye.”

    Winston Niles Rumfoord

    Thanks you Kurt for your humor, kindness and simple wisdom. You shall be missed.

    “poo tee weet?”

  8. 10
    Jake Squid says:

    There is a special place in my mind for Deadeye Dick.

  9. 11
    Valkyrie says:

    Cat’s Cradle is not just my favorite Vonnegut novel but my favorite book period.

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  11. 12
    rodders says:

    I was a victim of a series of acciidents. As are we all.

  12. 13
    rodders says:

    “I’m suing a cigarette company because on the package they promised to kill me, and yet here I am.”

  13. 14
    Sage says:

    I haven’t books (or memory) at the ready, but I must say that without Vonnegut I might never have learned to enjoy reading. It was, particularly, that part of Breakfast of Champions where he actually drew an asshole on the page. At about 11, it was the most exciting moment in reading ever. (I’d say after a lifetime of reading x, y, z, but I can’t remember a single book I read before that. I just remember hating them all.)

    Beyond that first memory, Slaughterhouse Five and Galapagos are my favourites.

  14. 15
    dennis trainor says:

    thought you might like this short video tribute to Vonnegut

    more info @

  15. 16
    Molly says:

    A brilliant man…Happy Birthday Wanda June was by far the best parody of Hemingwayesque hypermasculinity I’ve ever read

  16. 17
    DocZayus says:

    I’ll see ya when I get there.

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