Kurt Vonnegut Quotes (displaying: 91 - 120 of 938 quotes)
1492. As children we were taught to memorize this year with pride and joy as the year people began living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America. Actually, people had been living full and imaginative lives on the continent of North America for hundreds of years before that. 1492 was simply the year sea pirates began to rob, cheat, and kill them.
Swoopers write a story quickly, higgledy-piggledy, crinkum-crankum, any which way. Then they go over it again painstakingly, fixing everything that is just plain awful or doesn’t work. Bashers go one sentence at a time, getting it exactly right before they go on to the next one. When they’re done they’re done.
I once knew an Episcopalian lady in Newport, Rhode Island who asked me to design and build a doghouse for her Great Dane. The lady claimed to understand God and His Ways of Working perfectly. She could not understand why anyone should be puzzled about what had been or about what was going to be. And yet, when I showed her a blueprint of the doghouse I proposed to build, she said to me, "I'm sorry, but I never could read one of those things."Give it to your husband or your minister to pass on to God," I said, "and, when God finds a minute, I'm sure he'll explain this doghouse of mine in a way that even YOU can understand.
It appeared to the Elders that the people here would believe anything about themselves, no matter how preposterous, as long as it was flattering. To make sure of this, they performed an experiment. They put the idea into Earthlings' heads that the whole Universe had been created by one big animal who looked just like them. He sat on a throne with a lot of less fancy thrones all around him. When people died they got to sit on those other thrones forever because they were such close relatives of the Creator. The people down here just ate that up!
If flying-saucer creatures or angels or whatever were to come here in a hundred years, say, and find us gone like the dinosaurs, what might be a good message for humanity to leave for them, maybe carved in great big letters on a Grand Canyon wall? Here is this old poop's suggestion: WE PROBABLY COULD HAVE SAVED OURSELVES, BUT WERE TOO DAMNED LAZY TO TRY VERY HARD...
He scratched his head and frowned. 'Didn't I read in the paper the other day where they'd finally found out what it was?' 'I missed that,' I murmured. ' I saw that, said Sandra. "About two days ago.' 'That's right,' said the bartender. 'What is the secret of life?' I asked. 'I forget,' said Sandra. 'Protein,' the bartender declared. 'They found out something about protein.' 'Yeah,' said Sandra, 'that's it.
The righteously displeased crowds existed now in every part of the world. The total membership of the Churches of God the Utterly Indifferent was a good, round three billion. The young lions who had first taught the creed could now afford to be lambs, to contemplate such oriental mysteries as water trickling down a bell rope.
As for myself: I had come to the conclusion that there was nothing sacred about myself or any human being, that we were all machines, doomed to collide and collide and collide. For want of anything better to do, we became fans of collisions. Sometimes I wrote well about collisions, which meant I was a writing machine in good repair. Sometimes I wrote badly, which meant I was a writing machine in bad repair. I no more harbored sacredness than did a Pontiac, a mousetrap, or a South Bend Lathe.