Monday, November 21, 2005

I'll be the doughnut, thanks.

Kate finds Kurt Vonnegut distasteful (on the basis of a few quotes in an Australian review, suspiciously lacking in context). I decided to learn a bit about Mr. Vonnegut (oh, I'm so naive), and came across this evidence that "the great divide" I've been lamenting is nothing new:

Even crazier than golf, though, is modern American politics, where, thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.

Actually, this same sort of thing happened to the people of England generations ago, and Sir William Gilbert, of the radical team of Gilbert and Sullivan, wrote these words for a song about it back then:

I often think it’s comical
How nature always does contrive
That every boy and every gal
That’s born into the world alive
Is either a little Liberal
Or else a little Conservative.

Which one are you in this country? It’s practically a law of life that you have to be one or the other? If you aren’t one or the other, you might as well be a doughnut.

Cold Turkey by Kurt Vonnegut, at In These Times

Now, in case you're thinking I agree with Vonnegut about golf, let me clarify. I hope James and his Grandpa will take me along sometimes, and I will try not to be too distracted on the one hand by the spiritual experience of walking a nine-by-three-or-four-hundred-metre labyrinth, or on the other hand by the environmental impact of all that landscaping and of our getting there. I'd like them to invite me more than once.

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