Person of the Day: Kurt Vonnegut

| Fri Apr. 13, 2007 12:00 AM PDT

KURT VONNEGUT, 1922-2007, a former WWII POW who emerged as a speaker of truth in the interest of humanity. He was also a brilliant artist, using a searing sense of humor that focused the mind. This from his last book, A Man Without a Country: "Can I tell you the truth? I mean this isn't the TV news is it? Here's what I think the truth is: We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial. And like so many addicts about to face cold turkey, our leaders are now committing violent crimes to get what little is left of what we're hooked on.

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"...All lights are about to go out. No more electricity. All forms of transportation are about to stop, and the planet Earth will soon have a crust of skulls and bones and dead machinery. And nobody can do anything about it. It's too late in the game. Don't spoil the party but here's the truth: We have squandered our planet's resources, including air and water, as though there were no tomorrow, so now there isn't going to be one. So there goes the Junior Prom, but that's not the half of it."

Here's to Vonnegut and a renewed human dedication to wakefulness, attention and care. And good art.

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