Tag «Kurt Vonnegut»

The Absurdity of Authenticity

I’m often accused — or credited, depending on one’s perspective — of leading an authentic life. As nearly as I can tell, the accusation or accolade refers to the following definition from Merriam and Webster: true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character. Fundamentally, aren’t we all true to our personality, spirit, and character? How …

What are we fighting for?

In my latest essay in this space I mentioned two phenomena worth fighting for: the living planet and freedom based in anarchy. I surrender. I no longer believe the struggle matters on either front. I no longer think we’ll save the remaining shards of the living planet beyond another human generation. We’ll destroy every — …

Channeling Kurt Vonnegut

I presented at SUNY-Fredonia on 2 April 2012. The standing-room-only audience, in a room with 200 chairs, included about 30 students from a class on Kurt Vonnegut and similar number from a class on environmental chemistry. I was informed the Vonnegut students would be attending the day before the event, so I asked their instructor …

Third time’s a charm?

Kurt Vonnegut often described World Wars I and II as western civilization’s first and second attempts, respectively, to commit suicide. He hinted at peak oil as our third attempt in his memoir, Man Without a Country, which was published shortly before his death. After burying our collective heads in the sand for two years, peak …