My Onion Pi

If you can figure out the name, you'll know what it's about. Fortunately, I'm literate. I'm also funny on occasion. Just beware of the flying PMS.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

There Is A House In New Orleans

From NPR:
January 23, 2006 ยท
"The author Kurt Vonnegut has been looking to the future through his writing ever since the publication of his first novel, Player Piano. The story tells of a time when men are displaced by machines in the workplace. Society is reduced to a managing class and a consuming class. His books have often included an element of science fiction, including his most famous work, Slaughterhouse-Five.
As part of the Long View series on
Morning Edition, ( )Vonnegut, 83, looks back with Steve Inskeep at how society has changed in the last 50 years.
Short Hammy excerpt from the audio interview on NPR's website:

Steve Inskeep: "Mr Vonnegut you're fortunate and rare in a way in that more than half a century ago you began writing novels, some of which were classified as science fiction or seemed to be a kind of cock-eyed forecast of the future; and then you've had time to look back and see if any part of those predictions came true. I'm thinking of your first published novel, Player Piano. You wrote about a world in which things were still being produced but they were being done automatically, so there weren't jobs for most people and they were just given allowances (do I hear Welfare/Medicaid anyone???) and reduced to being nothing but consumers. People didn't exist to do anything except buy consumer products and keep the economy going. Has any part of that turned out to be true do you think?"

Kurt Vonnegut: (Laughing) All of it!! Where have you been??

Vonnegut's latest book, published in 2005, is a series of essays and speeches called A Man Without a Country.

Hm-mm, very interesting isn't it?
Pondering Ham

P.S. I guess Vonneguts too old for them to kill now, in any case he shouldn't be a threat for too much longer...then again if the No Child Left Behind Act keeps working as well as it has been most kids won't be able to read Vonnegut anyway....unless they come out with a video game version of the books....Grand Theft Vonnegut....Battlestar Vonnegut 5....


At Thu Jan 26, 04:19:00 AM, Blogger Queen Snarfetta said...

Let's just hope Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" doesn't come true...

Having taught some of the kids out there, you're right. Most of them wouldn't read Vonnegut even if they had the aptitude.

At Thu Jan 26, 04:30:00 AM, Blogger Queen Snarfetta said...

By the way - that GD No Child Left Behind act is a sack o' ca-ca. The problem is the PARENTS. The teachers can't do jack with half those kids - they're disruptive and they don't want to learn. Most teachers want the kids to learn. But you can't force people who are determined to remain ignorant to get an education.

At Thu Jan 26, 05:12:00 AM, Blogger Hamrose said...

Well, an act called No Child Left Behind thats aimed at education "sounds good". But the problem is education isn't equal. I just read on NPR's website that education today is more segregated than it was 15 years ago. If you put it in the context of what Vonnegut wrote about in Player Piano it makes perfect sense. When kids have taken the time, money and effort to go to college they expect to make more than poverty level wages when they graduate. If there aren't any jobs then people become upset. However, if you stop them before they ever get to college (by many means: keep drugs easily available and cheap, promote promiscuous sex so the girls will get pregnant, jail the minority youth, have the school "guidance counselors" tell them they aren't college material, make sure they are just pushed through the system whether they know how to read and write or not, water down the cirriculum so that logical thought processes aren't promoted, cut grants and scholarships, raise college tuition, etc.) then you have a crippled member of society who will gladly accept a handout lifestyle. I understand what you are saying about the kids. You taught I didn't, but I treat the parents of those kids in the ER. They are 2 generations of crippled people who don't have the skills they need to adequately raise pets much less children. In many cases these are the first wave of children raised by children 10-20 years ago. If Vonneguts right, this plan has been in place a long time. I tend to be able to believe that unfortunately, without too much trouble.

At Thu Jan 26, 05:26:00 AM, Blogger Queen Snarfetta said...

Oh, I agree, but I also don't believe that people are all just a bunch of victims of an evil system. Responsiblity is the bottom line. You can blame a conspiracy if you want, but individuals have responsibilities and those go back through several lifetimes. Karma! Victim thinking is part of what keeps people where they are. If there is any conspiracy, it's to keep people thinking they're the victims of a system. I dunno. It's a complex issue, not one easily handled by us two.

Fuggit. Got any chocolate?

At Thu Jan 26, 06:29:00 AM, Blogger Hamrose said...

Oh I agree. Individual responsibility is key. But some people have more tools than others. If your family is well off (forget middle class - they're just holding onto their asses with both hands at this point) chances are the resources are there to help you. Compare and contrast that situation with a single mother, or a grandmother raising kids. Add drugs or alcohol, low wage jobs, underfunded schools and it's easy to see how so many kids fall between the cracks. We are one of the wealthiest nations in the world. But our wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few. Education for poor and disadvantaged kids just isn't a priority. NCLB act is a hollow political soundbite that makes the current administration look like it cares about people they don't care about.
New Orleans brought that to the forefront. Katrina wasn't really about a hurricaine was it?

I think we've morphed into a whole nuther blog post, Queenie?! But it's a good discussion. I guess if I have to give someone the benefit of the doubt I'm more inclined to give it to those who have less ability to navigate around in a world that's becoming increasingly more designed for the wealthy.

And chocolate is always good...except when your sick.

At Thu Jan 26, 08:08:00 AM, Blogger Hamrose said...

P.S. I fixed the link. It's worth listening to the audio interview. He's an interesting man.


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