“God made mud. God got lonesome. So God said to some of the mud, “Sit up!”…And I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around. Lucky me, lucky mud…I got so much, and most mud got so little. Thank you for the honor! Now mud lies down again and goes to sleep. What memories for mud to have! What interesting other kinds of sitting-up mud I met! I loved everything I saw! Good night.”
–The Last Rites of the Bokononist faith (Written by Kurt Vonnegut, jr. – RIP)
It is with sadness I eulogize Kurt Vonnegut, jr. today. He was an impressive sitting up mud! I used to cut classes in high school, to go sit under a tree and become engrossed in Vonnegut’s wonderful novel, “Cat’s Cradle.” I have used lines from “Cat’s Cradle” and “Breakfast of Champions” as life references since the 1970’s. Terms such as “karass,” “sitting up mud,” “bad chemicals,” and “Bokononism” have become commonplace in my life, due to my exposure to Vonnegut at an early age. My father gave me “Cat’s Cradle” to read, and I handed it to my teenaged son to read as well. I normally do not enjoy fiction, but Vonnegut was an exception for me. I delighted in his plots and twists, all heavily laden with sarcasm and political angst. “Cat’s Cradle” is a fictional story about what scientists and their families did the day America dropped the A-Bomb on Japan. I love the dark humor throughout “Cat’s Cradle.” And the child’s game “cat’s cradle” has never seemed the same after reading that book! In the book, the father who rarely speaks to his children, walks up to his son and leans into the kid, in a frightening manner, and holding a cat’s cradle made of strings in his fingers, says, “See the cat? See the cradle?!” Yes, that in a nutshell, is the madness and beauty of Vonnegut’s writing style.