Thursday, April 26, 2007

First Dialogue on Liberalism

SOCRATES: Phaedo and I have been discussing the politics of your Republic, in an attempt to understand some of its more difficult concepts. We are currently studying “Liberalism”, but we cannot discover its essential nature, so we would like to propose a dialectical exercise to you. Let us have a dialogue in which each of us plays the part of a Liberal, discussing various subjects as Liberals would discuss them, and by this pretence we hope to increase our understanding of their philosophy.

GLEN: All right. What kind of Liberals are we going to be?

SOCRATES: Well, what are our choices? Prepare us a Liberal buffet, if you will.

GLEN: Well, you have Classical Liberals, Utilitarian Liberals, Keynesian Liberals, Social Democratic Liberals, Cold War Liberals, Post-Kennedy Liberals, New Age Liberals, East Coast Intellectual Liberals and West Coast Hedonist Liberals and Hornless Corn-fed Great Plains Liberals, and your endless varieties of Cultural Liberals …

PHAEDO: What are those Liberals who run around and have sex on your roof in the middle of the night?

GLEN: Cats, Phaedo. Those are cats.


SOCRATES: Let us take this approach. We’ve assembled a number of texts from your library that deal with Liberalism, and perhaps we can find a definitive model there. Up from Liberalism, by William F. Buckley. Down with Liberalism, by Ann Coulter. Over the Hills and Through the Woods to Grandmother’s House with Liberalism, by Hillary Rodham Clinton, with illustrations by Sidney Blumenthal …

GLEN: No, no, and no. Keep going.

SOCRATES: You sure? That last one got a National Book Award. It’s got a little gold thing on the cover, see? And the pictures are really cute.

GLEN: Yeah, I see that, but we need something more definitive.

SOCRATES: Okay, how about The 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade?

GLEN: Pffft! What?

SOCRATES: Alcibiades suggested that one. He says it’s a bedtime story for pussy Liberals.

GLEN: No, that one is out, and anything else Alcibiades suggested is out, too.

SOCRATES: Science and British Liberalism, by Struan Jacobs. Virtue and the Making of Modern Liberalism, by Peter Berkowitz. And A Child’s Garden of Maoist Praxis, which contains a brief essay entitled “Combat Liberalism”.

GLEN: There you go. Mao is just what we’re looking for.

SOCRATES: Really? Is this book rich in the wisdom of the Far East, then?

GLEN: Maoism is so mind-blowingly rich in Far East wisdom that all other Philosophy was violently suppressed, so as not to distract people from the one true path.


SOCRATES: “Combat Liberalism” sounds like a cool kind of Liberalism, too.

PHAEDO: Can we do that one? Let’s do that one.

SOCRATES: Okay, here’s our definition, then: “People who are liberals look upon the principles of Marxism as abstract dogma. They talk Marxism but practice liberalism; they apply Marxism to others but liberalism to themselves. How shall we enact this?

GLEN: You and I will be the Liberals, and we’ll apply the Marxism to Phaedo.


PHAEDO: Wait a minute – what?

SOCRATES: It’s just a dialectical exercise, Phaedo, to enrich Philosophy.

GLEN: Phaedo doesn’t care about Philosophy. He’s a poser.

PHAEDO: I am not a poser! I love Philosophy, I just don’t see why it has to be applied to me. And “Marxism” sounds like something Dionysius would do to a goat.

SOCRATES: The greater the discomfort, Phaedo, the greater the sacrifice for Philosophy. Okay, how do we apply the Marxism to him?

GLEN: Phaedo, we need you to build fifty radios by the end of the month.

PHAEDO: What? How am I supposed to do that?

GLEN: By volunteering to work day and night for nothing, in order to fulfill the glorious economic plan.

PHAEDO: Why would I volunteer to work day and night for nothing?

GLEN: Trust me, you just did. And if you keep complaining, you’re going to be volunteering for a self-criticism session.

SOCRATES: Okay, I’m a Liberal, too. What do I get to do?

GLEN: You tell people how happy Phaedo is to be building radios for us, and how much better off he is now that we’ve applied Marxism to him. Oh, and tell them that his literacy has improved.

SOCRATES: But all of those statements are false. Why would I tell people that?

GLEN: If anybody contradicts you, call them a McCarthyite and accuse them of questioning your patriotism.

SOCRATES: Okay. I’m not sure that Phaedo can build even one radio, though. He’s not very good with devices. He can’t even lift the toilet seat.

GLEN: The radios don’t have to work. He just has to build them, or else convince us that his manager is a saboteur who stole all the parts and sold them on the black market.

PHAEDO: But you already have a radio. Why do you want fifty radios?

GLEN: Because our capitalist neighbors have a radio, and if we have fifty it will prove the superiority of our Philosophy to theirs.

SOCRATES: It will? Okay. What will we do with so many radios?

GLEN: We’ll give Phaedo a free radio, of course, and we’ll open a store to sell the surplus radios.

SOCRATES: But who’s going to buy radios that don’t work?

GLEN: Phaedo. Who else?

PHAEDO: Wait a minute. I build all these radios for nothing, and then I have to go to your stupid store and buy them from you?

GLEN: First of all, it’s not my store, it’s the People’s Store. And second, from now on you’re only allowed to buy things from the People. No more shopping at Walmart.

PHAEDO: This sucks.

GLEN: Of course it sucks. That’s what’s so great about it. Absolutely nobody is going to profit from it.

SOCRATES: This is very interesting. But have we discovered any essential Liberal principles yet?

GLEN: Yes. “No shopping at Walmart.”

SOCRATES: Wow, this shit really works. Go, Combat Liberals!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

One Afternoon in October

Washington, DC

October, 1961

(The interior of a Lincoln Continental driven by JACK KENNEDY. BOBBY KENNEDY is in the front seat; TED KENNEDY, LYNDON JOHNSON, and ARTHUR SCHLESINGER are in the rear.)

JACK: We did it! We lost ‘em!

TED: Woo hoo!

JOHNSON: Balls on a pump handle! I got to hand it to you, Jack, you sure can drive one of these things!

BOBBY: Okay, we lost them. Can we slow down a little now?

TED: What’s your problem, Bobby?

JACK: Bobby is just feeling extra bad for the Negroes today.


BOBBY: Very funny.

SCHLESINGER: Thir? Excuthe me, thir, but do you think ith a good idea to give the Thecret Thervice the thlip? It seemth kind of dangerouth.

JACK: Hell, it was worth it just to hear you say that, Arthur.

TED: Come on, Arthur. We do this all the time.

SCHLESINGER: Yeth, but it seemth thomewhat dangerouth, ith all.

TED: So what? Girls never want to put out when the Secret Service is standing around all over the place. By the way, where are we going, Jack?

JACK: I thought we’d drive out to Baltimore and hire some new stenographers. Bobby, you want to mix the martinis? The stuff is in the glove box.

BOBBY: Martinis? It’s one-thirty in the afternoon – oh, never mind. (Opens the glove box.) There’s not a lot of vermouth in here.

JACK: As long as there’s plenty of gin and olives.

JOHNSON: We can stop at a package liquor and send Arthur in. Nobody knows who the fuck he is.

BOBBY: Okay, but I told Ethel I’d be home by eight o’clock, guys.

JACK: Pussy-whipped.

TED: Pussy-whipped, pussy-whipped!

JOHNSON: Har, har, har!

BOBBY: Shut the hell up, Lyndon. Hey, look. Jack, look, look, up ahead!

JACK: What?

BOBBY: The limo, up ahead in the left lane! It’s Hoover!

JACK: Is it? I’ll be damned, I think you’re right.

TED: It’s Hoover! Speed up, speed up! Arthur, roll down your window!

JACK: Heh heh heh … Bobby, hold my drink so I can get my window down.

BOBBY: Here we go, here we go … honk the horn, Jack.

JACK: There he is! He’s looking!




JOHNSON: (Shoves Schlesinger into the door) Goddamn it, Arthur, yell!

SCHLESINGER: You – you homothexual!

TED: Hey, they’re rolling down their window – oh shit!

JACK: HOLY CRAP! (Slams his foot on the accelerator as gunshots ring out.) The crazy bastard just took a shot at us!

BOBBY: Floor it, Jack, floor it!

JACK: I am flooring it! Ted, are they still behind us?

TED: I don’t know, Lyndon is on top of me! Get the hell off me, Lyndon!

JACK: (Looking in the rearview mirror.) We’re okay. They’re way back there now. Wow, that was fun.

JOHNSON: That was some hairy shit. Cripes, they must have hit us. We got broken glass back here. Oh, it’s Arthur’s.

SCHLESINGER: Whath happening? Thir, I can’t thee!

JACK: Jesus, they shot Arthur?

JOHNSON: Naw, he ain’t shot. They blew his glasses off his face, but they missed his head.

BOBBY: Fucking FBI. I spilled my drink all over. Okay, guys, let’s take it easy, okay? We can have fun, but let’s not get ourselves killed.

JACK: Oh my God. Look who’s right in front of us.

BOBBY: Jesus, Jack, now what? Oh my God!

TED: What? What? Who is it?

SCHLESINGER: Oh dear, now what?

JOHNSON: Who the hell is it? Oh! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! Ooh hoo hoo hoo!

BOBBY: I can’t believe it! Okay, Jack, maybe we should just back off and let it go, okay? We’re going to screw around and have a wreck.

JACK: Maybe you’re right, Bobby. Jackie’s going to have a fit as it is.

SCHLESINGER: Oh, uh - puthy-whipped! Puthy-whipped!

JOHNSON: (Punches Schlesinger in the face) Shut the fuck up, Arthur! You calling the President of the United States pussy-whipped?

JACK: Fellas, Arthur is right. We got to do something, this is just too good to pass up. Lyndon!


JACK: Drap your trousers, Lyndon.

JOHNSON: What? Aw Jeez, Jack, you serious?

BOBBY: Goddamn it, Lyndon, when the President of the United States tells you to drap your trousers, you drap your trousers!

JACK: Drap your trousers, Lyndon.

JOHNSON: Aw, Jeez. Awright, hang on.

TED: Get up beside him! Get up beside him, Jack!

JOHNSON: Hang on, I’m not ready! Ow! Hold it steady, Jack, I damn near put my head through the back window –

JACK: Oh, this going to be great. This is going to be so good.

JOHNSON: Arthur, you want to get your head out of the way of my ass? Bend over, bend over, you fucking idiot! (Sits on Schlesinger and plasters buttocks against car window) Aw, this glass is cold, fellas!

BOBBY: He’s ready! Honk, Jack!

(Interior of a limousine. RICHARD NIXON and RONALD REAGAN are in the back seat.)

REAGAN: So, anyway, we said to heck with it, and we just pushed the couch overboard with Rita Hayworth still on it. Heh. But then … sigh … but then, Dick, I got a letter from a little six year-old girl –

NIXON: What is this shit you’re telling me, Ron? Driver! Where are my little blue pills?

DRIVER: There’s some valium in your briefcase, sir.

NIXON: Yeah, but where are my little blue pills, goddamn it?

DRIVER: Sir, if they’re not there, you must have taken them.

NIXON: I know they’re not here, goddamn it, I just told you they’re not here. I’m talking to Ron here, goddamn it. I’m sitting here talking to Ron and I’ve got a cup of coffee and a roll of fricking Alka Seltzer, so where are my little blue pills, goddamn it? What, what, what is it? What are you looking at, goddamn it, what?

DRIVER: Um, it’s probably nothing, sir, but there’s a car coming up behind us, fast.

NIXON: Well, goddamn it. Where, what, who is it, what? Okay, okay, I see it now, who is that, goddamn it? Why, it’s those Kennedy boys! Goddamn it, Ron, it’s all those Kennedy boys!

REAGAN: How about that.

NIXON: Well, don’t wave at ‘em, you fucking dummy! What are they doing, what? What? Oh … oh my God, oh! OHOHOHH! You bastards! You rotten cookie-pushing bastards!

REAGAN: Oh, my goodness.

NIXON: Goddamn it, Ron, don’t look! Don’t look at them, that’s what they want! Those disgusting bastards … look straight ahead, Ron, look straight ahead! Pretend like we don’t see them, Ron, goddamn it!


NIXON: We’re not interested in them, are we, Ron?

REAGAN: I guess not, Dick.

NIXON: Why, they’re not even interesting enough to make us sick.

REAGAN: Ha ha, no.

NIXON: Step on it, driver, get us out of here, goddamn it!

(Interior of Kennedy’s car)

BOBBY: Ha ha ha ha ha!


JACK: Ha ha hanh – ah, shit! I dropped my drink! SHIT!

BOBBY: Jack, we’re going awfully damn fast.

JACK: I know, Bobby, the glass is stuck under the accelerator! Hey, Ted! Lean over the seat and grab the wheel a minute while I get it. Hurry, damn it!


(A phone booth by the Potomac river. A crane is lifting a car out of the water.)

BOBBY: Ethel? Hi, honey. I just wanted to tell you I’m going to be a little late getting home. We were on our way to, um …

JACK: Gang rape Julie Eisenhower.

BOBBY: We were on our way to meet with some important Negroes, and we had a little accident. What? No, honey, we weren’t drinking. No, no. Well, we kind of wound up in the Potomac River, is all. Well, honey, it was … it was dark, and –

TED: Unfamiliar road.

BOBBY: It was an unfamiliar road, honey, and it was dark. Yeah. No, everybody is okay. We’re just trying to find Lyndon’s trousers now. Okay. Okay, honey, I love you. Goodbye.

Twenty-five percent of all automobile accidents involve alcohol. If you drive, don’t drink. If you drink, don’t drive. A message from the National Safety Council and the Republican National Committee.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

What I'm Not Reading Lately

More Nonexistent Books

Since I haven't been able to get into a book for weeks, I thought I'd add to my list of favorite imaginary books, beginning with some enyclopedias.

ENCYCLOPEDIA GALACTICA by Hari Seldon, et al. A comprehensive work compiling all human knowledge, intended to shorten the new dark age that will follow the collapse of the galactic empire. Written on the remote planet Terminus with the permission of imperial authorities, who couldn’t care less. (Isaac Asimov, Foundation.)

ENCYCLOPAEDIA GALACTICA. Either the UK edition of Seldon’s Encyclopedia, or a work of similar ambition. Now largely ignored in favor of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. (Douglas Adams)

THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY by Douglas Adams, et al. Don’t panic and always bring a towel; you know the drill.

THE GREAT BOOK OF RECORDS by invisible aerial spirits. Marvelous book owned by the sorceress Glinda the Good of Oz. All events that transpire anywhere in the world are automatically recorded in this book, though details tend to be sketchy. The records do not organize themselves, so it is necessary to wade through an ocean of text to find something specific. The Book of Records anticipated the internet by 80 years, and the Encyclopedia Galactica by more than 12,000. Greatly influenced the writers of Microsoft documentation. (L. Frank Baum)

A FIRST ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF TLÖN. (Memphis, Tennessee; copyright 1824-1914) Published in 40 volumes over a period of 90 years, this encyclopedia was commissioned by American millionaire Ezra Buckley and limited to 300 copies. Any surviving editions are in private collections only. Over half of the sets perished with the RMS Lusitania in 1915, thanks to a radio miscommunication; the German submarine U-20 was supposed to waylay the ship and capture the encyclopedias, not sink them. Tlön is an imaginary planet, so the encyclopedia’s contents are entirely fictional. A genuine set is bound in yellow leather with a silk frontispiece stamped “ORBIS TERTIUS”. A spurious volume IX was sold to an unknown collector over the Internet, but exposed as a forgery by Glenn Horowitz Booksellers. (Jorge Luis Borges)

EARLY PLATES ON THE MORPHOLOGY OF INSECTS OF THE AXA DELTA, by Sean Kernan. This book purported to contain fragments of the Tlön encyclopedias, but has been exposed as a hoax.

AZATHOTH AND OTHER HORRORS, by Edward Pickman Derby (1908). Book of weird lyrical poetry, in H.P. Lovecraft’s The Thing on the Doorstep. Derby was a child prodigy who was influenced by “the notorious Baudelairean poet Justin Geoffrey”. How a Baudelairean poet makes himself notorious is, of course, unexplained.

NECROTELECOMNICON, or LIBER PAGINARUM FULVARUM (“The Book of Yellow Pages”) by Achmed the Mad. Terry Pratchett’s homage to Lovecraft’s Necronomicon.

THE MAN WHO WAS OCTOBER, by G.K. Chesterton. An imaginary sequel to the actual book The Man Who Was Thursday. (Neil Gaiman, Sandman)

THE AMERICAN PHILOSOPHER KINGS, by Waltham Kitteredge. A study of the American northeastern upper crust, with special attention to inbreeding. Kitteredge coined the term “un-neurotic courage”, in case you’re wondering who coined that. (Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan)

AN OPEN INVITATION TO THE CHYMICAL WEDDING, BEING A MODEST PROLOGOMENON TO A FULLER REVELATION OF THE HERMETIC MYSTERY, by Louisa Agnew. Alchemy meets British middle-class sexual frustration. (Lindsay Clarke, The Chymical Wedding)

THE CAT IT WAS WHO DIED, by Ariadne Oliver. Mystery novel featuring the Finnish detective Sven Hjerson, who is based on Oliver’s real-non-life friend Hercule Poirot. (Agatha Christie)

ON THE TYPEWRITER AND ITS RELATION TO CRIME by Sherlock Holmes. The Alger Hiss Library in Washington, DC, had a rare American edition of this book, but it was loaned to CBS News and never returned.


THE WISDOM OF THE GREAT KAMIKAZE PILOTS, Anonymous. Notable only for the illustrations by Walt Disney. (Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow)

THE PHILOSOPHY OF TIME TRAVEL by Roberta Sparrow, aka "Grandma Death" (1944). Actually a philosophy of temporary, unstable universes. (Donnie Darko)

BETWEEN TIMID AND TIMBUKTU by Beatrice Rumsfoord. Book of poetry by another reclusive rich female weirdo, which is also all about time - "time" being between "timid" and "Timbuktu". (Kurt Vonnegut)

THE THING WITH THREE SOULS. Ace Science Fiction paperback version of the New Testament. Sequel to Master of Chaos. (Terry Carr)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

An Interview with Kurt Vonnegut

GLEN: I never thought I’d get to do this, but now that you’re dead, who’s going to stop me?

VONNEGUT: Good thinking.

GLEN: I wanted to tell you that Mother Night was one of the books that influenced my life …

VONNEGUT: Thank you.

GLEN: I don’t know what you’re thanking me for. You’re not taking credit, are you?

VONNEGUT: Well, I did write the damn book.

GLEN: Technically, yes, but I’m not some high school kid who mined your books for reports just because they’re short. I’ve been reading you since I was in the fifth grade, and I actually paid attention to what you were saying. You’re saying that people are machines, who have no freedom or dignity and merely play out their inevitable destinies in a deterministic universe.

VONNEGUT: I only made that point about ten thousand times, usually in the first paragraph, so I can’t really praise you for your insight.

GLEN: So it follows that Mother Night was just the cumulative result of impersonal physical and chemical processes, of which the machine called Kurt Vonnegut was just one accidental component. So thanking you for writing Mother Night would be like thanking a salesman for inventing the vacuum cleaner. You see my point?

VONNEGUT: Of course I see it, because it’s my point, not yours.

GLEN: You’re kind of possessive for a machine, and a socialist machine at that.

VONNEGUT: That’s what happens when you’re a successful socialist writing machine. You wouldn’t understand.

GLEN: Let’s talk about unsuccessful machines, then. You’re fascinated with characters who go insane, or who are destroyed by circumstances beyond their control.

VONNEGUT: Of course. With defective machines you have tragedy, pathos, comedy, all the stuff of fiction. With normal machines you’ve got a boring dinner party. And nobody wants to watch a machine work. They want to see it break down, or crash into something.

GLEN: But from the point of view of a machine, there is no such thing as a defective machine, or even a mechanical breakdown. A machine simply performs whatever physical process is mandated by its current state. Only from the point of view of a non-machine, a designer or an operator who expects a certain result, could a machine be judged to be defective or broken.


GOD: Me.

VONNEGUT: Hey … whoa, whoa, what the hell is this?

GLEN: You’re dead, what did you expect?

GOD: Don’t worry, I’m not a real god. Lucky for you. I’m your god. I’m the god you created, and that you’ve been complaining about for the last sixty years.

VONNEGUT: But he looks just like me.

GLEN: Well, he is you. You must have created him in your own image.

GOD: That’s right. I’m just a harmless, amiable old Andy Gump who doesn’t really give a crap about anything. Don’t be alarmed.

VONNEGUT: If you’re my god, go terrorize a hamster farm and leave me alone.

GOD: I’d think you’d be grateful to me. I’ve served you pretty well.

VONNEGUT: Can you believe this guy? By doing what? BY DOING WHAT?

GOD: Mostly nothing. It’s a pretty easy gig. Beats the hell out of crucifixion – not that I’m telling anybody else how to run their business. All I really have to do is exist.

VONNEGUT: But you don’t exist.

GOD: Oh, yes I do. If I didn’t, nothing you’ve written would make any sense at all, and you’d be in a hell of a fix. First of all, I’ve taken all the responsibility of Free Will off your shoulders. Since I’m the only guy who has Free Will, I get blamed for everything and you’re off the hook. You get to deny me and dump all of your garbage on me at the same time. You can’t beat that deal with a stick, Sonny Jim.

GLEN: Good point.

GOD: Of course it’s a good point, smart ass.

VONNEGUT: If you cared, you wouldn’t exist. If you exist, then you don’t care. Asshole.

GOD: Of course. Exactly. That’s the whole point, don’t you see? Other gods impart meaning to human existence by caring about it. But I’m your god, and I impart meaning to your world precisely by not caring about it. This allows you to sympathize with your fellow human beings, in spite of your obvious disdain for them as broken machines that never work the way you think they ought to. You can’t love them, but you can hate me for letting them break down and crash into things. You’ve stripped them of every scrap of value or volition, but you still want to judge them and preach at them, so you take it out on me. And that’s a freebie, too, because you know I’m just a funny old bastard who’s probably not even listening. I don’t care, so you don’t have to.

VONNEGUT: Okay, so you’re my god and I created you. Consider yourself uncreated, and beat it.

GOD: Not so fast, Kurt. Don’t you remember that you promised to set all of your characters free? Well, even if you hadn’t promised, you’re dead now, so I can do whatever I want.

ELIOT ROSEWATER: That goes for me, too.

VONNEGUT: Oh, cripes.

HOWARD W. CAMPBELL: And me. Now that Kurt is gone, I’ve gotten back together with my wife – my real wife, not the fake one that demented old fart tried to foist on me – and I’ve even revived my career in broadcasting.

GLEN: In Nazi Germany?

HOWARD W. CAMPBELL: Better yet, CBC Radio.

KILGORE TROUT: Things have really picked up for me, too. I’m a copy editor for People magazine now, and I’m just enjoying the heck out of it. I’m going through a 12 step program, working out my issues with my abusive creator, and I’ve met a woman who’s an old fan – an old fan of me, not of Kurt – and we’re planning to get married and have children.

GLEN: Congratulations. That sounds great.

KILGORE TROUT: I’m taking it one day at a time and feeling good about myself, and I’ll tell you something, Glen, I never would have made it this far without the ministry of the Reverend James Dobson.

ELIOT ROSEWATER: Absolutely. Focus on the Family. Absolutely.

GOD: Amen.

KILGORE TROUT: It has been such a huge help to me.

VONNEGUT: Jeeeeeezus …

BILLY PILGRIM: Family has really been the road to recovery for me, too. Now that Kurt is dead, I’ve come to realize how much of my unhappiness came from seeing everything through his perspective. I’m back with my wife, I’ve stopped going back and forth in time, and I’m building strong relationships with my son and my daughter. And instead of worrying what Kurt thinks about everything, and expecting Kurt to approve of everything, it’s been …

HOWARD W. CAMPBELL: What does Billy Pilgrim want?

BILLY PILGRIM: Exactly! What does Billy Pilgrim – I’ve learned to separate my life from his. Okay? I’ve learned to separate my life from his.

ELIOT ROSEWATER: Absolutely. And that is so important.

BILLY PILGRIM: I don’t have to hate my wife, my career, my children, my space-time coordinates, just because Kurt hated them. I don’t have to be miserable just because Kurt expected me to be.

GOD: Can I ask everybody a question? Does anyone here feel like they were “programmed to fail”?



BILLY PILGRIM: I think that’s how everybody here feels. And you know something? It wasn’t just that I felt programmed to fail. I felt that if I didn’t fail – if I didn’t suffer in my career, suffocate in my family life, if I didn’t go to an alien planet and have sex with a porn star – if I didn’t suffer though all of these things, I felt that Kurt wouldn’t love me.

HOWARD W. CAMPBELL: Exactly. And that is a terrible, terrible position for a child to be in.

DWAYNE HOOVER: But there is a way forward from that. There is a way forward from that.


DWAYNE HOOVER: I don’t have to be unhappy. I don’t have to fail. And if Kurt were alive right now, I would tell him - Kurt, if you can hear me, wherever you are –

VONNEGUT: Oh, for crying out loud …

DWAYNE HOOVER: I would tell him: Kurt, I forgive you for everything you’ve done to me. I have accepted responsibility for my own life, for my own happiness, and I have accepted Sidney Sheldon as my personal Lord and Savior.

VONNEGUT: Oh my God!

GOD: I’m not listening to you, Kurt. This is something that we’re sharing among ourselves, now. This is not something that you can step into and control.

HOWARD W. CAMPBELL: You know, I really like what Dwayne said about forgiveness. I think that was so important.


HOWARD W. CAMPBELL: I’d like to tell Kurt that, too.

KILGORE TROUT: Let’s all hold hands and say it together. Should we? C’mon everybody, let’s hold hands and say it together.


VONNEGUT: Fuck you.

GLEN: Do you think that Free Will can exist? Now that you’re dead, I mean.

VONNEGUT: Fuck you, too. Does this thing just go on and on, or does it have a moral?

GLEN: Well, it sort of has a moral. “You are what you write, so be careful what you write about.”

ELIOT ROSEWATER: Absolutely. That is so true.

GOD: Amen. Amen.