Here was the perfect combination of rightous smartass and reflective philosopher for my liking. Since finishing that first book, I have regretted finishing every other Kurt Vonnegut novel that I have read, only because that meant that there was one less Vonnegut novel to discover and the appeal of literature was somewhat diminished for me because of it.
I was even thrilled to see him in that Rodney Dangerfield movie where he played himself writing a book report on one of his books for the Dangerfield character. Rodney is later told by his professor and potential love interest that "Whoever wrote that book report doesn't know the first thing about Vonnegut". I'm sure ol' Kurt loved that bit. He probably have even agreed with her.
What I took from Vonnegut was mostly this: we are all crazy. We are crazy for paying any attention to that crazy world outside of our homes where the people we love and all that is important resides. We are crazy for not paying attention to that crazy world outside our homes where fellow people suffer, where if we can do anything to stop the madness, as we see it, we should. Above all, Vonnegut said we should be nice to one another and that made him a radical.
Of course, some crazy Jew out in the desert said the same thing two thousand years ago, and we keep ignoring Him. We will probably keep on ignoring Kurt Vonnegut asking us to as well.
But thank you, Mr. Vonnegut for trying. I will surely miss you.
So it goes.