Thought I’d spare a few lines for two of my favourite old men, who have both died recently…
KURT VONNEGUT – died at 84 this week
Master of the time-travelling, fantasy, Sci-Fi universe (and the salacious Sci-Fi paperback under his pseudonym of Kilgore Trout), and author of the most compelling book about the bombing of Dresden – Slaughterhouse 5.
He was prolific, filthy, and a true post-linear thinker…
(Here he is, talking about when he tells his wife he’s going out to buy an envelope – thanks to Melody for the quote)
“Oh, she says well, you’re not a poor man. You know, why don’t you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet? And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I’m going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. I meet a lot of people. And, see some great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And, I ask a woman what kind of dog that is.
And, and I don’t know. The moral of the story is, is we’re here on Earth to fart around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And, what the computer people don’t realize, or they don’t care, is we’re dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And, we’re not supposed to dance at all anymore.”
JEAN BAUDRILLARD – died at 77 a few weeks ago
I remember going to see him speak many years ago at Sydney University, with all the excitement of a long-awaited performance by a rockstar… Tickets were like golddust… I’m sure the irony wouldn’t have been lost on him… I remember Pierre Stokx asking him a very provocative question about whether he really was a visionary, or just full of shit… He was more offended that I’d expected and I was vaguely disappointed that he hadn’t come back with a poignant remark.
Here is a cutting from the obituary section in the local morning paper…
“Jean Baudrillard, who died in Paris aged 77 this week, was a marvellously batty theorist of the kind the French do well. His big idea, argued in a book called Simulacra and Simulation, was that what is real doesn’t exist, compared with the “hyperreality” offered by the media, particularly TV.
To express that belief, he adorned his flat with 50 sets.
In 1991, he claimed “the Gulf War did not take place” and had merely been symbolic. Nevertheless Baudrillard’s verbose perversity is sometimes very funny, like a latter-day Oscar Wilde. In 1998, he published a book about America which is a classic of culture clash. He was fascinated not only by such sights as joggers and people eating alone, but the “orgasmic elasticity” of American carpets. How sad that he has – really – died.”
See you later Monsieur B xx