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Kurt Vonnegut's A Man Without A Country

Christianity and socialism alike, in fact, prescribe a society dedicated to the proposition that all
men, women, and children are created equal and shall not starve. (11)

Here is a lesson in creative writing.


First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing
absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college. (23)

I don't know about you, but I practice a disorganized religion. I belong to an unholy disorder.
We call ourselves “Our lady of perpetual astonishment”. (38)

Evolution is so creative. That's how we got giraffes. (46)

Do you think Arabs are dumb? They gave us our numbers. Try doing long division with
roman numerals. (64)

No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media,
and our religious and charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful.
(66)

Our children have inherited technologies whose byproducts, whether in war or peace, are
rapidly destroying the whole planet as a breathable, drinkable system for supporting life of
any kind. (70)

Human beings are chimpanzees who get drunk on power. (71)

Killing industrial quantities of defenseless human families, whether by old-fashioned


apparatus or by newfangled contraptions from universities, in the expectation of gaining
military or diplomatic advantage thereby, may no be such a hot idea after all. (74)

Abraham Lincoln said of James Polk


“Trusting to escape scrutiny, by fixing the public gaze upon the exceeding brightness of
military glory – that attractive rainbow, that rises in showers of blood – that serpent's eye, that
charms to destroy – he plunged into war.”

The kid would be lucky to be born into a society where even the poor people are overweight
but unlucky to be in one without a national health plan or decent public education for most,
where lethal injection and warfare are forms of entertainment, and where it costs an arm and
a leg to go to college. This would not be the case if the kid were a Canuck or Swede or Limey
or Frog or Kraut. So either go on practicing safe sex or emigrate. (106)