Bluebeard Quotes

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Bluebeard Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut
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Bluebeard Quotes Showing 1-30 of 109
“All right - I'll tell you what you did for me: you went for happy, silly, beautiful walks with me.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“It's the emptiest and yet the fullest of all human messages: 'Good-bye.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“Everything about life is a joke. Don't you know that?”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“What's the point of being alive," she said, "if you're not going to communicate?”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“Women are so useless and unimaginative, aren't they? All they ever think of planting in the dirt is the seed of something beautiful or edible. The only missile they can ever think of throwing at anybody is a ball or a bridal bouquet.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“The darkest secret of this country, I am afraid, is that too many of its citizens imagine that they belong to a much higher civilization somewhere else. That higher civilization doesn’t have to be another country. It can be the past instead—the United States as it was before it was spoiled by immigrants and the enfranchisement of the blacks.

This state of mind allows too many of us to lie and cheat and steal from the rest of us, to sell us junk and addictive poisons and corrupting entertainments. What are the rest of us, after all, but sub-human aborigines?”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“What a fool I would have been to let self-respect interfere with my happiness!”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“I have had all I can stand of not taking myself seriously.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“Because of the movies nobody will believe that it was babies who fought the war.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“The Great Depression was going on, so that the station and the streets teemed with homeless people, just as they do today. The newspapers were full of stories of worker layoffs and farm foreclosures and bank failures, just as they are today. All that has changed, in my opinion, is that, thanks to television, we can hide a Great Depression. We may even be hiding a Third World War.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“...simply moderate giftedness has been made worthless by the printing press and radio and television and satellites and all that. A moderately gifted person who would have been a community treasure a thousand years ago has to give up, has to go into some other line of work, since modern communications put him or her into daily competition with nothing but world's champions.... A moderately gifted person has to keep his or her gifts all bottled up until, in a manner of speaking, he or she gets drunk at a wedding and tap-dances on the coffee table like Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers. We have a name for him or her. We call him or her an "exhibitionist." How do we reward such an exhibitionist? We say to him or her the next morning, "Wow! Were you ever drunk last night!”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“So I went to New York City to be born again. It was and remains easy for most Americans to go somewhere else and start anew. I wasn't like my parents. I didn't have any supposedly sacred piece of land or shoals of friends to leave behind. Nowhere has the number zero been of more philisophical value than in the United States.... and when the [train] plunged into a tunnel under New York City, with it's lining of pipes and wires, I was out of the womb and into the birth canal.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“Most kids can't afford to go to Harvard to be misinformed.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“Belief is nearly the whole of the universe whether based on truth or not.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“We're doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That's what it is to be alive. It's pretty dense kids who haven't figured that out by the time they're ten.... Most kids can't afford to go to Harvard and be misinformed.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“I was obviously born to draw better than most people, just as the widow Berman and Paul Slazinger were obviously born to tell stories better than most people can. Other people are obviously born to sing and dance or explain the stars in the sky or do magic tricks or be great leaders or athletes, and so on.

I think that could go back to the time when people had to live in small groups of relatives -- maybe fifty or a hundred people at the most. And evolution or God or whatever arranged things genetically to keep the little families going, to cheer them up, so that they could all have somebody to tell stories around the campfire at night, and somebody else to paint pictures on the walls of the caves, and somebody else who wasn't afraid of anything and so on.

That's what I think. And of course a scheme like that doesn't make sense anymore, because simply moderate giftedness has been made worthless by the printing press and radio and television and satellites and all that. A moderately gifted person who would have been a community treasure a thousand years ago has to give up, has to go into some other line of work, since modern communications put him or her into daily competition with nothing but the world's champions.

The entire planet can get along nicely now with maybe a dozen champion performers in each area of human giftedness. A moderately gifted person has to keep his or her gifts all bottled up until, in a manner of speaking, he or she gets drunk at a wedding and tapdances on the coffee table like Fred Astair or Ginger Rogers. We have a name for him or her. We call him or her an 'exhibitionist.'

How do we reward such an exhibitionist? We say to him or her the next morning, 'Wow! Were you ever _drunk_ last night!”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“He was seemingly born not only with a gift for language, but with a particularly nasty clock which makes him go crazy every three years or so.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“Here is the solution to the American drug problem suggested a couple years back by the wife of our President: "Just say no.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“Fathers are always so proud the first time they see their sons in uniform," she said.

"I know Big John Karpinski was," I said. He is my neighbor to the north, of course. Big John's son Little John did badly in high school, and the police caught him selling dope. So he joined the Army while the Vietnam War was going on. And the first time he came home in uniform, I never saw Big John so happy, because it looked to him as though Little John was all straightened out and would amount to something.

But then Little John came home in a body bag.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“Never trust a survivor,” my father used to warn me, with Vartan Mamigonian in mind, “until you find out what he did to stay alive.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“Rabo Karabekian: I'm in the middle of a sentence.
Circe Berman: Who isn't?.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“I remember still how full of bad magic all those spearpoints to be put on the ends of rifles seemed to be. One was like a sharpened curtain rod. Another was triangular in cross-section, so that the wound it made wouldn't close up again and keep the blood and guts from falling out. Another one had sawteeth - so it could work its way through bone, I guess. I can remember thinking that war was so horrible that, at last, thank goodness, nobody could ever be fooled by romantic pictures and fiction and history into marching to war again.

Nowadays, of course, you can buy a machine gun with a plastic bayonet for your little kid at the nearest toy boutique.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“Everybody who is alive is a survivor, and everybody who is dead isn't," I said."So everybody alive must have the Survivor's Syndrome. It's that or death. I am so damn sick of people telling me proudly that they are survivors!”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“The team must consist of three sorts of specialists, he says. Otherwise the revolution, whether in politics or the arts or the sciences or whatever, is sure to fail.
The rarest of these specialists, he says, is an authentic genius - a person capable of having seemingly good ideas not in in general circulation. "A genius working alone," he says, "is invariably ignored as a lunatic."
The second sort of specialist is a lot easier to find; a highly intelligent citizen in good standing in his or her community, who understands and admires the fresh ideas of the genius, and who testifies that the genius is far from mad. "A person like this working alone," says Slazinger, "can only yearn loud for changes, but fail to say what their shaped should be."
The third sort of specialist is a person who can explain everything, no matter how complicated, to the satisfaction of most people, no matter how stupid or pigheaded they may be. "He will say almost anything in order to be interesting and exciting," says Slazinger. "Working alone, depending solely on his own shallow ideas, he would be regarded as being as full of shit as a Christmas turkey.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“kar.a.bek.i.an (n.); (from Rabo Karabekian, U.S. 20th Cent. painter). Fiasco in which a person causes total destruction of own work and reputation through stupidity, carelessness or both.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“That's the secret of how to enjoy writing and how to make yourself meet high standards," said Mrs. Berman. "You don't write for the whole world, and you don't write for ten people, or two. You write for just one person.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“And what is literature, Rabo," he said, "but an insider's newsletter about affairs relating to molecules, of no importance to anything in the universe but a few molecules who have the disease called 'thought'.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“A lot of people were opposed to it. A lot of people were for it. I myself think about it as little as possible.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“Nowadays, of course, just about our only solvent industry is the merchandising of death, bankrolled by our grandchildren, so that the message of our principal art forms, movies and television and political speeches and newspaper columns, for the sake of the economy, simply has to be this: War is hell, all right, but the only way a boy can become a man is in a shoot-out of some kind, preferably, but by no means necessarily, on a battlefield.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard
“all that has changed, in my opinion, is that, thanks to television, we can hide a great depression. we may even be hiding a third world war”
Kurt Vonnegut, Bluebeard

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