False Advertising

Kurt Vonnegut March 24, 2004

I recent­ly gave a speech in Cleve­land. I feel so safe there. The bi-par­ti­san­ship of Neo­cons work­ing in per­fect har­mo­ny with the Chris­t­ian Right has made this city so safe that Cleveland’s may­or is actu­al­ly lay­ing off police per­sons and fire fight­ers. There can only be one word for a com­mu­ni­ty that secure: Utopia.”

So many Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties are now such Utopias that only one issue remains to be dealt with in the next pres­i­den­tial elec­tion: Is the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca for or against homo­sex­u­al marriage?

I’m going to tell you some news.

No, I am not run­ning for Pres­i­dent, although I do know that a sen­tence, if it is to be com­plete, must have both a sub­ject and a verb. 

Nor will I con­fess that I sleep with chil­dren. I will say this, though: My wife is by far the old­est per­son I ever slept with.

Here’s the news: I am going to sue the Brown and Williamson Com­pa­ny, man­u­fac­tur­ers of Pall Mall cig­a­rettes, for a bil­lion bucks! Start­ing when I was only twelve years old, I have nev­er chain-smoked any­thing but unfil­tered Pall Malls. And for many years now, right on the pack­age, Brown and Williamson have promised to kill me.

But I am now eighty-one and a half!!!!

Thanks a lot, you dirty rats. The last thing I ever want­ed was to be alive when the three most pow­er­ful peo­ple on the whole plan­et would be named Bush, Dick and Colon.

Kurt Von­negut, the leg­endary author, WWII vet­er­an, human­ist, artist and smok­er, was an In These Times senior edi­tor until his death in April 2007. His clas­sic works include Slaugh­ter­house-Five, Break­fast of Cham­pi­ons and Cat’s Cra­dle, among many oth­ers. The last book by him pub­lished before his death, A Man With­out a Coun­try (2005), col­lects many of the arti­cles he wrote for this magazine.
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