It says something about this country that Kurt Vonnegut's death did not stop the presses. There were no tv magazine shows discussing his brilliant wit, his futuristic insights, his remarkable writing talent, his caustic observations on human nature. No special bulletin from CNN, no extra programming (as yet) from the big three stations about his life and works. I mean, you couldn't turn on the telly without an in-depth report on the latest wrinkle concerning Anna Nicole, who, as far as I can see, contributed nothing more than a few sad, stoned incoherent tv moments. I'm sorry that she died, any life cut short is tragic, but did she really warrant so much press coverage? And I'll betcha a box of fresh, fluffy, hand dipped chocolate donuts that just about anyone you talk to will look at you blankly if you ask them who KV was, but could go on at length about Anna Nicole. If you haven't read his short story, Harrison Bergeron, I urge you to read it. It'll take you a minute or two and strike you as eerily prophetic. Even though it was written in 1961.
And i have to comment about the Imus thing. I'm not a political/sociological/ideological commentator - don't wanna be, but why was it ever okay to denigrate any woman of accomplishment? That he chose a disgusting and particularly cruel and nasty racial slur is beside the point. (Though of course arguments can be made that this is totally the point). Why, in this new millennium, in this anno Domini enlighteniosiment (shaddup, i made it up) is it still okay to knock and mock women for doing anything of importance? I mean, these were young college girls, athletes at the top of their game - the kind of girl we all want our daughters to grow up to be. Yes, one would argue, Imus's remarks came out of a rap culture infamous for its foul treatment of women, but why was that even allowed to flourish on our airways? Our culture seems to be on a runaway train, and it's heading backwards.
So, a few weeks ago, i celebrated another birthday, March 21. Why on earth do i use the word celebrate? Why does anyone anticipate their birthday with any kind of joy? Getting older is not a great accomplishment, I mean, you just have to hang around to do it. And celebrating one more year of heading towards the inevitable stiff joints, wrinkles, graying hair and - um - forgetfulness - doesn't make sense. Henceforth, i will use the word "noticed" instead of celebrate, as in I noticed my birthday. On the other hand, I am happy to be here, enjoying life, so i will joyfully declare that March will be my birthday MONTH, that i want everyone to notice it, and toward that end, I expect lots of gifts. I may not like birthdays, but i love goodies. You can just leave them all by the front door, please.