New trailer for Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time

My friend Bob Weide has a new documentary about Kurt coming called Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time. He writes:

I first approached Vonnegut about making this film in 1982, when I was 23 and he was an old man of 60. As we now put the finishing touches on the film, I am, myself, in my 60th year.

Time flies. Fate happens.

This started out as a rather conventional biographical author documentary, but as years turned into decades, and my relationship to my subject continued to evolve, it became something quite different.

You’ll see.

My co-director, Don Argott and I were getting ready to approach distributors and submit to festivals in February when the world changed. Now that festivals are on hold, and nobody is putting films in cinemas for the foreseeable future, we’re rethinking our game plan. For the time being, we’re eager to get the word out that this film is about to become a reality after 38 years, so if you’re active on social media, we’d be thankful if you can help us by posting the Youtube link wherever you can.

But that would be a bonus. The main thing is that you simply enjoy this sneak preview of my latest effort.

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Who would Kurt Vonnegut vote for?

Kurt Vonnegut

“. . . I suggest you work for a socialist form of government. Free Enterprise is much too hard on the old and the sick and the shy and the poor and the stupid, and on people nobody likes.  They just can’t cut the mustard under Free Enterprise. They lack that certain something that Nelson Rockefeller, for instance, so abundantly has.”

“So let’s divide up the wealth more fairly than we have divided it up so far. Let’s make sure that everybody has enough to eat, and a decent place to live and medical help when he needs it. Let’s stop spending money on weapons which don’t work anyway, thank God, and spend money on each other. It isn’t moonbeams to talk of modest plenty for all. They have it in Sweden. We can have it here. . .”

Kurt Vonnegut, address to the graduating class of Bennington College, 1970
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Why Vonnegut stays relevant

I was asked by the director of the Middletown (PA) public library to answer questions from his readers about the work of Kurt Vonnegut. Since I have edited and written introductions to three books of Vonnegut’s works, and I had the pleasure of knowing him for more than forty years, it was assumed I would know all the answers. I didn’t. There was one answer I felt good about, though. It was the last question I was asked, by John Grayshaw, director of the library. He asked

“Why do you think Vonnegut’s works are still so popular? What is their staying power?”

This is what came out of my head in response:

Other contemporary writers of his era seem “dated,” like Updike and Roth, who were writing of their time – Vonnegut was writing of past, present and future. Young people are not interested in the suburban life of the 1950s. Vonnegut transcended that.

He gave people hope. He showed he cared for the planet. What tramadol purchase online legally other writer of his time did that?

Mailer? Mary McCarthy? Fitzgerald or Hemingway?

He cared about the clumsy, the poor, the downtrodden. He saw that they too had a right to be fed, clothed, and housed against the elements.

He refused to write battle scenes of war, knowing that they made people see slaughter as glamorous. He wrote a war novel in which there are no battles. Saturation bombing is not a “battle.” It is only a devestation.

Next to The Beatitudes the lines he quotes most were from his fellow Hoosier Eugene V. Debs:

“As long as there is a lower class, I am in it; as long as there is a criminal class, I am of it; as long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

He asked why people don’t say things like that anymore. He said them. He dramatized them. He built stories around them. He fed our imagination. He knew were hungry.

Nuff said.

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Dan Wakefield

Dan Wakefield