Kurt Vonnegut Wishes He Were Never Born


Kurt Vonnegut is now doing an advice column for the left-leaning biweekly In These Times (and slowly wearing away the residual affection I have for him based on how groovy I thought Cat's Cradle was when I was 12.) In the April 14 issue, he advises a woman thinking of having a baby: "Don't do it!" since the kid would be "unlucky to be in [a society] without a National Health plan or decent public education." While this anti-life, insanely privileged and whiny opinion is bad enough, somehow my respect for him as a writer and thinker was even more damaged by his further advice that she—to avoid having a baby who might have to suffer the existence-nullifying pain of perhaps having to, as an adult, pay for its own health insurance or medical bills—"go on practicing safe sex." That sort of lifeless, prissy, abstract bilge marks one as a social worker, not a practicer of literature.