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.