July 30, 2017

Posing and not interposing with Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

A chance encounter as we walked down Massachusetts Avenue in Indianapolis last Friday...

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Meade wanted me to pose with my hand like that, but it was hard to figure out what in the position of that hand was giving it such expression. And I didn't know until I uploaded the pictures that he was also trying to catch the blazing sun, which I presume is intentional, since a slight step to the left would have interposed the building.

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The sunlight seems to say the brilliant spirit lives on.

The mural was painted by Pamela Bliss.

45 comments:

Feste said...

Perfect.

madAsHell said...

*
Vonnegut's most famous drawing. I can't remember which book it was...."Breakfast of Champions"?....It seems like tertiary syphilis was also discussed.

Quaestor said...

Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis. But when he gained a bit of fame he moved to Nooyawk without a backward glance. Honoring his memory with a giant mural seems like asking for love from la belle dame sans merci.

Feste said...
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Etienne said...
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Feste said...
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walter said...

A bit O' Dali in that hand.

tcrosse said...

Enough to thaw the Ice Nine.

campy said...

Meade would not, could not move a step to the left.

Jim Grey said...

Hey! Belated welcome to my city. Hope you enjoyed it. A few more such side-of-building people lurk about the place.

Bay Area Guy said...

I read Slaughterhouse Five recently - must have missed it in college. I respect Vonnegut's talent and service in WWII, but that book is disorganized, uninteresting gibberish.

Etienne said...
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Ignorance is Bliss said...

The mural was painted by Pamela Bliss.

No relation.

tcrosse said...

A journey to the center of the chronosynclastic infundibulum.

Feste said...
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exhelodrvr1 said...

Imposing.

traditionalguy said...

NapTown wild.

Fernandinande said...

"Here's the news: I am going to sue the Brown & Williamson Tobacco 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 & Williamson have promised to kill me.

But I am eighty-two. 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."

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, Vonnegut has his left foot forward but you have your right foot forward. You totally ruined the shot.

Kevin said...

[after Diane gives Thornton an 'F' for his report, which was actually written by Kurt Vonnegut]

Diane: Whoever *did* write this doesn't know the first thing about Kurt Vonnegut!

[cut to Thornton's dorm suite]

Thornton Melon: [on the phone] ... and *another* thing, Vonnegut! I'm gonna stop payment on the cheque!

[Kurt tells him off]

Thornton Melon: Fuck me? Hey, Kurt, can you read lips, *fuck you*! Next time I'll call Robert Ludlum!

[hangs up]

oldirishpig said...

I feel as if I should accuse you of fibbing- no way you got in and out of West Lafayette in less than three days, with all the construction going on! They swear TO GOD they'll have State St put back together before classes start in 3 weeks, but the kids are filtering back into town NOW....

Unknown said...

Listen: Billy Pilgrim has come unstuck in time.

ngtrains said...

Kurt was a son of the Vonnegut family that had an extensive
hardware chain in Indpls. Lots of $'s He could do what he wanted.


Molly said...

To get the pose right, I think you need to consciously move your head forward and stretch your neck out. Try it, and you'll see that you feel like Vonnegut looks in the mural.

Ann Althouse said...

"I feel as if I should accuse you of fibbing- no way you got in and out of West Lafayette in less than three days, with all the construction going on! They swear TO GOD they'll have State St put back together before classes start in 3 weeks, but the kids are filtering back into town NOW...."

Meade knows the back routes. Didn't see any of the construction. Heard about it. We weren't downtown.

Friendo said...

Althouse (and Meade) you rock. Thanks for what has been and thanks for this.

Ann Althouse said...

@molly I agree. Very hard to cooy a pose while not looking at it. The hand is part of a whole-body expression. I t would also help to have in mind what thought was expressed. I'm actually not sure. It not "who me?"

Robert Cook said...

Blogger Bay Area Guy said...
"I read Slaughterhouse Five recently - must have missed it in college. I respect Vonnegut's talent and service in WWII, but that book is disorganized, uninteresting gibberish."

It's not him, it's you.

wwww said...


I enjoyed Slaughterhouse Five.

Harrison Bergeron - my favourite short story of Vonnegut.

Bill said...

…he closed the venetian blinds and then the drapes, and he lay down on the outside of the coverlet. But sleep would not come. Tears came instead. They seeped. Billy turned on the Magic Fingers, and he was jiggled as he wept.

- Slaughterhouse Five

Pianoman said...

Just finished reading Welcome To The Monkey House, a collection of short stories. They're not as good as his novels, but they're still an interesting read for any Vonnegut fan.

Tank said...

Light gravity today.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Infinite Quisp" (an excerpt)...

Napken felt the vibration in his pocket as he walked past the Nostalgic Food Store. Retrieving the phone from his pocket, he briefly stared at his reflection imposed upon a pyramid of pale blue Quisp cereal boxes. Perhaps his father ate these when he was a child, he thought. Perhaps eating a bowl of Quisp cereal would better his understanding of his father: after all, you cannot truly understand a man until you understand his memories...

Answering the call, a pleasant female monotone voice told Napken that life was worth living, that things can always get better. Don't let anxiety swallow you, she said. That was odd, he thought: the Affirmation App was usually good at sensing emotion, but he didn't feel suicidal in the slightest. Except now the thought of suicide was in his head. Looking at the boxes of Quisp, the thought flittered away...

He hadn't planned on going into the Nostalgic Food Store, but he now felt a compulsion to buy candy cigarettes. When he was a child all the adults smoked. His father smoked, his mother smoked. His uncles smoked, his aunts smoked. His school-teachers: they smoked. Yes, he would buy candy cigarettes, and they needed to be in a red box, he was sure of that...

I am Laslo.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The size and building remind me of "A fine old Martin" on Wazee street in Denver. Not sure if that old Willie Matthews mural is even there anymore.

Laslo Spatula said...
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Laslo Spatula said...

"Infinite Quisp" (an excerpt)...

Napken walked down Eastern Avenue, which ran parallel to Western Avenue. Visitors to the town sometimes found this amusing, but, if you asked them, they had difficulty articulating why. Big City thinking, the locals would say...

A man at the corner in a blue suit impatiently smoked a cigarette while waiting for the light to change from red to green. Napken stopped beside him, then put a candy cigarette to his lips and nodded, not unlike the way a pigeon nods. The man in the blue suit turned and looked at Napken with a blank expression. Blank eyes, blank mouth, a blanket of nothing. A default setting. Napken tried to exhibit a blank expression in return, but discovered that he couldn't do it: his expression was that of a man trying to do a blank expression, which is noticeably different...

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Infinite Quisp" (an excerpt)...

Crossing the street, Napken paused at the white flowers and various patterns of silver and white wrapping paper wrapped around the streetlight. It was another informal memorial: they were getting to be practically everywhere. This one was in memory of a young woman who posed for a selfie in front of an oncoming bus. People in town still disagree as to whether she intended to get out of the way at the last moment, or if she wanted the bus to hit her. Mostly, people felt sorry for the bus driver...

I am Laslo.

Brookzene said...

“But if today is really in honor of a hundred children murdered in war,” he said, “is today a day for a thrilling show?
“The answer is yes, on one condition: that we, the celebrants are working consciously and tirelessly to reduce the stupidity and viciousness of ourselves and of all mankind.”

- Cat's Cradle

Feste said...

Today, one of our daughters visited with an unusually difficult attitude.

Mistress Mine called her, for that, “Spriggan.”

Which led to enamored questions, dispelling our passing darkness, namely, queries whether our “Spriggan” might whirlwind, and mainly how fast, from smallest to gargantuan?

Tricky questions to ask. Save in oceans of love. And even then boundaries get tested.

The questions led us to ask others: whether there exists any upper terminus to Sprigganism? - what such boundaries might be? - whether such boundaries themselves might become changelings, that is, such as children sometimes affect adults?

Elsewhere hereabouts in this blog, someone wrote that children work good medicines against depression. This is true. And hopefully that works both ways.

Now, Quisp. A new one for me. Quips hasn’t yet appeared in our house. A very, very nice house, with no cats, only one Spriggan. To whom I’m recommending that she, our Spriggan, read aloud - reading aloud works a magic - that our Spriggan read aloud to us all about Quisp.

Maybe not all.

The end.

Feste said...

Oh my:

"Quips hasn’t yet appeared in our house." Well, quips there are, aplenty. Should have been Quisps.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Vonnegut was a liberal, but his short story "Harrison Bergeron" depicts the world the Democrats are trying to create:

"It is the year 2081. Because of Amendments 211, 212, and 213 to the Constitution, every American is fully equal, meaning that no one is stupider, uglier, weaker, or slower than anyone else. The Handicapper General and a team of agents ensure that the laws of equality are enforced."

http://www.tnellen.com/westside/harrison.pdf

Brian McKim and Traci Skene said...

Am I the only one (besides my wife) who thinks murals are low-rent, third-worldish and vaguely reminiscent of socialist or communist shit holes?

My lovely wife grew up in the rough and tumble working-class neighborhood of Kensington, in Philadelphia and she despises graffiti and she associates murals with graffiti, with defacement (is that a word?) and I see her point.

I cringe whenever I see a local newscast touting more money being poured into a "mural program." "No!" we shout at the screen. Don't encourage it!

Ralph L said...

Brian McKim and Traci Skene said...
Am I the only one
You seem to be two.

Once, murals were advertisements for private enterprises. Now murals are ads for city governments.

Althouse led with the opposite foot because she's a girl. Her hand should be further down, too, but her boob's in the way. Wonder how her golf swing is.

Rick Turley said...

Reminiscent of Lousiville's Hometown Heroes murals. Fairly impressive list for the size of the city. Click through the pictures to see the murals.

http://louheroes.org/

Pianoman said...

"Vonnegut was a liberal"

Yep, but he was not a Leftist.

There *is* a difference, no matter how hard Rush tries to pretend there isn't.