September 25, 2012 |
"DONORS CHOOSE. " The words are music to most teachers' ears - especially here in the budget-challenged School District of Philadelphia. The words mean that some district students can replace headsets that were damaged in a flood, or that they'll be able to read another classic book. Mostly, they mean that teachers won't go broke paying for the school supplies and items they need for their classrooms or projects. DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that helps teachers cover the hundreds if not thousands of dollars of their own money they shell out every year.
December 4, 2011
And So It Goes Kurt Vonnegut: A Life By Charles J. Shields Henry Holt. 513 pp. $30 Reviewed by Carole Mallory And So It Goes , Charles J. Shields' riveting biography of Kurt Vonnegut, examines the late author from every side, not all of them flattering. Although it's an authorized biography, written with Vonnegut's cooperation, Shields doesn't flinch from showing some less attractive character traits that made their way into Vonnegut's fiction - for example, a cruel streak that dated to his childhood and manifested itself throughout much of his work.
May 22, 2008
MY FAVORITE author is Kurt Vonnegut, who died last year. In his posthumous book, "Armageddon in Retrospect," he made a poignant comment about race in America. "And now I have raised my right hand. And that means I am not kidding, that whatever I say next I believe to be true. So here goes: The most spiritually splendid American phenomenon of my lifetime wasn't our contribution to defeat the Nazis, in which I played a large part, or Ronald Reagan's overthrow of Godless Communism, in Russia at least.
April 13, 2007
The Mark Twain of the Greatest Generation is gone. Kurt Vonnegut, a sage of the '60s counterculture, a writer of profound satires masquerading as goofy science fiction, is dead at 84. If you know just a little about Mr. Vonnegut's novels, they may sound wacky. He invented a whole religion, Bokononism. He invented a planet, Tralfamadore, which he posited had been pulling the strings on planet Earth for years. He invented a world-ending substance, ice-nine, which the Grateful Dead adopted as a trademark.
November 9, 2002 |
God bless you, Mr. Vonnegut. Even if you don't believe in Him. And happy birthday. You're going to be 80 on Tuesday. So it goes. Hard to believe. Hell of a career. Some of us thank you for those short sentences, those short paragraphs, those short ideas that showed American fiction could be smart, critical, wild, fantastic and intellectual without being Henry James. Some of us thank you for roaming into the technological horizon of 1950s American corporate life (can you still remember those days doing PR for GE?
April 22, 2002 |
GEEZ. JUST AS it looked like troubled figure skater Tonya Harding was finally taking control of her shady life, veering away from her pesky demons, bam! She slams her beloved pickup into a ditch and then gets cited for drunken driving after failing a sobriety and breath test, Washington police said. Neither the boxing champ nor her passenger was hurt in the 1:30 a.m. accident, in Battle Ground, northwest of Portland, Ore. Harding's blood-alcohol content was not released. To see Harding go from the heights of glory - when she did what comes naturally and walloped Paula Jones last month in Fox's "Celebrity Boxing" special - to this latest incident is just, well, sad. Not to mention typical.
September 29, 1998 |
It's not exactly a song. It sounds more like like a speech with a musical background. But it's not exactly a speech either. It's called "Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen" and, according to WXPN-FM music director Bruce Warren, "it's causing mass hysteria" among that station's listening audience. "We've gotten more requests to play this than anything else we've had on the station in the last 10 years," Warren said. "Every time it's played - and we're playing it on every show - we get an incredible number of phone calls.
September 6, 1998 |
So where did you celebrate the millennium? Oh, you didn't know you missed it? Well, in the Gospel According to Kurt - Kurt Vonnegut Jr., that is - Jesus was actually born in 5, 6 or 7 B.C. "So the actual millennial year has come and gone and attracted no more attention than a sneeze," Vonnegut said in a recent interview, discussing an essay he has written that will appear in Playboy's millennium issue in January 1999. Vonnegut mentioned the essay when asked if he was doing any writing at all lately.
August 3, 1997 |
If you're a Kurt Vonnegut fan - or even if you're not - and plugged into cyberspace, you may have gotten e-mail in recent days described as a commencement address given by the writer to the graduates at MIT. It begins: "Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97: Wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. " What follows is both wise and funny. But it isn't Vonnegut. "Kurt didn't write it," Don Farber, the writer's lawyer and agent, told The Inquirer.
November 20, 1995 |
As premieres go, "Cat's Cradle," wasn't exactly the end of the world, but by the time it draws to a conclusion you almost wish it was. Numbing, at nearly three hours in length, this Novel Stages production is billed alternately as a musical comedy and a free-wheeling apocalyptic satire (depending on where your eye falls in the press kit). Based on Kurt Vonnegut's classic novel, written more than 30 years ago, it fails on a number of levels. In case you haven't done the required reading, the novel's storyline revolves around free-lance writer Jack, a man in search of the essence of Dr. Felix Hoenikker, father of the atomic bomb.