Talk:Kurt Vonnegut

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Tributes/Popular culture section[edit]

Recently a lot of stuff was removed, while other things were left, there didn't seem to be much in the way of reasoning why one thing would be important while the other wasn't. I reverted the edit with the thought that this should be discussed and "reformatted" (as suggested) rather than just deleted. I will include the text below, feel free to discuss them entry by entry and suggest ways to re-work the section(s). Centerone (talk) 22:26, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

From the page:

  • A sort of anti-tribute appears in Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's novel Inferno, which is set in Dante's Hell. The protagonist, a version of Niven himself, encounters Vonnegut's tomb in the city of Dis; another character theorizes it is punishment for Vonnegut's satire of religion in several of his stories. The protagonist utters bitter criticism of Vonnegut's talent, but it is not clear whether it should be seen as actual criticism of Vonnegut or of the character's own ego.
  • The 2009 Hollywood adaptation of Vonnegut's story "Harrison Bergeron", a film entitled 2081 is dedicated "To Kurt Vonnegut, Jr."
  • At the annual Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library McFadden Memorial Lecture at Butler University in Indianapolis, on April 27, 2007, where Vonnegut was being honored posthumously, his son Mark delivered a speech that the author wrote for the event, and which was reported as the last thing he wrote. It ends with this: "I thank you for your attention, and I'm outta here."[1]
  • Filmmaker Michael Moore included Vonnegut in the dedications for his 2007 film Sicko; at the end of the film, the words "Thank You Kurt Vonnegut for Everything" appear on the screen.
  • The satirical newspaper The Onion contained a tribute to Vonnegut soon after he died, with a reference to his work Slaughterhouse-Five stating that he shouldn't be referred to as dead "without checking Dresden for his younger self first."[2]
  • On November 11, 2007, Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver, reintroduced Kurt's Mile High Malt to celebrate the late author's birthday.[3] The beer was originally created by Vonnegut's grandfather, Albert Lieber, of the Indianapolis Brewery, using coffee as the secret ingredient. Kurt's Mile High Malt was first brewed in 1996 thanks to Wynkoop Founder and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, a friend of Vonnegut's. At Vonnegut's request, coffee was added to the Mile High Malt, making it a close recreation of his grandfather's original.
  • When Vonnegut died, members of the Alplaus Volunteer Fire Department in New York lowered the American flag to half staff, hung the funeral shroud, and rang a fire bell in accordance with the traditional 5-5-5 alarm used to honor fallen brothers. Vonnegut's name still appears on an old active fire-fighters roster, located next to a screen-print that he donated to the department.
  • Guitarist Joe Satriani wrote his song Ice 9 about the fictional substance from Cat's Cradle.
  • The Grateful Dead's publishing company, Ice-Nine Publishing Co., was named after the substance from Cat's Cradle.
  • The Christian alternative band, Breakfast With Amy has an album called Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt, which was written on a tombstone illustration for Slaughterhouse-Five.
  • Elvis Costello's song, Man Out Of Time, is based on the character of Billy Pilgrim.
  • The band billy pilgrim is an homage to the main character of Slaughterhouse-Five.
  • The 1975 song "Nice, Nice, Very Nice" by the rock band Ambrosia uses lyrics Vonnegut wrote for his 1963 novel Cat's Cradle. Vonnegut was delighted with the song and shared a writing credit with the band. The entire letter of appreciation he wrote in 1976 appears in the band's 1997 CD release Anthology; an excerpt is available here.
  • The Florida based punk band Discount have a song called "K.V. T-Shirt" off their album "Alexia's Alright Tonight".
  • The band Deadeye Dick takes its name from the title of Vonnegut's 1982 novel.
  • The title of American alternative rock band The Nixons's 1995 release Foma is a reference to one of the central tenets of Bokononism, meaning "harmless lies or untruths". They also did a song of the same name.
  • The abstract beat-driven electronic artist Lukid references Vonnegut twice by way of song titles on their 2009 release Foma: one song called Ice-Nine and another called Foma.
  • The title of Andrew Jackson Jihad's 2007 album People That Can Eat People Are the Luckiest People in the World is taken from a line of Hocus Pocus.
  • The American rock bands Granfalloon and Granfalloon Bus both reference one of the central tenets of Bokononism. As does the zine Granfalloon.
  • The Arizona based punk label Gilgongo Records takes its name from one of the stories by Kilgore Trout included in Breakfast of Champions. Additionally there was once a Danish band that went by Gilgongo.
  • The Chicago-based instumental/electronic band Ilium is named after the fictional town of the same name in several Vonnegut novels.
  • In Cleveland there is an upscale clothier named after Kilgore Trout.
  • There is a Russian Goa trance artist who goes by DJ Kilgore Trout and a US-based experimental breakbeat artist who goes by Kilgore Trout as well as a 2011 hardcore noise rock band called Kilgore Trout.
  • Smashing Pumpkins thanks Vonnegut in the liner notes for Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness. That album features a song titled Galapogos and a song called Bodies which is similar to the story Unready To Wear from the collection Welcome to the Monkey House.
  • The Dandy Warhols released a 2003 record called Welcome to the Monkey House.
  • Born Ruffians have a song named for Vonnegut which includes some lines from a poem in Cat's Cradle.
  • Al Stewart's 1974 album Modern Times features a song titled Sirens of Titan which has many references to that book, notably the line "I was the victim of a series of accidents, as are we all."

... Centerone (talk) 22:27, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

I agree with your revert. This is an important article, and these inclusions have been here for some time. It should be discussed rather than a decision of one editor. Gandydancer (talk) 23:21, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
No, sixteen of the 25 bullet points were added only yesterday at the decision of a single editor.
I cut it to the three slightly detailed stories of tributes made after his death, in chronological order - that the Alplaus Volunteer Fire Department honoured him as a "fallen brother" when he died, that his son Mark later read a posthumous speech Vonnegut had written, and months later a brewer reintroduced their Vonnegut beer. As I said in the edit summary, the rest were minor pop culture "X mentioned or took a title from or dedicated something to the massively popular cult literary figure Kurt Vonnegut" - these don't seem particular remarkable in themselves, and I felt they were detracting from the meaningful tributes. By presenting these as equivalent bullet points, we're suggesting that the fact that a Floria punk band once wrote a song called K.V. T-Shirt is no more or less important than Mark Vonnegut reading aloud the last words Kurt ever wrote.
If we want to explain to the reader that Vonnegut was widely respected and quoted throughout his career and after his death, we should say that, in a brief paragraph, rather than unveiling a laundry list of a dozen bands the reader has never heard of, and forcing them to be the judge of any significance. --McGeddon (talk) 07:54, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Two editors. WP:IPC is a useful essay which explains why unsourced and indiscriminate cruft collections like this do not belong on a serious article. Please read it, and add third-party sources to any you want to keep. --John (talk) 05:46, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Sorry McGeddon, I missed that. Cut what you feel best. This sort of info can go on forever--LOL, see one that I work on and watch, Blue moon. Gandydancer (talk) 20:35, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Understandable, but I believe some of it deserves to be reviewed for inclusion on a case by case basis. In addition, while there was a recent addition, I would suspect that some of this has come and gone over time. (Normally I track really far back edit by edit, but I am not going to do that for this article right now.) Relationships and tributes that might have been acknowledged during his life I believe should be explored in some way, and as it suggests "Please reorganize this content to explain the subject's impact on popular culture rather than simply listing appearances" some of the content may be effective if re-written to show his impact. Personally, I don't see the point of entries like 'he died, and some people cared so they lowered the flag in tribute' vs. 'here's some real impact that he had and ways that people have interpreted and been influenced by his work.' One relationship that may be worthy of more inspection was that he had more than a passing relationship with the Grateful Dead.. not only did they name their publishing company for them, but they actually had purchased the film rights to one of his works, and he also socially interacted with them. Centerone (talk) 07:15, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

What is going on with the photo?[edit]

Wasn't there a photo in place before that depicted him as he best known at the peak of his career? What purpose is served by replacing it with a picture taken before he even went to Dresden? I suggest restoring the previous one, unless there were intractable copyright issues, and incorporating others later on in the article as appropriate. Jszigeti (talk) 17:43, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

It was changed in this edit. There is no other free image currently available on Commons. The other image, File:Kurt Vonnegut at CWRU.jpg depicts an elderly Vonnegut from 2004, and is copyrighted. It could be used in this article "Where no free equivalent is available or could be created that would adequately give the same information" but the question is whether the Army picture is adequate. Elizium23 (talk) 17:50, 16 September 2013 (UTC)

Awards[edit]

The boxout lists Vonnegut as receiving the Prisoner of War Medal, but I'm not sure that was ever the case. Though he certainly qualifies for a retroactive award, I can't find evidence that he ever applied for it or collected it. The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library displays awards that include his Purple Heart and ribbon bar (to be precise, a couple of ribbon bars, some of which show duplicates and so were probably worn at different times) and it doesn't feature the POWM. Can anyone confirm (or deny) the award?

Furthermore, it seems unusual to me that the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon displayed in the Library has three service stars, denoting four separate campaigns. As far as I can tell, Vonnegut would've qualified for two or maybe three at most (Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe and perhaps Rhineland). Could there be an error in the ribbon's presentation, or am I in error? — Preceding unsigned comment added by StoneColdCrazy (talkcontribs) 22:52, 11 August 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ Herman, Steve. "Vonnegut's Hometown Honors Late Author". Retrieved April 28, 2007.  [dead link]
  2. ^ SSNGetName(); (April 13, 2007). "Kurt Vonnegut Dead | The Onion — America's Finest News Source". The Onion. Retrieved March 13, 2010. 
  3. ^ Drew Bixby. "Kurt's Mile-High Celebration". Westword. Retrieved December 15, 2008.