Thursday, April 12, 2007

Farewell Kilgore Trout, so it goes.

Kurt Vonnegut died.

From NYTs about Slaughterhouse Five:

“Robert Kennedy, whose summer home is eight miles from the home I live in all year round,” Mr. Vonnegut wrote at the end of the book, “was shot two nights ago. He died last night. So it goes.

“Martin Luther King was shot a month ago. He died, too. So it goes. And every day my Government gives me a count of corpses created by military science in Vietnam. So it goes.”

One of many Zenlike words and phrases that run through Mr. Vonnegut’s books, “so it goes” became a catchphrase for opponents of the Vietnam war.


About two weeks ago, I wrote a list of names of the soldiers who had died in Iraq during the pet food contamination scandal.They are posted here.

Since that date 41 more U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq, as well as six Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, making 51 Canadian soldiers who have been killed since 2005.

Sgt. Adam P. Kennedy 25, 1st Lt. Phillip I. Neel 27, Sgt. Todd A. Singleton 24, Chief Petty Officer Gregory J. Billiter 36, Pfc. Jay S. Cajimat 20, Spc. Ryan S. Dallam 24, Petty Officer 2nd Class R. Hall 24, Petty Officer 1st Class Joseph A. McSween 26, Capt. Anthony Palermo 26, Pvt. Lopez Rodriguez, Pfc. Daniel A. Fuentes 19, Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph C. Schwedler 27, Sgt. Forrest D. Cauthorn 22, Pvt Eleanor Dlugosz 19, 2nd Lt. Joanna Yorke Dyer 24, Cpl. Kris O'Neill 27, Spc Jason A. Shaffer 28, Kingsman Adam James Smith 19, Staff Sgt. Jerry C. Burge 39, Cpl. Joseph H. Cantrell IV 23, Pfc. James J. Coon 22, Pfc. Walter Freeman Jr. 20, Pfc Derek A. Gibson 20, Staff Sgt. Shane R. Becker 35, Pfc Gabriel J. Figueroa 20, Staff Sgt. Bradley D. King 28, Rifleman Aaron Lincoln 18, Lance Cpl. Daniel R. Olsen 20, Spc. Brian E. Ritzberg 24, Spc. Curtis R. Spivey 25, Staff Sgt. Jason R. Arnette 24, Spc. William G. Bowling 24, Pfc. Miguel A. Marcial III 19, Sgt. Robert M. McDowell 30, Staff Sgt. David A. Mejias 26, Staff Sgt. Eric R. Vick 25, Kingsman Danny John Wilson 28, Master Sgt. Sean M. Thomas 33, Staff Sgt. Marcus A. Golczynski 30, Sgt Curtis J. Forshey 22, 1st Lt. Neale M. Shank 25, Spc. Wilfred Flores Jr. 20.

And...

Pte. David Robert Greenslade, Pte. Kevin Vincent Kennedy, Sgt. Donald Lucas, Cpl. Aaron E. Williams, Cpl. Christopher P. Stannix, Cpl. Brent Poland.

So it goes.

10 comments:

L.M. said...

And Wednesday's late evening additions are Master Cpl. Allan Stewart and Trooper Patrick James Pentland.

Yup, so it goes. Fuck.

Red said...

Canadians are having a bad time in Afghanistan, for sure. They seem to be among the most exposed and vulnerable nationalities there... And that's a good link, to CBCNews: the truth of all these deaths always hits harder when you see their faces. It's a fucking tragedy...

I was reading on The Independent website that the people in Kandahar are actually clamouring for the Taliban to return, just because it was a safer place to live then. I'm sure many people in Iraq feel the same way about Saddam... Certainly it looks as though we've started something and don't quite know how to proceed from here or finish it.

* (asterisk) said...

Hmmm...

It's all stupid and shit.

That's all I can muster right now.

Candy Minx said...

Yes, very sad and very difficult.

All the more heart wrenching when I think about the incredile work of Kurt Vonnegut.

The list of amazing quotes of his now circulating the web...is really incredible. In many ways he shoulda died in Dresden.

He was one of the first writers where I made a conscious decision to read everything he wrote.

"We are here to fart around. don't let anyone tell you differently."

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’ ”

Matthew Didier said...

I just had words with a "friend" via e-mail... he condemned the presence of Canadians in Afghanistan... and more or less said it's their own fault.

I had to remind him that he, as an artists and historian, was screaming for someone to go in and do something about the Taliban in March of 2001 when they blew up the giant Buddha statues in the mountains... then he screamed through the Summer that something must be done because of their (the Taliban's) treatment of women... then, when 9/11 happened, he screamed loudly that something must be done about the Al Quaida camps...

...and now...?

...and to blame soldiers for their own death is stupid to the n'th degree... these men gave their lives... and should be honoured...

My coup de grace with this weenie however was that, in effect, they gave their lives for a cause that, up until American soldiers marched into Baghdad, was his cause.

Vox populi. Vox humbug.

Candy Minx said...

Well good points Matthew, very good.There's few generations of military in my family, maybe more than most, and so this is a dear subject to me.

I too was heartbroken when the Buddhas were destroyed. It still upsets me.

It might be a nice idea if people stopped buying heroin and share the resources we covet so much. That would be one of my ideas for "fighting".

Darla said...

I hadn't heard about Vonnegut. :(

The soldiers' deaths, I'd heard of. The cover story in the Stars & Stripes today was about Iraq tours being extended to 15 months from 12.

No wonder I enjoy escaping in fiction.

Wylie Kinson said...

Anything I say won't begin touch on the emotion of it all.
So it goes...

Gardenia said...

That big beautiful boy (I posted his pic Easter weekend) is thinking of joining the marines. I shudder and plead with him.

Daughter was just playing a song by The Chemical....something? about never going home again and I've couldn't listen all the way through - it made me cry. What a waste of beautiful iife war is. A waste, a waste. I love Dylan's song about "...you masters of war, you lie and you cheat...." etc. I guess as long as there is something to fight over, wars will exist - senseless and painful war.

I fear that perhaps the video games that teens play so much fool them into thinking that war is a game.........I read some interesting statistics.........50 percent of injuries in this war are severe head trauma injuries.....68 percent of those coming back suffer post traumatic stress disorder.......the list goes on.

Thanks for honoring these men by posting their names.

FOUR DINNERS said...

Never heard of the bloke. Sounds like I should have done.