Jesus said how awful life was, in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are they that mourn,” and “Blessed at the meek,” and “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness.”
Henry David Thoreau said most famously, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
So it is not one whit mysterious that we poison the water and air and topsoil, and construct ever more cunning doomsday devices, both industrial and military. Let us be perfectly frank for a change. For practically everybody the end of the world can’t come soon enough.
My father, Kurt Senior, an Indianapolis architect who had cancer, and whose wife had committed suicide some fifteen years earlier, was arrested for running a red light in his hometown. It turned out he hadn’t had a driver’s license for twenty years!
You know what he told the arresting officer? “So shoot me,” he said.
The African-American jazz pianist Fats Waller had a sentence he use to shout when his playing was absolutely brilliant and hilarious. This was it: “Somebody shoot me while I’m happy!”
That there are such devices as firearms, as easy to operate as cigarette lighters and as cheap as toasters, capable at anybody’s whim of killing Father or Fats or Abraham Lincoln or John Lennon or Martin Luther King, Jr., or a woman pushing a baby carriage, should be proof enough for anybody that, to quote the old science fiction writer Kilgore Trout, “being alive is a crock of shit.”
-Kurt Vonnegut (Timequake, p. 2-3)