A Critic's Meta Review: 4/5

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (REVIEW)

I am so glad that this book exists, if only to serve as a reference point for me when analyzing human behavior. I can now confidently enter and exit any discussion regarding politics, religion, sports, music — pretty much any aspect of culture — with the full knowledge that I am likely going to be facing someone who is deeply embedded in a granfalloon of some sort.

Equally valuable to me is the ability to discern who is a member of my karass, an ability which has only sharpened in the years since I first read this book (and by years I mean a little over one year). This has proved to be immensely useful when determining which of the many acquaintances I have gathered during my trek through this byzantine charade is worth keeping in contact with, as my primary concern at this point in my life is carrying out God’s will; I simply do not have the time, nor the energy, to spend engaging with those who are not also a part of that mission.

Now, the wampeter around which my karass is centered is a little ambiguous. I used to think that it was guitar, but I have since realized that this was more of a granfalloon. Ditto for pot, ditto for avocados.

I now believe that the wampeter is likely much more abstract and far less tangible. It is more of a concept than an object. What it is, I am not sure of yet, but I have an idea. And I’ve written many calypsos based on this very idea, most of which are sitting in my old work notepad (received at a job from which I was let go before the conclusion of the training period), collecting cat scratches and cigarette ashes (not from me, though, as I kicked the habit years ago).

In the spirit of Bokonon, I shall share one with you right now:

Sip, sip, sip
From the glorious glass
Chip, chip, chip
At laborious tasks
Know not of docility
Nor weakness, nor fragility
We all have the ability
To do this life thing right

So give it all your might
Don’t go gently in the night
Stand and put up a good fight
Cause from your heart the shark will bite
Gotta learn to use your harpoons
And navigate the dark rooms
Festooned with goons and other marks of doom

If you simply cannot manage
To withstand all of the damage
Then I guess you just give up
And wait to croak

Cause death it ain’t no joke
It bludgeons, it don’t poke
And when it wraps you in its cloak
Well...that’s all folks!

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