It's late to the party, Vonnegut passed last week. Never the less, every one of these quotes is a gem that needs no explication - though the AV Club's expansions are sentimental without being mawkish, and profoundly reverent of Vonnegut's irreverence. I suspect he'd have hated the lionization, but appreciated their careful thought to his carefully planned apparent carelessness. Every quote made some little part of my brain fire. The world is worse off without a writer like that.
4. "There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind."
This line from God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater comes as part of a baptismal speech the protagonist says he's planning for his neighbors' twins: "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." It's an odd speech to make over a couple of infants, but it's playful, sweet, yet keenly precise in its summation of everything a new addition to the planet should need to know. By narrowing down all his advice for the future down to a few simple words, Vonnegut emphasizes what's most important in life. At the same time, he lets his frustration with all the people who obviously don't get it leak through just a little.