Questioning Vonnegut

November 8, 2011
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On Friday, I'll be hosting a panel entitled "Kurt Vonnegut on the Human Body" as part of the Spirit and Place Festival. Details on the event here.

Guests at the event include Vonnegut friend—and "Going All the Way" author—Dan Wakefield, Nuvo's David Hoppe, and Vonnegut scholars Marc Leeds and Rodney Allen.

While the S&P theme, "the body," gives us a starting point, I'm sure the conversation will veer off in unpredictable directions, given the spirit of the one-of-a-kind author.

Since I'm going to be asking some questions there, I thought I'd ask you one or two first.

1) What questions would you like me to ask the panel?

2) What questions would you have asked Vonnegut if you had the chance?

Your thoughts (and questions)?

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  • The Unasked Question
    I had the privledge of interviewing Mr. Vonnegut in 2002 for Indianapolis Monthly on the occasion of his 80th birthday. I was building up to asking him whether he felt that to be a successful writer and author he needed to leave Indianapolis. He cut short our interview, so I never had the chance to ask. I've long wondered what he would have said.
  • question
    Lou-
    Lucky you. Great assignment. Here's a question-
    Did Mr. V believe that our state of mind and being determine
    our level of consciousness, or did our level of consciousness determine our state of mind and being?
    Have fun with it.
  • TV
    I once asked him if I should watch more T.V.

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  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

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