the vonnegut initiative

I wanted to hold off on this post until I had a chance to beg Linette to design a graphic, but then I realized that every day I wait the idea probably loses a little relevance. (If anyone out there would be willing to make a graphic that we could use to promote this initiative, I’d appreciate it.) Well, remember a few days ago, right after Kurt Vonnegut died, how I said that I was going to take a few of his books and leave them around town where kids might find them? I thought that it would be a fitting tribute, and quite a few of you wrote in to say that you agreed. Anyway, my friend Dan in Minnesota was among those who wrote in. He said that if my intention was really to get copies of Vonnegut books into the hands of “presently unremarkable suburban kids” (such as I once was) that he could “guarantee” it. (As a high school English teacher in the suburbs, he’s apparently tuned in to that particular demographic.) So, I’m going to mail him a few books to leave around Minneapolis, and I thought that I’d suggest that others join me. Here, with this in mind, is his address:

Mr. R
4201 Toledo Ave. S.
St. Louis Park, MN 55416

And, if anyone out there has design skills, and wants to give it a shot, I was picturing a simple little web graphic with Vonnegut’s face (perhaps in black on a field of red), Dan’s address, and the words, “putting Vonnegut books into the hands of presently unremarkable young suburbanites.” I suppose you could also say that it’s a initiative, in case anyone who saw it wanted to find out more… Anyway, send those old books to Dan and I promise that he’ll get them into the right hands. He’s a man of his word.

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  1. mark
    Posted April 24, 2007 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    And, for what it’s worth, Dan gave me the go-ahead to print his address. He really wants people to send him books. Seriously, this isn’t a joke… like that time my great-grandfather had farmers all over the state of Kentucky send dead birds to a professor that he disliked.

  2. dr. teddy glass
    Posted April 25, 2007 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    If this actually gets off the ground, you should paste something in the cover of each book explaining the program. Something like-

    “This book was left here for you. You were meant to meet Kurt Vonnegut today.”

  3. UBU
    Posted April 25, 2007 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Can you follow this up with a program to get Don Ho albums in the hands of inner city youth?

  4. ol' e cross
    Posted April 25, 2007 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Maybe you can get Paris Hilton to put a copy in all her hotel rooms.

  5. dmcbass
    Posted April 25, 2007 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Ummm, could you leave one over the Normal Park way? I didn’t read V and can’t think of anyone I knew who did in my Tennessee high school. We were too busy hiding in the closet reading Penthouse Forum I suppose ….


  6. mark
    Posted April 25, 2007 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    I think Vonnegut said before that he didn’t want to write for the adults, the generals, the CEOs and the politicians. He wanted to write for high school and college kids, before they grew up to be the generals, CEOs and politicians. He wanted to plant the seed of humanism while their minds were still fertile and open. So, I don’t like the idea of putting them Hiltons as much as I like the idea of putting them where bored and boring high school kids might be.

    And DMCBASS, if you want, I’ll show you where the Ypsi public library is.

  7. Deadhand Dan
    Posted April 25, 2007 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Mark. Having my name and address plastered all over the internet and in a sticker campaign referring to my students as unremarkable suburbanites will do wonders for my career. But if it gets some kids to read some Vonnegut, maybe it’s worth the sacrifice of a mediocre teacher.

  8. Deadhand Dan
    Posted April 25, 2007 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    oh,and that zip code should be 55416.

  9. mark
    Posted April 26, 2007 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    OK, instead of having your whole name, we’ll just say “Mr. R.” How does that sound?

  10. Katy
    Posted April 28, 2007 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    How about for a graphic?

  11. mark
    Posted April 28, 2007 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Perfect! I love it, Katy.

    It’s going on the front page right now.

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