Just back from a fortnight's holiday on the emerald isle, refreshed and renewed, to discover the passing of another great.
Of the small group of writers I would categorise as my 'favourites', Kurt Vonnegut has always felt like the one whose writings were closest to my own feelings and thoughts. He has put into succinct words and touching stories concepts and concerns that I have had over the years in a down-to-earth, often conversational style which can be both amusing and disturbing in equal measures. To me he has always seemed the eternal optimistic pessimist - knowing the worst is likely to happen, but focusing on the best of mankind - that certain 'something' that brings hope that doom is not totally inevitable, or at least that some part of us might actually learn something from it. These are themes that have appeared in The Lunacy Board's material, from The Unofficial National Anthem onwards - that there is "some spark within" that may see us through the madness.
The new 'epic' we're working on covers the evolution of mankind - we ran through some of it a couple of weeks ago before I went off, and it's sounding good so far. It includes a section which was a tip-of-the-hat towards Mr Vonnegut's Galapagos, with the future human race (by then evolved into sea-living, flippered mammals) describing how our current actions are shaping us for the future. It is somehow appropriate that this part of the song should become our eulogy to Vonnegut as well as to the human race. As he wrote himself, so it goes.