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The Cuckoo Clock in Kurt Vonnegut’s Hell

More and more I remain both sad and puzzled by the adamantine hatred of all things American and, by extension, Trumpian that persists among even the soft left and the many flabby thinkers streaming along behind them. I am puzzled because they persist in their hatred even when confronted by a growing deluge of facts and a growing collision with reality. It seems to make no difference to these people how many times quick or slow socialism has been implemented and collapsed in failure and suffering and death from Bolshivk Russia up to Venezula. They remain, in some demented sense, “for it.” How can a human mind remain oblivious to history and reality?

My facebook “Timeline” has, over the year since the election, become ground zero for the NoTrumpers to flounce their way through the “Gotcha-Du-Jour.” But perhaps this is changing, or, more likely, they’ve just gone back to the hive to get some fresh orders.

Sadly, my timeline feed this AM is bereft of folks rubbing their hands together about the Trump/Russia story. It has been such a staple of my morning for so long I’m already nostalgic to see it fade way. ” Who was the FBI director when the Russia probe began in 2009? Robert Mueller. Who was running the FBI when the case ended with a whimper and an apparent cover-up? James Comey. How any of these people can participate with a straight face in an investigation into President Trump’s purportedly nefarious (but, as far as we know, nonexistent) relationship with the Russian regime is beyond me.”

As for what is beyond me, how these folks keep their spite up at Defcon 2 levels is in the top 10.

And then I remember this brilliant assessment of the totalitarian mind by Vonnegut.

“I have never seen a more sublime demonstration of the totalitarian mind,a mind which might be linked unto a system of gears where teeth have been filed off at random. Such snaggle-toothed thought machine, driven by a standard or even by a substandard libido, whirls with the jerky, noisy, gaudy pointlessness of a cuckoo clock in Hell.

The boss G-man concluded wrongly that there were no teeth on the gears in the mind of Jones. ‘You’re completely crazy,’ he said.

Jones wasn’t completely crazy. The dismaying thing about classic totalitarian mind is that any given gear, thought mutilated, will have at its circumference unbroken sequences of teeth that are immaculately maintained, that are exquisitely machined.
Hence the cuckoo clock in Hell – keeping perfect time for eight minutes and twenty-three seconds, jumping ahead fourteen minutes, keeping perfect time for six seconds, jumping ahead two seconds, keeping perfect time for two hours and one second, then jumping ahead a year.

The missing teeth, of course, are simple, obvious truths, truths available and comprehensible even to ten-year-olds, in most cases.

The wilful filling off a gear teeth, the wilful doing without certain obvious pieces of information –

That was how a household as contradictory as one composed of Jones, Father Keeley, Vice-Bundesfuehrer Krapptauer, and the Black Fuehrer could exist in relative harmony –

That was how my father-in-law could contain in one mind an indifference toward slave women and love for a a blue vase –

That was how Rudolf Hess, Commandant of Auschwitz, could alternate over the loudspeakers of Auschwitz great music and calls for corpse-carriers –

That was how Nazi Germany sense no important difference between civilization and hydrophobia –

That is the closest I can come to explaining the legions, the nations of lunatics I’ve seen in my time.”

― Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Mother Night

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  • ghostsniper October 18, 2017, 11:24 AM

    “How can a human mind remain oblivious to history and reality?”

    They claim all the socialist attempts in the past were done by inept idiots. This time it will be different. They are smarter than those that went before them. So they think. But it’s really their naivete, their ignorance, their immaturity, to inability to think on a broader scale. Thatcher said, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”, and of course that’s true.

    If you lived a coddled life where you didn’t have to think of your own welfare or consider the rights of others, you too would be in favor of socialism/communism. Their arrogance is paving their way, and it will bury them too.

    So glad I don’t live in urbania cause if I did I would most likely be in prison or dead, and I’ve grown rather fond of living. I’m not a religious man but if they try to invade my self made heaven I will bring them a hell they never imagined. Stay. Thefuk. Away.

  • bgarrett October 18, 2017, 11:25 AM

    I agree with you. I am glad you have this blog and I read it every day. It may help you to read the blog of Scott Adams of Dilbert fame.

  • Skorpion October 18, 2017, 12:29 PM

    Ex-Communist author Arthur Koestler called this phenomenon, “deliberate stupidity.”

  • Howard Nelson October 18, 2017, 1:49 PM

    “How can a human mind remain oblivious to history and reality?”
    Perhaps impervious rather than oblivious. When power to coerce others is the goal, failures of the past are excused in the expectations of success in new vile ventures. Morality is meaningless to the muck-minded.

  • Casey Klahn October 18, 2017, 2:34 PM

    Rudolf Höss. It was Höss, Hoss. Not Hess, Mess. Hoss commanded Auschwitz: Hess flew the whole coop as the war was heating up.

    Exactly trenchant and correct: KV hits the nail on the head. Another well-stated Communist take down is here: https://youtu.be/rq8y-ejapjE

    Fuck that stupid bitch of a congresspissant who is dragging the dead Green Beret through her political mudwhore house. She deserves 7 types of hell for this alone.

  • james wilson October 18, 2017, 4:19 PM

    Our democratic communazis are more sophisticated than those in Vonnegut’s day, and more dangerous.

  • Eskyman October 19, 2017, 12:36 PM

    An excellent analysis of the totalitarian mind. Cuckoo clock skipping a gear! Love it.

    Couple this with “Harrison Bergeron” and all is revealed.