Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wear Sunscreen.

Today while listening to the radio on my way to work, I heard the news that writer Kurt Vonnegut passed away yesterday at the age of 84. I honestly can't say I've ever read anything that Vonnegut had written though I think I own Slaughterhouse Five. And its one of those books that I've been intending to read for many years. Maybe this summer I will get around to reading it.

When I heard the sad news about Vonnegut's death, I remembered back to my junior year of college. It was the spring of 1999 when the popular "graduation song" of that year wasn't really a song at all. It was known as "Wear Sunscreen," and it was spoken-word set over music. It was a commencement speech which had been supposedly given by Vonnegut at the MIT graduation. It really was some well-worded advice, whether you were 18 or 81.

So in honor of Vonnegut, I was planning on writing a post about this speech he had given. Until I found this out yesterday--it was an urban legend! Vonnegut never gave this speech at all! It was written by columnist Mary Schmich for the Chicago Tribune. Her column titled, "Advice like Youth, Probably Just Wasted on the Young" was published in 1997 and then later was turned into the song. Go figure.

But anyway. Go read some Vonnegut if you haven't done so. I certainly plan on it. And read that column. I hadn't heard or read those words in about 8 years. It really is a poignant little piece.

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