Where do I get my ideas from? You might as well have asked that of Beethoven. He was goofing around in Germany like everybody else, and all of a sudden this stuff came gushing out of him. It was music. I was goofing around like everybody else in Indiana, and all of a sudden stuff came gushing out. It was disgust with civilization. (Backwards City Review, 2004.)
If you're wondering where that disgust was coming from, I probably only need to a highlight a previous post of ours: 22-Year-Old P.O.W. Kurt Vonnegut Writes Home from World War II: “I’ll Be Damned If It Was Worth It”. There you can read all about how he was taken prisoner during the Battle of the Bulge; spent time in a Dresden work camp known yes, as “Slaughterhouse Five;” survived the Dresden bombing; saw many other atrocities along the way, revealing civilization at its worst. You can hear Vonnegut read from Slaughterhouse-Five here.