Archive for June 8th, 2013

June 8, 2013



A granfalloon, in the fictional religion of Bokononism (created by Kurt Vonnegut in his 1963 novel ‘Cat’s Cradle’), is defined as a ‘false karass.’ That is, it is a group of people who outwardly choose or claim to have a shared identity or purpose, but whose mutual association is actually meaningless. ‘If you wish to examine a granfalloon, just remove the skin of a toy balloon.’ — Bokonon

The most commonly purported granfalloons are associations and societies based on a shared but ultimately fabricated premise. As examples, Vonnegut cites: ‘the Communist Party, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the General Electric Company —and any nation, anytime, anywhere.’ A more general and oft-cited quote defines a granfalloon as ‘a proud and meaningless association of human beings.’ Another granfalloon example illustrated in the book were Hoosiers, of which the narrator (and Vonnegut himself) was a member.

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