Philosophically thinking #learnedfrommovies #THHGTTG

This post, from Sarah Brentyn, loped into my inbox today, a little bedraggled because my inbox was flooded and rather unannounced in truth. It is part of a blogathon, here offering a ‘things I learned from the movies’ meme and a hashtag thingummy #learnedfrommovies.

So, I mused: what have I learned most from any one movie? Turned out to be straight forward choice, as a writer and poet of no noticeable acclaim.

The movie is really a book. Well a series of books. In fact it’s a radio series first and foremost but we are splicing editing suites rather.

It is

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

By St. Douglas of the Adams

My take-ways?

Even the Vogons get to read their poetry

Vogon poetry is the worst in the universe. Their captain reads it to Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect, admittedly not willingly. But it gives all nascent performance poets hope, and if one day I’m in charge of an interstellar demolition fleet I too may get to read Le Pard’s first oeuvre to some passing hitch-hiker.

A cool frood always knows where his towel is

This reminds everyone of the essential rightness of one’s hyperawareness for personalised terrycloth. Clearly the towel is a metaphor for having about one’s person any form of absorbent material. Indeed note 25th May in your diaries as International Towel Day.

There is a restaurant at the end of the universe

Of course, at one level this idea encapsulates hope, hope that one day you too will reach a  spectacular end if you strive for long enough and have enough patience. But the real message is more prosaic: that however much you might save and for however long, all you’ll end up with is enough for a bag of chips and a scrawny burger.

It’s the mice who run everything

A good reminder this that just because they are small and whiskery doesn’t mean they are unimportant; the young should bear this in mind when looking at we of more marinaded years.

I could never get the hang of Thursdays

It is a truth that should be universally acknowledged that each of us has a Dud-Day. Custom suggests Mondays as the start of a lot of working weeks but with seven days to choose from each person needs to understand when it is utterly excusable to pull the duvet back up, kill the alarm and just snuggle. If trains can be excused school because of the wrong sort of snow and children not beaten soundly because their homework is still proving in the airing cupboard, then adults should be entitled to their Dud-Day.

The world desperately needs to discover a babel fish

I hanker to travel more but part of why I don’t (there’s the time:money conundrum stuff but passing that by) is the fact not everyone speaks a version of English I can understand. I’m not saying they should (though good manners would suggest they give it serious thought). But because they don’t and I will certainly not be able to speak whatever it is they are articulating, I end up either (a) frustrated because  I can no more make myself understood than my dog when he pops out the the butchers to buy some sausages or (b) embarrassed that someone can speak English in a structured and intelligible way because they have made the effort to and, well, it rather shows me up as the lazy good for nothing tosser that I really am.

A lot of you might have expected me to comment on the unveiling, in amongst these other revelations of the fact that the Meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything is (spoiler alert)

42

That’s the thing and I learnt it years ago. It’s just a number and, well, as I hope we all know by now, it is that, whatever Life, the Universe and Everything looks like on the outside, inside it is whatever number it wants it to be. And that’s probably the most important take away for all of us. And it really didn’t need five books to show it.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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17 Responses to Philosophically thinking #learnedfrommovies #THHGTTG

  1. willowdot21 says:

    RIP our dear Douglas loved all his books my favourite is The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 🙂 Of course it is St Douglas of the Adams – it can be no other! Blessed is he and all who read him …………. And I’m rather afraid you have forever changed the way I shall refer to the man from now on.

    Like

  3. Al Lane says:

    I’ve always been rather inspired by the Vogons. Some say it shows

    Liked by 2 people

  4. When I met you, I thought, “Now there’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.” I’ve marked May 25th many years now but only to remind others. I always know where my towel is. 😉

    This was a wretched movie, honestly, but one I loved for its cheesiness. 💛🧀

    Like

  5. Sacha Black says:

    LOVE this post!!!!! I adore Douglas Adams. I don’t re-read books, like ever. And just the other day I thought to myself for the first time ever I would actually like to re-read the series! Plus I never read what there was of the salmon of doubt or whichever story he didn’t finish.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Helen Jones says:

    Love St Douglas of the Adams! I even thought the movie was okay, but nothing beats the original TV series from the radio shows, especially the brilliant theme tune. He was taken too young, too soon. And you are one cool frood, Geoff 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Norah says:

    Sorry, Geoff. I’m not a fan of this one. I did try. Thought I must since there’s so much hype around. It seemed like a cross between Monty Python and Star Trek, neither of which are favourites. Your closing paragraph gives meaning to it though, and I appreciate the sentiment.

    Liked by 1 person

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