Thank you...

... for taking the time to stop by. I hope some of these ponderings will resonate with you.

Leave a comment if you want to - your contributions are more than welcome.

(Unless stated otherwise, all text & pictures are © Lee Labuschagne, all rights reserved.)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

1+1+1 for 365 day 29: Don't panic - the answer is still 42

TODAY'S QUOTE:  "For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons." - Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe by Douglas Adams

Swoon warning: this is one of my top favourite books ever.  Or to be more correct, the trilogy in five parts that forms The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe is of those special things that I return to often for the sheer joy and fun of it: I always find something new to smile about or to make me marvel at the genius of Douglas Adams.

In his honour I try to remember Towel Day every year on 25 May (and yes, carry a towel with me).   After all, without THGTTG we would not have known that the answer to life, the universe and everything else is 42, that one should never underestimate mice or dolphins and that you should think twice before drinking more than one intergalactic Gargleblaster.

I listened to the original BBC radio series even before I read the books and still listen to recordings of those regularly.  I watched the BBC TV series and the movie - although the movie somehow did not quite do it for me. And of course I've read and re-read the books.

There is something about his humour and the way in which Adams takes you along on his ride into his quirky universe that is more than just escapism - it engages my brain on different levels, and brims with wisdom and insight into many topics that remain current.

Douglas Adams was admired by people of all ages all over the world - not only for THHGTTG but also for his radio scripts, talks and his other books - including among others Dirk Gently Holistic Detective Agency, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, The Salmon of Doubt (published posthumously) and numerous  important talks, scripts and other publications about environmental issues.

He passed away at a relatively young age (at the age of 49 in 2001).  I was distraught at the news at the time and still think it was a terrible loss - he might have given us so much more.

Not everybody "got" Adams' brand of humour and what has often been called sci-fi comedy.  But although his wit was evident in all he did - from radio scripts to public talks - he will also be remembered for his passion and commitment to things like the environment. He was well known for his interest, use of, and analysis of technology (among others he was one of the first advocate of Apple computers in the UK) and especially the Internet.  He was a terrific public speaker - there are some examples of his public talks on YouTube, so look our for those.

During his last recorded interviews he spoke mainly about the environment and technology and I can't help but wonder what his blog would have looked like today. Would he have written more novels, or would his environmental activism have taken up most of his time?  We'll never know the answers to that question, so all I can say is "so long, and thanks for all the thoughts, Douglas..."


Sunset scene on a cloudy day from a restaurant at Club Mykonos (Langebaan, Western Cape)

Find soundbytes of the Hitchhiker here:
© Text & pictures Lee Labuschagne. All rights reserved


  1. The Hitchhiker is one of my favorites too!


  2. i've tried & tried to read it...even watched the movie...but to no avail! sorry =(

  3. Hi Lizette, I know he is not for everyone... so don't worry. If we all liked the same things, how boring life would be.

    And also, many writers' books will then never be read.

    I started on a book over the weekend that I thought I should enjoy - something that I thought would remind me a bit of Adams. It does in a way, but somehow I just cannot get into it. A real disappointment.


Add your comment(s) here: