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Getting On : Pop Culture


from Jules - Monday, May 02, 2005
accessed 1114 times

Adventures in fandom: Douglas Adams' brilliance is finally immortalized in film.

Despite the concerted efforts of my IT colleagues to teach me a thing or two about hardcore fandomism, I never thought I could grasp the concept. Why would anyone waste good money on the Star Wars prequels? Does anyone really care what the science behind the spacial anomaly on TNG episode 27 is? No I will not sign the petition to bring back Farscape. I resigned myself to signing it up to yet another way I am culturally (this is my work culture) isolated due to my upbringing.

That all changed this weekend.

This might be no surprise to anyone who has had to endure my endless Douglas Adams quotes and anecdotes (although I have been doing better lately), but I have realised I am a true and devoted fan (on my colleagues level) of the man. I went to see The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy this weekend and I loved it. The film will not be winning any Oscars, but I enjoyed every minute and realised I have been waiting years to see this on the big screen. H2G2 has been tossed around as a screenplay for years and then spent more years in pre-production hell.

One of the first novels I read when I left the Family was The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. That remains one of my favourite books and one I reread whenever my own soulís tea-time gets a little too long and dark. I feel very old just thinking about it, but that means I have been reading Douglas Adams for a decade. For someone raised in a cult that is a very long term relationship.

I hated Men in Black because it was such a rip off of his distinct comedy/Sci-Fi genre. Damn that Will Smith. Even the urban legend with the biscuits at the train station that he quoted in Goodbye and Thanks for All the Fish cannot dissuade me. I bet there was some prankster with a time machine that ripped the story off from him. I just have to love a man whose initials are DNA (a fact he was very proud of) and who was friends with the brilliant Richard Dawkins.

There are so many other reasons why I love Douglas Adams, but I think one of them is that he poked fun of the British and North American cultures (both of which I am straddled between) simultaneously. I also love him because he was a loud and proud atheist. We are a minority in this ever increasingly ambivalent agnostic/my-closet-is-comfortable world. He poked fun at technology, while still embracing it completely. He believed comedy was a way for intelligent people to express themselves and then stepped away from it when it became a way for stupid people to make fun of things they know nothing about, yet he was a fan himself of Monty Python and even did a cameo on one of their shows.

I suspect that fandomism is actually a lot more common than one would think and actually transcends the IT environment. I for one am proud to be a Douglas Adams fan. He was a brilliant, witty and unabashedly curious man.

PS: Despite Al Gore's claims, apparently Douglas Adams actually invented the internet -- what a man!

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from neez
Monday, June 13, 2005 - 03:27

It was a great film, I might even read the book now(yes I'm one of those people).
(reply to this comment)
from Lance
Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 10:27

The movie was awesome! I thought that some of the lines quoted strait from the book weren't delivered very well by the actors. And the plot did veer away from the book in many places, but you can expect that in any adaption from novel to screenplay.

favorite characters: Mos Def as Ford Prefect and Bill Nighly as Slartibartfast.(did I spell that right?)
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Tuesday, May 03, 2005 - 05:10

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