The Hitch Hiker’s Guice to the Galaxy had such wonderful and amazing quotes in it that I was horribly dissapointed when the movie didn’t share more of these quotes. Here are two of my favorites, with more to follow.
The intro to the first book, which set the tone and got me very happy about the book to follow:
Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.
Orbiting this at a distance of roughtly 92 million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.
This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the time the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.
And so the problem remained; lots of the people were mean and more of them were miserable, even the ones with digital watches.
Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and tha tno one shoul dever have left the oceans.
And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl sitting on her own in a small face in rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going worng all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything.
Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone about it, a terrible stupid catastraphe occurre, and the idea was lost forever.
This is not her story.
But it is the story of that terrible stupid catastrophe and some of its consequences.
And from the Hitch Hiker’s Guide, which is a book in the book for which it it named.
‘The Babel fish’, said The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy quietly, ‘is small, yellow and leech-like, and probably the oddest thing in the Universe. It feeds on brainwave energy received not from its own carrier, but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave energy to nourish itself with. It then extretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious though frequencies with the nerve signals picked up from the speech centres of the brain which has supplied them. The practical upshot of all this is that if you stick a Babel fish in your ear you can instantly understand anything said to you in any form of language. The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.
‘Now it is such a bizarrely improbably coincidence that anything so mindbogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existance of God.
‘The argument goes something like this: “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without fait I am nothing.”
‘”But,” says Man, “the Bable fish is a dead giveaway isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore by your your own arguments, you don’t. QED.”
‘”Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
‘”Oh, that was easy,” says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.’