A Conversation for Unfinished Business of the Century
Live "Yogi" Culture Started conversation May 13, 2001
Shame on you all for ignoring this posting from DNA!!!
I suppose we've all been a bit busy since September '99.
And although Douglas Adams undoubtedly had an ego the size of a small planetoid (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) I believe he would not have minded one jot that we all ignored this great opportunity for an outbreak of (profound) silliness. Indeed, a well developed and muscular ego can shrug off adversity like water off a nuclear submarine.
He was not precious about his oeuvre, always enthusing about a new project or compelling idea instead. I remember speaking with him on a radio chat show in 1993 and lamenting the cutting of one of my favourite H2G2 jokes in the CD's of the BBC radio plays. Those of you who still have the original broadcast versions on decaying old tapes from 20 years ago (they don't make them like they used to! Thankfully!) may remember the scene where the crew of the Heart of Gold step onto the desolate surface of Magrathea to the accompaniment of the opening bars of Shine on You Crazy Diamond (presumably one of DNA's favourites); all very evocative, until Arthur calls out "Hey Zaphod, did you know your robot could hum like Pink Floyd".
That's a good bit but it's not THE bit. THE bit is at the other end of the scene where Zaphod is waxing grandiose about them being the first humans to enter the fabled Magrathea for millions of years to the accompaniment of Also Sprach Zarathustra (the fanfare from 2001); all very dramatic, before turning to Marvin and telling him "Can it, Marvin".
And of course the joke was canned because of copyright problems about the Pink Floyd music which made the later "Can it, Marvin" joke nonsensical. Even though he was a close mate of Pink and the lads (even one time member!!) he had no sway with the faceless Megadodo-corporations which run our entertainments industries. Was he bitter? No, it was just one of the colours in the rich tapestry of the universe, a universe which exploded into my adoloscent consciousness in 1979 with all the magical colours that Asimov and Heinlein and their elk(?) with their stodgy prose had failed to illuminate. (Of course he was not quite so pompous about it, but I'm a bit upset, alright; he just laughed about it.) My CD player has just randomly chosen to play Sparks by Coldplay (now the shuffle/random button on CD players - I still think that IS a neat idea).
So what can be learned from this small episode in a short life which has touched the minds and hearts of uncountable millions? Dunno. It's at times like this that I think I really ought to have listened to the advice that Douglas Adams gave me on the phone in 1993. I saw sparks.
So long Douglas Adams, for the work you did I am truly grateful. Because you didn't give us a new book every six months, we had long years of delicious anticipation of wondering what you were going to come up with next. We shall carry on wondering.
sunny Posted May 16, 2001
maybe there just wasn't anybody who COULD think of a better line for the song?..
'it was just one of the colours in the rich tapestry of the universe' - and certainly DNA himself is one of the most brillant of them.
panos Posted Jul 1, 2001
well, unfortunately i only found out about this site after douglas had died. In fact, it would have been about 5 hours after he died... I suddenly decided to look up Douglas Adams related stuff on the web, and found a notice on the BBC site saying that he had passed away.
I was absolutely shattered. And I discovered this marvelous jewel that he created. May his memory live on forever
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