Atheism, Babel Fish, Book Covers and why the Matter, Douglas Adams, Fonts, god, GoodReads Reviews, Happiness, Hitchhiker's Guide, Jealousy between Writers, Language, Lesbian Flamingos, Literature, Novel, Savannah Blair, Science, science fiction, Sexuality, Slartbartfast, suicide, The Book Market is a real Bitch, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Typefaces, Untied Shoelaces, Writers, Writing
In between perusing the collected writings of Stephen Hawking, William Shakespeare, and the comics of Robert Crumb I received a strange parcel in the mail. It was wrapped in paper that had once been a vibrant yellow. It smelled like ripe bananas. But most distressing to me above all was that the name on the front of the package was misspelled. I’m not sure who “Jeshua Jammer Smyth” is, but he’s sure to be missing his package. Unless of course “Jeshua” is a she and I have made the assumption of their, her, zir’s choice of pro-nouns. Whatever the case, I opened the package believing it to belong to me, and inside I found several crumpled up notes concerning Douglas Adam’s novel A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Several of these notes were immediately eaten out of pure jealousy for the genius of their composition.
The rest were either used as toilet paper, scratch paper for handling my income tax filing, or in one case constructing a lovely dress for my kitty cat Mortimer. I’m most proud of the ruffles near the ends of the sleeves, though the absence of lapels still haunts me.
After having coffee with my friend Alia Pappas however, and discussing how lovely it was being gay for boys and girls and everyone in between, I sat down at my desk to record what essays, novels, audiobooks, and poems I had read or completed that day and I stumbled upon the notes again.
What follows are my transcribing of said notes. And it should be noted that the very last comment on the very last piece of paper I transcribed before eating that last page read simply: “I hope the reader appreciates this pathetic attempt at a framing device for a review of a science fiction novel.”
On the Complicated Religious Implications of Goodreads Reviews and Why One Appeared in the first Place…
It’s a well known fact, that few people actually bother to read past the first review on Goodreads. For instance, this review randomly appeared on Goodreads at the very bottom of the previous 22,000 reviews when the author of said review, who had recently purchasedthe book because it was the favorite novel of a friend who had only recently committed suicide the week earlier. The reviewer, a rather gloomy person with many friends who spent an awful lot of time worrying about him and not worrying about whether their shoe laces were of appropriate length, wanted to read the book again, and discovered in fact, that it was a beautiful novel with a few gags that were worth stealing when he decided to write his review on Goodreads.
Coincidently enough, the date in question in which this review was written was the third of March 2018, which, when added together, forms the number 2039 which also by a bizarre coincidence correlates to an undiscovered pocket of the universe where Goodreads reviews are only observed by the Penguino-Factoid Rockzoans who treat such reviews as sacred scriptures. It should also be noted, that the Penguino-Factoid Rockzoans spend a solid quarter of their existence also not worrying about the length of their shoe-laces.
The first volume of HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was an amusing distraction to the otherwise unpleasantness of the reviewer’s friend’s suicide, but also a rather depressing reminder of it as he realized not long after reading it, that she was no longer around to read it herself and then discuss it with the reviewer. With this knowledge in hand the reviewer considered the text at large, and wondered whether it constituted a real review, should any reader reading this text, apart from the Penguino-Factoid Rockzoans who of course are already dedicated seminaries to it’s deconstruction, would substantiate any real interest in the novel. And so the reviewer was left with the following conclusion:
In the face of loss it is important to remember “Don’t Panic,” always know where one’s towel is located, take the time to recognize how important one’s mortality is because at any moment life can be obliterated by the absurdity of reality in the form of suicide or revolting bureaucratic aliens building expressways through space, and most importantly to appreciate fjords in streams because somebody somewhere worked hard on those.
This revelation in hand, the reviewer decided to finish his review, unaware of course that the Penguino-Factoid Rockzoans had already spent the last three thousand years suffering a particularly bloody civil-war over the meaning of the period in the second sentence of his review. It should also be noted, that of the thousands of young men, women, and inter-sex non-binary individuals who died in the name of that particular grammatical mark, all of them considered the young woman who had inspired the reviewer to read the book in the first place and thus create such harmony/dis-harmony in their universe.
Her name was Savannah and she loved this book. And she might have liked this review. Though she would almost certainly never have considered the length of her shoelaces, or, for that matter, their cosmological significance.
On the Nature of God, Divine Prominence, and the Foresight to not Place all Your Faith in Fish…
A great number of people in a little town called El Paso, not to be confused with the El Paso currently located in the Rich district of Neptunio 17, cannot actually stand fish. It’s for this reason that many social and political activists in the area, other than the ones concerned with making sure teenagers cannot earn money for lollipops, have begun to lobby the current administration for the complete and total removal of fish from the one and only restaurant in the city. This charming establishment, known simply as “Ed’s” has never in fact sold fish on their menu, and never would even consider this possibility as fish is rather difficult to serve alongside corn-dogs and deep-fried tater-tots which the owners refer to as Fritter-Balls.
This stunning political and social revolution partly came about because Philip Denfry, the local barber and mortician, just so happened to have a copy of Adam’s A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and in the middle of his rant concerning the zoning board’s recent decision to obliterate his house for the construction of a flower preserve, he happened to read the following passage:
“The Babel Fish,” said the Hitchhiker’s Guide Quietly, “is small, yellow and leechlike, and probably the oddest thing in the universe. It feeds on Brainwave energy received bot from its own carrier, but from those around it. It absorbs all unconscious mental frequencies from this brainwave to nourish itself with. It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix formed by combining the conscious thought frequencies with nerve signals picked up from the speech centers of the brain which has supplied then. The practical upshot of all of 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 mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the nonexistence of God.
“The argument goes something like this: ‘I refuse to prove that I exist,’ says God, ‘for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.’
“ ‘But,’ says Man, ‘the Babel fish proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own argument you don’t. QED.’”
“ ‘Oh dear,’ says God, ‘I hadn’t thought of that,’ and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. (42).
The collected citizens of El Paso reacted to this passage as many sane individuals would: they all collectively agreed to burn Philip Denfry at the stake for his crimes of speaking when he did not have the floor, and then promptly became the nation’s first autonomous collective of rational atheists. This came at some great benefit to the community as themoney that was spent tithing for the church was instead turned back into the economy of the small town and allowed it’s citizens levels of economic prosperity which hadn’t been felt since the first prospectors arrived in their town looking for gold and the world’s cheapest bars of soaps.
However with the arrival of Ed’s Burger Joint, the autonomous collective had a difficult proposition, do they stand by the proposition that a small perfect organism disproves the existence of god, or do they allow their economic prosperity to suffer because Ed’s fries were truly the stuff of greatness.
Fortunately for the masses this decision did not need to be made because, by a stunning coincidence, a man by the name of Jesus C. Hrist at the local nuclear facilities felt an immediate and sudden conviction that he could become the spider-monkey god of the eighth dimension by causing an immediate and sudden meltdown of the reactor. The city of El Paso Georgia was immediately terminated, though I suppose one could make the argument that the “faith” of the autonomous collected lived on. Not that there’s much proof of that outside of the random appearance of the shape of an atom etched into the ash at the exact location where the great prophet Philip Denfry was burned at the stake.
Of the Necessity of Adorning Ones Periodicals and Tomes with Comforting Type Fonts and Messages As to Not Causing Unnecessary Discomfort to the Reader
It’s rather unfortunate to observe that over 53,431 designs for individual typeface have been created, used, absconded, and subsequently destroyed by the individual known simply as Maynard. Maynard, the reader should note, is in fact a post-doctoral candidate from the illustrious university of LV-7999. Sub Q, located on the asteroid which, by some grandcoincidence, is also known as Maynard. While it is not uncommon for post-doctoral candidates of LV-7999 to become mildly obsessed by typeface and other printing accoutrements, Maynard became something of a legend in his department for crafting all 53, 431 typefaces in the space of under seven minutes. It was for this achievement that Maynard was immediately denied his doctorate and promptly hurled from the front doors of the university by his thesis committee who were largely jealous, but more enraged by the fact that three of his typefaces were in fact just rip-offs of Comic Sans.
Although it violated most agreed upon natural laws and regulations, one of the numerous typefaces managed to separate from Maynard’s word processing interface unit, which was in fact nothing but a hologram projector in the shape of a snail, and made its way to the apartment of a Caroline Powers M.D. Dr. Powers was soaking her feet, petting her cat, and reading her favorite book The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when the typeface imprinted itself dramatically upon her psyche. She looked down and read the following passage:
“I like the cover,” he said. “Don’t Panic.’ It’s the first helpful or intelligible thing anybody’s said to me all day.” (37).
Dr. Powers did not in fact read the passage in the previous way however, for the typeface created by Maynard appeared in her eyes as a series of dots and dashes reminiscent of the shape of those sort of fish one places on the back of car bumpers. While she read the words inspired visions of tornadoes reverberating around barns and lifting up poor cows who had little time or patience to consider the nature of tornadoes. The texture of said tornadoes imprinted itself on Dr. Powers mind and she had, in a burst of sheer erotic jubilance, the answer to numerous afflictions for those who suffer from foot bunions. The poor woman leapt up, shouted eureka, and ran to the phone, forgetting that her feet were contained within the Orthopedic Foot Bath #34, and she immediately tripped, fell, and cracked her skull against her rather gaudy looking coffee table.
Some physicists have made the case that if she had bothered to dress the table up a bit with a shawl or at least a quilt then perhaps she might have avoided her fate and thus freed mankind from the annoyance of bunions, but then the conversations are still open. Whatever the case all have agreed that recommending someone to “Don’t Panic” is in fact one of the few universally agreed upon intergalactic truths, right alongside the sentiment expressed by Maynard upon returning to University LV-7999 with a chest strapped to the brim with dynamite, “it’s important to remember whether ones shoelaces are tied in the morning before one leaves for work.”
ON THE PREMISE OF HAPPINESS AND WHY SO FEW PEOPLE TRUST IT OR ACHIEVE IT
Happiness, what exactly is it anyway? The Websters dictionary of the Flamingo-Neck people of Thular 17, who by strange coincidence happen to resemble the flamingos found here on planet Earth, define the happiness as the sensation of discovering a rather large and plump beetle crawling up the spindly leg of the woman standing next to you. The Flamingo-neck people of Thular 17, it should also be noted, are an entire population of self-regulating, self-reproducing lesbians who rather enjoy licking and kissing each others legs. This definition of happiness from their society has caught on however thus spurring an increase of homosexual sexual practices between the various women of the known universe, but also encouraging people to devour beetles in large quantities. The protein levels alone have justified this habit although there are some religious circles that are dubious that such record consumption and health has much to do with lesbianism.
During the latest update of the Websters Dictionary, the Flamingo-neck people took considerable effort to redefine lesbianism as not only a well-respected means of sexual recreation, but also as an effort to understand the deeper meaning of life and overall existence. Their definition for the phrase cunnilingus alone contained two rather remarkable passages which by sheer coincidence were two small passages found near the end of the first volumes Douglas Adams’s A Hitchikers Guide to the Universe. The first was as follows:
“Maybe. Who cares?” Said Slartibartfast before Arthur got too excited. “Perhaps I’m old and tired,” he continued, “but I always think that the chances of finding out what really is going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is to say hang the sense of it and just keep yourself occupied. Look at me I design coastlines. I got an award for Norway.” (127)
There were some of the Flamingo-neck peoples, most notably the few remaining heterosexual males who were making a concerted effort to stave off the overthrow of the patriarchy, that complained that this definition violated many tenants of reality. The most damning defense, they so claimed, was that this did very little to explain what happiness was or why it should be equated with lesbianism. The Flamingo-Neck Consortium of Lesbians for the Promotion of Philosophical and Physical Lady-Love decided to check this argument by adding the following passage to the definition:
“What does it matter? Science has achieved some wonderful things, of course, but I’d far rather be happy than right any day.”
“And are you?”
“No. That’s where it all falls down, of course.”
“Pity,” said Arthur with sympathy. “It sounded like quite a good style otherwise.” (128)
With their new definition in hand the Flamingo-Neck Consortium of Lesbians for the Promotion of Philosophical and Physical Lady-Love felt confident that they had a best-seller on their hands. Much to their chagrin and frustration the Goddess incarnate of the Molarr dimension just past the edge of the observable universe appeared in order to promote her latest novel: A Million and One Incredibly Fun Things to Do Sexually With Women and No One Else. It became an instant best-seller with many critics arguing it surpassed her previous work Women, Well, Da-Da-Damn.
The Flamingo-Neck Peoples of Thular 17 watched their media dreams fizzle away and the Consortium begin to implode not long thereafter. In the absence of a best-seller to justify their lesbianism to their stuffy-close-minded parents many began to fall back into hiking and just doing their own things on weekends. The Flamingo-neck Peoples returned to their home world bitterly disappointed, wondering why they bothered with happiness in the first place. Much to their surprise however, they discovered that there is something to forgoing fame and fortune and instead living a quiet, comfy, homosexual existence devouring beetles off of each others legs. It wasn’t grand knowledge, but it was most certainly life changing.
This concludes the passages that were supposed to be delivered to Jeshua “Jammer” Smyth. They shall henceforth be destroyed because I’m a pissy little bitch who cannot live with the knowledge that there is another mind who’s existence possesses such a sublime capacity for writing and art. I recognize that I’m committing a grand disservice to society and humanity by eliminating these letters, but it’s not like I’ve posted them to my blog where the whole world can see it, right?
This review was written several months ago, not long after my friend Savannah committed suicide, and not long after I finished Hitchhiker’s Guide. I hate that it took so long, but at least it’s here. Miss you Sav.