“Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy” by Douglas Adams
“One Thursday lunchtime the Earth is unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass. For Arthur Dent, who has only just had his house demolished that morning, this seems already to be more than he can cope with. Sadly, however, the weekend has only just begun, and the galaxy is a very strange and startling place.” – DouglasAdams.com
See the thing about Douglas Adams is as a “nerd/geek” person I was meant to have read him years ago. I didn’t. I lived through most of my young life not knowing the difference between Douglas Adams and Michael Douglas (after learning the latter I was able to deduce the former). Regardless, I didn’t think “Hitchhikers Guide” was going to be the be all end all of nerd chic.
In a way I was not wrong. I’m glad I finally read it – it’s one of those Nerd Bucket-List items I think. Star Trek, check, comic books, check, Douglas Adams, hey look at me; Check! But it also wasn’t the be all end all of books either I don’t think. It’s absolutely brilliant and as you know from my opinions on Dirk Gently I just love Adams’ writing. He writes in a way that you would speak – which is a great way to hear a story. I would believe I am sitting down and listening to someone weave a tale to me; and it’s beautiful. Moreover, he speaks of these huge, large, undefinable concepts in ways that just hit you in the face with the simplicity. He relates all of life together in a cosmic circle, all while having it do double backflips off a diving board into a bowl of soup. I don’t know, there’s something super perfect about his story telling. And yet something about it just doesn’t “click” in that “oh, that’s why he’s a genius” way. The hype was comparative to the experience, but yet it wasn’t.
I think the simplest way I can understand this very conflicting experience is that I’m simply more of a Fantasy Dork and less of Sci-Fi one. Do I love Star Trek, you betcha but I love the relationships and the exploration of far away (fanciful) lands more than I care about anything space related. I’m a Tolkein, Rowling, Euripides, Kripke, Dungeons and Dragons nerd. And that’s okay! I’m glad I took the time to branch out and try a different thing. I’m even more glad I liked it! But I don’t think that Sci-Fi is always gonna be a genre for me. Dirk Gently is something I can get into (maybe ’cause of the Sherlockian undertones?) and I can definitely enjoy Star Trek but given the choice between Space and Magic I’ll choose magic every time.
This leads me into a tiny segue I didn’t quite mean to take but hey, as Robert Frost always yaps about who wouldn’t want to take the road less traveled right? So, sometimes I feel like a bad nerd. I know that sounds weird so I’ll explain. I’m not particularly nerdy about anything. I mean, I am, I’m obsessed with fricken everything. But I don’t fit in to ‘a thing’. I’m not “the science nerd” or “the magic nerd” or “the computer nerd” or “the history nerd” I am just a little bit of everything. I collect small pieces of every fandom and I hold onto the little bits I like. I am the Potter nerd, the Supernatural nerd, the superhero nerd, the zombie nerd, the video game nerd, the myth and folklore nerd, the horror nerd… but I’m never fully any one thing. I know those of you who have made it this far are going “Stop, stop, stop you’re the Harry Potter nerd ya Muggle!” or “You’re the Supernatural nerd, ya dumb moose!” well okay, yes. Those two I can safely say I’m pretty much King of (hey speaking of, did you know that Curtis Armstrong who played Metatron in Supernatural created and co-hosted “King of the Nerds” cool huh?) *cough* the point is there are people out there who know way more about both things than I do and who could take me down any day of the week. I’m just “average”. I’m pretty much average in everything.
I used to think – about three minutes ago before my brain started on this tangent – that that meant I wasn’t a good nerd. I
spend spent a lot of time thinking that I wasn’t fitting in with my friend groups because I didn’t like things the way they did. I know that’s stupid and something you’re supposed to feel at 15 not 20something almost thirty. But I also think that’s the thing about life is that we don’t ever really get to feel secure. Maybe some of us do. Or maybe some of us just fake it better – so well in fact that we’re lying even to ourselves. I don’t like lying though so that’s hard for me to grasp. It’s okay to like one thing, or all things, or no things. It’s okay to like something with all your heart but someone else still knows the material better. It just means you can have deeper conversations about it. This is really cheesy and has nothing to do with Douglas Adams.
Or maybe it has everything to do with him.