Entertainment update: I received an interesting essay yesterday that I believe is worth posting.
As you all know (probably because you have nothing
better to do with your time than sit around watching
the telly rather than talk to people), by the end of
this month Touchstone Pictures will be releasing a
movie version of Douglas Adams' THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE
TO THE GALAXY. Of course this is not the first
adaptation of this novel, there being a passible one
put out by the British Broadcasting Corporation in the
1980s that looked like the people who made DOCTOR WHO
decided to make a comedy, which is pretty much what
happened. Despite the unsophistication of the
special-effects technology, the series was halfway
watchable, and this despite them underutilizing
Trillian and one of Zaphod Beeblebrox's heads, a
horrendous miscasting of a suicidal food animal, and
too little screen time being given to a certain robot.
The series somewhat worked because it was largely
faithful to Adams' text, which milked a number of
clever absurd and satirical situations for humour to
the point of me almost smiling, if I was so capable.
Kudos to the BBC for their efforts. Now Touchstone is
releasing their own version of the first book in the
five-part trilogy. Immediately you should be wary as
Touchstone is the label put on movies made by Walt
Disney Pictures which are too mature for children,
almost always being so vacuous and dreadful that they
make one long for Vogon poetry. But even not knowing
this, I would still know that this movie will be
decidedly awful. The promotional trailers played on
the telly are almostly exclusively composed of
special-effects shots. While the book is certainly an
excellent source for this, this is disturbing because
this is most certainly not what the book is about.
The book is about characters trapped in absurd,
frustrating situations beyond their control, such as a
human whose planet is destroyed by a careless,
impersonal bureaucracy and, even better, a genius
robot who is forced to serve inferior creatures by
doing menial labour. All they would have to show
would be a few clips of Ford Prefect doing some absurd
negotiations and Arthur Dent whining amusingly. Even
a shot of Zaphod Beeblebrox (who Touchstone/Disney has
inexplicably given just one head) saying something
stupid (as occurs on a regular basis) would have been
comforting. Instead, I am sure that moviegoers will
be forced to endure a long, depressing two hours of
computer-generated flash without any comic substance.
I pity the poor humans. Destruction by a Mutant Star
Goat would have been so much better.
I do not agree with Marvin on everything. I thought in the TV series that Trillian was more trivialized and made bimboesque than underutilized. I am also not clear on whether the TV series preceded the books or was made after the first two books; I once asked Arthur about it, but he mumbled something about a time machine and a barrel full of Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, and then he refused to discuss the matter further.
Today’s weird thing is an article about an unusual problem: “Ohio Officials Chase Problem Turkeys”. Enjoy, and Shabbath shalom.