Sunday, May 15, 2005

Weird thing of the day 15 May 2005/6 'Iyyar 5765 (Day 21 of the `Omer/National Receptionists Day/Straw Hat Day/National Chocolate Chip Day)


Political amusement: Backspin has noted that Fatah has a petition to the Stateless Arab (“Palestinian”) Authority demanding an inquiry into the cause of Arafat (may his name be erased)’s death and has posted a list of the top ten suggestions of what really happened. Many are downright “conspiracy theories”. My favorite is the laser gun.

Quibble: The term “conspiracy theory” is a misnomer. The difference between a theory and a mere hypothesis is that a theory has evidence to back it up. E.g., the Theory of Evolution, being bolstered by multiple lines of evidence from fossils to genetics to being observed directly in human history, is a theory; while the Documentary Hypothesis, being little more than speculation without any outside confirmation (such as unedited copies of J, E, P, and D), is an hypothesis. “Conspiracy theories” are infamous for the evidence backing them up being wildly inaccurate, and thus calling them “theories” perpetuates the notion that they have real evidence to back them up or that actual theories do not necessarily have supporting evidence. I suggest “conspiracy hypothesis” as a replacement.

Today’s weird thing is yet another letter from Marvin the Paranoid Android (thank you for saving me the trouble of picking me a weird thing), which I have included below. Enjoy or be scared or something.



I am sorry to report that Zaphod Beeblebrox has
dragged me to see that movie The Hitchhiker's Guide
to the Galaxy
. Why, I do not know; perhaps he is
vain enough to care about how Sam Rockwell portrays
him. You may remember that I have previously reported
on the movie based on the commercial advertisements I
viewed on the telly, and I am sorry to say that my
worst fears have been realised.

This is not to say that the movie is the absolute
worst audiovisual programme ever made. That can
regularly be viewed on such television networks as
Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel. To be fair, there
were some parts to the movie which were relatively
close to the book and even the authorisation to
destroy the Earth signed "Love and Kisses, Zaphod" was
borrowed from the radio play. However there were
numerous divergences from both the letter and spirit
of Douglas Adams' work, everything from the oddball
anatomy and completely wrong personality of Zaphod
(whose heads are not stacked on top of each other and
always agree), the completely wrong persona of
Trillian (who has a doctorate and was not hopping
around the planet without any responsibility), myself
(forgetting the subtle, important details of
motivation), the Arthur-Trillian relationship (which
did not develop to any such degree), the Heart of
's improbability drive (which did not cause
the ship and crew to constantly metamorphosize, nor
was there any accounting or understanding of
improbability), the whole reason Zaphod stole the
Heart of Gold, and so forth. The Humma Kavula
character (or however it is spelled) protrayed by John
Malkovitch was cruel, unnecessary, and, how should I
say it, snotty. There were also senseless additions,
such as at one point where Arthur borrowed one of my
character's arms for no apparent reason at all.

This is not to say that the movie was completely wrong
in all its innovations. The exploration of Vogon
society was a tad interesting, as was the
point-of-view gun which my character used to defeat
the Vogon soldiers, allowing the heroes to triumph in
the end.

I'm sorry; it seems I have spoiled the ending. I
didn't mean to do that. I hope I haven't ruined it
for anybody.

Nevertheless, the earlier review found by Zaphod was
on the whole accurate, which is to say that if one
would like to enjoy this movie, it would be best to
drink a few Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters first.
Needless to say that Zaphod had a few afterwards.

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