Douglas Adams on Misanthropes

Published July 7, 2015


I am a huge fan of Douglas Adams and his bestselling series, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. When I first read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Adams’s irreverence for the status quo simply confirmed what I always believed to be the case. It didn’t matter if he was ridiculing the absolute definition of a physical constant which has been confirmed by 60 years of experiments, or an opinion from a 3 year old on the same topic; everything was fair game. Even the series itself is referred to as a “trilogy” yet includes 6 books.

My favorite quotation is from the second book, though there are plenty from the first in the series that I love as well. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe begins with a little introduction… I’ll admit, when I first read the quotation I knew it was exceptional but couldn’t quite pin down it’s complete eloquence. It’s in the image above but just in case you can’t see it:

The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

My take on this quotation: working backwards, we have a large group of people who are extremely upset about the state of the universe and think it probably shouldn’t have been made. Yet these people live in this same universe and without it wouldn’t exist much less be able to complain about anything. In fact, if it hadn’t been created in the exact manner that it was, they may not exist.  There will always be people for whom your work will upset. Essentially, no matter the brilliance, beauty, usefulness, or necessity of your efforts there will always be someone who wants to disparage it. Or in the common vernacular: “Haters gonna hate.”

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