The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams — Short Thoughts
Narcism has always largely been considered a supremely individualistic trait. We tend to assign this trait to rather smaller units, that too mostly individual humans. To that extent, it is often an exercise worth indulging to be examining the human race from this perspective. We’ve always placed ourselves at the centre of any system imaginable. Whether it is at a relatively smaller scale of the globe, or even at a macro, albeit largely metaphysical context of the universe, narcissism is perhaps a defining trait of the human race.
In that regard, 2020 has been many things, but most of all, it has been humbling. There is nothing more deflating to humanity’s ego, than to be rendered catatonic by an invisible virus. The illusion of supremacy over our surroundings was largely shattered this year. That’s where this book comes in. In this hilarious book, Douglas Adams has created a fantastical world where the Earth is nothing but an obstacle in the path of a highway construction crew.
The beauty lies in the fact that the nonchalance with which the book breaks the narcissism of the human race forces you to buy into the rather unbelievable premise of us not just not being puny in consideration of the universe, but rather being second-rate citizens on the planet itself, with mice being the mythical beings from a higher dimension, running complex experiments on us. This role reversal again plays into this inconsequentialist narrative rather beautifully, and makes you wonder, not just at a personal scale, but towards our future, our role and our place in the universe and the larger scheme.