For all those well-intentioned Americans going into paroxysms of fury over their new President, here are some words of wisdom from Douglas Adams – one of the great geniuses of the late 20th century. Adams, as I’m sure you are aware, was the author of that “increasingly inaccurately named trilogy”, the five-volume “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.
Adams penned his master work in the days when it was still possible to satirise Western governments and their leaders. These days they have gone far beyond the wildest imaginings of the most hallucinatory satirist. Adams saw the writing on the wall. Way back in 1978, he foresaw the election of the big DT!
“It was not in any way a coincidence that today, the day of culmination of the project, the great day of unveiling, the day that the Heart of Gold was finally to be introduced to a marvelling Galaxy, was also a day of culmination for Zaphod Beeblebrox. It was for the sake of this day that he had first decided to run for the Presidency, a decision which had sent waves of astonishment throughout the Imperial Galaxy – Zaphod Beeblebrox? President? Not the The Zaphod Beeblebrox? Not the President? Many had seen it as clinching proof that the whole of known creation had finally gone bananas.
Zaphod Beeblebrox, adventurer, ex-hippy, good timer, crook? (Quite possibly), manic self-publicist, terribly bad at personal relationships, often thought to be completely out to lunch.
No one had gone bananas. Not in that way, at least.
Only six people in the entire galaxy understood the principle on which the Galaxy was governed, and they knew that once Zaphod Beeblebrox had announced his intention to run as President it was more or less a fait accompli: he was the ideal Presidency fodder.
It might not have made much difference if people had known exactly how much power the President of the Galaxy actually wielded: none at all.
Only six people in the Galaxy knew that the job of Galactic President was not to wield power but to attract attention away from it.”