Friday, 23 May 2014


I'm posting this now because I'm just about to leave for the Great British Tattoo Show and I won't be able to do bloggery for a few days.  Then I'm going to do some slightly mad things in a field in Oxfordshire*. But, good people, 25 May is Towel Day. Douglas, I love you, and I always will. Thank you, for everything. 

Oh, good lord... I very rarely 'unfriend' people. If I have done, it's always been because they've expressed or spread extreme racist ignorance, particularly if directed at an individual (it would be fair to wonder why such a person would be on my friends list at all, but remember, we’re talking about social media here. It’s not the same as exchanging body fluids. Ugh).
This comment popped up in my feed recently:
"well, just finished reading 'hitchhikers guide to the galaxy - the trilogy of four' the omnibus edition! if anyone wants it, they can have it for the cost of the postage!! didn't really enjoy it and won't be reading it again!!"(Capital letters? No, thought not.)
...and I moved to the 'Unfriend' button.  What sort of cock would react so dismissively to H2G2 – and then admit it in public?! That’s like saying “I lack even the most basic insight into the nature of humanity and the Universe, and here, have my brain, because I’m not using it.” 
Then I thought, No, I'm pretty easygoing, and a complete attention-whore, and people are allowed to think differently to the way I think - I'll just read through his timeline before I make a snap judgement.
Guess what? It's full of racist bile! BYEEEE! HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAA!
Some lilac. Some of you will know why.

 I lifted this text (below) directly from Ben Mapp’s “Douglas Adams’ Lost Legacy” blog post from 19 March 2013 – so it’s not mine, and I am in no way pretending it is. Here’s the original blog. Please visit it out of courtesy, and stay because he's a pleasure to read, but then come back:
Quote begins:
Today it was revealed that an archivist at Brentwood school discovered a poem written by the 17-year-old Adams. It was written in 1970 as part of an initiation to the upper-sixth’s literary society, featuring the theme of ‘candles’ along with the works of his fellow students (including that of comic actor Griff Rhys Jones).

The full poem is as follows:
A Dissertation on the task of writing a poem on a candle and an account of some of the difficulties thereto pertaining

by Douglas Adams, January 1970

I resisted temptation for this declamation
To reach out to literary height
For high aspiration in such an oration
Would seem quite remarkably trite:
So I thought something pithy and succinct and clever
Was exactly the right thing to write.

For nights I sat musing
And musing ... and musing
Whilst burning the midnight oil;
My scratchings seemed futile
My muse seemed quite mute, while
My work proved to be barren toil.

I puzzled and thought and wrestled and fought
'Till my midnight oil was exhausted,
So I furthered my writing by dim candle lighting,
And found, to my joy, this of course did
The trick, for I flowered,
My work - candle-powered –
Was inspired, both witty and slick.

Pithy and polished, my writing demolished
Much paper, as I beguiled
Myself with some punning,
(My word play was stunning,)
I wrote with the wit of a Wilde.
At length it was finished, the candle diminished,
I pondered and let my pride burn
At the great acclamation, the standing ovation
Its first public reading would earn.

But lost in the rapture of anticipation
And thinking how great was my brilliant creation
I quite failed to note as I gazed into space
That incendiary things were about to take place:
That which had ignited my literary passion,
Was about to ignite what my passion had fashion'd.

And - oh! - all was lost in a great conflagration
And I just sat there and said 'Hell and damnation',
For the rest of the night and the following day.
(My muse in the meantime had flitted away
Alarmed, no doubt, at the ornamentation
My language acquired with increased consternation.

So unhaply the fruits of my priceless endeavour
Are lost to the literary world forever.
For now I offer this poem instead,
Which explains in itself why the other's unsaid.

Quote ends. *Sobs quietly*

*I think Douglas would be proud of me.

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