In today’s political, social, and economic climate, “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” seems like less of a satire, and more of a serious documentation of the future our world can actually face. The characters, both human and alien in the novel are nasty and cold-hearted (and, in a sense of comedic irony, inhabit a ship nicknamed “The Heart of Gold”). The planet Earth (along with it’s entire galaxy, the Milky Way) is thought of as an insignificant little blue dot with people of inferior intellects according to these otherworldly beings. However, as the reader continues on, they will see that, indeed, this is true. The Big Bang, the theory of evolution, the entire course of human history – all are simply programmed by these hyper-intelligent mice creatures, as we find out in the end. While it is all played up for laughs, and is generally comedic in nature, it really poses a deadly serious question about our place in the universe.
Really, Douglas Adams presents a rather nihilistic and dark universe. The whole point of his work is to show that, while humans may consider themselves rational and intelligent beings, we may very well be just a simulation or a cheap form of entertainment for some other smarter race. In this way, “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is a quite bleak and dark comedy by showing us the truth about ourselves. The message behind it is humorously ironic – the more that the human race advances towards another technological revolution, the more we find out that we are simply primitive and simplistic beings.
With all the future prospects of going off to Mars, major advance in artificial intelligence, etc. that are going on, it seems that maybe the reality we find out is more farfetched than any kind of science fiction. What we find out might not be as crazy or insane as what Douglas Adams attempts to convey – perhaps what he proposes would simply be an understatement more than anything else.