gifts for her brilliant girls’ teachers, and I spied a cutesy little
book of Eeyore quotations called Eeyore’s Little Book of Gloom.
I loved the Pooh books when I was a young child (still do), and the character
that resonated most with me was, you guessed it, Eeyore. The following exchange
between Eeyore and Piglet sums up the Eeyore philosophy. ‘Good morning,
Little Piglet,’ said Eeyore. ‘If it is a good morning,’
he said. ‘Which I doubt,’ said he. ‘Not that it matters,’
If there were a corresponding figure in more recent literature, I would nominate
Marvin, the robot in Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide
To The Galaxy
. I don’t own that series of books, so I can’t
quote you anything from the robot that had a brain the size of the Universe,
but if you’ve heard the radio series or read the book, you’ll
know what I mean.
But I forgot about the Internet didn’t I.. Google came up with a lovely
dedicated to quotes from the said Marvin Here’s a selection:
‘Life,’ said Marvin dolefully, ‘loathe it or ignore it,
you can't like it.’
‘I gave a speech once,’ he said suddenly, and apparently unconnectedly.
‘You may not instantly see why I bring the subject up, but that is because
my mind works so phenomenally fast, and I am at a rough estimate thirty billion
times more intelligent than you. Let me give you an example. Think of a number,
’Er, five,’ said the mattress.
’Wrong,’ said Marvin. ‘You see?’
‘The first ten million years were the worst," said Marvin, "and
the second ten million years, they were the worst too. The third million years
I didn't enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of decline.’
That could be Eeyore (with a doctorate).
Being a pessimist means that I’ve come to the point where I’ve
ratified (to myself anyway) a long held suspicion that there’s no God,
and I’ll declare to anybody who asks that I’m an atheist. I was
gratified to note there was a program recently on ABC TV hosted by Geraldine
Doogue (possibly part of the Secular
series originally shown in 2002 ) that had interviews with several
people about atheism and what they planned to do about their funerals. Ironically
(mostly because you’re not there, except perhaps involuntarily) this
seems a moment that your beliefs and personally held views could actually
be of some concern to your friends and family, and where some planning could
be of some benefit to survivors.
The program was also reassuring – most of the people interviewed seeemed
to be reasonably smart and articulate. Just being an atheist implies that
one has considered the issue, not like agnostics who are the ‘don’t
knows’ or ‘haven’t thought about its’, or the ‘nominal’
Anglicans or Methodists etc
. There is an uneasy public perception
that atheists are somewhat akin to anarchists, and are not to be trusted near
public buildings, but I ..