Tag Archives: bureaucracy

The Vogons from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy are the most believable villains ever

Wow, a short post!

Pictured below: the ugly face of the faceless bureaucracy.

vogons

Vogons: They don’t care about you or your values, they just want to demolish your planet to build a hyperspace expressway.

In most science fiction or fantasy epics, the central conflict is a nice satisfying definitive struggle between good and evil. And usually, the forces of evil are driven by a passionate hatred of everything the good stands for. The bad guys come in with guns blazing, ready for a fight, and our heroes must struggle to defeat them. And sometimes they even conveniently explain their nefarious plans! But if you’ve ever watched or read Hitchhiker’s Guide, you’ll know the Vogons aren’t like that. They just. Don’t. Care. They love bureaucracy and paperwork, and to them the protagonists are not enemies but merely an inconvenience. They don’t even get a chance to fight; the planet is just destroyed instantly to make way for a hyperspace expressway. You wanted to do something about that? Well, the papers were on file on some other planet for several centuries, you should have gone there, gotten the papers, and gone through the proper procedures to prevent it. You didn’t know? Well, too bad, that’s just the way things are.

 

And that’s how it is with most of the opposition we face in life. We can’t just go in and kick ass until our problems are solved, because we’re up against a vast, faceless, passionless bureaucracy, a monolith of That’s Just How It Is. Your “enemies” don’t hate you, they just simply don’t care. Whether it’s the insurance company jerking you around about coverage or jacking up your rate for some obscure reason, a job prospect that says they want to interview you and then never calls back to schedule an interview, or a car buyer who promises you cash in hand then backs out and hangs up when you call them, life is full of such struggles. It’s frustrating and unsatisfying to deal with them. You can’t MAKE someone care. The only way you can fight apathy is by simply not caring yourself, and moving on to better things, and that’s the struggle I have every day.

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