RULER OF THE UNIVERSE AS SOLIPSIST:
Excerpts from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Radio Scripts
FORD PREFECT: Er, excuse me, do you rule the Universe?
MAN: I try not to. Are you wet?
FORD: Wet! Well, doesn't it look as if we're wet?
MAN: That's how it looks to me, but how you feel about it might be a different matter. If you find warmth makes you feel dry you'd better come in.
ZAPHOD BEEBLEBROX: Er, man, like what's your name?
MAN: I don't know. Why, do you think I ought to have one? It seems odd to give a bundle of vague sensory perceptions a name.
ZARNIWOOP: Listen. We must ask you some questions.
MAN: All right. You can sing to my cat if you like.
ARTHUR DENT: Would he like that?
MAN: You'd better ask him that.
ZARNIWOOP: How long have you been ruling the Universe?
MAN: Ah, this is a question about the past is it?
MAN: How can I tell that the past isn't a fiction designed to account for the discrepancy between my immediate physical sensations and my state of mind?
ZARNIWOOP: Do you answer all questions like this?
MAN: I say what it occurs to me to say when I think I hear people say things. More I cannot say.
ZARNIWOOP: No. Listen. People come to you, yes?
MAN: I think so.
ZARNIWOOP: And they ask you to take decisions—about wars, about economies, about people, about everything going on out there in the Universe?
MAN: I only decide about my Universe. My Universe is what happens to my eyes and ears. Anything else is surmise and hearsay. For all I know, these people may not exist. You may not exist. I say what it occurs to me to say.
ZARNIWOOP: But don't you see? What you decide affects the fate of millions of people.
MAN: I don't know them, I've never met them. They only exist in words I think I hear. The men who come say to me, say, so and so wants to declare what we call a war. These are the facts, what do you think? And I say. Sometimes it's a smaller thing....
MAN: But it's folly to say you know what is happening to other people. Only they know. If they exist.
ZARNIWOOP: Do you think they do?
MAN: I have no opinion. How can I have?
ZARNIWOOP: I have.
MAN: So you say—or so I hear you say.
ZARNIWOOP: But don't you see that people live or die on your word?
MAN: It's nothing to do with me, I am not involved with people. The Lord knows I am not a cruel man.
ZARNIWOOP: Ah! You say ... the Lord! You believe in ...
MAN: My cat. I call him the Lord. I am kind to him.
ZARNIWOOP: All right. How do you know he exists? How do you know he knows you to be kind, or enjoys what you think of as your kindness?
MAN: I don't. I have no idea. It merely pleases me to behave in a certain way to what appears to be a cat. What else do you do? Please I am tired.
This definitely reminds me of some of the Topix conversations we've had over the years.