Did you hear the great news this week? Scientists discovered that 1.4 billion years ago, two black holes devoured each other! Thank God. I was in need of some good news to cheer me up!!
In a week that so far contains the Orlando massacre, another shooting death in the same city on the same weekend, watching politicians ceaselessly use this tragedy to shape their own pro-gun, anti-Muslim agendas, watching Donald Trump literally brag that he guessed several people would be killed, a MP being shot in the street, realizing that other than a Tweet of support there doesn’t seem to be anything one single person can do to help change any of this, and to top it all off, a child was killed by an alligator in the happiest place on Earth—in that kind of week, a scientific breakthrough on black holes is the single greatest news story we could ask for.
Why is this third-page science news so great? Because it reminds us that we are all essentially teeny, tiny, people and that in the grand scheme of things, we don’t matter much. I’m not trying to negate the gravity of the pain and suffering, but when your head is spinning because you literally can’t stop thinking about why the NRA thinks it’s ok to allow people on the no-fly list to purchase automatic weapons, it feels fucking great to know that one day a giant black hole is going to swallow us all.
Listen to this from the New York Times on Wednesday: “Black holes roughly 14 and 8 times as massive as the sun circled and combined into a single spinning black hole 21 times as massive as the sun. The collision spilled an amount of energy equivalent to the entire mass of the sun into the roiling of space-time.”
Yaaaaaas Queen! The roiling of space-time! Goddamn, those are beautiful, beautiful words. They are the only ray of sunlight, or technically, complete absence of a ray of sunlight, that has shone through the national conversation this week. When you compare it to black holes, the NRA is a very, very weak and small organization. Think about it! Here is a list of people who will one day be dead and their leftover matter swallowed up into a black hole:
-Anyone who’s ever purchased an automatic rifle “just in case” liberals ban them
-Judge Aaron Persky
-NFL execs who covered up CTE
-Racist casting directors
-People who feel uncomfortable with transgender access to restrooms
-Every single bigot who has ever lived
Take comfort! The remains of Donald Trump will one day be sucked into a black hole. And so will you! And so will I!
Get this: one day you won’t have to watch Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, and Samantha Bee- people who’s job it is to make us laugh at the end of the day- futilely call for gun control as they barely hold back tears on national television- because all of us will be long, long forgotten and sucked into nothing in a black hole! This is great news. I never want to think about Jimmy Fallon being serious, ever again.
The news is so bad, so terrible, so unthinkable this week that nothingness really does sound great. So thanks, black holes, for giving us a gentle reminder that, eventually, we won’t matter.
I’ll leave you with this cheery New York Times quote: “A billion-ton black hole (about the size of a small asteroid) that might have squeezed into existence from the enormous pressure of the Big Bang would be blazing hot today, spewing gamma rays at a temperature of 100 billion degrees.” Now that’s some good news!