Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Solar Masses of Fate

Hello plebeian masses! Now, I know the weather’s great, summer’s here, and all you want to do is go and get pissed up in a park on off-license liquor. Or maybe I do. Anyway, before I head out to lasciviously ogle the kempt, tanned nudists on Hampstead Heath, I’d like to teach you a thing or two about astrophysics.
Boring? Fuck you!
Now look here – let’s talk a little about black holes. No, I’m not talking about racist pornography, I’m talking about theoretical space phenomena which have a mass which might approximate 2.5 million times that of our sun. Okay. So you’re a dozy fucker and a magnitude of “2.5 million solar masses” might just seem fairly big to you. Well, let me tell you, it’s bigger than you think.
Take the Earth. It weighs fucking 6,600,000,000,000,000,000,000 tonnes! Although most of this is now accounted for by Lawrence Fishburne, 6.6 thousand billion billion tonnes is very fucking heavy. Then, the sun weighs 330,000 times that. That’s one solar mass. And Christ, even though my ex once claimed she did, in fact, weigh one solar mass after consuming every chocolate in the house, a single solar mass is a huge amount.
So these black holes, weighing 2.5 million of these motherfuckers, are pretty big right? Nope. They’re actually so heavy that their own gravity collapses them in on themselves until they’re a tiny dot. That’s called a singularity. Something smaller than even your cock, and it weighs more than the entire TNT equivalent that the US will have dropped on folks by the time they realise they’re wankers.
Thus, the black hole singularity is more dense than Jade Goody on ketamine, and exerts a gravity which sucks with more potency than Heather Brooke of IDeepThroat.com. In fact, it even sucks light into it. And this is why it’s called a black hole.
There is a spherical perimeter around a black hole called the Event Horizon, which is the distance furthest from the singularity at which light cannot escape. Once you enter that event horizon, a number of fucked up things happen, even if you were wearing a nice space suit.
First you’d notice yourself being torn apart. The amount of gravity is so immense that your feet would feel it an order of magnitude more than your head, with the result that your feet would fall faster than your head, and when that sort of shit’s going down something’s got to give. Your waist, as it happens. That doesn’t matter because at the acceleration you’re going at, you’d probably hit the singularity before you died anyway. So your disembodied head might look around and wish that you’d packed some sort of rocket pack to help you escape. Not a chance, unfortunately, because once you’re past the horizon then nothing can escape. The singularity becomes a part of your future.
So why am I babbling on about all this? Well, it all ties in with my ideas on fate. Do we have control over fate, or do we not? Do we decide who we fall in love with, or does it happen at first sight / by chance, accident / when the planets are aligned?
I think fate is like floating through a field of black holes. The black holes are the people you fall in love with. Sometimes you can see them coming, because you’ll see their event horizon ominously blotting out the bright stars behind them. Or perhaps you’ll feel the gradual pull as you get close. Or perhaps you just won’t see it before it’s too late. They are hard to spot, after all.
But you can control fate at this point, to some extent at least. Go this way, that way, avoid one, head for another – whatever you like.
But once you’re inside a horizon, its singularity is in your future. There is no device in the universe which can set you free. If you’re lucky, you’ll love it all the way down, though you’re torn apart, exposed, fucked and helpless to prevent yourself moving in any direction but in. And once you arrive – at the singularity, her soul – let’s hope she notices you there. Or else your broken body will feel quite alone.
You’ll have no control over that fate.

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