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I'm Sorry, but the Supermassive Black Hole Has Demotivated Me

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Look, it is impossible to get motivated about anything when there's new confirmed evidence of a supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy. "Event Horizon" is not just a Sam Neill movie, and I'm not OK!

How is anyone supposed to get work done? Here, read this absolutely harrowing paragraph from The New York Times:

"Astronomers announced on Thursday that they had pierced the veil of darkness and dust at the center of our Milky Way galaxy to capture the first picture of 'the gentle giant' dwelling there: a supermassive black hole, a trapdoor in space-time through which the equivalent of four million suns have been dispatched to eternity, leaving behind only their gravity and violently bent space-time."

Sooooo, um.

What am I going to do? Complain about how deodorant cost $8 at CVS last week, that we need more reasonably priced Secret alternatives in this runaway economy? How the guy next to me at the gas station referred to his fuel bill as "a thick one"? About how I routinely seem to spend $200 on... nothing at all? That money just flies out of my pockets every time I step outside, probably sucked inside a black hole? Hmm?

Those seemed like real problems on Wednesday. But what even is a Wednesday?

"There seems to be a black hole at the center of nearly every galaxy, ours included, that can be millions or billions of times as massive as our sun. Astronomers still do not understand how these supermassive black holes have grown so big."

I mean!! Can you really be mad that Kathy from accounting heated up cod in the break room when a telescope the size of the planet Earth has detected mysteries previously thought to be unseeable? Can you begin to care that the skin around your eyes is losing elasticity? That your health insurance is lacking? OK, I still care about that.

 

All week, I'd been directing ennui at the astrological concept of Mercury retrograde. You know, that's the thing where Mercury's alignment is thought to wreak havoc on your personal life, spilling coffee all over the place and generally harshening everyone's vibe. How quaint.

That was obliterated by an astrophysical reality. The black hole came along and was all, "I'm Keyser Soze, you idiot! Your problems are fake, and you don't know anything!"

How can I be upset that Comedy Central has disappeared from my cable provider, that I cannot watch "The Office" for, oh lord, the one millionth time? I lack even the energy to be embarrassed for still having cable! Try me! It doesn't matter!

Sure, the discovery is thrilling. This new image signifies incredible scientific strides. What a time to be alive, et cetera. Scientists are much closer to understanding the universe. I should be awash in wonder and awe, and yet.

I am simply inviting you to marinate in absolute irrelevance with me. Would you like to do that? Here, have a seat on this picnic blanket. Look at the stars. Together we can shrink into specks of dust, the likes of which will blow off into the atmosphere, fall into a black hole, heat to millions of degrees and be expelled into dark, lonesome skies where no one needs deodorant.

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Stephanie Hayes is a columnist at the Tampa Bay Times in Florida. Follow her at @stephhayes on Twitter or @stephrhayes on Instagram.

Copyright 2022 Creators Syndicate Inc.
 

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