Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that thinks all of this could be for nothing, considering we’re all going to end getting consumed in a galactic collision in 3 billion years.
Watching too much television can make you fatalistically lazy. Case in point: We had a break last night between our feng shui yoga for carnivores class and our volunteer shift for Alcoholics By Name (it’s like the “anonymous” one, but the exact opposite; we help locate six-packs after midnights and Sundays, or recommend mouthwashes that have most kick), so we flipped channels for a few minutes. This turned into an hour (sorry, we know some people went sober because of it) because we ended up watching a cool Discovery Channel show about the evolution of the universe and how, basically, even if we could live longer than a century, it’d all come to an end in three to seven billion years anyway.
The show was talking about the fact that, since we’ve had computers for a couple decades and some pretty decent mathematicians out there, astronomers and physicists have developed a fairly good idea of how this cosmic ballet will reach its denouement – which is to say, they’ve got a bad idea. You might have heard before that our sun is young and has many stages yet to go through. The next step, which would be a red giant, will incinerate our planet to the point where today’s Pike National Forest will look like the Garden of Eden.
But it’s worse: Even before that, our galaxy is going to spiral right through another galaxy, as all the galaxies in our local group chart a Tidy-Bowl sinking path into a black hole.
Needless to say, our imagination went wilder than soccer hooligans painting visions of fiery meteor showers, tectonic upheaval and climate change that would make snow an even scarcer commodity than it is now (if you can believe it). Well, heck, we thought. Why do anything?
Why build a highway? Why worry about nuclear waste, or putting out wildfires? We realize, of course, that the human race will not even exist at this point. But that didn’t motivate us at all – that just adds to the argument. What’s the point?
The point is, of course, laughter. But you knew that. You knew our only snappy comeback to this cruel joke we call the ontological universe was our species’ unique ability to laugh at its own condition. Whoever, whatever is responsible for all of this – houses burning down, sorrow, broken bones, all of it – is also the same reason dogs chase their tails, babies burp and roses smell as sweet as they do.
We need some food for thought, so let us know what’s smoking in your neck of the woods at firstname.lastname@example.org, fax at (970) 668-0755 or just sing “hunka-hunka burnin’ love” into the voicemail at (970) 668-3998 ext. 237.
We’re out weaving dandelion crowns with our toes …
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