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Anti-matter: Discovery offers possibilities

I read with both fascination and befuddlement the story out of Geneva that reports on the discovery of anti-matter.

The fascination comes from my recollection of old Marvel comic books that posited such a possibility 40-plus years ago and caused millions of young readers like me to lie in bed and wonder what it would be like to cross the threshold into the anti-universe of anti-matter where everything in that world is the opposite of everything in this.

The befuddlement stems from my degrees in theater and theology, so any rational explanation of just what occurred in the lab in Switzerland leaves me longing for the clarifications that came in two or three frames from “Superman Meets His Match.”



In any case, I can still wonder what the consequences of anti-matter might be without understanding what in the heck it is. So I’ve spent not a little time today, when I should be working, wondering what would happen if:

n The anti-universe served as a home to religions that actually sought ways of bettering all of humankind rather than just their own kind.



In the anti-universe, fundamentalists would stop thinking that their way was the only way, the Christian Right would admit its wrongs, the Taliban would sponsor seminars on the many ways to enlightenment and Franklin Graham would stop embarrassing God.

n Anti-matter infiltrated the drinking water in the White House and our president earned an A in “Plays well with others.”

n In the anti-universe, a sign of success was not the salary you made or the car you drove, but the people you helped. Enron, Tyco and WorldCom would be honored for their great employee benefits and for CEOs earning less than the janitors.

n Anti-matter might make people who normally drive like idiots regain some of their lost IQ. Who knows? The anti-universe might turn normally belligerent bullies behind the wheel into gentlemen, but then where would New York City find any cabbies?

n In a similar manner, might the Mike Tysons of the world become docile and sweet in an anti-universe? I shudder to think of what Mr. Rogers would be like.

n Anti-matter reverses the decline of the stock market or eliminates telemarketing altogether or has Ferrari offering zero-percent financing and no money down with payments not beginning until six months after I die!

n In the anti-universe, we would retire at 16 and start working at 65. We would have fun when we could still enjoy it. By the time we become cranky and irritable old codgers, we would hire on at HMOs or government agencies.

n Anti-matter probably would legitimize illegitimate children, legalize illegal immigrants and even have politicians telling the truth. There would be an enormous downside to all of this, although I’m not exactly sure what it would be.

n In the anti-universe, the world’s rich would become poor, the powerful weak and those of us driving cars with internal combustion engines would have to walk. Then again, my kitchen faucet would stop leaking and my back wouldn’t hurt.

If those folks fooling around with anti-matter in Geneva aren’t careful, the whole world might be radically changed. Palestine would be peace-filled, Saddam would be our friend, the Cubs would win the pennant.

So keep up the good work!

Columnist Rich Mayfield appears in this space on Saturdays. Here’s our take on Rich Mayfield in the anti-matter world: propagandist for conservative Republican organizations, best friend of Rush Limbaugh.


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