Armageddon Column: Goodbye

I see visions of death in the sun. Actually, unless I’ve been drinking way too much absinthe, that should probably read: The Sun. Last week, The Sun ran a headline that said: ‘End Of The World In Nine Days’. Oh good. And in order to avoid any kind of dangerous or irresponsible panic, they helpfully illustrated the story with a picture of a terrifying space vortex, sucking in light, stars, clouds and, all hope. Being The Sun, they also included a companion piece, entitled: ‘Don’t panic, there’s time to try out every position in the Kama Sutra’, suggesting either they didn’t really believe their own headline or they do have their fingers on the pulse of modern Britain’s priorities (if not its stamina).

This was about the Large Hadron Collider, on the French-Swiss border, which will, on Wednesday, undertake the most ambitious science experiment in history. The experiment is being run by the European Nuclear Research Centre (CERN), and much has been made of the small possibility that black holes might be created when they fire it up. People The Sun call ‘the anti-CERN brigade’ (seriously, is there anyone, in The Sun‘s opinion, who does not get their own brigade? Have these people no respect for military protocol?) fear that these black holes might grow and destroy the earth. If that happens, there are two important points to consider.

1.)It will demonstrate, in the most final way possible, the hubris of science generally, as exemplified by their continued cries of: ‘Trust us! We know what we’re doing!’ as they shuffle towards the Red Button, when anyone even vaguely familiar with science fiction (or the works of Thomas Kuhn, or the fields of research that gave us nuclear weaponry, nerve gas and mobile rigntones) knows: they don’t really.

2.)Since this paper reaches most people on a Thursday and the experiment takes place on a Wednesday, I can pretty much write what I want. Hell, even if these black holes take a while to get warmed up, if you cancel your subscription it really won’t matter anyway, as we’re all going to die. I’m sure the editor will be more than happy to answer any complaints in Glory.

So what will I write? I’m torn. I guess, if it turned out to be a slow descent into the abyss (or: ‘Mum tells of death-hole agony / Vortex sucked my top off” as the Sun might put it), survival techniques would be in order. Talking about soldiers being refused entry to hotels (and asking whether those who campaigned last year for Christians’ right to refuse entry to gay or unmarried couples would support other hotels’ choice in this) would be pointless. Talking about Charles Clarke’s vicious attack on Gordon Brown, followed by his disgusting ‘worries’ about splitting the party would be equally irrelevant to a doomed world. The coolest book titles ever, which made last week’s news, ‘Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers’ and ‘How Green Were the Nazis?’ would probably not cheer anyone up. Even musing on The Daily Mail’s potential take on ‘Black Holes Stealing Our Planet’ would be a waste.

Plus, if a black hole was created, I reckon it’d kill us all pretty quickly. So let me take this opportunity to automatically be proved right by the mere fact of you reading this and say: The Sun was wrong! Langley was right!

We could, of course, still spend some time telling our friends and neighbours about Jesus and salvation in him as if the world was ending. Because, of course, it is. Slower than a super-collider, more personal to all of us than a global disaster, but with unquestionable certainty.

Here’s a link to a Russell Brand clip about The Sun, very funny but if strong language offends you, DO NOT WATCH.

Here’s a rap about the LHC. Man Stephen H has got to get tired of people (and computers) doing impressions of him.

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