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David Bowie and the End of the Universe


Michele Dutcher

David Bowie and the End of the Universe

by Michele Dutcher

There’s a meme on Social Media that is making the rounds.  It shows a picture of David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust with his hands extended and it says: I’m not saying that David Bowie was holding the fabric of the universe together…but…just look at this mess. Don't even get me started on Brexit and the American election and Putin's grab for power.


As far as celebrities I cared dropping like flies, I was willing to chalk it up to fate with Prince and David Bowie and Muhammad Ali and Gene Wilder and Merle Haggard and so many others...but when Carrie Fisher died after having a heart attack on a plane, well it was too much.  Death had overstepped its bounds, "Go home Death, you're drunk"...and a mean drunk at that. Carrie's mother, Debbie Reynold's, died the next day. I saw the first Star Wars movie 17 times in a theater on Bardstown Road and I saw the last showing at 2 PM with noone else in the room, dead center first row. 


Another way to look at 2016 is like Chuck Palahniuk’s quote: Welcome to Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club.  The 2nd Rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about fight club. At this point, it’s probably better if the first rule of 2017 is: You Do Not talk about 2016.


Of course there were all the signs including the Mesoamerican Mayan Long Count.  The date of the last creation was August 3114 BC with its end of cycle being December 21 2012.  There were festivities held in Chichen Itza in Mexico, Tikal in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. This didn’t mean the world would end on 12/12/2012. Rather, this meant that mankind had used up its nine lives, and this time, when the ball drops, we will be out of luck.


I suppose it’s similar to the Christian idea that there is a well of souls in heaven and when that soul runs dry and there are no more souls to be born, time will run out for humankind.


It is an almost certain fact that humankind won’t be around to witness the end of this 5126 year Maya Long Cycle, as the point-of-no-return with regards to Climate Change was January 26th 2016 and humans were still doing basically nothing to clean up the Earth. And now we’ll be doing even less with Big Oil at the head of the EPA here in America. Leonardo DiCaprio, save us.


So what are we to do with the time we have left, probably 150 years or so?


Well, there are many excellent Science Fiction movies coming out this season, truly. This list includes: Passengers, and Rogue One, and Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them.  And La La Land – which isn’t Science Fiction but it sounds like a happy way to pass a winter’s afternoon.


And, of course, the Muse would remind us to bring forward whatever good things you can while staring into the cold hard face of 2017.  A few of these good things to be brought forward must include, as usual, the Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Alternative stories of the year before this one…yeah, you know the one…The editors and staff of Quantum Muse are therefore presenting for your examination and enjoyment these stories from THAT year, the one we just lived through...yeah, you know the one...

Michele Dutcher


2017-01-11 05:15:58
Ironspider - Being something of a nihilist I rarely get the feeling that the universe (or any diety of your choosing) is out-to-get-me. Bad luck does seem to run in a series and, I'll admit, 2016 does look to have stretched the bounds of credibility. But I look at it this way - some of the people who affected me when I was young, such as Jacques Cousteau and Arthur C Clarke, died at ripe old ages. Others, such as Iain Banks and Terry Pratchett, left us when they still had miles to go on their celestial clock - the hourglass wasn't empty, someone knocked it off the shelf (NO, I DIDN'T). I guess we have to live with any loss and try and take comfort in whatever way we can. Monsieur Cousteau kick-started my love of nature, David Attenborough has stoked the fires across the years - Mr Clarke helped point me toward Science Fiction, Iain Banks made me laugh and numerous writers still inspire me. I've said farewell to a few musical talents, such as Alex Harvey, Lemmy and Keith Emerson, but there are still many groups and artists that I like just the same. Yes, thermodynamics indicates that one day the universe will end. But that's a distance in the future - it's a big universe and we haven't finished exploring.

2017-01-01 18:11:13
John David Rose - What I mean is, I'm hoping that in 2017 some of that good old human perseverance and ingenuity can get us out of some of the trouble we've managed to get ourselves into.

2017-01-01 18:02:21
John David Rose - So many apocalyptic science fiction tales seem to be about the perseverance and ingenuity of individual humans in spite of the odds. I'm hoping we see some of that in 2017.

2017-01-01 11:19:04
GordonRowlinson - Oops hit the submit by accident...The monkeys that take over on 1/20 would like to start another war. However the issue is whether we the public is dumb enough to forget how bad the Iraq War was. I more frightening possibility is nuke war. I am disturbed at how lightly Trump and the fat boy in N Korea treat nukes. It has been a long time since WW II and the display of the horrors of nuke bombing. We humans may be dumb enough to let something horrific happen. As for climate change, I am more optimistic. Polls show the public wants action. When the wealthy start losing expensive coastal real estate, it will be impossible to listen to the oil company-funded denier propaganda.

2017-01-01 11:04:37
GordonRowlinson - In 2016, we lost both John Glenn and Princess Leia. Good riddance 2016. Unfortunately I do not have confidence in things going well in 2017. An economic downturn is coming this year or next and there is a possibility of our "leaders" starting another war. I have a theory that things go in cycles. When a bad event happens, the public is against the he bad event happening again.

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