It’s interesting to note that the scientific phenomenon of a Black Hole is an area of space where the gravitational field is so powerful that nothing can escape after having fallen past the event horizon (boundary past which events can’t ever be observed – that which represents the maximum extent of the particle horizon – the extent of the visible universe. In his book A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking describes the Event Horizon as “the point of which light is just barely able to escape.”). The name comes from the fact that even electromagnetic radiation (e.g. light) is unable to escape, rendering the interior invisible, or black.
Besides being undetectable in their own right, black holes are a theoretical construct mostly left as-is by the world since the aptly titled 1979 Disney Classic The Black Hole starring Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins, Ernest Borgnine and the voice of Slim Pickens. Apparently director Gary Nelson purposely left the ending ambiguous so as to reinforce the awesome and mysterious nature of the universe. That or the ghost of Walt Disney came to him and told him that spacesuitless humans could survive the pressure and cold of space in a vacuum. It could happen…
Actually, in order to outwit a black hole, I mean to say in order to get out of a really bad situation with evil robots and the disembodied voices of Hollywood stars (Roddy McDowall also appears), your Escape Velocity (the speed it takes you to get the hell out) would have to be greater than the Speed of Light. Einstein explains in his General Theory of Relativity that since nothing we know of actually travels faster than 299,792,458 meters per second, you’re screwed. But what a cool way to die, right? Being ripped apart by the…hold on, we’ll get back to this part.
If Black Holes are undetectable- wait, is this a stupid question?- how does one “detect” them?
First, we know that black holes are once-massive stars that ran out of fuel (hydrogen) after which their own overweight gravity caused it to suck into itself (a rather fun Friday night party trick), at a speed faster than light, therefore creating an area marked only by its extreme density and darkness. The fact is that a great majority of these gravitational anomalies have been found to exist at the known centers of galaxies, including our own Milky Way. Woot!
So are black holes slowly sucking everything into the center of galaxies universe-wide? Are we a glass-is-half-empty kind of contracting universe rather than a glass-is-half-full kind of expanding one? Is Entropy the governing system of all we know? Is this at all connected to what I perceive to be my receding hairline?
Leave it to Braniac, but back in the 70s, Hawking figured out that, theoretically I should say, due to quantum-mechanical mumbo-jumbo, Black Holes emit radiation. Aptly-dubbed Hawking Radiation, the energy that produces the radiation comes from the mass of the black hole. Ergo black holes, like the nether regions of Polar Bear Club members, are shrinking. The rate of radiation increases as the mass decreases, so the black hole continues to radiate more and more intensely and to shrink more and more rapidly until it collapses, or as I like to think, stops sucking itself off, something Marilyn Manson just can’t seem to grasp.
A cool effect of Black Holes is that if you had Liv Tyler waving to you on the Hawaii Luau Beach of the earth and you, studly Ben Affleck you, were slowly flying off toward the Event Horizon of the Black Hole that was World War II, she would be waving to you for the rest of her life and then some, because, due to the dual optical illusion of curved space and the time it takes said light to actually get to her sad cow eyes here on earth, she would never see you cross the threshold of the Black Hole, but merely watch you get tinier and tinier. You though, stud, would actually have been crushed long before you ever reached the Event Horizon, being ripped slowly apart cold and lonely in space long before you reached the Black Hole Singularity (the center of the Black Hole) by gravity worse than any Zero fighter plane piloted by an under-trained and over-amphetamined teenage Kamikaze pilot ever produced while crashing into the sea, earth or otherwise.
So what does all this have to do with Love, Photography, and you? Is life-affirming Film and its antithesis (what is the antithesis of Film…Nonfilm…how could that be? I just blew my mind!), the Black Hole of Film? Nay, starman. Sit your burnt sienna ass down ass down Maxmillian, mach schnel! The fact is that to many of the infinite Afflecks floating through Tokyo-space toward their inevitable doom at the of hands of inescapable Kabukicho Yakuza gravity, the death knell of the Event Horizon represents only one microscopically possible future rather than a fixed boundary. Are we wrong to deny destiny? Are we perverse to fuck with fate? Do we deserve to be hose whipped? Most likely yes, but we may enjoy it. It’s your choice but just so you know, 5 out of 6 theoretical ex-girlfriends agree, LOVE (whatever that means), in all of its illimitable and untold cosmogonies, is inescapable.