The universe as we know it engages in failures of gargantuan proportion, and when I say gargantuan, I’m talking 90 percent species failure here. Epic…Universal…Failures. They beget excessive struggle for the duration while yielding a meh, sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t final story line. Regardless, the defacto by-product is always never-seen-before change.
So as an ode to Epic Universal Failures, the following list means to inspire in a failure-is-the-only-way-to-recreate-the-world kind of way, where surrender to the saga is the universal process. In no particular order, may the countdown commence (complete with your very own Epic Universal Failures theme song playlist).
Theme song: The Firebird Suite, Finale by Stravinsky
Misadventure: Think your world is falling apart? Try telling that to the Permian-Triassic extinction, known to many scientists as one of the earth’s tough times, possibly the toughest. Maybe a comet, maybe a volcano, maybe both, but whatever did the job 250 million years ago dissipated 90 percent of life then known on the planet. We’re talking 95 percent of sea animals, 60 percent of land animals, and virtually all trees wiped away.
The Good News: We made it! Well earth did, and although this was not the last of devastating chaos on the planet, it still rotates full of life. And here we are, post mega-annums, reading about this from the etherwebs on a mobile robotic mini-brain. You truly have to concentrate on the incomprehensible to even micro-understand that at some point in history the majority of life on the planet withered to extinction because earth just happened to be standing in the way of projectile space rock.
Theme Song: Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
Misadventure: Whether weak states, too many invasions, or simply a stronger Eastern block, Rome did not continue its glory of engulfing all it walked through. So when all roads no longer led to Rome, I’m sure there were mixed feelings. Good ol’ 472-476 AD, the end of the Western Roman Empire, shows that failure will get even the strongest of Roman-godlike intentions in the end.
The Good News: They had a good run, eating up much of what happened to be in their marching army’s path, and after that, came other things, including new world powers (eh-hem). So the end of an empire is just that, the end of an empire. New ones are born and new ideas and ways of living transmit through the copper pipelines. And thanks to that little 200-year-rule shenanigan, today we have awe-inspiring architecture, some of the most beautiful languages in the world, and Russell Crowe in tiny leather outfits.
Theme song: Bad Romance by Lady Gaga
Misadventure: Two galaxies collided, wiping out existing stars, and then leaving HLX-1 to inwardly collapse to the point of actually eating its own self and all else it could get its gravitational hands on. Think of 10-25 times the mass of our sun compacting again and again until it fit into the dimensions of New York City…and then it sucked, and sucked, and kept on sucking (I mean serious epic sucking failure).
The Good News: Scientists believe that a young cluster of stars also formed as part of the whole adventure, and their age of a mere 200 million years has these astro folks convinced they came about because the others crashed. And hey, a black hole made its debut, which is pretty friggin’ fantastic in itself. So even when galaxies crash, and black holes devour most everything else, new stars are born.
4. J.K Rowlings First 15 Times Trying to Sell Harry Potter
Theme Song: Truckin’ by Grateful Dead
Misadventure: 15 times…seriously. After a long preamble of death, divorce, and poverty before words spilled on the page, I’m sure there was a bit of a come on guys sense of defeat. But as J.K. Rowling says in her speech on failure at a Harvard commencement, “Rock bottom became the foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” Good thing the Epic Universal Failure joke was on all those publishing dummies.
The Good News: Ummm…everything that happened after she got published. Telling Ms. Rowlings in a polite English accent that she could stick her magic curriculum you-know-where probably didn’t seem like a mistake at the time. 400 million copies later, I’m sure they now cannot hear He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named without a slight cringe knowing they should have voted for Team Dusseldorf.
5. ___(insert your own EUF here)___
Theme song: Dragoste Din Tei by Ozone
Misadventure: Ok, kinda tricked you here, but I did provide some pretty epic Epic Universal Failure theme music. It’s a total fill-in-the-blank situation. I’m sure you have plenty to pull from, and at least it’s not our galaxy colliding with another while we sleep. We all have some kind of extinction of our world as we know it, loss of all our power, passing through our own event horizon, and getting rejected more times in a row than we can count on two hands.
The Good News: Experiencing Epic Universal Failures reveals that they are all part of the universal plan, whatever that may be. So as all falls down, remember, it won’t be forever, and in the meantime, turn up the Moldovian disco music and dance like the galaxy is about the crash. Sometimes that’s how stars are born.
What’s your Epic Universal Failure fill-in-the-blank?