The University of Mississippi made a Gothic discovery this week. Ole Miss turned up one thousand (1000) dead bodies under its buildings.
The University of Mississippi Medical Center planned to build a parking garage east of the dental school, but testing in the area revealed the bodies, which are believed to have been patients at the Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum a century ago. none of the bodies are identified.
The competition to use this as a metaphor for any aspect of academic life has hereby commenced.
We here at Infocult do gaze upon the Olympics from time to time. We do this in appropriate style, of course, recognizing the Gothic scope of that athletic ritual.
For example, what happens to the vast Olympic architecture constructed for a one-time purpose? Sometimes those spaces fall into ruins, of course. Tottering, decayed, abandoned spaces succeed where one stood proud objects of global cynosure.
Consider this bobsled run in Sarajevo, its shining moment followed by such horror:
Or consider these structures from the 1972 Munich Olympics buildings:
when the universe was 15 million years old, the cosmic microwave background had a temperature of warm summer day on Earth. If rocky planets existed at that epoch then the CMB could have kept their surface warm even if they did not reside in the habitable zone around their parent star. Hence liquid water could have existed on their surface, starting the chemistry of life as we know it.
Which sounds lovely, a universe just teeming with life.
However, we at Infocult always take the Gothic view. So imagine a universe filled with planets, many covered with water, and out of which emerge a delightful diversity of life forms, basking in the warmth provided by the very universe.
For a while.
Because, you see, that background radiation declines by degrees, steadily. It is now just 2.7 degrees above absolute zero, in fact. So at some point that pleasant warmth would have faded into a chill, then a killing cold. And unless those life-bearing planets orbited friendly stars at just the right distance, and unless those life forms developed advanced techologies.... there would have been a vast, cosmic-level die-off. Countless ecosystems must have died in slow, glacial horror.
In which case the universe would have been dotted with the frozen remains of life. Our cosmos would have become a vast display of horrible death and futility.
Over time, those remains would fade, and become victims of entropy, forgotten by a largely, if not entirely, silent universe.
That's what we see when we peer up from Earth into the deeps of space.
KATIE CAMPBELL: First, the stars twist their arms into knots, and sometimes lesions form on their skin.
BEN MINER: One of them was very sick, and the other two individuals started ripping themselves apart. The arms just crawl away from the particular body.
KATIE CAMPBELL: You heard that right. The arms crawl in opposite directions, until they tear away from the body and their insides spill out. And unlike most starfish, the arms don’t regenerate. Stars that came in with symptoms died within 24 hours.