I suppose that the first image of a black hole ever captured was always going to have some repercussions, but perhaps not quite so many at once.
Ever since the shots of what could easily be mistaken for a fuzzy bagel were beamed around the globe, strange things have started happening. The sheer strength of the gravitational pull the image has generated has begun to rip apart the seams of the space/time continuum, or whatever people call it in Star Trek and Back to the Future. The event has been so powerful it has stopped Brexit dead in its tracks, and bits of the past, the upside-down netherworld we used to inhabit before the referendum smashed into our universe, have been brought back, kicking and screaming into the present from beneath the crusty surface of humanity’s consciousness.
In the 24 hours since humanity played God by taking a pic for Instagram of something that literally eats light, Homo Sapiens discovered a new hominid cousin, Homo Luzonensis, the remains of which were buried in caves on an island off the Philippines. Standing at a full four feet tall, these early savages are thought to have died out 50,000 years ago, though legends abound that a small troupe of the creatures escaped their island homeland and made their way to Britain, where at least one of their descendants resides as the MP for Raleigh and Wickford.
Meanwhile, in another blast from the past, Pope Emeritus Benedict awoke to the realisation that retirement from the post of God’s representative on Earth wasn’t quite for him. He announced his return to the big time with a 6,000 word condemnation of paedophilia in the clergy, laying the blame at the feet of the liberal faction in the Catholic Church – which just happens to be led by the current Pope. One can only assume that this will end in a very strongly worded rebuttal, which, if the history of the church is anything to go by, will eventually escalate until one of the pontiffs is dead, either on the battlefield or having fallen down some steps whilst taking his morning constitutional.
In other news of things we’d forgotten about, the world remembered a place called Sudan existed. Once the site of civil war, genocide, carpet bombing and roaming Janjaweed militias, things had, ostensibly, gone a little quiet, purely by dint of us no longer caring. The people living there, though, didn’t have that luxury, and now, after 30 odd years (though increasingly less odd these days) President-cum-geographic fixture Omar Al-Bashir was removed from office peacefully at the point of rather a lot of guns by his own military, following a spate of protests across the country. The Sudanese, clearly wary of how popular protests can spiral out of control, as in Libya and Syria, have taken the Egyptian approach of removing the dictator, and immediately liberating the people by installing themselves as rulers. Gotta love freedom.
And, of course, seven years after fleeing into the Ecuadorian embassy, Julian Assange finally got his Saddam moment, dragged from his hideaway, bearded, smelling and yelling something incomprehensible. Many people had forgotten all about Assange, but the UK and US governments sure as hell hadn’t. It remains to be seen if Theresa May will greet a waiting press conference with a jaunty ‘we got ‘im’, or if the Queen will get her photo opportunity on board a plane-less aircraft carrier to announce ‘mission accomplished.’ But there is something faintly quaint about the British actually getting something done, even if it was wrenching a man from a building to extradite him to the SuperMax Gulag of the US Department of Corrections. But then, it did take them seven years to do it, which, even with a black hole playing havoc with our timelines, doesn’t bode well for Brexit.