Go read this right now: an article about the Hiatus from Jesse Jarnow entitled Shrodinger’s Dead: I’m Too Lazy To Find The Umlaut Button. Good and serious reporting that also manages to bring Benjy into it. In the piece, Jarnow describes the Dead during the Hiatus in terms of the physicist Erwin Schrödinger’s hypothetical cat which exists in a super-position of dead and alive until observed. Schrödinger meant to ridicule quantum theory, but no one much understands physics–especially when it’s yelled at them in German–so we’ve kept the phrase and abandoned the irony.
Jarnow’s article is solid: you would trust it to pick you up at the airport. I cannot help thinking, though, that there are other science-based metaphors with which to explain America’s favorite semi-defunct choogly-type band.
Bose-Einstein Con-Dead-sate Three or four hundred degrees below zero, weird shit occurs: space-time shits its pants a bit. All matter stops, down to the quark, but the fucked-up thing is that because Brownian motion is the natural state of matter, the lack of activity actually generates energy. Money for nothing. (Except, obviously, it costs a shit-ton of money to get anywhere near Absolute Zero. You can’t just have Precarious Lee wire a dozen fridges together.)
Anyway: complete cessation of activity that still somehow generates money is a good spine to hang a Longread about the 90’s on, I think.
Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (Of Tour) You might know where the tickets are, but you have lost your lighter. If you find a lighter, you will lose your friends. When you find your friends, you will not know where your wallet went. When a stranger brings you your wallet, you will lose your tickets.
In short: you are precluded from ever completely having your shit together by the very laws of reality. So, relax.
Punctuated Equilibrium vs. Phyletic Gradualism (As Pertains To The Dead) Did the Dead’s style/equipment/criminal records evolve persistently and regularly, or, having settled into a phenotype, remained stable for long periods of time? Also, who’s a bigger twat: Steven Jay Gould or Richard Dawkins?
String Theory String theory is fucking stupid.
M Theory Even dumber than String Theory.
Bernoulli’s Principle (When Applied To The Dead) Wind passes faster over the top of Billy than it does below him, which provides lift and enables Billy to fly.
Drake Equation (Let’s Just Assume That They All Apply To The Dead When A Pun Is Not Immediately Obvious) Number of galaxies X number of habitable planets X planets that have developed electric guitars X aliens with beards = trillions of jams throughout the universe. So many jams.
Fermi Paradox Y’know what, Drake: you’re full of shit. Where are the jams, Drake? Show me the jams.
(In my head, Drake and Fermi shared an office and it was a nightmare:
“Where is my coffee? I swear it must have been right there.”
“There is no coffee, Drake. You have no evidence of coffee.”
“The math says the coffee exists, and in abundance.”
“And yet, you are thirsty and sluggish. Asshole.”
And then they would hit each other with their Nobel prizes.)
Newton’s Laws of Dead Motion
- A Grateful Dead in motion shall remain in motion, unless he is distracted, or gets tired, or is offered drugs, or is fighting with a drummer, or doesn’t want to remain in motion.
- Force is required.
- They will get you for this.
Mitscherlich’s Law of Isomorphism Crystals composed of the same number of similar elements tend to demonstrate isomorphism. Same with the Dead.
Did you just copy-and-paste that from Wikipedia at random?
Okay. You’re done.
Can I have a Pop Tart?
If you must, Sloppy Joe.