Physicists at the University of Oregon have discovered a small rip in the space-time continuum that may have resulted in a wormhole opening just above the stage of McDonald Theatre, a venerated music venue in Eugene.
“This explains a lot,” said particle physicist Malachi Constant, whose team of scientists set out this past September to explain why Eugene, and in particular the McDonald Theatre and its sister venue, the Cuthbert Amphitheater, seem to be stuck in a timequake where the same dozen or so musical acts perform over and over with no noticeable variation.
“It was the strangest quantum phenomenon,” Constant said. “Tech N9ne, Dark Star Orchestra, Floydian Slips, Rebelution, showing up again and again. It’s like Groundhog Day. Philosophically, it made no sense. So we set out to investigate whether Eugene might be caught in some sort of insidious temporal loop.”
The theory, Constant says, is that the yawning of the wormhole has inspired what quantum mechanics calls a “chronosynclastic infundibulum,” an effect in which time is flattened and certain matter can exist in several places and times at once, causing them to show up in the present again and again.
Such a theory, he says, also explains the regular appearance in town of bands 20 or more years past their prime. “They don’t realize it isn’t 1976, or 1986,” Constant explains, “or 1996, or 2006. It’s like they’re in a Möbius strip.” He says that, in the instance of Cuthbert and McDonald, this might help explain a seemingly insoluble mystery like REO Speedwagon.
“The funny thing is,” he continues, “these shows regularly sell out despite their repetitive and archaic nature, which makes no economic sense. Artistic programming thrives on risk and change, and audiences aren’t stupid. So we’ve begun to ask ourselves if perhaps the wormhole isn’t larger than we originally thought.”
Constant says the idea that musical acts and audiences alike are caught in a loop, continually being shunted back and forth through time, is as chilling as ice-nine.
“If it’s the case that, say, James Taylor as well as the audience packing the Cuthbert to see him are completely unstuck in time, you have to ask yourself what is real? What’s original?”