The Black Hole Poses a Moral Quandary

By  · Published on January 17th, 2017

Short of the Day

OR, The Gravitational Price of Greed.

What would you do if you discovered a black hole? I’m not talking about the celestial variety, those massive swirling vortices of baryonic matter that bend time and space and eat planets like Milk Duds, I mean like a portable one, one that could fit on, say, a standard 8½ x 11” piece of printer paper? It still has all the properties of the larger version, but in a handy, compact size perfect for toting about your routine. Would you use it for good, to help others in need, or would you use it for your own, selfish, personal gain? Like most folks, myself included, you probably like to think it would be the former but know deep down it’s the latter, especially when you start considering all the possibilities. No doors are locked to he who owns a black hole, no barriers are unbreachable. Anything you want, you just have to position your hole over it, reach into the blackness and pluck it from its position in the universe to yours. It would be just that simple.

Unless, of course, you take into consideration the consequences, namely that absolute power – like owning a black hole would grant you – can corrupt absolutely, as Shakespeare had Caesar note. The greed unleashed by such power could take you over, force you into more daring, more compromising situations just to test the limits of said power, and that kind of greed breeds carelessness, the one thing you don’t want bred when dealing with pinpoint gravitational fields.

This abstract concept is at the center of the short film The Black Hole from directors Phil and Olly, a.k.a. Diamond Dogs, for Photoplay Films in which a sleep-deprived office worker discovers a compact black hole that causes his greed to get the better of him. Dark, quirky, funny, and all done without dialogue, it’s a dynamic and mindbending film that will leave you pondering the complexities of both the unknown universe and your own personal moral parameters.

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