The Berenstain Universe


Sometime last year, things started to go terribly wrong. 2016 opened with a slew of celebrity deaths, putting an undeniable downer on January, but as the year unfolded they seemed increasingly like an omen, as though some of our best-loved stars were choosing to shuffle off the mortal coil in the knowledge of what the future had in store.

With Brexit in June, the election of Donald Trump as President in November, and the creeping rise of global fascism, it’s hard not to wonder ‘where did it all go wrong?’ At some point, we moved from a disordered, chaotic, frequently cruel but ultimately sane world, into something many of us no longer recognise – a megalomaniac reality TV star about to become President of the United States; the UK severing itself from Europe in a desire to keep bananas curvy and anyone with a vaguely Eastern-European sounding name out; a now-ex Prime Minister apparently into pig fellatio.

But we here at qmunicate think we may have cracked it – at some point in the relatively recent past, we left our own universe, and passed into another. There’s only one logical explanation for what’s happening here – we have entered the darkest timeline.

My theory is that the split occurred some time in early 2015. It was then that we realised – or thought we realised – that the family name of the popular children’s book bears was Berenstain, not Berenstein. However, this was not, as previously thought, a mass-misremembering of a minor detail from our childhoods; it in fact was the moment when we slipped from our own universe into another – and the Berenstain universe, in which we currently reside, is where chaos reigns. Mere months after this revelation, the news of the now-infamous ‘piggate’ broke, marking the beginning of a spiral into increasingly surreal and nonsensical current events.

In our old, comparatively stable universe, Ed Miliband continues a successful first term as Britain’s loveably-buffoonish Prime Minister, Bernie Sanders won the 2016 election in a landslide, and the defeated Trump languishes in his gold tower, awaiting the first of numerous sexual assault trials.

The only question is; how do we get back to this better word? Physics students – have you got any ideas?

[Clare Patterson – @clarepttrsn]

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