Hail to The King, Baby

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Hail to The King, Baby

Hip-shakin’ shoutin’ in gold lamé
That’s how he earned his regal sobriquet
But he threw it all away
For a porcelain monkey

Warren Zevon – Porcelain Monkey

Before Elvis there was nothing.

John Lennon

Today would have been Elvis Aaron Presley’s 73rd Birthday. Assuming, of course, that you subscribe to the conventional belief that he died in 1977. If you believe he’s still alive – and reliable sources suggest that many do – then I guess for you this is Elvis Aaron Presley’s 73rd birthday.

And if you’re not convinced one way or the other, then there’s always quantum mechanics. The Schrödinger’s Cat paradox – the famous thought experiment devised by the Austrian-Irish physicist Irwin Schrödinger – demonstrated that, in quantum theory at least, a cat can be both alive and dead simultaneously. Simply place a common household Ignatz-katcher in a sealed metal box containing a radioactive isotope, a geiger counter and a vial of cyanide and – before you know it – the cat goes into an indeterminate dead cat-live cat eigenstate. Until, of course, you collapse the state vector – but where’s the fun in that?

By extension, then, I reckon that Elvis can be both alive and dead – and neither alive nor dead – at the same time. Both can be true. So, according to this admittedly shaky adaptation of the Copenhagen Interpretation – which I have an admittedly shaky grasp of in the first place – today not only would have been Elvis’ 73rd birthday but also simultaneously is Elvis’ 73rd birthday.

I call this theory Schrödinger’s King. Thankyouverymuch.

2008-01-08T16:50:00+00:00

About the Author:

My name is Tom Lennon and I'm a freelance writer who specialises in humour at the geekier end of the pop culture spectrum. I'm based in Birmingham, UK, and my work has recently appeared in BuzzFeed and Time Out.

2 Comments

  1. Rol Hirst January 9, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Yeah, but where’s the box so I can go look?

  2. Tom Lennon January 9, 2008 at 8:35 am

    It’s buried ‘neath the ground on a private estate in Memphis, Tennessee. Standing nearby are three long-haired Englishmen from a popular but fictional heavy metal band. They’re singing Heartbreak Hotel. In raga.

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