Because I start from a mechanical/structural reality, I see where our words do not always match up, and that is still the confusing part for me. You are using words I do not work with. One choice is…
I recognize this, and it is a quagmire. On the one hand, there are existing concepts that, although there may be debate regarding their truth or accuracy, are the common ground knowledge.
The terminology to describe these concepts also has the effect of implying a meaning maybe beyond what is intended, but simply creating new vocabulary may end up simply pigeonholing one's input instead of making it relatable.
I cannot claim to know what is best, but I try to judge when a term applies. For example, I believe time dilation as a mathematical result is largely accurate, so I use the term in that context or to bring people into the discussion. But since there is not really agreement what it is mechanically, that is where I try and define my position with my "Celerity Boson" hypothesis.
As for your Black Eye 'vs' Black Hole, I think that too is an edgy situation. Although I agree that your "Black Eye" mechanic contrasts with the fantasy fiction most often attributed to Black Holes, my preference would be to try and correct the definition of the latter as opposed to introducing a new term.
But that is just my opinion.
Long story long, my hope is that, even if there are terms that we may find disagreeable (e.g. I wince at the word "multiverse"), we should still seek to understand what the author is describing (e.g. Most of my favorite movies and even some of my own scientific theories include "multiverses"😆). Frankly, in some cases better terms or examples do not exist!
All that being said, regarding your "energy 'vs' matter" question, that cannot be answered until you define what matter or energy is. For example, is a photon matter and is a quark energy? No, I did not state that in reverse.
I am a staunch realist, and I emphatically agree with you that the mechanics and structure need to make sense. That is why my razor is that all properties must apply to all scales and in all places. "Exceptions" and "special cases" really just mean "I'm wrong, but can't accept it."
To answer my own question to you, I believe everything is particles. And space is just space. Honestly, I'm not sure if that is matter or energy, but it is a homogeneous view which I believe is the spirit of your question. Why I believe that is the clear packetization of all "energy" which is mostly another name for photons, and the particle wave duality of all standard model particles. They are all the same that way, with their common unifying thread being time dilation (whatever that may be).
Now those are simply the particles we know to exist because their general compliance to 'c' allows is to perceive them. However, it seems clear that time dilation itself follows a particle model (you might call it a 'graviton' since it is causing gravitational phenomenon, but gravity doesn't exist so by definition the term is incorrect) and I can discuss with you evidence to that effect if you want.
And if you believe space is space and particles are particles, then quantum entanglement, Higgs Boson theory, and all finite universe origin theories require either a particle or energy that does not interact with time dilation (gravity) and therefore is not on the standard model. (an aside: The Higgs Boson is on newer standard model charts, but it violates all the parameters that would make it standard model 🤔)
So, I believe there are more particles at work in the universe that we cannot perceive or at energy levels we are incapable of measuring. I do not believe that they can convert from non-standard to standard, and agree with you that Omega=1 since the beginning of our universe. However, I do believe the universe began from a massive waveform collapse of one form of non-standard particle causing it to decay into the standard model we see today.
[Side thought: Perhaps time dilation is generated by standard model particles interacting with another non-standard particle (two pools), but this interaction results in conversion to time dilation which is non-standard as well but whose mechanic impedes the movement of particles that traverse it. In that way, the two pools stay separate (Omega=1) but with a limited overlap in their mechanics.]
Regarding "time dilation" 'vs' "drag", I treat time dilation as the cause of what you call drag, so if you simply swap those terms that might mke more sense. My model also explains a 'c' speed limit and justifies violations of that limit. I don't agree with most popular models of time dilation or gravity, but neither do many serious scientists. LIGOS even has experiments to try and confirm if spacetime is curved because it is validly being questioned. I still use the term as I don't want to throw out the baby with the bathwater, but I hope you recognize that I assume nothing and constantly challenge my thinking. On multiple occasions I've given up on my theories only to be compelled by new evidence that they lean true. Everything idea I promote I also question and seek out data to the contrary.
Where I would challenge you to better define "drag" is that the analog of the cylinder of silver slivers is conflated with Bernoulli hydrodynamics. It's like the time dilation funnel diagram which, although is a fun mathematical analog, does not mean the universe is full of literal spacetime funnels.
Unfortunately a vacuum pressure example where particles are suspended in matter (liquid) does not necessarily translate to a true space vacuum where such properties do not apply.
I do not see where the drag comes from in an inherently drag-free environment. Also, assuming 'c' as a speed limit is, again, an assumption. I don't even like that my Celerity Boson theory is an arbitrary 'c' speed, but it makes more sense than Einstein's stubborn presumption.
Please understand that I am not criticizing (and perhaps you have addressed these items and I have not recognized it), but I legitimately want to see your idea through to the end and leave no stone unturned. In my opinion, you are onto something, but I also want to see what supports all those parts.
Warning: I had a discussion like this with someone who had a frankly ridiculous idea, but I was interested. When I asked him similar questions, he got belligerent and defensive. but science is always assuming your wrong and being surprised if you find something verifiably true, not arguing that you are right despite evidence to the contrary.
Considering all of us are in Plato's Cave trying to describe the world beyond it, maybe everything is energy in a singularity on the back of an immortal cosmic turtle who swims in ether indefinitely, but from what shadows I can see that is not the case.
I hope you accept my words as constructive, and I look forward to continued engagement. Also, I would love to have my ideas challenged, but it needs to be a data driven critique.
All of my comments I have tried to be evidence driven or offered to show the data. I have empirical evidence all day long that I try to consider.