Saturday, January 15, 2011

Astronomy Makes Astrology Its Bitch

Judging by that planetary alignment, you probably have herpes.
I've thought long and hard on how to approach this subject.  Lately I've been dancing around the points I've been trying to make using silly literary techniques like satire, poetry, and cartoons.  Well, cartoons aren't really literary.  But, since I'm so confident in my ability to construct a pretty impressive and structurally sound tower of bullshit arguing that they are, I'm just going to go ahead and lump cartoons into the same category with the rest of those pesky little bastards. Regardless, enough of all that rhetorical nonsense.  This topic makes me far too happy to approach it with anything but pure, unadulterated joy, gloating, immaturity, and scathing, pompous sarcasm that couldn't scream "I'm better than you" more if it were wearing a fucking crown.

For those that don't know, I very much enjoy the scientific field of study known as "astronomy."  Some people may call me a nerd upon learning of this little tidbit of funfactery (not to be confused with a "fun factory," which I think is where Jesus sends people of competing religious faiths to manufacture enjoyment for all of his followers while paying them a wage that is next to impossible to live on).  However, those people are just jealous and will someday be getting a meteorite sent straight at their faces, just as soon as I figure out how to control meteorites.


Now, this intellectual sophistication of mine that many people incorrectly misconstrue as "nerdiness" has given me strong views on certain subjects.  Subjects like, "it's totally normal for me to want to sit outside and look at the sky at midnight when its well below freezing."  As far as I know women find frostbite rugged and sexy.  Another opinion is one that I share with Buzz Aldrin about how the Apollo astronauts didn't land on the moon.

But by far my strongest feelings in regards to the planets and the stars have to do with the fact that no matter what you say, the current orbit of Jupiter paired with Mercury's impending eclipse of Venus has nothing to do with the fact that you got hit by a bus crossing the street this morning.  You got hit by a bus crossing the street this morning because you were busy checking your Blackberry for Virgo's daily horoscope instead of looking at the 14-ton rolling box of dieseled fury hurtling towards your poor, misguided, and devastatingly unobservant soul.  And by soul, I of course mean body.  Bus crashes don't crush souls that I'm aware of, just bones and, subsequently, dreams.

Astrology, the study of making broad sweeping predictions about people who were born at a certain time during the year and seeing how many of those people will morph how their lives go to fit said predictions, is a crock of shit practiced by the ancient Babylonians, people who are incapable of making everyday decisions on their own, and those who realized that they could make money off of people who are incapable of making everyday decisions on their own.

It is based upon the idea that (fair warning, I'm about to drop some knowledge on you) depending what time of the year you were born, the Sun was positioned in a certain constellation relative to our vantage point on Earth.  However, since the Earth is still drunk from that night it partied with all the other planets and Venus took off its Kuiper Belt, it wobbles slightly as it rotates, causing our view of the sky to shift over thousands of years.  As the year progresses, the Sun passes through the Zodiac, also know by definition as the set of constellations that make up the elliptic, which is also know by definition as the path the Sun takes through the sky over the course of the year.  Also, I made up that part about why the world wobbles.  Just trust me that it does.

This is important to know because creepy men at bars ask women what their astrological signs are because some women care about that, and men pretend to care about what women care about so they will have sex with them.  It's also important to know because many people tend to get tattoos of their astrological signs.  However, it's most important to know because due to that pesky rotational wobble of the Earth, the Sun now passes through a 13th constellation during the year, shifting almost everyone's astrological signs and thus allowing for some tattoos that make me happy in more ways than I could ever describe.

 Recent news of this truth was picked up after a Minnesota newspaper interviewed an astronomer (read: "scientist") about the shift, and people who rely on astrology (read: "horse shit") blew a gasket.  All over the world, marriages crumbled upon husbands and wives realizing their signs were no longer compatible.  Insecure coeds desperately sought fake ID's that said their birthday matched their Sagittarius tattoo, even though they were already over the legal drinking age.  And I started asking women at bars what their sign was.  Because now its not creepy, it's just a pop quiz.

Astrologers responded to the madness by assuring that the 13th Zodiac constellation had nothing to do with astrology, which is not based on stars, but instead on how the Sun, Moon, and planets affect our lives.  They ignored the fact that the Zodiac signs themselves are based on the Sun's position in constellations, which are made up of stars, because that would be really fucking inconvenient.

I respond to astrologers by extending my middle finger in the air so prominently, that they might just be able to see it from their vantage point deep within their anal cavities.  I don't think they can see the Sun, Moon and planets though, as this is the time of year where they're all obstructed because Cassiopeia boned Orion and now Betelgeuse is so pissed he's threatening to go supernova and everything in our solar system is hiding just to be safe.

What an entropic universe we have.

The good news in all of this is that according to a recent Pew survey, only 25% of Americans believe in astrology.  Now some of you may look and that figure and ask "But shouldn't it be a bad thing that a quarter of the country believes in something that has not even close to any statistical relevance?"

Well shut up.  And stop asking questions like that.  If you do it might lead more than 39% of Americans believing in all that nonsense in On the Origin of Species.

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