by Ian Svenonius
first published in Arthur No. 8 (Jan. 2004)
Predestination; a concept older than free will and borne out by recent scientific elucidations on historical dialectics, genetics and chemical psychology. Each of us is caught in a tangled labyrinth of circumstance and cosmic programming, acting out our grotesque fate in an awful, ignorant manner.
The restless contractions of the astral bodies affect us in a profound way; each offhand movement of a planet can have enormous repercussions for humanity and our various client species, via magnetic fields, space dust and thoughtless lunar alignment. The moon can likewise be an irresponsible entity, tumbling through the sky carelessly, without regard to the tidal waves it may or may not cause. A correlation could be drawn to our own unthinking rearrangement of ant life or microscopic organism culture. This column is a transmission then, not only to the Arthur readers (who have star signs), but to the stars as well, an attempt to get them to understand that even their nonchalant actions have repercussions…
Your good taste and “attention to detail” is your cachet. Recently however, everyone seems to have good taste. It’s a veritable “Age of Capricorn” with the whole of society engaged in conspicuous collecting of obscurant minutiae. These poseurs are like a race of mushrooms who’ve blossomed overnight, and they’ve seemingly rendered you redundant. Or maybe not. Legend has it that there’s still a backwater region, somewhere in New Guinea, where no one knows about the particular labels and sub-trends which are your passion. Go there now and take your rightful place as their inscrutable aesthete.
You’re tired of the simplistic astrological characterization which has dogged you ever since the hippiexploitation musical Hair. You dug all the attention at the time, but now you’d like to dissociate yourself from those fabulous furry freaks of yesteryear. You’ve found yourself pigeonholed; you find it hard getting jobs as a butcher or a Pentagon military contractor, for example. It’s time for everyone to know that Aquarians aren’t just well-meaning free-thinkers living in schoolbuses and teepees. That nazis like Ronald Reagan and slaveowners like George Washington were Aquarians too. That Aquarians are tough mothers like Rollins and rabble rousers like John “Rotten.” And that if this millennium is indeed the “Age of Aquarius,” it’s a bloody epoch featuring war and nuclear proliferation; not just food co-ops. Your work in expanding social consciousness about Aquarius’ versatility is absolutely crucial for the people of your sign.
You are the sign of the fish. Fish travel in large groups, called “schools,” but you hate school, which makes you an unusual fish; a romantic, loner, James Dean-style fish. Part of a new “me generation” in the fish world, wary of social conventions—such as egg laying and gill use—and intent on individual freedom. It’s a very American outlook and one which many in the fish world resent. They see your insistent individuality as selfish and bad for the survival of the species, especially if you represent a turning point in evolution. You on the other hand, see them as conformist drones, bound by stifling tradition. Make a civic gesture toward them to allay their fear; tell them you haven’t given up on school altogether, you’re just taking a year off to find yourself.
Interview with “Flash” magazine
Flash: You’ve been characterized as the “baby” of the zodiac. Any comments on this?
Aries: I don’t read my press…
Flash: You’ve been called temperamental and difficult as well.
Aries: If I had a publicist things would be different. But I refuse to pander to the media in the way that others—such as Gemini and Scorpio—do. The whole “sexual” thing Scorpio has sold to the world? As if everyone didn’t have sex!
Flash: But don’t you believe that each sign has intrinsic qualities?
Aries: But these value judgments…it’s just fashion. Remember Leo in the ‘70s? Everyone wanted to be a Leo. Warhol pretended to be one… Where is Leo now? Reminiscing about the glory days…talking about Jimmy Page and Studio 54.
Flash: Who’s hot now and who will be?
Aries: Free-willed Sagittarius was big in the ‘60s, power brokering, death-obsessed Scorpio was ‘80s while elitist Capricorn defined the 90’s. The big money in Vegas now is on Cancer and Pisces… as American power recedes and “reflection” becomes chic.
Intellectuals shrink from the use of the proletarian term “bullshit,” opting instead for the effete and intellectual expression “horseshit.” At a cocktail party for example, they will pronounce their displeasure with an idea or opinion with a smug chortle, as they shout “Complete and utter horseshit!”; or perhaps just “HORSESHIT!” Their pleasure in the use of the word is self evident from its delivery. The opinion of the academic, honed by years in the ivory tower, is especially authorized by the use of this word. While you, Taurus, may be relieved that your fecal matter finally isn’t being used as totem of ultimate devaluation, you should actually be offended. As everyone knows, the mythic vileness of a creature’s waste is inversely proportionate to their power, so these elite academics are betraying their class origins and loyalties by ignoring your offal. You to them are mere chattel. They uphold the knightly horse, with it’s dung subsequently attaining the mantle of ultimate awfulness. The knight of course is the most recent ancestor of the matador, who is your sadistic arch nemesis. Destroy these intellectual matadors therefore and show them the awesome power of your “bullshit.”
“Ballad of the Gemini”
(sung to the tune of “Days of 49”)
Confusion rules your underpants
Are you a rogueish lady
or a very womanly gent?
Well your forebears before you
all seemed equally confused;
Sun Ra wore a dress
Nancy Sinatra wore those boots
Ray Davies sang about “Lola”;
McCartney mistook his major
for a suffragette lady
Morrissey swore celibacy
Jane Wiedlin kept lips sealed
but your ‘Prince-ly’ hermaphroditic natures
cannot be concealed
The crab announces its gender on its chest through a particular design emblazoned on its shell. As a Cancer, you similarly announce your gender through your hairstyle and choice of clothes, even through your manner and affectations. In so-called Western culture, respective gender differences are highly exaggerated through style and prescribed social behavior so as to accentuate sexual contrast. If you’re a woman Cancer for example, sometimes you’ll wear a skirt or a brassiere. What’s the deal with that? Are you some kind of floozy?
The gazelles which you normally feast upon are getting scarce. They’ve all moved into a group house and just play video games, never going out anymore. You’ve heard that they think you’re a jerk and you must admit, it’s not a completely unfounded idea. It’s a depressing development since it probably means your ultimate starvation. Maybe you should move to Portland and start a band.
While perhaps you’re not technically a virgin, your spiritual “maidenhead” is intact, meaning that you’ve never let your pretense of purity be trampled underfoot by the hordes of lecherous hucksters. You are the unsullied ambassador of your aesthetic ideal. This is why the various witch doctors are so intent on dragging you to the mouth of the volcano and spilling your blood for their various deities. In an age when Faust can’t get a large french fries in hock for his soul, you are still a coup! Of course, nowadays there aren’t deities per se. There is only one god and his name is Moolah. The high priests are agents, ad execs, bankers et al. whose might is represented by their ability to rend and bend the ideological and the artistic vision… they want you in their bed! Resist their humping gesticulations at all costs! Or at least hold out for “total creative control.”
Astrologers typically discriminate against one sign or another, using the forum to promulgate their own bigotries toward certain signs and the people who inhabit them. This is an absolutely unprofessional approach, as an astrology column should never be used to serve a single individual’s sicko agenda. All the star signs must be dealt with according to a scientific reading of the stars and a quick survey of animal entrails. Many astrologers particularly dislike Libras, who are such self-righteous, status-seeking jerks. Then there is the other kind of Libra who tends to be more like a pile of moss, just totally weird. Oh, and also Libras steal. A Libra stole my bicycle once. Maybe one day you’ll find an astrologer who is inclined toward your sign and who won’t put you through that kind of discrimination.
Everyone knows the legend of the frog and the scorpion. After the frog kindly gave you a ride across the water, you repaid him by striking him with your stinger! While he deteriorated, you explained that this was simply “your nature.” Everyone thinks you’re a real stinker for this incident, but perhaps they should think about things from your perspective. The frog always had it pretty good, with those big eyes and luscious lips. He sat on his picturesque lily pad, had amphibian powers and a versatile tongue. Every human child studied his progeny, the miraculous tadpole. Bards such as Three Dog Night and Burl Ives sang his praises in hit compositions. He was a legend. You, in the meantime, weren’t even born with a face. Perhaps the frog’s “kindly” gesture was really intended to show off his ability in regards to your limitations. Perhaps he forgot that, even if you can’t hop or swim or catch flies with your (nonexistent) tongue, you do have a pretty cool stinger. Perhaps he deserved everything he got.
ACT 1, SCENE 1
Stage is dark; trees and lichen betray an ancient and primeval forest. The sound of flutes emanates from stage left, giving way to the sound of hooves. Two centaurs canter to the center of the stage.
Sagittarius 1: We are despised for our lower nudity and our interminable rutting.
Sagittarius 2: Aye, but ‘tis not our fault! The design of pants does not extend itself to our form.
S1: So we are accursed to roam pantsless forever? outside of society?
S2: Aye. ‘Tis our destiny.
S1: Then curse be on those who wear pants everywhere; the closet freaks and moral arbiters who leave us a wandering, trouserless people!
Exit stage right.
Stage Dark, curtains down