For the ever-shrinking quantity of you that still actually follow this blog, you’ll notice that almost every post that’s not a story is just something from Facebook that irritates me. You’re probably wondering why that is. To explain I’ll give you this vignette: One time in college we were paired up in an English class to talk one-on-one about our story ideas. My partner and I blew through our ideas in about a minute and moved right into shooting the shit. In talking I went on about the litany of things I hated to see on Facebook, a spiel I finished with something along the lines of “There’s so much infuriating stuff on Facebook. I hate it.” To which my partner replied “No you don’t. You love the rage. You fucking love it.” And you know what? She was right, I do fucking love it.
You might not believe this, but I try pretty hard let people do their thing, no matter what issues I find with their sense of spirituality. I don’t like having people of different beliefs squawk at me about how I’m interpreting the universe wrong, so I’d imagine they feel the same way about me insulting them. Especially considering that Facebook Astrology has, as far as I know, never caused full scale Holy War in the Middle East. But when these cutesy little text images become a way to chalk up your minor failings to something not pertaining to you, that’s where I draw the line.
Call me old fashioned, but I attribute my temperament and proclivities to two major things: Genetics and the household in which I was raised. You’ll notice I didn’t say ‘the position the stars were in over two decades ago as I was removed from the stomach of my mother like a sentient tumor’. And yet, more often than I’d hope, I see real-live human beings attributing some of the worst parts of their personalities to a star sign and calling it a day. Some meme might show up on my news feed with some astrological symbol and say “WARNING Pisces: does not play well with others” and in the comments you’ll see “hey [Significant other’s tagged name] this explains a lot XD”.
Absolutely not with this bullshit. To chalk up the shitty aspects of your personality to the astrological signs is a lazy way to give up on accepting responsibility or improving yourself. I’ve told myself a million times that I’m going to stop getting so drunk and playing Super Monkeyball 2 until the sun rises, but I haven’t and I won’t. Not because of a star cross’d birth, but because I’m lazy and weak. Never have I attributed my personal failings to the fact that thousands of miles away some giant orbs of burning gas were in a shape such that, if you were stoned and half blind, they could be construed as a mythical character.
Accepting the fact that your garbage actions are your fault is the first step in becoming a not garbage person. These actions include but are not limited to: procrastination, laziness, feistiness, lack of forethought, or lack of consideration for others. “I’m sorry I broke your windshield, Bae. My Taurus was really showing.” is not an acceptable answer. Instead try, “I apologize for doing significant monetary damage to your personal property. I am mentally unwell, please assist me in finding professional help. Also, I love you.”
(SIDEBAR: I imagine many of the people who go through life like this are also the same people who say ‘I have a big personality and some people can’t deal with it’. This is a backhanded way of saying ‘if people don’t like me it’s their problem, people are too sensitive and there is nothing empirically wrong with me’. I myself have a big personality, and people can’t handle it, but that’s because I am a prick who happens to be extremely loud. Or an extremely loud person who happens to be a prick.)
((sidebar2sidebar: The same goes for saying “It’s not my fault I’m feisty, I’m Latina/Latino/Italian.” You can justify that outburst however you want, but if people avoid hanging out with you it’s probably not because you’re Italian. Allergy to peanuts is an inherent trait, calling the bartender a fucking queer because he cut you off is not))
(((sidebar2sidebar2sidebar: If somebody uses the words ‘Fiery’ and ‘Fiesty’ to describe themselves, they might just be ‘a cunt’. Learn to spot the difference.)))
ANYHOO, I get why people might want to pick up the horoscope section for reasons other than ass-covering. It makes you feel significant in a universe that often feels indifferent. It helps to find meaning and guidance in a world with no printable study guide. It gives a reason to expect good things and tells you which direction to look in for hope. But even those roles, I think, are a little shaky. Not because I doubt the powerful message the one true universe might send, but because I doubt the thousands of places with separate interpretations of it. The whole Catholic community can’t completely agree on jack shit, and they at least know what book they’re supposed to be studying. A horoscope enthusiast, meanwhile, could be getting their life tips from one of two people:
1. A person who’s spent their entire life pursuing the intricate patterns of the galaxy.
2. A twenty-one year-old Elle Magazine intern with a thesaurus and a propensity for being vague.
It should be more than a little alarming to the spiritually inclined that the benediction of the stars is in no way regulated.
Now, like anything bordering on a belief system, I know there are different levels of ‘spirituality’ on Facebook. I don’t think everybody who reads these things is constantly sweating in a yurt steamroom, drinking kombucha and tryna get their chakras aligned. The people who trust in the flow of the universe come in varying degrees of belief and dedication. I’m just saying it’s a rather unwise system to base a decision on. I trust the ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ button on google with more confidence than the stars, and that button is a snake pit of 9/11 conspiracies and cartoon porn.
This is not even including the fact that the star signs actually shift over time. I’m not going to go far into astronomy other to say that the earth’s rotation in accordance with the sun and stars is complex as hell, but your sign has shifted since astrology was invented, and it’ll shift again, too.
Allow Bowtie Scienceman to explain.
This inconsistency is why I find the delicate interplay of personalities less about the stars and more about the fact that human beings are intricate as hell. I love a paragraph describing my positive traits and apologizing for my faults as much as the next guy, but I think there are plenty of earthbound quotes that can stir the spirit. Might I suggest instead looking to the paradigm shifting quotes of famous achievers in the game of life, not an Instagram account with a heart quota to fill. You can misinterpret quotes from Hemingway, Churchill, Mandela, or Angelou, but that doesn’t mean they can’t inspire you to be more. And the best part about such quotes is that you don’t even have to get the words tattooed onto your ribcage for them to work. Just internalize them and begin to improve your life through your own volition. That way, after days, months, or years of getting your life in order you can look back on what you’ve done and be proud of what you did, not what a bunch of orb fires forced you to do.
Or keep doing what you’re doing. What do I know? I don’t burn at 6,000 degrees kelvin.